Archives for posts with tag: Debbie Lewis

I recently took part in a social media training workshop, not because I’m unfamiliar with some of the platforms and how to utilise them but because I really wanted to find out more about the benefits.

I’m also inquisitive and I like to know how things work.

It was hugely informative, helpful and actually….fun. I didn’t think…”Oh, I’m too old to learn this stuff” or “why do I need to learn this?” I’m just not that type of person.

I also see on a daily basis how using social media as an extension of your marketing activity can be beneficial and fruitful.
That’s not to say I wasn’t a little apprehensive about my capabilities. My normal approach would be to read a “How to….” set of instructions first before actually getting down to practice. This for several reasons:

A) I am probably using delaying/avoidance tactics
B) I am actually a little nervous about whether I can get the hang of it and need to read and then read some more
C) Fear of the unknown

A discussion with some friends following this (both male and female, similar in age range) about the subject, offered some interesting insights with some admitting that they thought that social media “is for kids”. Yes, they use Twitter and Facebook on a personal level to connect with friends and to follow interesting people but when it comes to utilising social media as a marketing strategy, they just “couldn’t be see the benefits” or “didn’t see the need at their age” or the familiar…”I just haven’t got time”. Does this resonate with you?

Come on, be honest. Does using social media as a marketing tool scare you?

If you own a business, the way you market that business has changed. There are new tools to help you gain additional marketing exposure. You may be a little apprehensive but essentially it’s about people and marketing to them, and applying those new tools.

Social media is designed to be fairly simple to use, it just takes time and willingness to learn. Learning and growing is a fundamental part of life. Social media is no different.

And let’s face it, we live in extraordinary times of technological advancement. Technology helps us progress and it’s not going to disappear. You either have to embrace it or wait until you notice the impact on your business from burying your head in the sand. If you don’t have a presence you can be sure your competitors do and they are the ones potentially engaging with your clients.

Some of the benefits of engaging social media:

  • Promote your Brand, your philosophy and values
  • Engage with clients and potential clients
  • Provide brilliant customer service
  • Create social signals that will also help your website climb the search engine rankings
  • Make sure you have a presence
  • Give your brand a voice
  • Stay competitive

But it’s also a great opportunity to connect with interesting new people and gain new experiences.

Social media isn’t just for young people. Social media is for everybody.

So if you are just a little bit scared……..well, feel the fear and do it anyway! And if you need a little hand holding, we completely understand.

Debbie Lewis is a Customer Support Executive at Happy Creative, a full service marketing and creative agency based in Blackpool, Lancashire. To learn more or contact us please go to www.happy-creative.co.uk

I was recently browsing the internet and came across a site highlighting the “Top 100 Adverts of All Time” as voted for by viewers of Channel 4 and Sunday Times Readers (www.uktvadverts.com).

A quick look through and many were familiar but what struck me was that a large majority (and many of the top ads) featured music. This got me wondering; along with imagery and subliminal messaging, how does music actually function in advertisements? It is obviously a powerful aid as many top brands use well known musicians and artists as well as top film directors to produce their prestigious adverts.

Historically, music has been an important component in advertising. Jingles, background music, popular tunes, and classical arrangements have always been used to convey selling points, set an emotional tone for an advertisement, and to influence listener’s moods.

Many advertising practitioners and experts in the field think that music performs a variety of useful communication functions. These include attracting attention, putting the viewer in a positive mood, making them more receptive to message arguments, and even communicating meanings about advertised products.

One of the main functions of music in adverts is to make them memorable by using a really catchy melody. Early advertising in particular, used music as a sort of mnemonic device with rhyme and repetition enlisted to keep a brand name in mind. But music can also be used to entertain making an advert more appealing and attractive to the viewer. It can have several other important functions: it can emhasise dramatic moments within the advert, create coherence and support an advert’s structure and continuity (David Huron 1989).

Interestingly, music doesn’t particularly need to have a special affinity with the product or service it is being allied with, to play an effective and useful part in it’s success. The best advertising campaigns always communicate a message that is effortlessly remembered though. That tune that gets stuck in your head and will not budge is a testament to the power of music when used as a tool to enhance the spoken word.

Music can help set the mood, inspiring human emotion, thought and act. Even if you watch a foreign film (or even a partially silent movie like “The Artist”) and don’t understand what the actors are saying, through the music chosen, you can usually make out what the sentiment of the scene is.

Music has the power to evoke desirable triggers of brand recognition, for example: trust, reliability, great service, friendliness…all these can be represented by a carefully chosen piece of music that fits the emotion the advertiser wants the viewer to feel about them.
So, music can be extremely powerful when used in advertising even when we are not aware of all the hard work it’s doing. But I guess that’s the whole point isn’t it?

A couple of my favourite adverts which use music effectively are: John Lewis, Never Knowingly Undersold who used “She’s always a woman to me” by Billy Joel and Twinings Tea advert.

Twinings produced both a visually stunning advert and married this with haunting, ethereal music by Charlene Soraia, “Wherever you will go” to promote the brand.

What are your favourites?

Debbie Lewis is a Customer Support Executive at Happy Creative, a full service marketing and creative agency based in Blackpool, Lancashire. To learn more or contact us please go to www.happy-creative.co.uk

Ernest Hemingway once said his best work was a story he wrote in just six words: ‘For sale: baby shoes, never worn.’, this being the most famous example of breathtaking brevity coupled with brilliant imagery.

In a similar vein, our Creative Director James recently set us our weekly creative challenge.

We were each asked to compose a six-word story and he gave us precisely two minutes to do it. The heat was on!

Some of us stared blankly ahead (clearly attempting to assemble our thoughts into some kind of cohesiveness.) whilst others immediately moved their pens hurriedly across the page.

Oh no, someone had already written two…..what to do? I know, write what you know, something familiar. Think! Aha! Got it!

I had recently had an “escape of water” at home (….. in other words….a flood) so my story went something like this: “Broken toilet. Water everywhere. Crossed legs!”

I particularly liked Hakim’s humorous example: “Venison is deer, isn’t it?”

It was a really fun exercise to carry out and we look forward to being stimulated by the next creative challenge which, knowing James, will be brilliant!

Contemporary authors have been challenged similarly by the six-word story format, though there are also a series of books featuring both famous and obscure writers.

Here is a selection of some of my favourites:

See that shadow? (It’s not yours.)
Jim Crace

Humorous book: critic died laughing. Sued.
Alexander McCall Smith

Megan’s baby: John’s surname, Jim’s eyes.
Simon Armitage

In the end, everything simply began.
Ali Smith

It was a dark, stormy… aaaaargggh!
John Lanchester

Drinking alone, curtains drawn… he smiled.
“I’m a writer.” He lied easily.
His bald spot stole the show.
Iain Murdoch

I wrote it all down somewhere.

Found true love. Married someone else.

Met online; love before first sight.

According to Facebook, we broke up.

If we are to subscribe to the concept that “in advertising, it’s not so much what information your words communicate to the prospect, but what experiences they call forth from the prospect”.

What images and associations does your copy bring to life in the imagination? And how many words does it take to create these images? Can you condense your core message into a power-packed six words?

Have a go………. it’s a really interesting exercise.

Debbie Lewis is a Customer Support Executive at Happy Creative, a full service marketing and creative agency based in Blackpool, Lancashire. To learn more or contact us please go to www.happy-creative.co.uk

If you want to groan every time you hear the word “networking,” no one would blame you. But networking doesn’t have to be so bad. The goal is to meet new people and expand your professional network, and there’s no reason those activities have to be confined to conferences and industry happy hours.

All it takes is a little imagination, and networking might even be kind of fun. You could network at any event where suitably like-minded people are present and willing to engage.

Networking is about seeing the opportunity to talk and to ask and to give help to others. These events are simply gatherings of people drawn together with a common purpose; it might be something specifically for networking, or it might be an annual meeting or show at which many of your target market or your suppliers attend.

Networking meetings allow you to meet new people face-to-face, often briefly. They’re great for finding and building a list of people who you wish to develop stronger relationships with over time.  It’s not unusual for networking to continue in a one-to-one environment with the person you’ve met after a networking meeting.  This is a great opportunity to really understand their needs, their business and what they’re seeking to achieve.  If your aim in networking is to help develop your own business and you focus only on that, the system simply doesn’t work.

In today’s technologically advanced world, conversations no longer simply just happen between people at events or face-to-face.  More frequently, the conversation is taking place online through the medium of social networks.  To be effective at networking, we need to be visible in those networks so that people who are interested in what we do can find us.

Social networking is still relatively new and many people are beginning to understand the power of social networking and find appropriate ways to use it. Networking is changing with the introduction of new technologies and new means of keeping conversation going and deepening relationships over a variety of media.  Networking, delivering business person to person, in an open, random, and supportive way is here to stay so, don’t be afraid of networking, it can be fun, make you lots of new friends and ultimately win you new business.

Debbie Lewis is a Customer Support Executive at Happy Creative, a full service marketing and creative agency based in Blackpool, Lancashire. To learn more or contact us please go to www.happy-creative.co.uk

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