Saturday 19th Apr 2014

Thoughts and insights from the World of Initials

Can advertising really contribute positively to society? – Roger Hyslop

Posted on April 16, 2014 by

The annual Reputation Institute Global RepTrack 100 study has found that only 15% of Brits actually believe what companies say in their advertising, with the rest neutral, disbelieving or unsure. Compared to the 25% level found globally that makes us a pretty cynical lot. It also highlights the need constantly to accentuate the positives of marketing investment made by many organisations, notably charitable institutions and until recently some government departments.

I can remember campaigns like ‘Clunk Click, Every Trip’ which changed the habits of a nation and which has contributed to saving many lives since the days when seat belts were considered a rather tiresome intrusion.

I also recall Initials’ 2007 campaign for The Food Standards Agency which set out to change consumer attitudes towards salt intake. We took the FSA’s TV message into other channels by persuading top retailers and brands – Sainsbury’s, Tesco, M&S, ASDA, Kraft, Nestle and Unilever to name a few – to communicate the lower salt message on packs and in stores all over the country. At the end of the campaign, research showed that salt level intakes had reduced from 11.5g to 9g, so it was gratifying to read this week that over the last decade deaths from heart attacks have declined by 40%.

There are many other examples, from smoking to smoke alarms and safety in the home, so given the public’s attitude to and distrust of advertising, perhaps it’s time for organisations like the Advertising Association to publicise more widely the successes that many practitioners can claim which have made a positive contribution to society.

Roger Hyslop

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A Return to Craft

Posted on March 17, 2014 by

Our Head of Strategy, Robert Hocking, discusses a growing trend for authentic products in the latest edition of Design:retail with a piece entitled ‘A Return to Craft’.

“Research says that 63 percent of U.K. adults are actively seeking or considering products that fall within the category of craft.”

“It was evident the product itself demands more, and the discerning shopper definitely expects more, than your average retail environment today delivers.”

To read his full article visit the latest Design:retail magazine online.



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National Grammar Day – Marcomms Man

Posted on March 12, 2014 by

It has come to my attention that last Tuesday was National Grammar Day….and not a lot of people know that!

But if, like me, you hate sloppy punctuation, grammar and writing, take a moment to open the link below. It will make you smile, and will remind you that when published, poor English reflects badly both on society generally and on the individual or organisation that publishes it.

That’s why when we launched the agency I appointed myself the Guardian of the Queen’s English at Initials, in the hope that, when we have spent days and weeks slaving over a hot brief, have read the text a dozen times and are about to publish it, my colleagues will send it to me for checking first. And they do. It may just be coincidental, but we haven’t had a major boo-boo with published work for a long time now, so long may that continue.

Enjoy: Heartfelt Sentiments For National Grammar Day


Sadly, this must have come from our cousins across the water who speak their own version of our language. The word ‘honor’ in the introductory text should of course be spelt ‘honour’. And a lot of people here now know that!

Marcomms Man

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Initials tops the 2013 league

Posted on February 26, 2014 by

Initials is the winner of the Most Viewed Agency league tables for 2013 published recently by industry broker creativebrief.

These leagues tables are rapidly becoming a benchmark for the industry to assess which agencies of any discipline are ‘hot’. According to creativebrief, they are now regarded as mainstream industry league tables because they are based on popularity rather than simply size and scale. As Sir Alex used to say, winning the FA Cup is always exciting but to be one of the four teams to qualify for the Champions League is what it’s all about because it demonstrates consistency of achievement throughout the year.

Interest in Initials was further evidenced by the fact that of the Top 30 Most Viewed Case Studies, no less than 5 were from this agency. Our work for Doritos over the year was the most viewed in the Promotional Marketing sector and the third most viewed overall. Other campaigns which featured in the league table were for Starbucks (shopper marketing), Tropicana (experiential), Cadbury Easter Egg Trails (experiential, digital, promotional) and Peugeot (experiential, digital).

CEO Jamie Matthews commented:

‘The most important issue for us has always been the results which our work achieves for our clients. But it’s also gratifying to learn that there has been so much consistent interest in such a wide variety of our campaigns across several disciplines. No other agency from any discipline received more views last year, and we are working hard to maintain that level of interest this year.’



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Food, Fabulous Food

Posted on February 7, 2014 by

Head of Strategy, Robert Hocking, discusses how European department stores are the gold standard for edible theatre in the latest publication of Design:Retail.

Robert Hocking Write up

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