blogs

Don't diss the glasses



I have recently been asked around the office about Google Glasses and what the point of them is. So I took the oppor­tunity to summarise why it’s important, what they are and why Big will prosper as a business using them. (more…)


Google Glasses

Shooting with Harley



For the last seven years I’ve got together with a group of relative strangers in a house somewhere in the US. We live, eat (well, if you call vegan food eating) breathe, argue, laugh, and occasionally cry our way through the annual Harley-​​Davidson global literature photoshoot. (more…)


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Floored by inspiration



I had only been at Big a few weeks when I was asked to help with some creds for an incoming enquiry for a start up global flooring brand. (more…)


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Capitalising on social media



It was one event after another in London last month and our social media team were there to capture every status update, share, tweet and hashtag with Olympic Gold Medallist Mo Farah and global fitness expert Jessie Pavelka. Read all about it here. (more…)


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Top trends from SXSW interactive



I’ve had a couple of weeks to let everything soak in since being back from Austin, where I was lucky enough to attend SXSW Inter­active. Here’s the roundup.

For me, SXSW wasn’t just about one or two pieces of new tech, what it actually felt like was a glimpse into the not-​​so-​​distant future.

Trends you may of heard of, such as wearables, data and the internet of things are still around, but they’re beginning to grow-​​up and different industries are beginning to be disrupted as a result.

More than anything, the conference instilled a sense of respons­ibility in me. The decisions we make today, as people, as agencies and as brands will define the future we live in tomorrow.

Check out the deck I’ve pulled together on the most prominent trends from this year: http://​www​.slideshare​.net/​a​s​h​i​k​a​c​h​a​u​h​a​n​/​t​o​p​-​t​r​e​n​d​s​-​f​r​o​m​-​s​x​s​w​-​i​n​t​e​r​a​c​t​i​v​e​-​2​014

Below I’ve provided a roundup of each section with a pointer to which pages in the deck are relevant.

Trend 01. Disruption
Whilst there were a few sessions focussed on disruption, it was generally a theme throughout. When we talk about disruption, we’re referring to how technology is changing the way we do things as a society, so nowadays we’re more likely to Instagram a photo than use a Kodak camera, we’d rather subscribe to Spotify than take a trip to HMV and we’d prefer to watch Netflix over heading to Block­buster to hire a DVD.

Technology continues to disrupt industries and this year’s SXSW highlighted healthcare, retail and to an extent food as the ones to focus our attention on.

Trend 02.Data
Data continues to be a big theme this year, a session with Boeing highlighted person­alised airline seats of the future and for your wearables to let air stewards know when you’re feeling dehydrated.

GE spoke of the Industrial Internet, referring to machine-​​to-​​machine commu­nication – Google driverless cars and jet engines automat­ically adjusting when necessary are examples.

Data also lets us know ourselves better, services like 23andme let you trace your ancestry.

All this data in the mix means that there’s a question over what we value. If you’re a consumer parting with personal data, you’ll want to know that you’re get something worthwhile back in return.

Check out pages 7-​​10 for a specific focus on data.

Trend o3. Privacy
The amount of data we all put out there has naturally led to concerns about privacy. We all need to realise that every time we use Google, send an email, upload something to Facebook or tweet, its all out there for organ­isations like the NSA to spy upon – this is mass surveillance. This isn’t just a US problem, we all send our data to tech companies like Facebook who are based in the states and all of our data is therefore accessible to the NSA, making it a global issue.

Since SXSW, Google has announced that they will now encrypt emails. Check out pages 11-​​16 in the deck for quotes and links to sessions with Julian Assange, Edward Snowdon and Google’s Eric Schmidt.

Trend 04. Personal devices
By the middle of this year, there’ll be more mobiles than desktops on the planet. Mobile’s becoming core to consumers’ connection with brands and it’s recom­mended that we think about the mobile experience first and then go on to add more, if necessary, to desktop.

The very definition of mobile is in flux – wearables and sensors are becoming a much bigger deal.

Wired held a session about UX beyond the screen and highlighted a speaker called Cone – it learns your music taste over time and claims to know what you’ll want to listen to.

The disruption of search as an industry is also something we need to be aware of – services like Google Now push results to you before you even have the chance to punch any keywords into the engine.

Check out pages 17-​​24 for a roundup.

Trend 05. Omnichannel Retail
Omnichannel – the big buzz word in the retail world.
If you’re not aware of omnichannel, it’s referring to consumer behaviour – checking out stuff online and then going into store, getting your phone or tablet out and expecting a cohesive brand experience.

To make this happen, you need one database with your consumers, products and prices saved in a consistent way.

As you can imagine there are lots of issues retailers are facing, most notably that they’re stuck with legacy systems designed for brick and mortar. The deck goes into highlighting some of the major issues and some potential solutions based on a roundtable discussion with retailers, check out pages 25-​​32.

Trend 06. Healthcare
The next big industry to face disruption.

Wearables like the fitbit are letting us monitor our fitness.
Devices like Scandu let us monitor our health.
Doctoron­demand gives patients in the US instant access to doctors via their phones.

Children born today will have data about them stored, analysed and monitored.
Some of us will be questioning whether we want our children’s data to be stored. Others of us may see it as a positive – all this data will lead to us being able to prevent disease rather than trying to cure it. What do you think?

Pages 33-​​36 in the deck are focussed on healthcare.

Trend 07. Content and storytelling
Consumers enjoy content and can often be blind to display ads.

A session with RSA talked about their online films to promote Prometheus and Jaguar. This was a mixed session with people who had the SXSW film pass, so the RSA emphasised that online provided directors with a real oppor­tunity to do something creative that they wouldn’t’ neces­sarily get with a 30 sec TVC.

Scott Free spoke about how their ‘Day in…’ series of films led to Sainsbury’s commis­sioning their Christmas in a Day film. This was originally only intended for online but they ended up falling in love with it and cut it into a TV ad.
This is something we’ve seen with our own clients and I’d like to think this indicates more risks will be taken with online content, naturally providing oppor­tunities for TV and cinema executions to be more creative as a result.

Whole foods have a dedicated site to unbranded content; they have full time directors and producers who solely work on this, demon­strating the importance of content to them.

Birchbox has a team of editors globally, 16% of their traffic comes from content, and again they see it as a big deal.

Check out pages 37-​​43 for links to the films and a top 10 from Birchbox.

Trend 08. Virtual reality
Oculus have created massive hype around VR. Initially it’s just been about gaming and Sony have already attempted to jump on the bandwagon. Since SXSW Oculus has been acquired by Facebook, indicating that VR will soon be taken seriously as a commu­nication tool.

For me, what’s most exciting are the oppor­tunities for retail, education and archi­tecture.
Check out pages 44-​​47 for VR info.

Trend 09. Food
There’s big hype around 3D printing food. Oreo used a bespoke version of the technology in their trending vending machines at SXSW.

Chef Jet and Foodini are about to be released – designed for the home, bakeries and sweet shops. Meaning 3D printing could soon become part of everyday life.

The global fear about how we’re going to run out of food was also highlighted at SXSW.
Biotech, Biochem and food processing are being hailed as the future of food. Check out pages 48-​​52 in the deck for alternative food brands and there’s even an option for us to go without food forever!

Trend 10. Robotics
This is the one thing about the future that’s always freaked me out a bit. Yes, humanoid robots are still expensive, but we’re starting to see simpler, more affordable robots that automate tasks getting ready to enter our homes and workplaces.

Google’s Jared Cohen says that those of us who embrace robots will see our salaries increase, whereas others will see theirs drastically decrease.

I was questioning why we would take notice as an agency just yet and this was a great example from AUS. ‘The most powerful arm in the world’ was a robot that signed people’s names every time they joined a petition on Facebook. The campaign aimed to encourage the government to fund research into Muscular Dystrophy. They say it’s the most successful petition in AUS history.

Check pages 53-​​55 for links to case studies.

Trend 11. Social good
I know, 10 trends would have been so much better than 11, but this one just had to stay.

We’re all more connected than ever before, so shouldn’t we be doing more positive things with our social networks and our techno­logical know-​​how?

Chelsea Clinton talked about the good that the Clinton Foundation were funding and went on to say that not all innovation has to be brand new. For example we’re pretty familiar with RFID technology nowadays, so why don’t we track all money with RFID and help the issues we have around corruption?

The founder of TOMS spoke about his One for One philosophy – for every pair of shoes sold, a pair is given to a child in need, for every pair of glasses sold someone’s sight is restored. TOMS is a for-​​profit business that relies upon its social initi­atives as its root to success.

Other highlights included:
Twitter co-​​founder Biz Stone spoke about his new platform Jelly, Mashable founder Pete Cashmore talked about Gen-​​Y in the workplace, iBeacon was seen to be the next big thing for retail, Kevin Bacon discussed the six degrees of Kevin Bacon and Google’s Chade-​​Meng Tan educated us about how anyone can become the happiest person in the world – check out his book ‘Search Inside Yourself’.

See page 59 in the deck for a trends cheat sheet.
_

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this year’s SXSW. If you’re wondering how to make use of any of these trends in a practical manner, please get in touch.

Ashika Chauhan is Big’s Digital Experience Director and is passionate about creative innovation.
Say hello @ashikachauhan | Linkedin


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App recipe for success



Quorn is serving up its very first mobile app in response to consumer demand for recipe inspiration while on the go. (more…)


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Mo's Big Quorn Ad in the Top Ten



Big Commu­nic­ations’ latest campaign for Quorn, featuring Olympic Gold Medallist Mo Farah, has been voted number three in Marketing Week’s ‘Top 10 Ads of the Week’.

Racing ahead of competition from the likes of Walkers, Shreddies and Unilever’s deodorant range, 42% of those surveyed remembered seeing Mo’s practice and protein advice as part of the Quorn advert.

Created by Big, the campaign marks the launch of a bold new reframing for the brand, as a healthy protein, aimed at a broader consumer audience who are committed to a fit and active lifestyle.

The Olympic star is fronting the multi-​​million pound marketing campaign and is the first time in almost 20 years that a sportsperson features cross-​​platform for the brand.

Big CEO, Dylan Bogg commented: “Having worked with Quorn on the new positioning for the brand we are thrilled that the TV advert we’ve created has had a big impact with consumers. We felt Mo Farah was an ideal ambassador for the messaging that Quorn is a healthy protein and it’s great to see the results showing that consumers feel the same.”

Creatives: Billy Mawhinney, Simon Collins
Production Company: Royale Productions
Director: Charlie Crane


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Big plans for Faulkner



Big Commu­nic­ations has strengthened its senior team with the appointment of Ross Faulkner to the agency board as strategy and planning partner. (more…)


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BIG WINS HOMESERVE



Big Commu­nic­ations has been appointed to the roster of HomeServe, the national home assistance organ­isation, following a five way pitch. The agency will be working on a number of integrated campaigns that will look to increase HomeServe’s customer base across its product portfolio from insurance through to warranty. Paul Gommersall, HomeServe’s director of acquis­itions, commented that: “The team at Big demon­strated an approach that was both pragmatic and practical, as well as creative; which is a very compelling combination for a business in such a competitive sector.”

The account will be handled from Big’s Birmingham office, headed up by managing partner Jamie Heath with support from senior account manager Sarah Hunston. Heath said: “We are delighted to have won this pitch which included several major competitors. And now we are looking forward to delivering work that will add genuine value to HomeServe Membership’s business.”

HomeServe is a FTSE 250 company, with world headquarters in Walsall in the West Midlands and operations in the UK, USA, France and Spain – serving more than 4.9 million customers.


Officially the most awarded agency outside of London



What a nice way to start to the new year.
This week we were notified by industry magazine, The Drum, that we were 2013’s most awarded creative agency outside of London. (more…)


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Mo gets big on healthy protein for 2014 Quorn campaign



Quorn is going for gold this year after signing Olympic Gold Medallist Mo Farah to front a multi-​​million pound marketing campaign through Big Communications.

(more…)


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Get creative in school with digital media



The highly valued skill of creativity is increasingly scarce among job applicants. But it needn't be if more schools promote creative media technology across the curriculum. (more…)


Where is the next generation of Digital Thinkers for BIG?

Co-​​creation



According to a study* conducted by Edelman, the world’s largest public relations firm, the top way in which those under 30 want to be enter­tained by brands is to “allow me to influence your product”. It’s no wonder then that the co-​​creation trend has taken off amongst brands as diverse as Heineken and FedEx. In fact, used properly, it’s an innovative form of consumer research. (more…)


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120 Masterpieces



When Ben Heywood brought home a letter from school outlining the itinerary and installments of his 2014 rugby tour to Canada, his dad thought there was a typo where the costs were printed. Clearly no paper-​​round in the world was going to cover this trip, so Ben and his dad Tom (who works for Big) sat down and put their heads together for a money spinning idea. (more…)


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WOULD YOU LIKE CREAM WITH YOUR AWARDS, SIR?



I’m delighted with the regularity of being able to write these posts, but last night the Big boys and girls took another rather impressive haul at a creative awards show, this time it was the Cream Awards in Birmingham. (more…)


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Big wins at the PR Week Awards!



We beat off competition from some of the industry’s top PR agencies last week and won a national PR award. (more…)


PR Week Awards Win

Behind The Land of Remarkable People



Last August something remarkable happened. We headed up to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital prior to pitching for a new fundraising campaign. (more…)


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Hoorah! Big wins big at the Fresh Awards



We bagged an impressive 10 gongs at the Fresh Creative Awards last Friday, held at Old Trafford in Manchester. (more…)


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Reasons to be Creative 2013



Ash and Martin give us the lowdown on this year's @reasonsto conference. (more…)


Reasons to be Creative 2013

Advertising, it's the wasp at a picnic.



Firstly, I stole the ‘wasp at a picnic’ analogy from my old CD, the marvelous Steve Henry.
And I must warn you, there are plenty of analogies in this post.
So if your Kryptonite is analogies, fly away now.
Wow, you’re still reading.
Good, let’s continue. (more…)


Wasp at a picnic

Are you ready for a digital detox?



The current trend and conver­sation around ‘digital detoxing’ is one that Digital Projects Director, Matt Putland often finds himself having on a regular basis these days, both with friends, family and colleagues. (more…)


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Chiswick Towers outdoor for WKD continues a Big tradition



On the night that WKD once again made advertising headlines, creative Tom Heywood talks about the brand’s history of innovative launches. (more…)


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Big appoints new PR partner



Big Commu­nic­ations has appointed Bron Eames as PR partner (more…)


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Big decisions as Bogg joins D&AD judging panel



Dylan Bogg, CEO of Leicester and Birmingham based commu­nic­ations agency Big, has been invited to join a panel of global names in the field of creative and advertising to judge this year’s prestigious D&AD Awards. (more…)


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Domino's comes to The Midweek Rescue with new campaign



The latest TV campaign from home delivery pizza brand, Domino’s, hits screens this week, (more…)


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Boost Energy kick starts growth plan with launch campaign



A campaign designed to kick start an ambitious growth plan for energy drinks brand Boost launches this month under the guidance of Mission Group agency, Big Commu­nic­ations. (more…)


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How can brands add value?



By Lucy Jellicoe, Researcher, Big Communications

 

Mintel has recently reported that 90% of British households are on a budget, with the biggest budgeters being families, women and, surprisingly, high-​​income earners. (more…)


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A bigger, brighter future for Rainbows



In the last three years Big has raised over a whopping £11,000 for Rainbows Children’s Hospice (more…)


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Trends for 2013: The Internet of Things



So what will the next revolution in Digital be during 2013? Talk to large companies and insti­tutions and they’ll tell you about the Internet of Things. (more…)


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Big adds healthy win with MHF



Big, part of The Mission Group, has been appointed by the Men’s Health Forum, the charity aimed at promoting health and well-​​being amongst males in the UK. (more…)


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BOOST FOR BIG!



Big Commu­nic­ations, part of The Mission Group, has been appointed to be the lead creative and strategic agency for Boost Drinks working across all consumer and independent trade channels. (more…)


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Big wins at Cream



Big Commu­nic­ations took home nine awards from the Cream Midlands Awards 2012, held in Birmingham. (more…)


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Relate turns to Big



Big Commu­nic­ations has been appointed by Relate, the UK’s leading national relationship support charity, to produce a Men’s Health Campaign, in partnership with the Men’s Health Forum. (more…)


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Fresh Wins for Big



Big Commu­nic­ations scooped seven gongs at last night’s Fresh Awards, held in Manchester. (more…)


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Social Media. Love it or hate it, you can't avoid it



Love it or hate it, there is never a dull moment in ‘social media’, as the last 24 hrs just go to show (more…)


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Pizza gets Posh



Rustica? Firenze? Florentine? If you’re a bit like us and can’t decide between these tempting, delicious favourites (more…)


Will it drive sales?



In today’s tough(ish) times there is hardly a meeting that goes by between agencies and clients where (more…)


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Wonder Woman in the building



Back in July 2012, The Drum announced it was on the search once again to find the top 30 women under the age of 30 in the digital sector. (more…)


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Big creatives support growing charity



A group of creatives here at Big have donated their time and skill for free (more…)


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Power in Numbers



Who says London has it all? It was Big smiles all round when we found out that our very own CEO, Dylan Bogg has taken a seat at number 10 (more…)


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Is sponsorship of the Olympics worth its weight in gold?



In the run up to the 2012 Olympics, many brands have invested a great deal in sponsorship of the event. (more…)


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Are you excited about London 2012?



How excited are the British public about the London Olympics and what does this mean for brands wishing to associate themselves with the event? (more…)


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How do people outside of London feel about the Olympics?



With the Olympic Games just around the corner we took to the streets of Leicester to glean an out-​​of-​​London perspective on the event. (more…)


Challenging sponsorship regulations



One Olympic athlete is finding new and creative ways to challenge sponsorship regulations imposed on track and field eventers. (more…)


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The Olympic Torch came to town



The Big team gathered outside to see the Olympic torch pass by this evening. Exciting stuff! (more…)


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Data overload?



If you’re a bit of a geek, you’ll like this. (more…)


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Campaign with a smile



We have just launched an integrated campaign for Denplan, offering rewards for patients who register with their local Denplan dentist. (more…)


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Fleet of foot



There's no time to let the grass grow under your feet in this game. Just recently, our Domino's account team flew into action when they heard an appeal on Absolute Radio’s Christian O’Connell breakfast show. (more…)


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Big Jubilee Garden Party



To celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and raise more money for Rainbows in the process, we’re throwing a Jubilee garden party today. With games, bunting, music and cakes galore, Her Majesty would be impressed! (more…)


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A big welcome to creative royalty



We are proud to welcome Billy Mawhinney and Simon Collins (more…)


Big breakfast



We were up with the larks on Friday morning, hosting the long awaited Leicester Mercury breakfast seminar. (more…)


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Winning Big at the Roses



We’re proud as punch to have come home with Gold and Bronze from this year’s Roses Creative Awards. Bravo team Big! (more…)


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Big smartens up



It’s pats on the backs all round this month, after it was confirmed that, following a five-​​way pitch, we have been appointed by iSmart Consumer Solutions (more…)


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The 4 P's of the Olympics



With fewer than 100 days to go, are brand marketers ready? (more…)


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Easy as pie



Continuing the flying start that our newly formed PR division has had to the year, we’ve been appointed by award winning master pie makers Walker & Son to handle all national consumer and trade PR support for their hot and cold range. (more…)


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If the shoe fits



We’re walking tall here at Big, as footwear retailer Brantano appointed us following a five-​​way pitch. (more…)


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Warning, cookie alert!



A focus on one issue and one issue only. Cookies, of the digital persuasion. (more…)


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Big ranks high in the Drum Design 100



We are proud to have taken our place at the top table, having soared into the number 14 slot of the Drum's Design 100. (more…)


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Big smiles all round



At Big we’re grinning like Cheshire cats following our completion of a series of iPad apps for the UK’s leading dental plan specialist Denplan. (more…)


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Big race for Rainbows



The dust has settled in Leicester's Abbey Park following Sunday's 10k race, but the Big team is still reaching for the Deep Heat and reflecting on a good morning's work for the Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People. (more…)


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The big pitch



Lots has been written about the principles of pitching over the years. (more…)


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Big’s climbing the fashion ladder with Realm & Empire



We’re feeling really stylish right now as we’ve been appointed by Realm & Empire to launch and handle all their social media activity. (more…)


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Innovation is the key to success for Domino’s



In an overcrowded market, Domino’s under­stands that to keep its target audience engaged, it has to continue to innovate with its marketing commu­nic­ations and drive sales via new channels. (more…)


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Big gets the balance just right



Here at Big, we’re as happy as Larry after BBI healthcare appointed us to rebrand their flagship feminine health care brand Balance Activ, which treats Bacterial Vaginosis. (more…)


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We’re flying high after Umeco win



Here at Big, we’re on cloud nine after winning a five-​​way pitch to add advanced composite materials manufacturer Umeco to our ever-​​growing list of clients. (more…)


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Scream if you want to go faster



Stop press! Who’s that in today’s Metro? (more…)


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Brand Affection



Why have retailers like DFS and Dreams gone more emotional? Will it work? (more…)


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Big wins E-​​Leather account



Yes, hot on the heels of some recent wins, we’ve now added E-​​Leather to our growing client list. (more…)


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Big wins Harvey Ingram case!



Ladies and gentleman of the jury, Big has only gone and won another client.  This time we’re going to be working with respected law firm Harvey Ingram after winning a four way pitch. (more…)


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Big start to the year



Whilst most people are still trying to lose the Christmas weight or trying to remember what their New Year resol­utions were, here at Big we’ve recruited eight new bright and talented people, emphasising how much we are growing at the agency. (more…)


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Let’s make life simpler



It is strange. The UK population is being sold more and more life enhancing products and services, yet we are unhappier than we were ten years ago. (more…)


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Promotional marketing



With a fragile UK economy and weak consumer confidence, maintaining meaningful brand loyalty is challenging to say the least. Recent research has shown that 68% of consumers are happy to brand switch and only 5% prefer to keep to one brand.

These statistics are alarming given that we spend our entire working day fixed on delivering the complete opposite for clients.

So what else can we do to make buyers think before they buy and avoid the almost hysterical worship of the cheapest price? (more…)


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Our Josh up for top film award



We know Big junior copywriter Josh has a way with words. Turns out he’s a dab hand with a camera too. (more…)


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A New Year’s wish.



qrcode From an industry perspective, there is no doubt that mobile marketing has arrived. Over the last year, it has often felt like every other column inch in the industry press has been about the latest mobile innovation or success story. (more…)


Big goes big for Christmas



So, a week after the Big Christmas party at Sumo and slowly the pieces are starting to fall into place. (more…)


Big goes big for Christmas

Darryl does Chrimbo



When I was younger, Christmas didn’t truly start until we got our hands on a copy of the Radio Times. (more…)


Be in knit to win it



Things are hotting up in the office as Friday’s Big Chrimbo party sneaks ever closer. (more…)


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Samsung double for Big



As if Christmas wasn’t a big enough reason to celebrate, we’ve only gone and bagged two exciting Samsung Mobile projects. (more…)


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Adwatch double



We’re proud as punch to announce that not one, but two Big clients have appeared in Marketing magazine’s latest Adwatch Top 20. (more…)


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Taxi wins Grand Prix



As the hangovers slowly ebb away, we’ve put Sal in charge of finding a spot on the mantelpiece for our impressive haul of Cream Awards. (more…)


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The future of radio



Stop acting as if life is a rehearsal. Live this day as if it were your last. The past is over and gone. The future is not guaranteed. (more…)


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Can you see what it is yet?



With the dust settling on our recent refurb, we thought it’d be a good time to shout about a new addition to our lovely home – the Little Big Gallery. (more…)


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Lots of good for Rainbows



So, the Big charity night went off with a bang last night. (more…)


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Paint Potter



So there we were, lapping up our pristine new surroundings when up bowls our heavy-​​handed IT guru
Neil Potter. (more…)


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All smiles thanks to Denplan



Another day. Another new client on board. Denplan, the UK’s leading dental payment plan specialist has appointed Big as its lead digital agency. (more…)


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A big launch for Police To Be



It’s been a big couple of days. Not only have we unveiled our lovely new website (you’re on it now by the way), we also launched a new digital campaign for Police To Be. (more…)


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Gold Fresh Award



Taxi strikes gold at Fresh

It was celeb­rations all round at the recent Fresh Awards in Manchester. Not only did we secure some nice bronze and silver additions to our already bulging trophy cabinet, we also walked away with a coveted gold award in the ambient category for some lovely work for Drive​My​CarHome​.co​.uk. (more…)


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Big makeover – James Vinciguerra



You’ll like what we’ve done with the place.

Those of you who have been in and around London Road recently might have noticed we’ve been hard at work giving our home a new lease of life.

(more…)


Three become one.



These are exciting times. Not only have we given our home a swanky new makeover, we’ve also brought all three agencies (that’s Big, Fuse and Spark) together under one name. You might have spotted it already, but if you haven’t, here it is…

Wait for it…
(more…)


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