• Our role as an agency is to connect consumers and brands.

    People don’t connect with things as discrete fragments, they make sense of the world as a multi-sensory human and with the context of their experience and cultural framework.

    The way we operate as an agency, reflects this. Our flexible agency model and open approach means we’re not boxed off into departments and we definitely don’t work in silos and can therefore respond to the ever-changing interplay of humans, organisations and technology.

    We are made up of a bunch of dedicated people, who love what we do and bring a rounded skillset to the table. Of course we have specialisms and different skill biases but we’re all-rounders interested in the bigger picture.

    Basically, we put the human need at the core and work out from there. This approach means we can blur the lines across different disciplines to deliver clients what they need to engage effectively, whatever the objective.

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  • I love people giving me cocktails.
    I love Sunbathing in 32-degree heat beside a pool.
    I love meeting fun, genuine, beautiful, creative people.
    So, when the founding partners of The Minimart interviewed me and my copywriter (Baz) for a job and then asked us if they could fly us to Marrakech for a weekend to do all those things… all I could think of was:
    “I. Can. Not. Update my Facebook status quick enough!!!”
    Three days later Baz and I were sitting at a champagne and oyster bar in Gatwick (now they’re just showing off) and meeting our 15 new work mates. We hear a lot of names, shake a lot of hands and walk towards the plane struggling to remember a single one of them.
    Luckily Tim and Ed (the Founding Partners I mentioned earlier) had put everyone in 4 smaller, easier to remember groups for some challenges for the weekend. The first of which, started on the plane. What happened to the cocktails by the pool?
    The teams had three and a bit hours to think of a film and reduce it down to a tiny two minutes – which would then be acted out to the rest of the teams back at our phat villa. And boy, was it a phat villa! 10 colourful bedrooms, a cook, waiters, a private driver, two swimming pools – they’d forgotten to fill one – but that’s not the point, it had two swimming pools!
    After a lovely banquet, our teams took to the makeshift stage. ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway’ eat your heart out. I was really impressed at just how good they all were for such a short amount of rehearsing and it was such a great way to get to know everyone.
    My memory of the next few hours does get a little hazy for some reason. But my hangover the next day reminds me exactly why… Ahhh the cocktail making challenge…. so that’s why I feel like I’ve got a coconut in my head!!! Never mind, a quick dip in the pool and a spot of breakfast gets us all ready to kick back for some presentations.
    Kicking off by announcing promotions, new board appointments and three new starters – including myself, Baz and Nikki a lovely design intern they’ve recently snapped up – set the tone nicely. We then brainstormed around some really cool ideas for the future of the agency before settling down to lunch.
    The next challenge was for the teams to fill out a briefing form for a made up product. A nice way to demonstrate we understand what a good brief is. I’ve got to admit, having the Founding Partners and the Head of Planning on my team was a slight advantage. But never the less, our hard work and tenacity paid off as the rest of the agency voted our product and brief to be the best of the best!!!
    A dip, a quick sunbathe, and a power half-hour snooze set me up for the next challenge. Our teams had 500 Dirhams (that’s around £40) and half an hour to run the gauntlet of the Marrakech market and get suitably dressed up for dinner at a rather nice restaurant. Gok Wan? Gok Who! My team came up trumps again, well joint winners with Baz’s team anyway.

    So a succulent shoulder of lamb, Mojitos, belly dancing, a crazy lady dancing with a tray of fire on her head, good chat and good times was the perfect way to finish the final night.

    The mandatory breakfast, dip in the pool and lounging in the sun was the perfect start to our last day. And, as the flight back home got nearer and nearer I couldn’t help but feel a little sad. But, having said that, I don’t think I’ve ever looked forward to a Monday morning at work before either!

    Of course, they couldn’t let us leave without one last game: The Headless photo. Pictures will do this infinitely more justice than my words ever can, so please have a gander and no doubt a good laugh at them on The Minimart Facebook page. Oh and whilst you’re there take a look at the overall winner of all the challenges – drum roll please…. it was ‘Nikki the New Girl’ who took Alex’s crown for 2011. But I fully expect to see my name engraved on the trophy in 2012!

    I agree with everything Daz said. Except it’ll be my name on the trophy in 2012.

  • Agency, Team 10.10.2011 No Comments

    Wieden and Kennedy’s loss is our gain here at the Minimart. We’re pleased that Natasha Markley with her great award winning brand experience has joined our team and look forward to utilising her experience in 360 advertising integration. We’re mildly concerned about her musical taste but we’ll be happy to share those wild strawberry mojitos with her.


    Steve Henry at The Minimart

    One of adland’s most high-profile creatives, Steve Henry, kindly joined us for our agency knowledge sharing session – ‘Binge Thinking’.  True to form, the session was disruptive; what was billed as a session on blogging became a discussion around values and principles across adland at large.

    As ever, Steve championed the disruption model, which is arguably even more pertinent today than when it was first conceived.  He argued that advertising in its current form persists because we’re obsessed with the concept of a captive audience of people “passively waiting to see our ads.” But these audiences are disappearing in this new age of social media and self-curation of content.

    Steve argued that it is only the brave work that matters, the rest is overlooked in a sea of sameness.  For most brand managers however, challenging sector convention is scary territory and requires risk-taking, not very appealing at a time when budgets are under intense scrutiny.

    We discussed our responsibility as an agency to help clients understand the “stepping stones” that lead to brave work.

    This is something that we’ve tried to implement in our ‘Open Days’ where we discuss the brand ambition and look at the norms and conventions of the sector.  Encouraging openness and exploration in an open forum where we can set the agenda for the rules we’d like to break is a ‘stepping stone’ to creating brave work.

    Being disruptive for the sake of it isn’t what we’re about however.  The Holy Grail for us is to create work that is brave and cuts through the noise but that also sparks a genuine emotional dialogue with people on a human level.  Disruption without engagement is superficial, what we need to do is nurture honest and genuine long term relationships.

    The session with Steve was an inspiring reminder of our role in challenging the status quo.  It was a pleasure to meet him and reminded us all how much we enjoy being part of this “pure space where commerce and creativity converge”.

  • Agency, Team 24.05.2011 No Comments

    Calling all talented design students. We have a summer intern opportunity starting June for 1 month +. Portfolios to info@theminimart.com

  • Agency, Team 20.05.2011 No Comments

    What makes us different? Check out Tim & Ed’s inspiring piece on our new blog. http://tinyurl.com/64epsl4

  • Agency, Team 01.05.2011 No Comments

    From Camden to Glamden (via Gt Portland St ,Charlotte St and Madison Avenue)
    New and well -travelled (her words) Jo Smith brings a wealth of experience to The Minimart as our Sales and Marketing Director. She was on the boards of agencies like Saatchi and Saatchi, Grey, Bates and WCRS but in recent times helped take creativity directly to clients via the internet. She is passionate about creative work; passionate about new technology and new channels. She has always sought to work with companies that push to work differently, more effectively and that understand it takes wisdom to know that a TV commercial, a facebook page, a tweet all need to be engaging to gain attention and permission (Stanley Pollitt taught us that a commercial was an uninvited guest in the living room and needed to entertain, charm and inform in order to be welcomed back).
    And to work for a company that understands that it takes wisdom to know that good media channels are meeting places not transmission systems
    And that knows that a tomato is a fruit – wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.
    Looks like she’s found the right home

  • Agency, Team 20.04.2011 No Comments

    Duncan is our newest addition to The Minimart design team. A kiwi boy through and through he has just landed on our fair shores bringing with him six years design experience and his un-canny (semi english) accent. Read more…

  • Agency, Team 05.01.2011 No Comments

    Manchester born Debbie joins us from Uffindel  and  has been working in brand consultancy and strategic planning for over 10 years. She has experience across arts, media, not-for-profit, B2B, financial, FMCG and technology  sectors and on brands such as BBC, Chrysalis  Radio, FSA, HSBC, Lovefilm and Universal  Music. Debbie has expertise in brand strategy, comms strategy, digital strategy, research methodology and analysis. She is a member of the Account Planning Group, Chartered Institute of Marketing, Market Research Society and the Association of Qualitative Researchers. Welcome Debbie!

  • Agency, Team 02.01.2011 No Comments

    Gabbi has joined as our new ‘Director of Fun’, splitting her time between office management and ensuring clients and agency enjoy the perfect work/life balance. She joins us from Chorion, Publishers of the Mr Men books, so she is perfectly cast as our very own Little Miss Sunshine.