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We are an industry led organisation, whose primary role is to facilitate collaboration and growth within our region, delivering projects, events and opportunities for almost 500 paying members.

Our Mission is to drive creativity and innovation across the southwest creative and media sectors, building the fame of the region.

New members are always welcome. Please enjoy our site and join one of the UK’s strongest creative communities.

Latest news from The Drum

Aston Villa set for fan engagement drive as it commissions Rippleffect to develop new content-rich website
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2015

Aston Villa will release a new official website following the appointment of Rippleffect on a long-term contract to work with the club’s marketing and communications team.

The site will go live in the autumn ahead of the new Premier League season and will aim to improve the relationship the club has with its supporters through an improved fan engagement experience which will include a live match-day centre.

Rippleffect will also focus on maximising the commercial proposition and build on the existing sales and marketing offer, which will focus on attendance and sales growth, as well as a rise in uptake of hospitality.

Traditional online content such as news, statistics, features and video will be used to drive user numbers.

Russell Jones, head of marketing and communications for Aston Villa, said his hope was to create a “world class user experience” that the fans would embrace and lead to an improved engagement and commercial performance.

Ben Hatton, managing director of Rippleffect, added: In our many conversations with them it has also become abundantly clear that the club has huge commercial ambitions for the future and sees digital the very heart of their plans."

The club’s video channel; AVTV will also be redeveloped alongside its video partner, StreamUK ahead of the new season, while Sitecore’s Experience platform will also be used. 

Australian cycling retailer 99 Bikes launches new affiliate programme with Navigate Digital
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2015

99 Bikes, an Australian retailer of cycling-related goods, is to launch its own affiliate programme.

Founded in 2007, 99 Bikes now operates 23 stores along the east coast, along with an online shop that ships over 23,000 products per year to Australian cyclists. 99 Bikes is continuing to grow at a rate in excess of 50 per cent year on year and, according to the brand’s eCommerce manager, Wayne Patterson, launching the affiliate programme is the next step in continuing that growth.

He said: “Australian ecommerce is an exciting place to be at the moment as there is a huge opportunity for growth, particularly in performance led channels like affiliate marketing. We’re positioning ourselves to ensure we’re ahead of the pack.”

The programme is managed by Navigate Digital, who launched in Australia in April of this year. John Kimbell, Navigate Digital’s managing partner, said: “More and more well-known brands like 99 Bikes are adopting this model in Australia. I believe that a number of factors will align over the next few years and affiliate marketing will reach its full potential.”

Navigate Digital was founded by Kimble and Matt D’Alton in 2007, serving the Australian and UK markets from offices in both London and Brisbane.

Nationwide rolls out first in-house ad to bolster ‘people before money’ brand
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2015

Nationwide is launching its first internally created campaign, building on its ‘people before money’ positioning.

Despite the building society appointing VCCP to its £20m ad account in March, this is the first ad Nationwide has developed in-house.

It tells the story of a young man and his father who bond over a scarf, which when lost is returned via Twitter by a Nationwide employee. The concept aims to demonstrate that the brand puts customers first and ends on the tagline ‘on your side for generations’.

The ads debuted today 28 May and will be supported by a social media, digital and video campaign as well as press, cinema, owned and branch activity. The full 90-second version will run during the final of Britain’s Got Talent on 31 May.

Stephen Leonard, chief operating officer, marketing said: “As the world’s largest building society we have been on our customers’ side for generations.  This brand campaign communicates our unique human values and delivery of an outstanding customer experience. The Nationwide brand is increasingly being seen as the compelling alternative to the high street banks. It is this difference that may help explain why we have now become the UK’s most trusted financial services brand with the most satisfied customers.

“At Nationwide we aim to be an authentic brand that consistently ‘does the right thing’ to create a virtuous circle for customers, employees and communities. Last week Nationwide recorded strong results demonstrating that it is possible to be successful by doing the right thing.”

Havas Media has handled media planning and buying while Aspect Film and Video produced the film. 

UNICEF Ireland appoints Mando Group to drive online donations
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2015

UNICEF Ireland has appointed Mando Group to engage supporters and potential donors with a new website.

Replacing the seven year-old current version, the new website will be built on Umbraco, an open-source, licence-free platform which will simplify the content publishing process for the UNICEF Ireland team.

A key element of the project for Mando will be to ensure that the website is resilient enough to cope with high peaks of traffic when donation campaigns go live, like those associated with the recent earthquake in Nepal. Mando will also be supporting UNICEF Ireland in other digital channels, building new e-communications templates to enable and encourage long-term loyalty with donors.

Beyond the initial build, Mando will continue the partnership with an ongoing support and maintenance contract.

Working in over 190 counties worldwide, UNICEF is committed to finding the best and most cost-effective ways to save children's lives, providing health care, nutrition and education to help every child realise their full potential.

Peter Power, executive director of UNICEF Ireland, said: “We’re constantly trying to improve the way we engage with our supporters so that we can continue to work in fragile areas of the world, like Nepal, South Sudan and Syria. Our new website will be a key part of that renewed strategy.” 

Ian Finch, managing director of Mando Group, said: “We’re very glad to be able to be an important part of UNICEF Ireland’s digital strategy and to help them achieve their charitable aims worldwide.” 

Mando has a focus on corporate social responsibility, with its own Foundation  supporting both local and international charities in health, education and community development.

How the newspapers assaulted Fifa's Sepp Blatter after corruption raid
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2015

Under fire Fifa took a pounding from newspapers all over the world after its legal woes were featured by many publications as front page news on Thursday morning.

Following several Fifa executives being arrested by US prosecutors on Wednesday accused of corruption and bribery, football's international governing body, and its sponsors, Visa, in additon to Adidas, Budweiser and McDonald’s came under close scrutiny.

Allegations of corruption, bribery and even poor worker standards at the development of the Qatar 2022 stadiums, forced a backlash from creatives who developed a number of anti-ads criticising brand's for their support of Fifa.

Below are some of the boldest reports against Fifa in the international press.

Quadcopter vendor FirstPersonView appoints DBD Media to SEO brief
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2015

Quadcopter and FPV systems online retailer FirstPersonView has appointed search marketing specialists DBD Media to manage its SEO in the rapidly expanding area of first person view (FPV) equipment and consumer drone sales.

FirstPersonView was launched in 2008 by Simon and Mark Dale and was the first company to offer FPV systems in the UK and now supplies quadcopters, camera drones, Fat Shark and ImmersionRC plug and play FPV systems to UK users.

DBD Media is now working with FirstPersonView to help improve their visibility through natural search, and position the company as the leading provider of FPV equipment at a time when media interest and regulation is at an all-time high.

Company founder Dale is a pioneer of the growing FPV industry in the UK and is also the founder and chairman of the FPVUK Association, which works with the Civil Aviation Authority to represent the interests of FPV pilots and to protect the sport from over-regulation.

Dale said: “DBD Media are working with us to redevelop our website in line with SEO best practices, as well as to help us increase visibility for a number of competitive keywords. The team will also help us with areas such as online PR and blogger outreach.”

Nigel Muir of DBD Media, said: “FirstPersonView are a pioneer in one of the most exciting and cutting edge sectors at the moment, and one of the leading providers in this rapidly growing space. Everyone at DBD is really delighted to be working with them.” 

The use of drones has been high on the agenda in recent months as the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) admitted in April that its current regulations around the use of drones and FPV equipment, implemented back in 2008, are now out of date and need to be reviewed in light of their increasing use for recreational and business purposes.

If brands want to create technology for the sake of fame, they need to create it for the sake of their consumers
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2015

The Q4 2014 Forrester Wave Report highlighted the increasingly important role agencies are playing in digital business transformation: helping CMOs ‘to move quickly, access deeper market insight and take measured risks’ in order to best use technology to drive value for their customers.

So, to provide value to clients, agencies need not only to have innovative technology skills, but also the ability to operate faster than their clients’ organisations and to make sense of the data those organisations are sitting on.

It’s this latter skill that is pivotal, in my view. Too often, 'innovation' seems to be an excuse to play with new technologies somewhat randomly. “Do something no one else has done before and it’ll make us famous,” seems to be the rationale.

Now, I’m all in favour of helping brands achieve fame, but I disagree with this premise. I believe you can only achieve fame if you innovate for and on behalf of your customers.

I also believe that it is helpful to have identified how that innovation might create commercial value for your business in the process.

So the ability to harness data both to identify human insight and quantify commercial opportunities is vital. It’s what gives us the licence to innovate.

All the best examples of how brand technology has been used to creative innovation are testament to this.

Take Disney’s MagicBand: a wearable, in the form of a wristband, designed to solve a problem that customer feedback was highlighting to the business, namely: frustration at the length of the queues. 

The MagicBand enables visitors to get quicker access to rides, as well as order food and merchandise. Every aspect is designed first and foremost to make the visit as engaging and enjoyable as possible. But, equally, the data gathered has a value to Disney as it seeks both to improve the experience and to mine opportunities to do further business with the customer in question. 

This is a true data value exchange, rewarding both the brand and consumer and allowing for informed constant improvement.

Another good example is Audi City in Mayfair (top picture), a digital car showroom that uses cutting-edge technology to create a truly industry defining experience for potential customers.

In a nutshell, it allows people working in urban centres to visit a car showroom on a weekday and, using interactive touchscreen stations and large video walls, to get as close to taking a test drive as is possible without a physical car. For the customer, it means access to a car showroom in a place and at a time when it would have been impossible hitherto. And for Audi, it opens up a new sales channel.

But successful brand technology doesn’t have to involve such high levels of investment. We’ve seen smart and simple wins coming from brands utilising existing day-to-day consumer technology – such as ideas that integrate with existing social media functionality.

Ikea’s Instagram based catalogue is a great example of this, while Domino’s Pizza in the States devised a way to order via a single tweet of the pizza icon. Now these ideas may sound gimmicky, but if they work seamlessly, then they offer another route for customers to get what they want, the way they want it.

On a much bigger scale, ‘The Net Set’ a new online shopping platform from Net-a-Porter is an example of innovative brand technology that has recently impressed.

Based on the online habits of its four-million strong social media fan base, The Net Set has been built as a bespoke e-commerce platform that enables its users to share their preferences and purchases with the rest of the 'set' – creating desire as well as helpful peer guidance in the process.

In all of these examples, there is a win-win at play. But the benefit to the brand and the business would be impossible to achieve if the innovation was not able to solve a problem for the customer, or bring a new and relevant opportunity their way. It may seem obvious, but it’s a point I hope more brands pay heed to as they seek to build famous innovations in 2015 and beyond.

Mark Bell is strategy partner at Dare and co-chair of the IPA Brand Technology Group

The remit of the IPA Brand Technology Group is to understand and openly debate the impact technology is having on brands, consumers and agencies. It aims to create and share best practice in order to provide a single industry point of view on key challenges for the IPA and wider technology community.

Join the group on the 15 June at The Trampery for the launch of London Tech Week where a panel of industry leaders and members of the start up community will debate how great products become great brands.

Lenovo unveils Smart Cast mobile capable of projecting a touchscreen onto any surface
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2015

Lenovo has unveiled a smartphone with an in-built projector which can be used to cast content and control interfaces such as keyboards onto surfaces.

The Chinese firm, which remains the world’s largest PC maker, debuted the Smart Cast smartphone at the first annual Lenovo Tech World in Beijing.

The concept smartphone featured a laser projector and infrared motion detector enabling users to project touch screens of varying size and style onto surfaces. On display were apps such as calculator, drawing, note-taking or Microsoft PowerPoint.

However, the device was also capable of large-scale projection enabling users to watch movies, play games or conduct video chats via a screen on their wall.

Yang Yuanqing, chairman and chief executive of Lenovo, said: “We will deliver innovation like we showed here today to solve problems and address customer pain points. 

“We will bring together hardware software and services to transform the user experience. This is our vision, and we showed some glimpses of the next wave of Lenovo innovation here today.”

During the trial, pianist Lang Lang played a rendition of The Entertainer on the virtual keyboard while the full size sheet music was displayed from the smartphone’s projector.

Live & Breathe promotes James Hoxley to ECD
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2015

Live & Breathe has promoted James Hoxley to the role of executive creative director following a restructure of its top tier creative team across its Leeds and London offices.

Previously creative director of retail at the Marketing Store, Hoxley rejoined Live & Breathe in 2013 in the same role, having worked there for a decade prior.

As well as overseeing the development of the consultancy's creative teams, he will now work alongside recently-appointed executive planning director Jamie King on major creative projects and with existing clients – including Morrisons and Birds Eye.

Live and Breathe’s managing director Nick Gray that the promotion was “well-earned”.

“We have a real power team in James and Jamie. Together they personify the agency’s considered maverick proposition,” he added. 

The move follows the promotion of Gary Jacobs to the role of creative director last year, which saw him take on more responsibility of the day-to-day running of the London office’s creative department.

Google confirms Buy button is ‘imminent’
Posted on Thursday May 28, 2015

Google has announced that a Buy button is coming to its search results soon.

Speaking at a Re/Code event, Omid Kordestani, Google’s chief business officer, broke the company’s silence on the issue.

He said: “There is going to be a buy button, it is actually imminent,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

Kordestani said the feature would reduce the “friction” of e-commerce and help increase click through rates.

He added that the buttons would first emerge in the coming weeks. The buttons will appear alongside ‘Shop On Google’ sponsored results only on mobile devices.

Kevin Dallas, chief product officer at Worldpay eCommerce, told The Drum: "With Google Buy set to only be available on mobile devices and the search giant recently changing its algorithm to favour mobile optimised sites, it’s clear Google believes that smartphones and tablets are the way forward for ecommerce.

"This move from the world’s biggest search engine might alarm some merchants but companies should see Google Buy as a positive, spurring retailers to acknowledge the benefits for consumers when they invest in making their site mobile optimised."

The move will help Google fight back against Amazon which is leading away in easy, one click purchases.