Help Nepal. Fast

Nepal has now been devastated by two catastrophic earthquakes in just over a fortnight. At least eight thousand people are dead. Tens of thousands more are injured.

At Publicis Life Brands Resolute, we wanted to do what we could to help. Fast.

So we have created the #HelpNepalFast movement ‒ www.helpnepalfast.com.

The idea is simple:

  1. Fast for 12 hours
  2. Donate the money you would have spent on food
  3. Share a photo of your empty plate, with cutlery arranged to resemble Mount Everest at #HelpNepalFast

It’s a small gesture of solidarity for the thousands in Nepal who are grieving, injured or both, and who will very likely go cold and hungry tonight.

It’s time to help Nepal. Fast.

Nepal ad - DOWNLOAD A4 

Visit our website www.helpnepalfast.com to download a poster for your workplace, and to donate to the victims.

Thank you,

Everyone at PLBR.

Agile thinking – what’s our vision

On a bitterly cold January morning the multi-talented PLBR account handling team gathered for our first monthly breakfast meeting of 2015. These meetings are a fantastic opportunity for us account guys to get together to discuss ongoing projects and best practice solutions; showcasing the creative work each account pod has produced in unison with our award winning creative team; sharing inspiring case studies; and of course an opportunity for us to have a good old chinwag over some lukewarm coffee and stale delicious pastries.

In saying that, this little get together had a twist. We knew that we were in for something different, but we were not sure what was in store. Some people’s minds (definitely not mine!) drifted to a group review of the Victoria’s Secret Super Bowl ad, others to an impromptu Great British Bake-off style challenge (definitely not Harriet) whilst the more reflective members of the team yearned for a ‘This is Your Life’ special starring the late, great, Deirdre Barlow.

1

Greetings my friend

How wrong we all were. We were welcomed by our good friend ‘the workshop’, who had been meticulously planned by our crack-team of process junkies Bridget, Nina and Matt. It was to be one of the most energetic workshops ever held at PLBR towers, with discussions hotter than the fires of Mount Doom contained within the walls of ‘The Shire’. Oh, if those walls could talk…

Upon gathering together in mutual fuzziness at what was basically dawn, we were greeted with our topic for the morning, “Agile Thinking – A change from the norm”. A quick glance around revealed that whilst the majority of us knew what both words meant in isolation, only a few wise members knew what they meant in combination.

2

So what is Agile Thinking?

An agile thinker is someone who can ask good questions, someone who values balance, someone who can consider different perspectives and someone who can balance execution. Now I know what you’re thinking, so a workshop around Agile Thinking means “Everyone get in a room and smash some marketing type speak on a post-it note?” Well kind-of, but the real overarching goal and drive here was to work as a team (banning words such as – budget, workload and resource) so we could share our thoughts on the agency’s vision and how we as an account handling unit could be a part of that movement.

Following a rousing introduction by Client Services Director Wyndham Clark (I’ll let you decide whether he told me to say that or not) we were split into groups to tackle three topics and began to get down to some intense brainstorming.

Topic 1: What is our agency vision?

Topic 2: How will the account handling team help achieve that vision?

Topic 3: How will our regular account handling forum help us achieve our vision?

3

Against the clock

In just 10 minutes for each topic we were challenged to come up with a solution. The fast paced thinking really slapped away any remaining morning cobwebs and post-its began to zip around the room like super-injunctions following a football club’s Christmas party.

And the results

So what were the outputs? Well, we managed to whittle down the many candidates for agency vision to just a few; ‘trust developers’, ‘pioneering’ and ‘thought leaders’ however the overwhelming winner was ‘desired’. Put forward by Anisha, it was decided that this was the word that resonated most with what we were all trying to communicate (in varying forms of chaotic chatter). Desired by potential clients, desired by current clients, desired by the most talented individuals out there and most importantly desired by the people here at PLBR. Having that very rare feeling in this day and age, of job satisfaction. This can come in many forms but we agreed that the most important was coming to work knowing that what we do is making a difference.

How can we help and how will our forums help? Well that’s for us to worry about but keep your eyes to the ground and your ears peeled for further updates on our agency vision!

Ollie Fraser – Senior Account Executive

Gold, always believe in…

A couple of weeks ago, sitting between my toddler and a swaying uncle at a Polish wedding of Big Fat proportions, I had the pleasure of tasting it with every course.

With the starter.

With the soup.

With the main course at 18.30.

With dessert.

With the second main course at 21.00.

With the third main course at 23.00.

By the fourth main course at 3am, most of the bottles had been knocked back. Or over.

Last week, I was plied with vodka all over again. This time through the icy-smooth mouth of a vodka Luge, just one of the many attractions at the IPA Best of Health awards 2013.

Another highlight was the black and white chequered dance floor and the fascinating array of action that passed over it. Kate had obviously called ahead as she was perfectly matching in her Biba-esque dress.

ipa-kate

So what about the main attraction – the awards themselves?

The competition had heated up this year. Alongside old friends, bold ideas, delicate illustration, stunning photography and beautifully crafted words all made an appearance.

But two things stood out for me. Firstly, the influence of the new world (and I don’t mean the wine) which couldn’t be ignored. China and Australia stormed a number of categories, and deservedly so.

Second, the freshly-meshed media mix. A surge in film.  Social as more than just an add-on. Apps and e-details with attitude.  And a whole lot of experiential work to feel inspired by.

Of course, PLBR were on form…

GOLD for The Passage for Out Of Home.

A Special Prize for Best Use of Copywriting.  Also for The Passage.

And a nice sprinkling of bronzes.

What with that and the sunshine, we’re feeling good this week.

ipa-flower

ipa-awards

– Klara Kallis

Generate your way to bad ad utopia

Publicis Life Brands Resolute's Bad Ad Generator

We live in a world surrounded by advertising. Wherever we go, wherever we look and whatever we do, some cheeky scamp, somewhere, will be trying to influence us and our decision-making process. We’re not always susceptible to such shenanigans, but there can be no doubt that a strong, positive advertising campaign can mean the difference between brand loyalty and taking a chance.

But with advertising that is ground-breaking, clever and persuasive must come that which is equal and most definitely opposite; there are plenty of examples of bad advertising in and out of our industry. You know the type – it could be it an infuriatingly irrelevant ditty (mentioning no names, naturally) on television or an unholy cluster of vaguely related images that make your eyes water for all the wrong reasons. Whether annoying, cloying, unamusing or any other adverse adjective that concludes with an –ing, bad advertising may be frequently unforgettable but it’s never aspirational.

Resigned to the knowledge that bad advertising is out there, and probably always will be, Publicis Life Brands Resolute decided to take all the hard work out of this process. The Bad Ad Generator – accessed by pointing your browser at http://www.badadgenerator.com – means that you too can play at being an advertising exec that really should know better, and experience the thrill of creating a campaign with all the panache and subtlety of a fuzzy-felt playset.

All the elements we’ve come to know and loathe from abysmal advertising are available on the Bad Ad Generator, leaving you just a point, click and drag away from puerile promotional paradise. Struggling for copy? Throw in one our banal boilerplate strap-lines, a sure-fire way of using countless words to say nothing of any consequence. Looking for the perfect setting? Never mind perfect, we have plenty of generic landscapes that make up for their irrelevance with aesthetic appeal. Can’t afford a model shot? You can these days – throw in one of our sanguine stock shots.

We know what you’re thinking – this all sounds great but there’s something missing and you can’t put your finger on what.

It’s a swoosh. The answer is always to add a swoosh. Thank us later.

The Bad Ad Generator includes a gallery on the site to browse some of the monsterpieces that visitors are especially proud of, giving any user the opportunity to share the truly optically offensive offerings with friends and colleagues. Have a play and see what you can come up with – bad advertising is an unfortunate affront that we’ve learned to accept, so we may as well have some fun with it in the meantime.

– Greg Porter

Award winning etiquette?

award-winning-etiquette_lrg

The PM awards are upon us once again, and we are contesting the Digital Interactive award.

If you are attending this (or any, for that matter) awards cereomony this year, why not tackle our light-hearted quiz about award ceremony etiquette.

Best of luck to all involved!

PLBR do some serious sport

During this Olympic year, we have been exposed to one word more than usual: inspired. And it’s easy to see why. We have witnessed scenes of immense elation and profound heartache. Many of us actually attended the events to experience these emotions first-hand with countless others. The rest watched the drama unfold on the tellybox, transfixed by popular sports such as handball, table tennis and, my personal favourite, trampoline.*

At PLBR, we were inspired. It wasn’t enough to sit idly by and watch as the Olympians had all the fun. We wanted to create and experience these same emotions ourselves, so we entered a team into this year’s annual LGN 5km run in glorious Regent’s Park. Not only could we pursue glory, Rocky-style, in one of the most beautiful parts of London, but we would also be helping The Tesfa Foundation in Ethiopia.

Team photo

Team PLBR just before the lactic acid-fest

We entered a classy team of 15 runners, each one with a story. Each with a goal. Some goals were modest:

“I just want to finish the thing. The time doesn’t matter. Besides, it’s just a fun run!”

Other goals were simple:

“I’m going to win.”

After hours of intense training (insert montage), race day finally arrived. We put our branded trainers on, we warmed up and we hydrated. We were ready to join almost 500 runners from 25 agencies congregated around the start line in Regent’s Park. Just before our collective butterflies caused all sorts of problems, the pistol was fired and we set off round the fast, flat, UK Athletics-ratified course.

I won’t go into details of the race itself but rest assured there were dramas and tears. The tears were mine.

At the finish line, tired bodies littered the ground. The relief at completing the challenge was palpable and elation was experienced by most in team PLBR. However, for one of our runners, it was only heartache.

Our Digital Project Manager, Matt Ponting, was chasing the ultimate dream: a podium finish. He missed it by 17 seconds and strode through in fourth, his face contorted into a state of despair. That disappointment aside, everyone on the team did themselves proud.

Matt run

This is Matt. He only finished fourth.

On a personal note, I feel inspired to carry on. I’ve purchased a pair of yellow go-faster trainers and entered two 5km races in October and November. I’ve even taken to sleeping in an altitude chamber set to 8000 feet. My blood oxygen concentration has never been so high.

So well done to all the teams and individuals who were inspired to go for gold this year. To those of you who didn’t get involved, follow the advice of a popular trainer brand’s tag line and do it. If anything, the celebratory lager/fermented grape-based beverage at the end will taste sweeter.

Khalid Latif
Senior Copywriter

P.S. If you’re interested, you can check out the results and feast your eyes on some gorgeous photos at www.lgnwellbeing.com/news/lgn-2012-inter-advertising-5km

* The trampoline event was tremendous. The antics and shenanigans that unfolded on this compellingly springy apparatus were just out of this world.

† The LGN inter-advertising 5km run is an annual event started by LGN in 2007. You can see what LGN get up to at: www.lgnwellbeing.com

‡ The Tesfa Foundation helps provide safe housing, education and food for young homeless people in Ethiopia. Find out more and make a donation at www.tesfa.org