Congratulations Nottingham – The City of Football.

September 16th, 2014 / Stephanie Goodman

Today it was announced that our little city of Nottingham has fought off some powerful contenders – sorry Manchester and Portsmouth – to be crowned with the title of City of Football by Sport England.

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Here we play host to the (currently top of the Championship) Nottingham Forest and Notts County Football Clubs – whose grounds sit only 275 meters apart and are the closest football stadiums in England. But that’s enough football facts for you. Now we’re going to share a few fun facts on football at Together.

Fact 1: Skillful Storage

Our Nottingham based client, LapCabby, currently supplies 11 English Football League clubs with their smart and secure IT storage units. Football managers are now able to use tablet or laptop devices during training sessions to monitor the team’s performance. When training is over, they put their device back into a LapCabby, which then charges and syncs all of the information from their device – very clever.

Fact 2: RELICK Football Prints

Outside of his day job as our marvellous art worker, Ady also runs a handmade homeware company – RELICK. Crafted and sold throughout Nottingham stores – he was recently featured on the front cover of local Nottingham magazine, Left Lion, for his spectacular Nottingham Forest / Notts County print.

Left Lion

Fact 3: Together Team

When asking the Together team on their experience with local Nottingham football teams, we soon discovered a range of facts:

• Junior Account Manager, Abdi, told us that his brothers used to go to school with Nottingham footballer Jermaine Jenas.

• The wife of Account Manager, Dan, used to live round the corner from the legendary Forest coach Brian Clough.

• Social Media Project Manager, Steph, waited in the cold at the City Ground to meet her ‘football hero’ Stuart Pearce after a match in her Labatts Forest shirt – circa 1995 – it was described as a ‘great day’.

 

Follow the Football News
From the Premier League to Sport England, you can follow the #CityofFootball or #Nottmcof hashtags to see what people have to say on Twitter.



Good at writing, thinking and marketing? Be our new copywriter

August 27th, 2014 / Holly Brockwell

We’re looking for a conceptual copywriter to come and join us at our office in the Lace Market, Nottingham. You’ll need to be able to come up with brilliant, original ideas, as well as writing copy that fizzes off the page, headlines that sell, and social posts that get clicked, liked, and shared.

Here’s what the ideal candidate would look like:

-          Experience in an agency environment (preferred but not essential)

-          Strong conceptual ideas for marketing across online and offline channels

-          Impeccable spelling, grammar and punctuation

-          Ability to write concise, compelling copy in a range of formats, from tweets and headlines to entire websites

-          Social media experience – you don’t need to be an expert, but it’d be very handy if you knew a bit about hashtags and writing for different social platforms.

This role could be full or part-time, so let us know what you’d prefer.

Ready to apply? Send your portfolio link, cover letter and salary requirements to natalies@togetheragency.co.uk with the subject line “I’d like to be your new copywriter” by close of play on the 26th of September.

We’re looking for a superstar freelance developer

August 15th, 2014 / Holly Brockwell

It’s not often a space comes up in the Together dev team, so we’re excited to be looking for a freelance developer to join us in our Nottingham office for 4 months, possibly longer if you fancy it.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Object-orientated PHP5
  • Strong front-end HTML5/CSS3/LESS/SASS, and mobile web
  • JavaScript, with jQuery/jQueryUI
  • PHP Frameworks (symphony2 and doctrine), and Smarty Template engine
  • MySQL, Linux, VMs (ESXi)
  • APIs (Facebook/Google/SOAP/XML/JSON)
  • Ability to work with our design team and make recommendations

And it’d be brilliant if you knew about:

  • Web standards
  • Accessibility
  • SEO

You’ll be working on new and existing projects for our range of big-name local and national clients.

We’re a close-knit team, so someone who’ll be a friendly face in the morning, make the odd round of tea and contribute to the collaborative office Spotify playlist would be most welcome.

Send your CV, cover letter and availability info to Craig Freer, our Head of Dev. No agencies, please.

10 ways to avoid design project mishaps

August 6th, 2014 / Together

Together Account Manager Dan Walker gives his tips on avoiding making a monument to the wrong person

I recently stumbled across this story about a public art project in Ottawa, intended to celebrate a local man who mended broken hockey sticks and gave them away to neighbourhood children. As it turns out, the design consultant involved in the project based his installation on the life of a completely different person of the same name, leaving the city with a bemusing artwork with absolutely no relevance – badminton rackets instead of hockey sticks:

Wrong-Jack-Purcell_073129836499Picture via Vocativ

We all make the odd mistake here and there, but how can this possibly have happened? Surely there was an initial design brief, meetings along the way and budget discussions for the spec of the installation…? Maybe not.

Here are our tips to avoid delivering design project mishaps of such epic proportions.

  1. Understand your client
    What are their objectives, what is their structure, how do they work?
  2. Add value when you can
    Demonstrating to clients that you can think beyond what they have asked for, or going the extra mile, will always go down a treat.
  3. Empathise with your client and their situation
    There will always be a reason why a client has asked you to do something, even if you don’t necessarily agree with it. Be there to support them and be their extra pair of hands.
  4. Detail, detail, detail…
    Detail in the brief (so your art installation is on the right guy!), detail in what the client wants, detail in how it will be monitored and measured.
  5. Share knowledge
    Between your own team and with the client. Only as one large team will you really understand one another and allow the relationship to flourish.
  6. Don’t try and sound too clever
    You will either get caught out (yes, there really are people more intelligent or experienced than you!) or make your client feel uncomfortable. Professional yet simple, straightforward talk is the best way.
  7. Don’t take up their time unnecessarily
    You’re there to help, not burden.
  8. Be available whenever you can
    If you know you might be hard to reach one day, let them know.
  9. Look after the budget
    They can often be tighter than your MD’s wallet, so be efficient and maximise it where you can. If you can get more out the budget than your competitors, it’s a win-win situation for you and the client.
  10. Be…
    Honest, proactive, responsive, resilient and interested.

Simple really. Then again, so’s making  a memorial to the right guy – or so we thought!

5 artworking terms you can learn in under 5 minutes

July 31st, 2014 / Together

The advertising and design industries are bursting with jargon. It can be a bit overwhelming when you’re working with an agency, or starting a new job. So our veteran artworker Adey has helpfully compiled a quick-fire guide to the 5 terms you need to know:

1. Scamp

It might sound like an adorable ball of fluff, but in agency terms, a ‘scamp’ is a black-and-white mockup of an idea. They’re drawn in pen on paper, and often feature wonky stickmen.

SCAMP

 

2. Proof

PROOF

Stand back, Sherlock. A proof is a test print showing how the artwork and colours will appear, for approval before going to press.

3. Bleed

BLEED

 

(That’s fake blood, don’t worry!)

Rather than something you get after a direct hit to the schnoz, ‘bleed’ in artworking terms allows you to run artwork to the edge of a page. For press, the artwork is printed on a large sheet of paper and then trimmed down to size.

4. CMYK

CMYK

Most people have heard of CMYK and know it refers to the four inks used in most colour printing. But fewer people know that the K stands for ‘key’ – that’s black to you and me.

5. High-res

HI-RES

 

‘High res’ is a term most of us are familiar with – but do you know the actual resolution you need to use for print images? Measured in DPI (dots per inch), the resolution determines how clear your kitten will look, so it’s pretty important. The print standard is usually 300 DPI.

There you have it – enough info to wow your resident artworker in no time at all. Thanks, Adey.

 

Alice’s work experience week at Together

July 23rd, 2014 / Stephanie Goodman

Last week, the Together team welcomed A-level student Alice Mayar to our offices for a week of work experience.

Alice plans to head off to uni after her A-levels, but came to us to learn more about design, copywriting, social media and account management for a potential future in agencyland.

Alice Mayar

As we’ve said before, we love working with enthusiastic and talented students in Nottingham, and Alice is certainly one of them. An overall gold-star student, she’s creative, showed initiative and had a keen eye for advertising and social media – we’d welcome her back any time!

But that’s enough from us. Here are Alice’s thoughts on her week at the Together Agency.

Alice says…

My week of work experience at Together has been interesting, eye-opening and really fun. I was slightly apprehensive about entering an office community at first, but everyone was so kind and friendly that I soon felt at ease. Being a student, I had no experience of an office environment before this week, but I now see that sitting at a desk doesn’t mean being bored – I hope all offices are this enjoyable!

What have you learned?

I have been able to gain a great insight into all aspects of the business by speaking to everyone about their different jobs and responsibilities. I have seen some of the great projects that the team are currently working on, and learnt so many different things about the process of marketing – I hadn’t realised how much there was to it!

What aspects/projects did you most enjoy?

I had the chance to run my own social media project under the guidance of the amazing Social Media Account Manager Steph, so watch out for the Together monkey coming soon!

I have also helped out with various jobs that needed doing around the office, and I was really pleased that I was trusted with real aspects of client work. I was able to sit in on Thursday’s meeting in the boardroom (with cake!) and hear about all the new projects coming up, which was really interesting.

I have also really enjoyed the working environment of the Together office and have loved getting to know everyone.

A final word…

I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone in the Together office for making my experience here so useful and such good fun! I am still unsure what I want to pursue in the future, but my experience at Together has put marketing and advertising firmly on the list!

Beautiful branding: Child to Child by Johnson Banks

July 18th, 2014 / Holly Brockwell

In a internet world full of insta-logos and crowdsourced business devices, I like nothing better than when the professionals do something that shows the world why you shouldn’t scrimp on a good identity.

Child to Child is the latest rebranding project to come out of Johnson Banks. The simple yet striking symbol contains 2 children (3 variants) embedded into the wordmarks and reminds us what good typography, training and thinking can achieve when it comes to branding.c to c finals_3 c to c finals_3 c to c finals_3

Can’t wait to see this identity rolled out on the website and other things the charity does.

More images and info on the Johnson Banks blog.

Top 5 World Cup marketing controversies

July 14th, 2014 / Together

So after weeks of thrilling football matches, numerous goals and various upsets, the World Cup has finally come to an end. And what an end it was!

This year’s tournament is likely to be remembered for three things: Brazil’s defeat to Germany, Louis Suarez’s hungry mouth, and the injury of Brazil’s star player, Neymar.

As marketers, we’re always interested to see how non-associated brands try to align themselves with one of the biggest events in the world without falling foul of Fifa’s rules. So here’s our rundown of the 5 biggest World Cup marketing controversies in recent history:

5) Neymar and Suarez wear banned Beats headphones: Sony is the official headphone sponsor of the World Cup 2014, with all competing brands of headphones specifically banned by Fifa to protect their investment. This hasn’t stopped stars including Suarez and Neymar flaunting the rules by being seen in their Beats by Dre headphones while travelling, at practice, and even at a press conference. This association with big football stars and breaking the rules is absolutely priceless for Beats, to the detriment of poor old Sony.

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4) Kulula breaks the rules: The South African airline challenged Fifa’s anti-ambush marketing rules by running a press campaign referring to itself as the ‘Unofficial National Carrier of the You-Know-What’. Alongside vuvuzelas and stadium imagery, the World Cup inference was clear, and the company received a stern letter from Fifa.

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3) Bavaria Beer: During the 2006 World Cup, Bavaria organised a giveaway of thousands of sets of branded lederhosen to Dutch supporters. World Cup officials were less than impressed: supporters were either unceremoniously stripped of their trousers or made to watch the game outside the stadium. Some claimed their human rights were violated.

bavaria-lederhosen

2) Bavaria Beer strikes again: During the 2010 World Cup, retired footballer and ITV sport pundit Robbie Earle was fired because the seats for Denmark vs Holland game allocated to his family were filled with models dressed in matching orange outfits. It turned out that this was another marketing plot by Bavaria. Fifa were pretty vexed, resulting in the organisers of this stunt being detained by police.

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1) Anti-gambling ad backfires: This year, a Singaporean anti-gambling helpline ran an ad showing a little boy hoping Germany wouldn’t win the World Cup:

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As luck would have it, of course, Germany did win, somewhat dampening the heart-rending message of the ad. The National Council of Problem Gambling responded by releasing a follow-up version:

changed ad

Good save.

Did we miss any big World Cup marketing controversies? Add them in the comments.

World Cup Week Four Round Up: Brazilliant Vines

July 10th, 2014 / Stephanie Goodman

Week Four

Welcome back to the fourth and final week of Brazilliant Vines. We hope you’ve had as much fun watching them, as we have finding them.

This week saw the semi finals take place in the 2014 World Cup. Germany triumphed over Brazil with a 7-1 victory, whilst Argentina and the Netherlands battled it out in a penalty shoot out, leaving us with a German and Argentinean final this Sunday.

Here are the highlights, courtesy of Vine:

Brazil vs. Germany

Yep, that’s seven goals from Germany.

It didn’t go down well with the fans.

“Noooo… it’s miiiine…!”

(He did eventually cheer up, and to his endless credit, gave the trophy to a Germany fan)

 

Argentina vs. Netherlands

Unfortunately, the Netherlands’ luck ran out in this semi final match. Not to mention, the Netherlands’ goal keeper (according to our Junior Account Manager, Abdi) has never saved a penalty in his international/competitive career. What!?

Team Manager Vines

Two of our favourite Vines from the final team managers:

Germany Manager

Eugh! Did no one ever teach Joachim Löw not to pick his nose – especially in public!

Argentina Manager

Maybe it was the fact that Alejandro Sabella knew he would have to shake hands with a booger picker in the final that made him feel a little bit faint.

They think it’s all over! It is now

So there you have it. The best Vines from the 2014 World Cup.

Don’t forget you can still download your free minimalist football posters at brazilliantposters.com.

Together talent with NTU: meet Joshua Mulcahy

July 4th, 2014 / Stephanie Goodman

We’re proud to have been working with Nottingham Trent University for several years now, creating outdoor ads, brochures, digital media and more. As a creative marketing agency, we love to attend their annual art and design degree show to scope out the latest and greatest local talent – and we’re never disappointed.

Rather than keep quiet about the amazing work we’ve seen, we’ve decided to welcome local designers, marketers and creatives to share their work and ideas on the Together Agency blog.  

Meet Joshua Mulcahy

First up is graphic designer Joshua Mulcahy, aged 21 from Bristol. We first noticed Joshua when we spotted his incredible Steve Jobs portrait at the NTU Graphic Design degree show this year. 

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Your NTU course

I began studying at Nottingham Trent University in 2011, somewhat influenced by my former college teacher. Understanding my design style, he suggested how the Graphic Design course there had a great support team, with an interest in ‘out of the box’ thinking. During my time on the course I found this to be true, receiving frequent one-on-one support from course leaders to technicians. I think this suited me best, and my perhaps more ‘fine art’ style of thinking, boosting my confidence greatly.

Your work

The motive behind much of my work is the exposure of political or cultural events, taking inspiration from Russian Constructivism and the Bauhaus. This is the reason much of my work can appear very simplistic, translating complex information into a basic form. I am currently developing a professional website, but some of my work can be found at www.joshuamulcahy.co.uk

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‘Think Different’, Joshua’s degree show piece, is a physical infographic constructed from 1600 pieces. Each triangle represents an employee at Apple’s main factory, Foxconn in China. Every 48 hours, this number of employees quits the factory due to poor working conditions. The 14 missing pieces each represent an employee who has taken their own life whilst at work at Foxconn. Joshua used tones of red and yellow to reference Chinese temples, and the stained-glass aesthetic of the piece is a nod to religious iconography. 

Your inspirations

I am very much influenced by musicians, one being Bob Marley and his philosophy. He believed the influential power of music could be used to bring peace to the world. Even after being shot two days before a major free concert following conflicts at the time, Bob refused to cancel as he knew his music could bring joy to the people of Jamaica. He came on stage and said “The people who were trying to make this world worse are not taking a day off. How can I? Light up the darkness.”

Similarly I believe graphic design is a powerful tool, and like weapons, power can fall into the wrong hands. I feel it is important to expose examples of negative media and hidden truths, visually, so all can access it, not just those with an academic education.

Your graduation year

The highlight of my university experience was my third year final project. This was because I feel the work best exposed me as not only a designer, but an individual, swaying from mainstream opinions. The reason I love design is that it has the ability to influence positive change, I just feel that today a lot of designers have lost touch with this fact. Today too many people play it safe, making decisions based upon fear and not love, as Gandhi once said ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world’, I feel my final project captured sight of this again.
Your aim/dream in life

I am very passionate about music, film, bikes and design. Over the next 20 years or so I’d like to develop a career that allows me freedom to dabble in and out of all these areas although later in life I’d like to move away from mainstream society, set up a high quality retreat with cheap food so that all can access it as a social hub for the local community. Currently, I have plans to produce short documentaries, on ethical projects in Ghana and Germany. I am also in negotiations with an up-and-coming bike manufacturer, to become brand manager of two or more of their companies, which I feel I can help to influence people to get out of the house and get back in touch with nature.