Archive for February, 2015

Get responsible: how brands benefit from being the good guys

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

Apparently, both McDonald’s and Coca-Cola are looking at how ‘combining commercial and social purpose’ could help them encourage customers to buy into their brands long-term.

While obviously big corporations tackling societal issues is, in its essence, a good thing, the worry is that it might turn off customers. Building parks for disadvantaged families and donating money to charity is great and all, so long as it’s genuine; if consumers can hear gleeful hands rubbing together at the prospect of a public image (or worse, profit) boost, it can actually end up having a negative impact on the brand.

That said, there are ways to do it well. So, which consumer brands are doing a good job of combining social and commercial purposes?

TOMS One for One

TOMS: One for One does serious good - without being at the front of the brand's image

TOMS: One for One does serious good – without being at the front of the brand’s image

What sets TOMS apart? Their ‘One for One’ cause isn’t used as a PR or promotions tool – it’s an integral part of their business model.

People wear TOMS because, I don’t know, they’re fashion conscious, or just really love any excuse not to wear socks during the day. Whatever. But for every product TOMS sell they donate shoes, glasses, and water to people in need.

TOMS’ devotion to benefitting a social cause isn’t directly used to boost custom – but customers know that for every pair of shoes they buy, they really are doing good. What can be more genuine than that?

Innocent Drinks


This appeals to many of my interests. Especially my interest in knitting.

Innocent’s promotion of social causes is so good that consumers actually think they’re even more charitable than they are; they’re often mistaken for a social enterprise, despite the fact that they only donate 10% – rather than 50%+ – of their profits to charitable causes (though let me add, that’s still awesome).

That misconception demonstrates just how inextricable their social purpose has become from their commercial. Add to that their brilliant Age UK campaign, where 25p from every behatted drink sold is donated to Age UK, and you can see why they’re the nation’s juicy sweethearts.


Charity Pot Lids C_0

I always buy the Charity Pots. How can I say no when they ask at the till?

Lush already has a huge number of selling points. Their products are vegetarian and made from natural, ethical ingredients. Their packaging is recyclable; in fact, they even offer incentives for you to bring your tubs back into store to be re-used.

They also sell the Charity Pot, a regularly changing product that last year raised £898,000 for small charities, campaigns and organisations. Alongside that are their various campaigns against animal testing, which you can find out more about here.

Lush, like Innocent, is able to boost its already positive image effectively because the nature of its products fit with its causes; both the brands serve natural, ‘healthy’ products, which seems to make their do-good nature appear more genuine.


These are just a few businesses that incorporate social causes into the brand strategy. There are lots of big companies, however, that do it too – often devoting whole areas of their sites to how they’re helping their community (take a look at our friends Boots, for example).

At Together, we know there’s always more good we can do. We’re always actively looking for ways we can support the local community and budding creative talent, because how can you claim to love your home if, when you’re in a position to do so, you aren’t willing to give it a helping hand?

For a more in-depth look at how brands might work successfully with good causes, read our blog: ‘Brand purpose and profit – can we square the circle?

Perfect Pinterest Pancakes – how food brands are utilising seasonal events.

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

It’s no secret that Pinterest is the perfect place to find pretty pictures (or pins) on baking, photography, weddings and crafts – or maybe that’s just my boards?



However, with their strongly female-dominated audience (over 70% of Pinterest users are women) and the most popular pin topic being ‘Food and Drink’, it’s no wonder that brands are jumping onto Pinterest to engage with female consumers and encourage them to buy their products for the eagerly anticipated Pancake Day.

Brands utilising Pinterest for Pancake Day

From food writers to FMCG brands, take a look at the scrumptious boards from foodie influencers on Pinterest.

BBC Food:

Follow BBC Good Food’s board Pancake Day on Pinterest.

Jamie Oliver:

Follow Jamie Oliver’s board Pancake Day on Pinterest.

All Recipes:
Follow’s Pancake Day Ideas board on Pinterest.


Follow Asda’s board Asda | Pancake Day on Pinterest.

Tesco Food:

Follow Tesco Food’s board Pancake Day Recipes on Pinterest.

Aldi Supermarkets:

Follow Aldi UK’s board Pancake Day on Pinterest.

So who will be the winner of the Pancake Day Pinterest boards? Only time will tell. But, these brands are a great example of best social media practice. They have identified a platform that doesn’t have as many followers as Facebook or Twitter, but is relevant to to their target audience. is a great example of this – they installed a ‘Pin It’ button into the adjacent  photos and videos on their websites, so that community members could easily share recipes. As a result of this, over 50,000 recipes were pinned, 139 million Pinterest impressions were created and clicks on content increased more than 900%.

Since then, they have been reaping the benefits of brand awareness and engaged audiences.

Less billbored, more brillboard

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

The great outdoors. That’s just for posters, billboards and, well, trees and stuff – right?

A-ho no. Wrong. Well, sort of. Clear Channel UK – one of the biggest of cheeses in the outdoor advertising department – recently announced that its increasingly using tech to make its outdoor advertising spaces more interactive. This comes after more and more brands have turned to innovative digital billboards to create active and engaging content.

Yep, turns out that flipping a traditional medium on its head and totally superseding the expectations of passers-by is a pretty great way of grabbing attention.

So, forget those static, peeling billboards of the past and take a look at a few of our favourite tech/outdoor mashups.


Virgin Trains’ chatty billboard

In 2009 this genius idea by Elvis took over the screen outside Liverpool Station – the largest digital screen in Europe – to promote Virgin’s new, super-quick service to London.

To update the screen Elvis popped a copywriter in a cafe opposite, who used a custom web application to write live comments addressing the public and point at them with a giant cursor. Clever and hilarious.


Apotek’s/Garbergs’ motion sensor

Last year the Swedish advertising agency Garbergs used an existing idea by Apotek to convey a devastating message.

Garbergs’ ad, on behalf of The Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation, was much the same as Apotek’s in look, colour and tech – but with a shocking twist and a huge impact. We won’t spoil it for you; give the video a watch and see what happens.


British Airways’ ‘Magic of Flying’ campaign

Using a very complicated, ingenious and, ultimately, award-winning process, in 2013 British Airways launched a series of pretty magical billboards that, with the help of some adorable children, pointed out planes (as well as accurate flight information) as they flew past.

The effect was really impressive. The campaign encouraged passers-by to look up, reminded them of the ‘magic of flying’ and engaged with our natural tendency to wonder about what’s flying past.


These ads really give us a taste for trying new things and innovating with our work. Even if a digital billboard isn’t something we would necessarily do, the concept itself pushes agencies to go against the grain and invent new ideas.

We’re hoping to see more and more cool stuff like this as brands continue to jump on the digital billboard bandwagon. Seen something even better? Let us know in the comments below!


Tips on social media video content for 2015

Monday, February 9th, 2015

From checking Facebook on the daily commute to live tweeting during your favourite TV show, it’s safe to say that social media is now a part of (a large majority) people’s lives – even my 72 year old grandma is using social media to catch up with old friends.

With that in mind, brands and marketers around the world are now thinking of new and creative ways to reach their audience through social media channels. Presently, the current ‘buzz word’ going around is video content – we need to create LOTS of videos to engage our customers.

You may have even heard of great success stories, like that of Cosmopolitan Magazine, which created a series of Facebook specific videos to appeal to their fun, fearless female audience. As a result of this ‘relevant’ video content, Cosmopolitan saw a 200% increase in their engagement rate within the Facebook audience.

These results (and the video) are pretty impressive, I think we can all agree. But, let’s take a step back and think. Yes, video content is highly engaging and helps you stay higher in Facebook news feeds, reaching more people. But in the same respect, Facebook are now receiving over 3 billion video uploads a day. So, before running to your cameras or smart phones, here are some tips on where to start:

1. Choose a platform 

More and more social media platforms are beginning to build in video options. The information below looks into the share of video posts across the more popular platforms such as YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.


Image source:

All of these channels offer video content from 15 seconds to 15 minutes on average. However, with our average attention span shrinking to 5 seconds,  I would suggest also looking into a social media platform like Vine.

Owned by Twitter, this social media platform boasts 40 million users (Tech Crunch: 2014) and has numerous brands and companies sharing their 6 second videos with followers. You can also set your Vine to share with Facebook and Twitter channels in a bid to reach even more people.

2. Research into your audience and competitors 

From desk research to using social listening tools, start off by monitoring your social conversations and make full use of the Facebook graph search to see other brands and interests that your audience have.



3. Create relevant content 

imagesIt’s always important to make time to create great content – once you understand what your audience are thinking, feeling and tweeting, the next step is to plan and map out the type of video content that you are planning to make. This way, realistic goals can be set and marketing goals can be achieved.


Whether  it’s a ‘how-to’, ‘behind the scenes’ or ‘promotional’ video, don’t forget to put in measurements like #hashtags to track your performance, which’ll enable you to fine tune your videos and make future improvements.

Meet Sophie – our new creative copywriter.

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

A new year means new additions to the Together Agency team.

We’ve already introduced you to our wonderful art worker, Dave and senior designer, Sean and now it’s the turn for our shiny new copywriter, Sophie. With a wealth of copy writing experience, we’ve asked Sophie a range of questions so that we can get to know her a little better.


Where did you study?
I studied English Literature at the University of Sheffield. I had to read Story of the Eye in one module and it scarred me for life, but the rest was great.

What do you love about writing?

Ooh. I don’t know… There are so many possibilities in writing, and I love how something as simple as an exclamation mark or a rogue capital letter can completely change someone’s understanding of a sentence – and that understanding will be totally different depending on the audience.

puzzlecontent3Generally I just think it’s so much fun. Writing is a bit like playing word Tetris, spinning different words in all different ways and figuring out how they work to make them fit into something great. The part where you don’t fit them together properly and it’s game over is obviously writer’s block. Can’t believe I made that metaphor work.

If you could choose one book or blog that sums up your life, what would it be?
I can’t think of an entire book but the first few paragraphs of Jerome K Jerome’s Three Men In a Boat about him being an absolutely chronic hypochondriac is me all over. WebMD is my nemesis.

Three random facts about you.

Sophie's also a fan of dinosaurs. We thought she would love this.

Sophie’s also a fan of dinosaurs. We thought she would love this.

1. I love knitting
2. I’m convinced my cat can say the word ‘milk’
3. I’m trypophobic (which essentially means I’m scared of random collections of small holes like in sponges and honeycomb and poppy seed heads and stuff ugh

30 second brief: Come up with a catchy advertising title and tag line for this image.


Holy petroleum!

There are some places you really don’t want to run out of gas. The sky’s one of ’em.

For an awareness campaign to remind people it isn’t safe to run your car low on petrol. Right!?


Some epic answers in this. We hope you all enjoyed our little interrogation into our new copywriter.

Welcome to the team, Sophie!