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The other new normal

by John Whalley, strategic director at Use.Space and head of branding at Seventy7 So much of the talk over recent weeks and months has been about where we sit in the future, literally. #WFH has signed off so many articles, posts and comments about working from home, and the virtues of the Zoom call vs the socially distanced physical meeting debate continues. It seems the definition of ‘The New Normal’ has become almost entirely dependent upon physical logistics and levels of tech savvy. But surely this is simply a question of people taking responsibility for reorganising themselves, and allocating what time [...]

2020-07-30T21:40:16+00:00August 10th, 2020|Blog|

How Micro Influencers can help your brand following COVID-19

by Laura Callaghan, Influencer Marketing Manager at Bee Influence, an influencer marketing agency born in Manchester. The phrase “the bigger, the better” can be applied to many life scenarios, but influencer marketing is certainly not one of them. That said, the cliche “quality, not quantity” saying is most certainly relevant when talking about content creators. The popularity of brands working with micro influencers has increased significantly, and they’ve drastically changed the landscape for influencer marketing - what was once more of a numbers game is now far more complex. So what exactly are micro influencers? As an agency representing clients, [...]

2020-07-30T21:39:43+00:00August 5th, 2020|Blog|

How can we help local businesses?

by Steve Brunt, planning director at The Behaviours Agency One upside of lockdown is we all felt more connected to our local areas, including our local businesses. So what can we do to help them emerge strongly from this crisis? Lockdown forced us to stay at home, and took away many of our default providers. For many of us that means we got a greater appreciation of what’s available just around the corner.  We’ve rediscovered our neighbourliness. We’ve run and walked the streets, and used our parks. And of course, we’ve shopped in our local independent retailers. Of course many [...]

2020-07-28T08:26:46+00:00July 28th, 2020|Blog|

Vision, technology and inclusion

by Sian English, MPA's vice chair and head of marketing at leading proptech provider, Street Group Back in February this year, the MPA held a Big Debate on a vision for the future of the media, digital, and creative sector in Manchester. Fast forward 5 months to July 2020 and being in a room full of people, socialising, laughing and hugging seems like a hazy dream. Nevertheless, as we’re over halfway through the year, I’ve found myself thinking back to some of the issues raised that evening and wondering how they fit with the here and now. Technology takes away [...]

2020-07-23T11:11:37+00:00July 22nd, 2020|Blog, Uncategorized|

Top tips for planning a new website

by Chris Buckley, founder of Pixel Kicks As we near the end of lockdown, many businesses are already deep in plans about how they make their return. If the last three months have proven anything, it’s that digital has never been more important. The companies that have struggled during these pressing times are those with more traditional bricks & mortar services, whilst internet retailers have generally seen a huge upturn. A number of reports have recently mentioned that the spring and summer of 2020 could spell the start of the next “digital gold rush”. The natural first step for most [...]

2020-07-23T11:11:37+00:00July 21st, 2020|Blog, Uncategorized|

Crafting a 3D world to bring the love story of a Gingerbread man to life

By Jonathan Ashworth, founder of Mighty Giant: The Moving Image Company There are many moving parts (pardon the pun) when it comes to the production of an animated short film. A project at Mighty Giant ranges from simple animation, to 3D modelling, through to filmed production. Sometimes a job means we need to get all the tools out the box; this short film we made before Christmas was one such example. We were approached late last year by Fox Agency in Leeds to help them with a Christmas film for a global manufacturing company. The creative had been written, with [...]

2020-07-23T11:11:37+00:00July 16th, 2020|Blog, Uncategorized|

A new strategic services agency, for a new era

Steve McCarron (former MD of Cheetham Bell JWT, and gyro), Rebecca Ashley and Helen Davies (Planning Directors at Planning Express and formerly of TBWA) are launching a new kind of strategic services agency called ‘The Planning Department’. As clients and agencies respond to tough economic conditions, they will depend on smaller teams which are able to scale up as required by bringing outside specialists in. The Planning Department believes that this trend plays to the strengths of the strategy discipline, which is at its best when representing diverse points of view from outside of the core team. Diversity of thinking [...]

2020-07-23T11:11:37+00:00July 14th, 2020|Blog, Uncategorized|

Anticipating the slope of enlightenment

by Dan McNicholas, 4and20million co-founder You may have come across the Gartner Hype Cycle before now.  With one simple curve, it eloquently describes the phases of hype that accompany every new trend, gadget, big idea and lifestyle choice we experience.  From a spark of inspiration or trigger of change, our expectations quickly rise to inflated levels as we put all our faith in this new concept to be lifechanging (hello, lockdown sourdough bakers!).   But what goes up must come down, and from the lofty heights of the Peak of Inflated Expectations, we inevitably descend into the Trough of Disillusionment, [...]

2020-07-23T11:11:37+00:00June 29th, 2020|Blog, Uncategorized|

One Brand Magic and Mustard host ‘virtual roundtable’ on lockdown’s impact on home interest brands

Manchester-based integrated communications agency, One Brand Magic, and Mustard Research teamed up to host a virtual roundtable with senior KBB leaders to discuss how lockdown has affected their businesses and how brands and retailers should react to the crisis. The roundtable was held via Zoom on Wednesday 3rd June and aimed to uncover opinions and predictions for the future among senior executives from some of the industry’s biggest home interest brands, including Blum, Franke, Moduleo and Ideal Standard. Informed by research gathered from various sources, the discussion centred around the impact of Covid-19 and how the nationwide lockdown is likely [...]

2020-07-23T11:11:37+00:00June 25th, 2020|Blog, Uncategorized|

“What’s next for co-working?”

by Dunstan Carter, business development manager, The Sharp Project Except for key workers, the majority of people across the UK have found themselves either furloughed or working from home over the last three months. The odd eerily accurate science fiction film aside, no-one could’ve predicted anything like this happening a year ago and it's turned most sectors upside down and given them a big, unwelcome shake. Before the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent lockdown, the creative sector in Manchester was booming and co-working hubs were popping up all over the city and thriving. The spirit of collaboration seemed buoyed by all [...]

2020-07-23T11:11:37+00:00June 23rd, 2020|Blog, Uncategorized|