It’s always good to get out of the office to meet the media so that’s just what we did last week with one of our clients, Detectronic.
We headed down to London to meet with five trade press editors to tell them all about Detectronic’s latest projects with UK and European water companies and listen to how we can help make their lives easier by supplying relevant, useful information to fit their editorial agenda.
In the PR world nothing beats a good face-to-face chat over a) a cuppa b) a glass of water or c) a glass of wine!
PR for a bar? Don't mind if we do.
If you know us, then you’ll know we like a night out, so when Soyo said they were looking for a creative agency to help them out with their £500,000 refurbishment we jumped at the chance. I mean, we’ve done enough market research in our years…
With creative ideas such as our Instaglasses, real-life Soyo scrabble pieces and pop-up bar in the Peace Gardens proving a huge hit we think we deserve a cocktail…or two. We just have to get through the big queue outside first!
It's definitely not grim up North
We’re proud to be Northern and are always up for doing anything that helps promote this steel city that we love so much.
So, when we were invited by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister to attend the Northern Futures ‘Open Ideas Day’ workshop we were pretty excited to give Nick Clegg our advice.
The initiative has been created (in Nick’s words) to “try and build on the strengths in the North and create an economic core in the heart of the region that can compete with the biggest cities in the world”. Basically, how can we stop making everything all about London.
We had a great day, met lots of interesting people and even made a video about how the North should become a “economical, smart mega city!”
Take a walk on the wild(life) side
Our favourite little person’s clothing client, Poco Nido, has paired with Yorkshire Wildlife Trust (YWT) and is donating £1 from every pair of badger-print shoes and blanket to the charity – nice, eh?
To celebrate this we thought: competition time! So, after speaking to YWT, we put together a #poconidoanimals competition to win lots of fantastic prizes such as: Watch Pack from YWT, Poco Nido romper, shoes and bib and wildlife books.
If you think you have a winning sproglet, just take a picture of your ‘little animal’ and post it onto Facebook app.
We’ve just completed a cracking social media campaign for gluten free food brand, Delicious Alchemy.
Riding on the back of the Great British Bake Off, we launched our very own #GFMBO (Gluten Free Magic Bake Off) and invited followers to share their gluten free baking creations.
We had hundreds of entries and the best three went through to create their showstoppers and fight it out to become #GFMBO Champion 2014.
The results were the icing on the cake. Post reach on Facebook of over 35,000, tweet reach of over half a million and lots of lovely new fans for the brand!
Something new with Degustabox
Q: How do you get 4,000 potential new customers to try your product?
A: Pop them in a Degustabox. And that’s exactly what we did for our favourite Mediterranean food brand, Fragata.
We added a jar of their award-winning La Vieja Fabrica Seville Orange Marmalade to September’s box of delights and sat back to watch food and consumer bloggers write lovely product reviews about Spain’s most famous conserve. Top consumer PR job done!
WHAT THE CHAIRMAN SAID ABOUT OUR AD
As Nils Leonard, by day the executive creative director of Grey, puts it: “This is the show for spirit. As creative people, what do we really love? If I could award one thing alone, it wouldn’t be a beautiful piece of art direction or a crafted word. Not a clever poster or deep interaction. I would award the stuff behind our best work. That naughty, meaty, ‘don’t give a fuck’ twinkle in the eye that the best of us have.” Nothing personifies this spirit of the Chip Shops better than the piece of work Leonard chose as his Chairman’s Award.
In February, one of the entrants – the Black Eye Project – hacked the Chip Shop Awards website to rig 30,000 votes for its piece of work to win the public vote. The work was the hack itself, entered into ‘Invent your own category’ under the title of ‘Best use of hacking for self-promotion category.’
It was subversive, funny, cheeky, provocative and a little bit controversial – all the things that make the Chip Shops unique. But most crucially of all, it was simply a great idea.”
CHIP SHOP CHAIRMAN’S AWARD 2014
The Chip Shop Awards are a bit of a ritual here at Black Eye cos we love em, always enter, and so far, have always converted. Fortunately we’ve not broken the cycle because last Thursday we came back with a Vinegar, a Chip and the bloody Chairman’s Award!
Holy Smoke. It doesn’t get much better than that, and when you think we’re only the 11th agency to receive this award it really emphasises how far we’ve come in a short space of time.
So, hell yeah, we’ll be bragging about it regularly for the next 12 months!
WIN WIN WIN
Yep, the clue’s in the title. We’re incredibly pleased to announce a significant new business win here at Belgravia House. GCI are a major independent telecommunications company and we’re as happy as Larry to be their new agency and looking forward to producing sterling work for the boys.
NEWS HIBERNATION IS OVER
Hello and sorry – we’ve been a little sleepy on the news recently. But that’s because Black Eye have been foot-to-the-floor busy and now we get to tell you all about it!
A 300 per cent year-on-year sales increase? Yep, that’s exactly what we’ve helped global ice skating blade brands, MK and John Wilson achieve. How? A mix of world-class creative, targeted print and online ads, brand ambassadors and a huge helping of social media. Oh, and winning every figure skating medal at Sochi 2014. Kerching!
Never one to be outdone by the Black Eye boys, Kirsten is a bit happy to have completed a hat-trick of Olympic distance triathlons this summer. That’s a 1500m swim, 40km bike and 10km run. Not bad for a bird! Just don’t ask her what she does when she gets in the water…
Latest ice blades ad campaign spins out the door
Following on from the hugely successful re-brand of John Wilson and MK Blades, phase 2 of the strategy is due to appear across North America and Europe from September. Print and web ads will predominantly focus on shared blade technology in the run up to the 2014 Moscow Winter Olympics.
Thanks to Nick Eagle the photographer
Big pat on the back for young snapper Nick. More sterling work undertaken in the studio for a variety of clients. Hopefully we’ll do your shots justice when the finished work goes live. (Does this ensure a discount on our next job?)
Forget the Royal Baby
The real important baby news everyone’s talking about is the arrival of Tom and Emma’s new baby. Huey Eric Storer arrived last thursday and is super fit and healthy just like ma and pa. Rumours about him starting an art worker’s job next week to pay his way are so far completely unfounded although a high chair and Mac Mini arrived at Belgravia House this morning.
All annual leave cancelled
Big month for the web department with 2 huge e-commerce pitches won plus a bespoke sales, distribution and stock tracking app. We’re also underway with a top secret data centre monitoring tool – if we tell you more we’d have to kill you.
BITTER at the Chip Shops?
Not this year… 2 entries equated to 2 Vinegar winners! Would have been even better if Jim had remembered about the ceremony. No doubt the awards will arrive in the post at some point and we’ll make sure we get down to the next one. Anyway, the sun’s out, we’ve scooped two more awards – Friday just got better.
Free breakfast sir?
When gluten free food brand, Delicious Alchemy, told us they wanted to get involved with Coeliac UK’s Awareness Week, we came up with the bright idea of giving commuters a free breakfast. Up at dawn, Kirsten joined the team to hand pots of DA’s Purely Oaty Fruity Muesli with Our Cow Molly milk at Sheffield station. Result? Smiley, happy Monday morning people!
Online shops seem to be order of the day as we’ve ben asked to build at least 3 over the coming months. Maybe 4, but hey, who’s counting?
New improved Jim
Not so new but more streamlined. Yep, it was time for the Yorkshire Pudding to lose a bit of timber. So out with the old life and in with a new one that consists of gym and a total sugar free diet. It’s still very much work in progress but there’s already a 2 stone reduction and he can now bend over to tie his own laces.
Huge congratulations to our very own Running Men, Tom and Howard, who completed the Sheffield Half Marathon in 1hr 33m and 1hr 38min respectively. Apparently they’re contemplating further pain as various marathons and triathlons have been seen on their monitors over the last few days.
WTF? You go to the toilet and you hear cooing. You go to make a brew and hear you cooing. The only logical explanation is this place was once a pigeon loft and we’re being haunted by winged poltergeist. (Or should that be poultrygeist?)
It’s Chip Shop Award time again, and following on from recent successes we’ve gone and bagged another couple of nominations. Winners to be announced at the London final in June.
When in Chester...
You need to start the day with The Bester! Working with the lovely folks at The Commercial Bar & Hotel in Chester, we’ve been busy rebranding this historic hostelry. Hotel residents rave about the home-cooked breakfasts so the now svelte Jim got creative to make bacon and eggs heroes. Now no-one visiting the walled city will go hungry, thanks to The Bester. Please book to avoid disappointment.
Liam leaves BEP
Have to say it’s a sorry day as we say goodbye to Liam ‘Henry Kelly’ Rains. He came onboard 6 months ago without a clue what he wanted to do but he knuckled down, proved his worth and just when he was about to get a full time offer was whisked from under our noses by a client! Now we have to fetch him coffee. Where’s the justice in that? Thanks Liam, and all the best.
It was always going to happen. Black Eye became so successful they needed bigger and better premises. Unfortunately that’s not quite true – the landlord wanted us to move into another part of the building so a new tenant could take all our old floor. But there’s no complaints from us as we’ve got stained glass windows, mezzanine floor, solid wood flooring, exposed brick and steelwork. It’s a fair swap guv and we love it.
First site of 2013 goes live
Back to normal after the festive break and first off the production line is mybets4free.com - a free bet website providing all the latest introductory offers from the leading bookmakers. Not a revolutionary job but it’s all about keeping it nice & simple and navigable. Click here to check it out.
Look who's in .net mag this month
Go grab yourself a copy of the February 2013 (issue 237) issue to read our feature on the recent John Wilson website project we completed. Well chuffed! (Twitter link for piccy)
The Americans come calling.
Bit of excitement today as we take a call from .net magazine in The States (yep, THAT .net magazine!). They want to do a feature on the John Wilson website so the digital staff all get a bit light headed. Fair play, it’s a fantastic job and deserves the praise it’s currently receiving.
CSS Award for John Wilson website
So the trumpet blowing was all justified. This morning we came into work and found we’ve been awarded the global site of the day award for John Wilson. No mean feat at all, and don’t worry clients, it all helps drive traffic to the site!
The world's No.1 & 2 ice skate blade brands get the full BEP treatment
We’ve just completed the web design & build and gone live on sites for the two biggest ice skate blade brands in the world – John Wilson and MK. The brief was to develop and implement a strategy that would create strong brand identities and increase their online presence and market share. To support the website is a global advertising campaign, digital marketing and social media activity, and we don’t mind saying - cue much trumpet blowing - we did a damn fine job on it. To see the sites in all their glory visit worldsbestblades.com and mkblades.com
Liam is no longer a student
A warm BEP welcome to Liam Rains, our new member of staff. He’s initially here on placement and slotted straight in. He’s also awesome at picking the toast and coffee up in the morning, a smart arse at SEO, and has a slightly amusing surname. All stuff we like.
The Behemoth of Daily Deal Websites goes live..phew
After almost 4 months of round the clock graft we’ve uploaded the new site for Deal of the Day. It’s a totally bespoke and unique site that will last them for eternity, or at least until Andy recovers and regenerates his fingertips. In terms of appearance and navigation we reckon it smashes Groupon and Living Social out of the park. They just need the right deals now and they’re off and running.
Social Bikes are finally here, like you can actually touch them
A day we were beginning to doubt would ever happen. The entire range of Social BMX bikes we designed some months back have landed in the uk. They look even better than we thought and we’d be lying if we didn’t say we’re a pretty proud agency right now.
A GIRL joins BEP
Yep, we must have gone soft but we’ve let a female join the ranks. In all fairness, she’s got bigger cajones than all of us for walking into the male changing room. So say a massive hello to Kirsten Howells who joins us as Head of PR & Social Media. She’s got bags of talent & experience and it took a long time to get her in here but it was worth the wait and I know clients are queuing up to talk turkey. Lovely stuff.
Hard hats at the ready
2 juicy accounts have landed on our desks. Palfreyman Power & Finnegan, two national construction companies, have just asked for full re-brands, websites, PR and ad campaigns. A great start to the month.
Not often we receive bad news here at S1, let alone talk about it, but today we found out we lost out to the mighty M&C Saatchi in a pitch for airline bmi Regional. You could say the agency is on a bit of a downer but really we should be chuffed it took an advertising giant of 26 worldwide offices to beat us. Watch your backs London boys…
Since the Chip Shop Awards in June it’s been incredibly busy in the office – there’s been a whole load of pitches, new faces, new clients, and er…rain. Thankfully the sun is back in the sky and from now on we should have a bit more time to regularly update the News.
Chip in the Bag
Just back from the Chip Shop Awards in London. 3 nominations resulted in a Chip and a Vinegar so really chuffed to bits. Think we deserved them!? Shame about the £52 rounds though!
A storming week!
The in-tray has suddenly gone from full to bursting. We’ve just landed the full rebrand and web build for Deal of the Day and it’s offshoots. A lovely big job and something we can really flex our muscles on. There’s also a global brand campaign in the pipeline for HOWCO. So massive smiley faces here at BEP right now.
The Chip Shop Nominations
Nominations have just been announced and we’ve bagged 3. Hopefully, come June, we’ll be coming back from London with more shiny things for the shelf?
Refurb is finally done
The world’s longest office refurb and extension is finally complete. We even have a boardroom! Looks amazing and well worth the investment. Big thanks to Howard for designing the layout and getting stuck in over the weekend when he could have been dating. Massively appreciated.
Another newbie in the office
We’ve got Tom, a junior designer, with us for 2 days a week until he finishes his degree. Really good lad who’s full of enthusiasm. Surely it’s a matter of time before he makes us for the charlatans we are!
Chip Shop Entries
Made the deadline – just – only to find they’d extended it by a further 2 weeks! It appears to be a real mixed bag of entries this year with a lot of wasted submission fees with the occasional glimmer in between. Anyway fingers crossed.
Official Tropo launch
A fantastic afternoon in the sunshine at Bloo 88. Over 80 big cheeses turned up and we managed to get through 48 pizzas! Very happy clients and very happy attendees.
Code Champ joins BEP
Massive welcome to Andy Copley who joins us as Head of Digital. Looking forward to him putting his shiny new desk and iMac to great use. No pressure then!
Renewables website up and running
Tropo, the new renewable energy division of Henry Boot, is now fully operational and backed by their spanking new website. We’re also putting together their Official Launch party for the end of the month so March has been another great month.
Chip Shop time again
We’ve gone a bit early with one submission this year – mainly because it’s an ad for Pancake Day so we thought it would be best to enter it on Pancake Day! Anyway here’s a link for anyone who cares.
Little Award for Poco Nido
Good news this morning as the Poco Nido website picks up a Gold Mumpreneur Web Award. Not a massive accolade but still a good start to a Wednesday morning!
Haro Bikes web goes live
The first of many bike jobs has gone live! Haro UK finally have a tasty website that’s smart enough to showcase their bikes. We just need to sort our own BMXs out now. Rad. Awesome. Eat my shorts.
Poco Nido flies off into the big wide world
After no spitting of dummies or tantrums Poco Nido is open for baby business with their spanking new ecommerce website. Lovely little job.
Hmm, new brief just wafted in
A small yet tasty job just landed on my desk. Stockport County. We’ll have some of that. Posters and flyers with some more to come. Love the footy.
We're going XL
And it’s not from all the Bloo 88 pizza. We’re getting too cramped in here and fed up off having client meetings on Howard’s desk. So, we’re taking the office next door and having a re-vamp. Should be all done mid-Feb ready for a busy spring.
Loft apartment meets kitsch as Bloo 88 opens for business
Sheffield’s newest bar opened it’s doors on friday and had a blinding first night. Black Eye have been involved from the start and the place really does look impressive. It’s our new watering and eating hole as it’s a stone baked pizza throw from the office! Good luck to Efe and all the gang…and mine’s a 12″ Chicago.
And the New Heavyweight Website is...
…Done. The new Coldwell Boxing website is live! Looks top drawer and should help the boys on their way to overtaking Frank Warren and Ricky Hatton to be the UK’s No.1 Promoters! Check it out at coldwellboxing.com.
A great start to December
Just agreed the work for 2 more BMX brands. We’re even designing the bike decals so this is going to be a very cool job.
And it gets even better as we’ve just finished a meeting to take on some work for an ice skating apparel company. December just got real busy.
Job of the year
Just finishing job of the year. Ring binders for an insurance company. Yeah, cheers for that creative pearler Michael.
25 and 26 November
An Evening with Ron Atkinson at Hillsborough and WAR Boxing Event at Magna science museum for Coldwell Boxing take place. Both are major successes – WAR is even featured on SKY Sports – and Black Eye breathe a sigh of relief after working round the clock to sort all the media and marketing material. Next events are in February so plenty of time to recover.
The website is under way for these boys and today we’ve been asked to look at bringing their hugely successful Demo Force Tour to the UK. We’ll have that BMX hanging from the office wall by christmas!
We’ve just completed a lovely little job with the hugely talented and hugely bearded Nick Deakin. It’s for some fancy student apartments coming soon to West Street. There’s a full page ad in Exposed and a little holding page online with a wallpaper download. Keep an eye out for the 50ft hoarding going up on the building in the next month too.
Black Eye pick up Haro BMX Account.
Following on from a recent presentation The Black Eye Project have picked up the account for the world’s biggest BMX brand – Haro. The work will be initially focused on the digital side with a full media campaign to follow. Senior idiots Howard and Mat were last seen trying on elbow and knee pads in J.E. James Cycles.
DataCenterDynamics come on board.
Another new business win for Black Eye as we’re happy to announce DataCenterDynamics have handed us all their advertising and design to look after. With offices all over the world there’s plenty to keep us busy.
Body blows to all as Black Eye land Coldwell Boxing.
More new business – Coldwell Boxing, part of Coldwell Fearn Sport, have given us the task of sorting out their brand, promoting their fights and designing a new website. Lovely stuff. Just hope they pay otherwise we’re sending little Tommy round.
LifeSkills gets a brand refresh and turnover is on the up.
Today sees the unveiling of a full brand refresh for one of our biggest clients, LifeSkills. After a fair bit of tinkering they now have a new look website and a fully operational mobile optimised version linked in to QR codes for learners on the move. And to top a good day LifeSkills MD Spencer Fearn is over the moon after announcing that turnover has increased 200% since Black Eye came on board. Result.
Tom goes all sensible and gets hitched.
Happy times in Belgravia House as Black Eye partner Tom Storer gets married to his much better half Emma. Even the sun came out for the occasion as well as some dodgy brown shoes of Mat’s and Dudley, the world’s ugliest dog.
Ledgard Jepson senior designer Howard Laver joins Black Eye.
Somehow we’ve managed to persuade Howard Laver back into town and sign up as our new Senior Designer. We’ve been keeping tabs on him for quite some time and we’re chuffed to bits he’s joining the team. Welcome on board Howard.
Henry Boot/Tropo Renewables new business win.
Fantastic news as we pick up a new account for Henry Boot’s new Renewable Energy Division which is to be named Tropo. It’s a very significant win for the agency and shows the progress we’ve made within 12 months. A full brand creation is the first job at hand with website and press campaign to follow. All PR is to be managed by Black Eye also. Exciting times ahead.
Chip Shop success for Black Eye.
Bit of payback for all the hard work last night. The Black Eye Project had a ball down The Smoke at The Chip Shop Awards and bagged 2 Vinegars in the process. Plenty of stupidity going down too with Tommy using the drive-thru on foot and Tom deciding to show the Brick Lane bouncers how spannered he actually was at the worst possible time. Nice one Thomas!
Senior web developer - Mat Hayward - joins from Chemistry.
Ex-Chemistry developer and designer Mat Hayward has joined the agency. After working freelance for a while we finally got him to crack and sign on a permanent. He’s slotted straight in, and is proving a major asset already. Just a shame his hair is so old and yet his face is so young?