Feast your eyes on the new Together website

May 28th, 2015 / Sophie Allen

We’ve climbed to the rooftop of Bridlesmith House with party poppers, champagne and a megaphone. We’re shouting down to the adoring, cheering crowds: it’s here. It’s finally here. The Together website has landed!

Ahem. Sorry. We lost ourselves a little in the excitement there – but the facts stay the same: it’s been a little while in the making, but we’re absolutely delighted to reveal our brand new website.

Well hey there, good-looking.

Well hey there, good-looking.

On it you’ll find everything you could possibly want to know about Together, from profiles on some of our less camera-shy team members to case studies on all our awesome work. It’s also the best place to learn about our feature-packed office and new proposition, which focuses on the areas of digital, social, brand and FMCG.

Plus, it’s an amazing feat of web design. We couldn’t be prouder of our brilliant Head of Digital, Craig Freer, for creating a website that works in such a unique way (and for not only coping with all our demands but fitting them all in, too).

We’d also like to extend a thousand thank yous to our regular freelance developer Joseph Tansley, whose help has been completely invaluable during what, at times, felt like a never-ending project.

What more is there to say that you can’t see for yourself? Check it out. Immediately. It’s so outrageously, perfectly responsive you can view it on absolutely any device going.

We’d love to hear your feedback, so let us know what you think. If you need us, we’ll be parading our digital team through the streets of Nottingham on a Together logo-shaped float.

IKEA and Shakespeare: a cautionary tale

May 26th, 2015 / Sophie Allen

Last night, I was whiling away the rest of my Bank Holiday Monday by watching Marvel Avengers Assemble for the 500th time when I caught this TV ad for IKEA.

It was pretty. Pretty sinister, that is.

People, and a super adorable dog, float around among the clouds in a visual metaphor for their deep, dream-filled and cosy sleeps in IKEA beds. It’s dreamy and atmospheric, a vibe IKEA reinforces with a beautifully-intoned slice of Shakespeare, drawn from Act VI Scene 1 of The Tempest:

…We are such stuff
as dreams are made on; and our little life
is rounded with a sleep.

Lovely! Except, er, not so much. IKEA probably should have consulted Sparknotes or a nearby literature student before they made this quote the backing of their ad, because it’s a lot darker than it sounds.

This quote isn’t actually about sleep at all. It’s about the transience of life, and that ‘little sleep’ he mentions? Yep – death.

So, with that in mind, the ad takes on a new and much more sinister edge. “Buy our beds,” says IKEA, “Because let’s face it, you’re only going to die anyway.”

Thanks, IKEA! And let this be a lesson to every other agency and marketing team – tread carefully with Shakespeare. The bard never quite means what you think.

Together goes… #NTUCatWalk

May 22nd, 2015 / Stephanie Goodman

Last week the Together team decided to pay a visit our client NTU‘s Art and Design School to watch their annual catwalk show.

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Hosted in the Newton Building on the city centre campus, we were greeted by a number of enthusiastic faces as they prepared to tell the world about their creative designs, and how they plan to market their designs to become the next ‘big thing’ – something that was truly inspiring to see.

Each design showcased a creative thought process and a reason why they felt their product or clothing should have been created.

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Our favourite marketing display stand had to go to Gemma King and her BUA Spring/Summer collection. Not only did Gemma use eye catching photography for her work, but her attention to detail in look-books and tags gave a look and feel that many fashion and retail brands currently use.

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Next up came the catwalk show. As established fashion brands filled up the seats in the front row, we watched as the designers and their families cheered on the models who were showcasing their designs. Each of the designer’s visions were completely different and by the end, it was clear to see how much blood, sweat and tears had gone into their collections.

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As a creative agency, we can appreciate and sympathise with the hard work of each student, as we’ve all been there at some point. But from everyone at Together, we’d like to say a huge congratulations on a great showcase.

So what’s next for these young hopefuls?
You can follow the guys as they take their next journey to the Graduate Fashion Week in London, where they will be going up against some of the big name fashion courses from around the UK.


Congratulations to Interflora on winning an award at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

May 20th, 2015 / Stephanie Goodman

If you follow the Together blog or social media channels, you may have heard talk about the work and goings-on of our client, Interflora. We have just heard that they have won a silver-gilt medal at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show for their artistic construction, entitled Time for Tea.

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We’re no stranger to enjoying a good cuppa in the Together HQ and the stand was the inspired by the nation’s love of tea.

Overall, it took five of Interflora’s specialist florists to create the five metre stand, which displays a giant, suspended teapot surrounded by oversized cupcakes and biscuits, all decorated with many thousands of flowers.

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With a display that yummy, it’s no wonder they won an award. Congratulations on all your hard work guys! If you want to see the stand it’s on display until 23rd May.

For more information, visit www.interflora.uk/chelsea.

A disappearing act (and what we’ve been up to!)

May 19th, 2015 / Sophie Allen

You might’ve noticed that we dropped off the blogging radar recently. Sorry about that, Together blog fans (we know there are at least a few of you out there).

We know there’s no excuse for being slack bloggers, but there is a reason – we’ve been phenomenally busy with loads of exciting projects. In typical creative agency fashion, we’re usually too stacked working on clients’ projects to even think about ourselves. Selfless? We sure are.

Anyway, over the past month we’ve been working on brand spanking new websites for our wonderful clients Monarch and LapCabby, involving a full front-end redesign and loads of new copy. We even got chance to visit their factory and were totally blown away by their mega efficiency and super-tight processes.

Our work with Licor 43, which we announced on here not too long ago, has been gaining serious momentum – we’re currently in the midst of building their international website. We’ve also been developing some clever advertising concepts for Aggregate Industries following the success of their asphalt products brochure.

And don’t even get us started on all the work across digital, social and branding we’ve been doing for recurrent clients like the National Trust, Interflora, William Davis and a spate of FMCG companies. Watch this space for some pretty cool new bits of work!

Finally – and we’re really excited about this – for the last couple of months our digital team has been pushing hard to finish our amazing new website. We’ve been trying to get it absolutely perfect and, if we do say so ourselves, it’s looking pretty damn swanky. Prepare yourselves for something rather special.

Right, we’re off to bicycle lock ourselves to our desks and set up a caffeine drip to maximise productivity. Please send care packages.

That’s all for now, but we’re firmly back on the blogwagon – so keep an eye out for updates.

Meet our new office gadget, Boost by LapCabby.

April 20th, 2015 / Stephanie Goodman

As we settle into the new Together HQ, we have been adding new and impressive gadgets to it to help improve our overall productivity and working day. So when we heard that our clients, LapCabby, were launching a new product called ‘Boost‘, we were intrigued to try it out. 

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Living in our Web Testing Centre, the Boost helps to look after all of our smartphone and tablet devices.

So what the tech-diddly is a Boost?

Well, the Boost is a portable charging unit enabling you to charge and sync up 16 different USB charging devices (think iPad, Android tablets, Kindle Fire etc).Boost

But here’s the clever part… it enables you to sync all your apps, media and usable content through the iTunes and Apple configurator – a god send when updating everything to the latest software.

Plus – each charging port delivers the correct amount of power for each device – so you’re safe in the knowledge that your phone won’t go into meltdown when charging your iPad too.

It’s safe to say that we’re very fond of our latest tech addition and we’d like to welcome it to the Together team. Boost, we love you!

Honda’s ads – inspiring creative jealousy since 2004

April 2nd, 2015 / Sophie Allen

I saw Honda’s newest TV ad for the first time the other day. I then saw it about five more times and each time, I loved it.

The concept promotes the way Honda innovates and pushes boundaries. Using speed reading, which cuts out the noise of the page by flashing individual words on a screen, it invites the viewer to push what they think are the limits of their abilities – and be amazed when they manage to ‘Keep Up’.

Honda’s ad campaigns are great. Always. It’s fact. Take Choir or Cog as examples, though there are plenty of brilliant ones to choose from.

I’ve loved Honda’s ads since before I even knew I’d work in advertising, when I saw the fantastically quirky Grrr ad – or as I always knew it, ‘Hate something, change something’. Unsurprisingly, it won a bunch of prestigious advertising awards after it was launched in 2004.

It’s only now I’ve read up about Grrr that my love (and jealousy) has intensified. The whole thing started with the song, which a team of copywriters wrote after being inspired by the concept of ‘positive hate’. What I’d give to write a song that catchy.

Ads like those by W+T for Honda inspire creatives like us to try new things and really tap into our imaginations.

It makes us want to push harder, ‘keep up’ – and take over.

Brands and bloggers embracing video to talk Easter Treats

March 30th, 2015 / Stephanie Goodman

With the continuing rise of video content online and reports suggesting that video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic by 2017, it comes as no surprise that brands and bloggers are embracing video channels, such as Vine and YouTube, to showcase their Easter marketing treats.  We’ve collected a few of our favourites from across the web.

Who?: Waitrose
What?: Brand
Idea: Chocolate heaven from a top chef

Waitrose and M&S are two brands that capture indulgence better than anyone – well, at least in my opinion. Here, Waitrose showcases its indulgent golden Easter egg, created by top chef Heston Blumenthal and filled with mini chocolate eggs, on their Vine account.

 

Who?: Niomi Smart
What?: Top UK Vlogger and Blogger
Idea: #NiomisEasterTreats

In case you haven’t heard of the UK Vlogger phenomenon, Niomi is a part of the same blogging talent agency that manage the likes of Tanya Burr, Zoella and IntheFrow. Here, Niomi gives you a step by step guide on her quick and easy (vegan-friendly) recipes for you to enjoy over Easter.

 

Who: National Trust and Cadbury
What: Brand
Idea: Eggsplorer

Without a doubt, this has to be two of our favourite things – a National Trust property and chocolate! For the past few years, these two power brands have teamed up to run Easter egg hunts all around the UK. You can find out more at www.eastereggtrail.com.

Well, that’s our egg-spiration sorted. We’re off to eat lots of chocolate – have a great Easter everyone.

Craft beer is booming (and the branding’s pretty great, too)

March 26th, 2015 / Sophie Allen

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) recently gave a little nod to the bottled deliciousness that is craft beer.

They’ve acknowledged it’s an increasingly popular chap and added it to the ‘nation’s basket’, which is the collection of goodies (over 700 of them) that the ONS uses to calculate inflation.

If you’re the kind of person who immediately turns off when you hear stuff like ‘Office of National Statistics’ or ‘the economy!’ or ‘maths’, then we’ll sum it up for you: it just means enough craft beer’s being bought for the boffins in charge to take notice.

At Together we love a nice craft beer or a pint of local real ale, so its popularity is no surprise to us. We figured we’d take this opportunity to give our own nod to some of our current favourite craft beer brands – we’re pretty big on the drinks and FMCG scene, after all.

1) Brew Dog

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Plucky UK duo James Watt and Martin Dickie built their brand on being ballsy and making awesome beer that they’d want to drink. Those core values have stuck around and are visible throughout their branding, from their eye-catching, no-nonsense designs and refreshingly honest tone of voice to their unapologetic approach to the press.

Their closing line on their beers page really says it all: ‘Experimentation is our Art. Revolution our weapon. Walk tall, kick ass and learn to speak craft beer.’ Preach.

2) Rogue

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Rogue‘s been around since 1987, but their revolution propaganda-inspired branding is still a strong contender against comparative beer whippersnappers. Obviously their products taste great (that Mocha Porter, mmm) but equally we can’t get enough of their bold product design and proposition.

Their brand is chock full of character, rebellion and revolution against the status quo – just take a look at ‘The Rogue Way‘ – and they make some completely mad flavours. Including donut. Seriously.

3) Flying Dog

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Ah, yes. Flying Dog – with ales that taste like our dreams, and bottle labels that look like our most feverish nightmares.

The eerie, illustrative style – by British cartoonist Ralph Steadman – is edgy, unusual and very slightly disturbing. When you add that to the pretty mad story of Flying Dog’s conception at the end of a super-dangerous mountain trek and the yarns about the founder’s friendship with Hunter S. Thompson, you’ve got an instantly-recognisable brand with a lot of personality.

 

Our new client: The Fertility Partnership

March 24th, 2015 / Sophie Allen

At Together we often use our creativity to sell, to boost awareness or to give brands a new lease of life. It’s not quite so often we get to use those same skills to comfort, reassure and inspire hope. With Fertility Partnership, though, we did.

 

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Fertility Partnership is UK’s largest fertility group and the parent company of a group of 11 fertility clinics – ten in the UK and one in Poland. Having gone through a period of rapid acquisition over the last couple of years the Partnership wanted a much stronger identity, one that’d make partner clinics recognisable as Fertility Partnership members.

Fertility treatment is an extremely sensitive process and patients going through – or considering – treatment can feel a little vulnerable. For that reason we wanted to get as much input from both clinic staff and patients as possible, running brand workshops and focus groups to gather feedback on our ideas and see what worked for our client and their customers.

With those insights we created a new look, positioning, proposition, and a set of brand guidelines that could be rolled out across their clinics.

We’ve also worked with Nurture Fertility, a Nottingham fertility clinic and member of the Fertility Partnership, to incorporate the new brand guidelines in their advertising campaign.

We’re extremely pleased with how the work turned out, and happy in the knowledge that our work could help hopeful parents on their journey towards starting a family.