Thursday, 9 April 2015

Be more interesting.

The work life balance is one that is often difficult to get right, especially in an industry of tight deadlines, pitches and the ‘always-on’ mindset that we have in advertising.

In a very generous bid to ensure that all St Lukers take an opportunity to continue to expand their social and ‘extra curricular’ lives there is an annual grant available for each permanent employee to learn to do something to “Make yourself more interesting.”

The value in a well-rounded person should never be underestimated and St Luke's has remarkably valued this for around 20 years. People have done all manner of things such as nutritionist courses, learned to salsa or taken swimming lessons.

I’d been toying around with the idea of doing a few different things with my fund this year, until over Christmas I realised that I was now as an adult craving a hobby that I spent most of my teenage years enjoying – performing arts.


I set about researching immediately, and on Jan 2nd I signed myself up to a 12 week course for adults at Pineapple Performing Arts School – held for 3-4 hours every Sunday at the legendary Pineapple Dance Studios in Covent Garden. Gulp.

After the first session I was beaming with excitement and the next day came bounding in to work, still buzzing off the adrenaline. The singing teachers had been in the original casts of Wicked, Billy Elliot, The Lion King and Mamma Mia. Drama was led by a pair of actor/directors, and dance classes were taught by performers at the top of their games in Street, Hip Hop, House and Musical Theatre. I was in awe of their talent, and it was overwhelming and terrifying to think that in 3 months time I’d be on a London stage, performing a showcase of pieces that we would learn over the 12 weeks.

                                            

When show weekend arrived I felt sick with nerves, and was glad I only had a few select friends coming to watch the 2 shows we were performing on the Sunday. Having a singing solo and a drama duologue, as well as numerous group numbers, made the personal pressure feel heightened, but in the end these were some of the standout memories where I felt I thrived most. The feeling of the adrenaline rush after both performances and seeing my friends' grinning faces in the audience is one I have tried to bottle.

The whole experience reminded me that you should never feel like you’re too old, too busy or too tired to throw yourself into doing something you find nerve-wracking or challenging. The buzz is amazing, and sometimes you just need reminding of that.

                                                     

Even if it’s not something you find daunting, it’s a sterling reminder that we should all make time for hobbies. And when an agency like St Luke’s will freely offer you money to learn to do whatever you like, you should grab the opportunity with both hands! 

Who's next?

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

CAN’T WAIT FOR SUMMER? THEN DON’T!

Having come back to the office after the long four-day Easter weekend, summer is definitely in sight. And what better way to celebrate, than with the launch of the new “#cantwaitforsummer” campaign for Very.

Centered around the anticipation of summer and the ideal, relaxing, carefree life it brings, the campaign shows that with a bit of imagination and products from Very, you can create your perfect summer whenever and wherever you are.

The campaign launches with a 40” TV ad featuring Fearne Cotton and Rochelle Humes and is supported by a 20” TV ad, print, interactive digital banners, and bespoke social creative.





So go on, it may only be April but put on those sunnies, listen to your favourite summer playlist and join the conversation – what can’t you wait for this summer?


Friday, 3 April 2015

Mecca Bingo with Friends


Our debut campaign for Mecca Bingo launched at the end of March, following our pitch win back in November.

The new campaign, entitled ‘Friends that play together, stay together’, positions Mecca Bingo as an authentic gaming brand with a big heart, bringing friends old and new together for a fun, relaxed time.

The campaign features 2 sets of creative, each with 30", 20" and 10" spots and is set within an animated world where a group of four busy friends come together through Mecca Bingo. The campaign shows that friends can enjoy a fun relaxed game of bingo and connect with each other socially, either online or in one of the many Mecca Bingo Clubs.


Friends being of both two and four legged varieties (of course!) as we also introduce the pet pug of one our female characters. During pre-production we named all the characters to help refer to amends to be made to each of their designs, we had Carol, Lynne, Pete, Rani and Sidney the pug, however after launch the client went on to run a successful Facebook campaign to name the pug who
is now officially known as Dabber!


And to celebrate the launch, we sent the client and the rest of the agency a set of customised pug cupcakes. Delicious.

The campaign was picked up in the Creative Showcase for The Drum, and initial results have seen it working extremely well for the brand. The second of the films launches in May. Let us know what you think @stlukescomms.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

It’s a “New Dawn,” it’s a new day, for Sunny.co.uk


Today, we launch the new integrated campaign for Sunny.co.uk. It’s our first above the line campaign for the brand since we won the account mid-2014. It goes by the name of ‘New Dawn’ and we’re excited for it to finally be revealed. The first brand TV spot goes live after Emmerdale tonight, on ITV, between 7.25 and 7.30pm. 


It’s fair to say we’ve come up against a few obstacles throughout the development of this campaign - but this is to be expected when you count Wonga in your competitive set, and the industry itself is in the midst of upheaval and regulation from the FCA ensuring that all lenders adhere to strict, new rules to ensure consumers don’t find themselves in serious financial difficulties.

The fortunate thing was, Sunny’s product already adhered to most of these regulations, so the introduction of the rate cap meant the business would be one of the very small proportion of lenders who could still survive. The resolve from the client and the St Luke’s team has been hardy, and we have created a set of ads that we are proud of, and believe stand up strong in setting a new agenda in the short-term credit industry.

The campaign launches our line ‘Tomorrow will be Sunny’ and positions Sunny as a stepping-stone to a brighter financial future.


The TV ads feature a launch ‘Manifesto’ ad to introduce the brand, and two further spots showing how a Sunny loan can help their customers overcome common challenges in every day life, such as Nick and Zoe who are a young couple moving house and Ben, a market trader running his own business. The ads were all shot on location, and the stories are based on insight from research.

To launch the campaign internally at the client’s offices today we organised barmen to go over to their 2 sites and make juicy Sunny mocktails, and sent some delicious branded cupcakes to go with them.


Looks like a lot of fun! Hope there are some leftovers…!







Monday, 9 February 2015

Mark Denton inspires St Luke's


Excitement hit St Lukes on Thursday evening as the agency prepared for the much anticipated talk from advertising legend Mark Denton. Champagne and Heineken (naturally!) were flowing as clients and the man himself arrived. Rocking a checked suit from his clothing label (one of Marks many projects) he took to the front of the audience and after battling a few minor technical difficulties, the talk began. 

We don't want to give too much away, should he come to an agency near you soon, but we were taken on a whirlwind journey of Mark's extensive advertising career. From 7 year old Mark watching his first really memorable TV ad to setting up his own agency and winning numerous awards. Utterly engrossed faces stared up at Mark as we were transported through chapter after chapter of his incredible career, all the while keeping us laughing throughout.

A particular favourite moment came when Mark talked about his most memorable experience with his clairvoyant, Claire from Catford, and the champagne bottle next to him popped its corked completely unaided. This added an even greater sense of mystique around an already mystical part of his talk. Mark has assured us this wasn't set up but we suggested adding it in for future talks! 

It was a highly entertaining talk that has us all gripped from start to finish. Everyone left with something useful to take with them into the advertising world and a new found interest in all things clairvoyant. 

Friday, 6 February 2015

ST LUKE’S HAVE LAUNCHED “A LOVE THAT GROWS” FOR DIVINE

Valentine’s Day is approaching quickly… Raspberry is getting ready to go out with Dark Chocolate, and Toffee and Sea Salt are about to embark on a romantic weekend away…

While those love struck couples are falling head over heels about each other in anticipation of the big day, we at St Luke’s are anticipating a big day of a different kind….the launch of our new Divine print campaign which goes live today!

With so many different brand and flavours of chocolate to try, we wanted to bring to life Divine’s unique flavours by giving them their own personalities. The press ads show the different ingredients in the chocolate meet and fall in love, highlighting what a great match the flavours are together and how irresistible they will taste.

The new campaign line “a love that grows” not only highlights the love you experience for Divine when you try their range of flavours but also reflects the bigger story behind the brand. As a Fairtrade leader and pioneer, they are the only chocolate company that is co-owned by the cocoa farmers themselves – meaning that the farmers are committed and passionate about making the very best chocolate. Their motto “Pa-pa-pa”, meaning “the best of the best” epitomises this virtuous cycle that keeps on improving.

There are so many layers to be discovered within this inspiring organisation, I urge you to dig deeper into the Divine story whilst enjoying one of their 13 mouth watering flavours.


Wednesday, 17 December 2014

St Luke’s help Heineken to Unlock London

There are 7,382 pubs, 17,883 restaurants and 4 circus schools in the capital and most Londoners won’t set foot in the vast majority of them. With so many venues on offer it’s easy to understand why Londoners can be paralyzed by the choices on offer and end up sticking with what they know. In an effort to help make the most of the world’s most interesting city we have worked with Heineken to produce the A-Z of Unlocking London which will run as a Metro cover wrap.

The content helps Londoners discover hidden bars, get into preview film screenings and visit the hottest restaurants on the day they open. As well as listing out some of the most interesting and unique venues the wrap is full of interesting facts such as how you can use a satellite dish to find your way home. This engaging content is bought to life by the intricate illustrations of Toby Triumph.
If you miss out on picking up this handy pocket guide on Wednesday 17th January then the content will be shared online over the coming months.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Christmas Jumper Day raises the big bucks

Watch out Christmas Day, you’re facing a threat who is rapidly stealing all your thunder. Christmas Jumper Day is gaining so much hype every year that its importance in the calendar could soon take over Christmas!  The nation has really gone nuts with Christmas jumpers – with the new rule being the-more-revolting-the-better.


Naturally we all got on board, and donned our favourite festive number while fundraising over £700 for Save the Children.

In the spirit of fundraising for a good cause, we got sweaty in our Christmas Jumpers and got festively plump from the annual bake sale.  

A Blind Cider tasting served a dual purpose of aiding and abetting the brownie gluttons whilst also ensuring all St Luker’s really can identify the Bittersweet taste of Strongbow and the sweet joy of Old Mout – luckily the results were mostly positive!


Lastly, our first Silent Auction was held where lots of (ahem) premium prizes were up for grabs… including having our lovely CEO Neil as your Tea slave, a week of gourmet lunch, an extra half day of holiday, and a personal agenda-setting-idea with the mystic Dan and Rose.  Sadly people also donated far too much to keep me silent for a day! Congratulations to Save the Children on another record breaking year! #Xmasjumperday