• digital 22.09.2015 No Comments

    A recent survey from YouGov revealed that less than half of UK adults are aware that the majority of free online content is funded by advertising. In an age where content pours in from every click and our consumption is second nature, are we running the risk of taking free content for granted? Of course Apple’s unveiling of iOS9 and it’s open arms welcoming of third-party ad-blocking software has been well received, given that the UK alone has ramped up its ad blocking activity by 82% in the past 12 months. It’s not a new phenomenon, but it’s one that may spiral out of a webmaster’s control.

    Statistics like this reveal a worrying discrepancy between this rising trend and the fact that 90% of everything we actively seek online for updates, enlightenment and entertainment is still funded by the very ads we’re avoiding.

    So what does this mean for the internet’s economic backbone? To say it quite bluntly- either content marketeers must intervene with new creative advertising strategies or users may have to bid farewell to the free net and be prepared to dish out for their journalism and entertainment.

    In order for digital marketeers to maintain their audience, despite the growing obstacles they need to be savvy, and savvy means understanding why exactly users are resorting to ad-block software in the first place.

    Ads must be adapted to cater to the desires of the modern day browser who’s after stimulation, not a traffic jam of uninspiring banner ads and video popups. Next time you delve into Google, take a look at how much space is taken up by ads on various webpages- it’s no surprise ads have become a inconvenience rather than an enticement. Marketers must aim to inject a little bit of TLC into digital marketing, to bring back those endearing qualities found in the TV ads which made the industry tick – only digital demands everything to be more engaging, more bespoke and all-encompassing. So bring on the innovation.

    To save each other, it may be that advertisers and publishers need to team up to create content thats brilliant and engaging, yet commercially effective. Brands must make the headlines, rather than sit alongside them on a webpage. Would you be willing to pay for your content, or do you believe there’s a compromise to be made?

  • One of the key motivations behind health and fitness is based on our innate desire to win – the Darwinian gene in us all. This insight has led to decades of brilliant communications from brands like Nike and Lucozade Sport inspiring countless other health and fitness companies to up their game.

    After all, the difference between winning and losing is serious stuff.

    It was no surprise that when we started working with the sports nutrition brand Maximuscle in 2008, all the competitive brands carried almost identical, gritty imagery. But they were missing a fundamental trick – sport should be fun. Getting in good shape and being healthy makes you feel happy and great – an almost opposite emotion to being driven, dedicated and serious. Just go down to any gym or follow conversations in social media about working out and there will be banter and jokes – especially in younger groups. So we found that a little irreverence can help unlock this audience for a brand.

    The more that working out is considered a serious activity, with serious goals, the more it is a means to an end (for example, to get back in to shape after Christmas or get the bikini body for summer) rather than a fulfilling lifestyle. We saw in countless research groups that some people didn’t want to associate themselves with “those gym types who take themselves too seriously” despite confessing to going to the gym themselves. Our task with Maximuscle was to normalise getting into shape and taking sports nutrition. Advertising proudly but with irreverence was the clear solution and it worked.

    Nike utilised this strategy as part of their Find Your Greatness campaign. It aimed to break the mold of the stereotypical gym-buff the brand is arguably responsible for creating by featuring an overweight kid pushing for a healthier lifestyle and putting the full weight of the Nike brand behind it. For health and fitness brands to keep people motivated, they must be relevant, aspirational yet attainable.

    We also must realise that, to a large degree, the brands in the health and fitness space perpetuate their own problem. They concentrate their marketing efforts around seasonal trends, such as gyms promoting New Year sign-up offers, then wonder why sales back off the rest of the year.

    The biggest cause of fitness regime failure is loss of motivation. The best way to keep that motivation up is to make fitness fun and the goals achievable. I quite like to be in good shape in May. I don’t mind being fit in October either. Brands must make it a normal, fun part of a healthy lifestyle to maintain consumer engagement. And I am not alone on this.

  • Agency 02.02.2015 No Comments

    Throughout Christmas, the battle was hard fought. As the final snowball was thrown and the dust settled, only James O’Shea, Marketing Director of from The Harley Medical Group was left standing victorious.

    But, like a true and just leader, he has heroically decided to donate his prize to one of our charity clients, Brook,  who promotes free sexual health care and advice for young people.

    Go forth James O’Shea, Legend of The Minimart snowball fight.

  • Interests 30.09.2014 1 Comment

    At The Minimart we have noted an evolution in the relationship between brands and consumers. This change has been brought about by what we believe to be the most significant effect of the growth of the internet. People have become publishers in their own right, using social media platforms to say and publicise what they believe. And the currency of this new world is the share of mind they can take from their friends and network of peers. These people have, in effect, started to behave like brands. Content is used and shared to build and confirm their brand positioning. You needn’t take our word for it. Go onto your Facebook page and you will see what we mean. You’re bound to know of several prolific ‘posters’, who continually share snippets of their lives. What these people are doing is more than keeping you in the loop, they are broadcasting their brand message. This behaviour can be quite extreme with one consumer telling us they could not be pictured in the same outfit twice, once they had ‘worn it on Instagram’.

    In this world where people have become brands and prolific hunter gathers of content, commercial brands need to carve out a different relationship with their intended target audience. Beyond projecting an image or a USP they will need to think about how their brand can provide social utility and add to their consumer’s own brand identity. This means thinking beyond the immediate relationship of brand and consumer and developing a deep understanding of people, their passion-points and what they are likely to use to build their brand persona and share. Welcome to the age of ideas worth sharing.

  • Team 17.07.2014 No Comments

    Bobby has 17 years experience in advertising and has held a number of senior posts within the industry including Head of Planning at Saatchi & Saatchi, Director of Advertising for Europe at the Coca Cola Company, Executive Planning Director of G2 Joshua and most recently Chief Strategy Officer at Arena Media.  Bobby has worked on both domestic and international campaigns across a diverse range of categories from cars to coffee.  He wrote the strategy for the ‘Carlsberg don’t do but if they did’ campaign and the ‘life flows better’ positioning for Visa Europe.
    Bobby writes extensively and has been published in titles such as Marketing, the FT, Campaign, Strategy and The Drum.  He is also a member of the IPA and the APG and recently won a Euro Effie.
    Outside of work Bobby likes to indulge his passion for great food and flinty dry white wine.

  • As the new football season kicks off, The Minimart has been appointed to work with Women’s Aid on Football United Against Domestic Violence to highlight the rise in domestic violence around football matches by encouraging fans, clubs and players to show domestic violence the red card once and for all.

    Alarming research shows that when the England football team play during international tournaments reported incidents of domestic violence increase by a quarter on the day and more than 10 per cent the following day.

    The Minimart created the campaign name and identity and has shot two films: a hard hitting viral to highlight the core issue and a fundraising film to support ‘Charlie’s Big Challenge’, a 250 mile, seven day ultra-marathon being undertaken by TV presenter and Women’s Aid ambassador, Charlie Webster. The challenge will see her visit over 40 football clubs across the country with the goal of raising £100,000 for Women’s Aid and sending out the message that domestic violence has no place around football. She will be joined by footballers and other celebrities who will run sections of the route with her. Women’s Aid will be promoting the challenge at every opportunity, encouraging the public to get behind Charlie by sponsoring her to complete the challenge.

    The ‘Charlie’s Challenge’ film will air in the lead up to the event in January, while the viral will launch in the lead up to the World Cup in June 2014 for maximum impact.

    Show your support, sponsor Charlie at www.justgiving.com/charliesbigchallenge or text CBC to 70300 to sponsor Charlie and donate £3* to Women’s Aid

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  • What were you passionate about when you were 12? Are you still passionate about the same thing now? Paul Gambaccini reckons that it is the golden age of 12 that you will remember for the rest of your life, and the passions or hobbies you had then will stay with you forever.

    When Paul came in to speak to us on Wednesday, it was my job as the current intern at The Minimart  to review the event. I am sure that everyone in the room will have taken something away from the session, however, as a third year student intern trying to get a foot in the door of a notoriously competitive industry, I found it particularly inspiring.

    Paul first realised his passion for music and the radio when he was still a young boy. He was listening to the radio with his father and as his father left him to get ready for work, the music track changed to Elvis.  Paul was scolded for listening to it and it was also the first time he had heard his father swear. It was at that precise moment that Paul knew that the music he enjoyed was something special.

    Throughout the talk, Paul kept referring back to this lifelong passion he has for what he does and the importance it had in driving him on to succeed.

    Paul stayed true to and followed this passion, despite receiving opportunities that many people would jump at, to divert away from it: one of my favourite parts of his whole talk, was his description of turning down offers from both Yale and Harvard in order to attend Dartmouth- simply because it had a better radio station. His message was simple; when you know what you want to do, the choices you face are easy.

    We were all captivated by the stories of celebrities he’d met. But even these stories had a message in them. His analysis of the process of releasing new records was particularly relevant to the industry we work in. Back in the old days, artists would continually release new material, staying fresh in the public eye. People just weren’t  able to forget or know what it was like to live without them. The Beatles, for example, would release 2 or 3 albums a year plus a string of singles, yet now, artists can go years before releasing an album, which has all their material from that period on it. It’s easy to see why so many artists come and go so quickly. The music industry could benefit more from thinking of their artists as brands, and managing their creative output accordingly.

    The point, he summed up, was ‘don’t go away.’ It’s no good to be able to produce a great piece of work every so often, but do nothing much in between.  If you’re not producing work consistently and on a regular basis, you may just be overlooked for someone who is.

    But by far the best advice I took from Paul’s talk was ‘things are done by the people who do them.’ Paul is certainly a doer- we can see this from the fact that he was the youngest manager of the Dartmouth radio station in its history at the age of 20 whilst still managing to gain good enough grades to get a scholarship to Oxford University to study Politics, Philosophy and Economics alongside Benazir Bhutto. So to all those students, myself included, who complain of too much work, yet spend all their free time in between lectures partying or playing video games- if Paul can run a whole radio station, I am sure we can at least get a work placement in our chosen industry or maintain a blog!

    The ‘go-getter’ attitude that the above quote embodies also reared its head when Paul managed to secure an interview for Rolling Stone Magazine with Elton John, which ultimately got him noticed by the BBC. Whilst at a concert at The Royal Festival Hall, Paul saw Elton John heading towards the bathroom. Most people would probably be intimidated by the fact they’re in the same room as the star- not least a young reporter, still out to make a name for himself. But not Paul, who seeing this as a golden opportunity, followed him into the bathroom and asked him directly, would he give him an interview? Elton John said yes, but referred Paul to his manager. Nothing happened straight away, so Paul kept in regular contact, not pestering, but staying on their radar, until finally, they realised Paul meant business and gave him the interview he desired at a time which was good for them because Elton was about to tour America.

    Overall, the most important thing that I, and others in the room learnt from this session is that you if are truly passionate about something, the key to success is to follow it and not hold back because of any doubt that it may not be achievable. Things are done by the people who do them.

    Adam Roberts (Intern and future planner)


  • Agency, Team 25.07.2013 No Comments

    Andrew has over 20 years’ experience working with some of the world’s leading brands, in some of the world’s most famous agency networks. Previous clients include Philips, Visa Europe, Heineken, Carlsberg, Johnson & Johnson, SABMiller and COI; he has served on the boards of Euro RSCG, TBWA, Lowe Lintas and Saatchi & Saatchi. He has also spent time working in independent agencies, working through the line across any number of categories.

    After graduating from Nottingham University Andrew spent a year playing professional rugby in France, pursuing a love for the game that has never diminished. Returning to London, he joined the marketing department of Barclays Bank, where, he developed a range of campaigns for the retail bank before onto the agency side.

    Outside of work, Andrew splits his time between his two ‘families’, which include wife and children on the one hand and rugby club on the other.

    He joins The Minimart with some experience and a bucket-load of enthusiasm for the challenges ahead.


  • We are really excited to announce that The Minimart has won the prestigious Gold accreditation for Continuous Professional Development from the IPA. This is a benchmark for best practice across the advertising, media and marketing communications professions, supporting growth within each agency and the industry as a whole.

    Inspired by our creative department, we made the decision in January to create a facebook page devoted entirely to the training we do here at The Minimart. Every person in the agency is featured throughout the year’s timeline and all give voice to their objectives both personally and as a team. So the main support for our ‘Pursuit of Gold’ is in keeping with our own objectives as an agency, a nod to the world we occupy and in line with our own environmental policy.

    This is how we feel we gave substance to the work we have done throughout the year. The page is rich in video and content generally. It details our successful weekly ‘Binge Thinking Sessions’, our Agency weekend Challenge in Montreux plus a ‘smorgasbord’ of internal and external training events which have helped us to improve the quality of our service. Caring about how we train our team is also an important factor in why good people want to join us.

    The IPA reported, “The Minimart have prepared a superb submission. Brilliantly presented and delivered in an innovative way, but it certainly is not style over substance. The culture of CPD and the focus on people as the key driver for growth was seamlessly integrated into the plan for the year. A really innovative and powerful build on standard appraisals. A truly great submission demonstrating the power of embracing CPD into the heart of the agency. “

    Says Pete Markey, Chief Marketing Officer, RSA Group and 2012 Chairman of Judges: “It’s been a huge privilege for me to be this year’s IPA Gold Chairman of Judges. I have been massively impressed by the sheer passion, energy and drive among IPA member agencies to really invest in and develop their teams. What is clear is how IPA member agencies are seeing the direct and powerful link between investing in their people and business performance – for agencies at the very top of the game, these two elements are very evidently entwined. As a client, it gives me an even greater confidence in how our excellent IPA member agencies are helping to drive real competitive advantage and results for a business like my own, by recognising and valuing the importance of their people. Exciting times.”

    If you’d like to find out more and take a peek at our timeline contact Jo Smith.


  • Jessica is our newest account director. She developed her career in the world of BTL marketing at a fully integrated marketing agency for over 5 and a half years. Working cross-discipline, Jessica looked after the “yellow fats” account for Anchor Butter, along with everyone’s favourite Squirty Cream, where she created and managed consumer engaging on pack promotions and consumer loyalty clubs.

    Away from the dairy aisle, over the years, Jessica also headed up the marketing team for The Times newspaper, ran the successful TalkTalk X Factor ticket promotion and helped to create brand partnerships for LOVEFiLM.
    Jessica was thrown into presentation training at The Minimart in her first week;
    ‘Wow, what a week. As I prepped myself at the weekend, I really didn’t expect my first week to include performing a Margaret Thatcher speech on stage at The Soho Theatre… thankfully with no audience.
    It already seems as though The Minimart is as much about training and development as it is about office jollys, which makes for a fantastic agency to be newly part of. Introductions to our client businesses, masses of office banter, the pressure of “choosing the music” and a ridiculous amount of December invites, it’s been a fun 5 days. Bring on week 2!’

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