Archives for posts with tag: emma dobson

In a world of commodities, there’s a sea of brands. How are you supposed to remember all of them? How are you supposed to process which appeals to you? It’s got to be Heinz but it’s always Coca Cola – that’s enough to confuse anyone!

You will naturally find yourself drawn to certain brands. This is through recognition. You see a brand, either consciously or subconsciously, and if you acknowledge it, you remember it.

I have seen Derren Brown lead peoples’ thought trails through pattern recognition. It works in a similar way with brands. You see them, you acknowledge them, you remember them.

But which brands are top of mind and why?

It’s different for all of us. Try this question and see what brands are your top of mind…

In 30 seconds (no cheating) name as many Cereal brands as you can….

3…2…1…So, what did you come up with?

You’ll find that the brand that come top of mind are with you for a reason. You’ve seen them, your brain has registered them, and you’ve remembered them.

The brands that reside with you, more likely that not will mean something to you- good or bad. It could be preference, prestige or pizzazz – there’s a reason you’ve remembered that brand.

There’s lots of ways that marketeers tempt us to remember brands – be it catchy slogans, jingles, iconic imagery, or conceptual style. Try these out and see how much you know about brands…


Washing machines live longer with….

If you like a lot of chocolate on your biscuit…

Now hands that do dishes can feel soft as your face…

For bonzer car insurance deals, girls get onto…

Kids and grownups love it so….


Vorsprung durch Technik

No nonesence

I’m lovin‘ it

Every little helps

It’s a bit gorgeous

Iconic images

An orange box

A yellow m

A panda

3 lions

A man with a moustache

A tick

A swan

A lime green circle 😉

Colour – what brands to you relate to these colours?




Yellow and Black

Red and Blue

It’s all about creating ‘stick’. Something that makes you consciously take note of it. It’s remarkable how much we don’t realise that we remember. And if you don’t keep an ear out later and see if you’re singing about mild, green Fairy Liquid as you’re washing up. That sea just got a whole lot smaller…

(by the way, send us your guesses via comments or social media!)

Emma Dobson is a branding expert and Touch Point guru at Happy Creative, a full service marketing agency based in Blackpool, Lancashire. To learn more or contact us please go to

In March 2013 I had a vision. A vision of doing something different. A vision of becoming a part of something. In April 2013 I achieved that vision. After 8 weeks of practice, I, with 14 other terrified yet excited ladies, took to the pitch. Stood there, on that rainy afternoon, we had become the Garstang Ladies RUFC team.

Having never been near a rugby ball, my increased knowledge over those short few weeks brought some vital rules of play to my attention. Rules that apply both on the rugby field and in the field of marketing.

On the rugby field communication is imperative. You need to know where your team mates are at all times, and who is going in for the vital tackle. Good communication make things tick. Good communication avoids bumps and bruises. Good communication ensures every player knows where the team are heading next. This is something we live by as marketeers.
Communication in marketing is not just about understanding what a client is saying to you, but about ensuring you are on the same page, heading towards the same goal.

Before any game a strategy is put in place. What is our game plan? What tricks can we use to get the ball? How are we going to ensure we win? Determining what you are going to do before you start doing is imperative to having a clear direction and focus. It is important to remember that a strategy will change when the game changes – you wouldn’t stick with a strategy that wasn’t working would you?
Marketing is much the same. A clear way forward, a plan of action. What are we going to do? This is the fundamental basis for a successful campaign.

Although much room for improvement is needed on the rugby pitch, skills play a big part in improving your game. Having the right skills in marketing works the same way. The more knowledge behind implementing a brand, and having the ability to do so properly, creates a stronger, more unique campaign.

Working as a team
In rugby, working together is vital. Pushing against the opposition as a one man band won’t get you anywhere. Having no one screaming on your left or right, sends you out into a sea of angry rugby players alone – no thank you!
In marketing it is much the same, getting the right results requires team work. Marketeers will ask the right questions to gauge the right information, and clients will give detailed briefs and a direction. With both players playing an important role, the goal can be reached quickly, easily and effectively.

Support, support, support. A rugby buzz word. It was something drummed into us from day one. Always provide your team mate with an option. Always be behind your team mate. Be there to receive the ball. Be there to receive the hit. Without support you won’t get very far.
In marketing, support is important too. Support in terms of believing in an idea. Without passion and belief it is hard to bring an idea to life.

In terms of having the right materials to assist an idea, support plays an important part. What materials will you need? What methods will you use? Will your idea launch online and offline? What knowledge do you have? What is your strategy? An integrated strategy provides multiple levels of support for a campaign, with the whole concept working together towards that one goal.

And then there’s the glory…

Scoring that try, converting that kick, it’s all glory. A rush of adrenaline runs through your body, the cheers of the crowd ring in your ears.
A less muddy comparison is a successful marketing campaign. It is an achievement. You have reached your goal, be proud.
When a campaign is successfully communicated, strategically planned and accurately implemented there is no room for failure.
With a bit of team work, great things can be achieved.

Oh and the nervousness of taking to a rugby field with opponents twice your size will never go away, but it won’t stop me. So if I can do it, so can you…even if it may take a Happy Haka to get you to the pitch.

Emma Dobson is a branding expert and Touch Point guru at Happy Creative, a full service marketing agency based in Blackpool, Lancashire. To learn more or contact us please go to

Oh how times have changed. Over the years advertising has gone through some drastic changes. What once was perfectly acceptable before the 1960’s is now seen as socially or personally demeaning. The proof comes when you search through advertising archives, and find yourself stunned and shocked at what we used to ‘get away with’.

Society has worked hard to achieve equality, with the fight for women’s rights and the plea to banish racism amongst other issues. It is sometimes forgotten just how far we have come until you take a step back in time.

Today, we are generally extremely politically correct, some say perhaps too much so, however society has reached new heights in equality and protection against minority groups or individuals. Something that is strongly referenced through our advertising.

Since 1962, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the UK’s self-regulatory organisation, have been responsible for ensuring that no ads are released that may cause offence or misdemeanour. Something that was not apparent before the 1960’s judging by the below examples.

controversial ads


The last one (‘Men are better than women’!) is particularly straight to the point! As you can see, some statements that would not be tolerated in this era, and they’re not the worst of them!

On the other hand there are many examples of recent ads that have been banned by the ASA for being demeaning or unrealistic, and perhaps would be seen by most as quite acceptable. There are a lot of examples to be found on the internet- these are some of my favourites.

  • Phones4U, ‘Upgrades 4 U and U and U’ – 2 ads were recently banned by the ASA for misleading customers into thinking that anyone could upgrade, whereas it was not clear enough that customers on networks such as Three and Tesco Mobile were not eligible to upgrade.
  • Special K – an ad was banned where a woman pours milk over her Special K cereal. The ad claims that the bowl contained 114 calories, but failed to account for the milk. This was deemed as misleading to customers.
  • Snickers, ‘Get some nuts’ – the popular Mr T ad where a truck pulls up to a man exercising in yellow shorts and shouts “Speed walking. I pity you fool. You are a disgrace to the man race. It’s time to run like a real man….Snickers. Get some nuts” The ad was taken off air after being deemed as homophobic.
  • Big Fat Gypsy Weddings – A billboard ad featured the words ‘Bigger. Fatter. Gypsier’ across an image of 3 young gypsy girls. It was accepted until complaints from the Irish Travellers Movement in Britain (ITMB) made complaints that the ads were racially demeaning and exposed their children to bullying and abuse.
  • Toyota GT86 ad – the ad featured a Grand Theft Auto style film before bursting through glass into ‘the real world’ – the ad was said to be encouraging dangerous driving and was taken off air.

When you see the difference between those that were once allowed and those of current times that are banned, you’ll see that there is quite a difference in tolerance, despite the odd crazy cats pushing the boundaries. Some say that the regulations in current times are far too strong – but based on the above, would we want to ever get back to where we were in the 1960’s? Let us know what you think.

Emma Dobson is a branding expert and Touch Point guru at Happy Creative, a full service marketing agency based in Blackpool, Lancashire. To learn more or contact us please go to

Social Media is a powerful tool. Over the past few years it is fair to say that Social Media has affected each of us in either our personal or business lives. A true phenomenon.

With this said, there is a flip side to Social Media. A side where Social Media encourages antisocial behaviour, group extremists and all round inappropriateness! With an outlet to voice an opinion and have complete freedom of speech, Social Media in the wrong hands is an ultimate portal for risky business.

Here I have a few examples of Social Media in the wrong hands – some with happy endings, some quite amusing, so it’s not all doom and gloom, but it does show us the importance of using Social Media in the right way.

  1. Here, pinch my info…

We add so much information to our profiles and our blogs that it is certainly easy to learn everything you need to know about someone in such little time. Take a look at this link to see just how much information you share on Social Media – you’ll be surprised at just how much someone could find out about you if they really wanted to!

  1. Come on over…

It was in the news a little while ago about a house party that was being held when a young girls parents were away for the weekend. She added the details of the party on Facebook, and by making this information so freely available, a lot more people than expected turned up. Not only was she overrun by young party goers, but the house got completely trashed. A perfect example of keeping private information to yourself!

  1. Burglars, I’m here!..

With Social Media sites adding more and more to their capabilities, you can now ‘check in’ on the likes of Facebook to inform your Facebook friends of the exciting places you have visited. This may sound harmless, but letting the whole world know exactly where you are opens the opportunity for those that are that way inclined to ‘visit’ your house!

Status updates also tell people how you are away from home for 2 weeks in sunny Spain. This makes it even easier for burglars, who don’t even need to check that your whereabouts!

  1. Whoops!

Social Media makes publishing information so simple and so quick- great! Not so great for those who may miss inappropriate spellings or sayings that then get published worldwide. We probably all heard on the news about Susan Boyles Album Party hashtag. Something not to be repeated here so you’ll have to look that one up yourselves!

Another example features on a recent TV documentary ‘Don’t Blame Facebook’ (click here to view the show-, a happy couple planning a boozy trip to America posted ‘we’re going to destroy America’. Those who speak the local lingo will know that ‘destroy’ means to drink hard in America; paint the town red. However, this was assumed by officials as a terrorist threat and the couple were stopped at the airline gates heading into LA. It goes to show that on such a worldwide level it is easy to get lost in translation, with nasty consequences.

  1. In a flash!

In very recent news you may have seen the image of the poor girl who posted her dress on eBay, not noticing that her naked reflection had appeared in the mirror- big whoops! She noticed quite quickly but within the few minutes that the image was published it had already gone viral! This is a great example (not for her) of just how quickly information can spread via Social Media.

There are numerous examples of accidental posts on Social Media. You’ve probably done it yourself at one point. Those dreaded personal emails that get published online! With the instant uploading of information on Social Media sites, there’s no time to back track.

  1. I did it!

On the same documentary as mentioned above, an unsuspecting criminal was cautioned for crimes he had committed and posted himself on YouTube. Videos of him committing crimes such as speeding and racing in the streets and stealing petrol were posted for the whole world to see…including the Police! Now there’s no denying that one!

Without getting into the dark side of Social Media, these examples demonstrate the importance of using Social Media in the right way, for the right reasons, at the right time. With any Social Media, even your personal encounters, a strategy cannot go amiss! I hope these made you giggle. Check out the link above to watch some more examples of Social Media in the wrong hands.

Emma Dobson is a branding expert and Touch Point guru at Happy Creative, a full service marketing agency based in Blackpool, Lancashire. To learn more or contact us please go to

So, you’re a B2B organisation. You’re not in a consumerable industry.  You’re busy. Should you still be marketing this Christmas?

Many businesses see Christmas time as a great opportunity to target their customers. After all Christmas marketing is generally expected isn’t it? However, with Christmas hype creating  an overcrowded marketplace and rife competition, it is often a fight for attention from those key customers.

With this in mind it is important to have a solid strategy behind your ideas, to ensure that your marketing is noticed.

Here are some helpful tips of how to create campaigns that don’t get lost in the snow…

1. Review

Take a look at the success of your marketing last year- What worked for you? What didn’t? Who responded? Who didn’t? Was the message successful? Were targets achieved? Learn from the patterns to ensure an even stronger campaign this year.

2. Think ahead

Creating a plan early in the year, as part of a full strategy will aid any campaign. An early plan of action will help ensure you are targeting the right people, at the right time, with the right message as opposed to jumping on the Christmas band wagon.

3. Pre and Post

Ensure you are thinking pre and post Christmas. What else do you have in mind? What will you do as a lead up to Christmas? What happens if they don’t respond to your Christmas messaging? Be prepared in advance.

4. Set targets

What do you want to achieve? When do you want to achieve this by? Is this realistic? How will you know when you have achieved this? Setting benchmarks is a strong base for a good strategic plan, and a great way to help with planning next year’s  Christmas activity!

5. Know your audience

Do your audience respond well at Christmas? Is this a quiet time for them? What are they doing? How are they spending? Knowing your audience ensures that your Christmas efforts are not wasted. Each audience will vary- do your research, find out exactly what they want and give it to them.

6. Analyse the competition

What are your competitors doing? When are they targeting those same customers? Make sure you are ready to pip them to the post, or target just after when messages are fresh in your customer’s minds. That all depends on your strategy and what works for your customers.

7. Do it!

And give it all you’ve got. Commit yourself. Every campaign should have 100% effort and passion.

Follow these small tips and you’ll stay off the naughty list this Christmas. These are the foundations for a successful Christmas campaign (and other campaigns throughout the year).

Emma Dobson is a branding expert and Touch Point guru at Happy Creative, a full service marketing agency based in Blackpool, Lancashire. To learn more or contact us please go to

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