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We hope you like our new look website which includes the option to self publish your news and diary events. We shall keep adding to it over the coming days and weeks, and look forward to hearing your feedback.

We have just launched the results of our annual Barometer, in association with R&D Tax Specialists ForrestBrown, which explores the state of our creative sector. There are some fascinating insights which we will talk more about over the coming weeks. In the meantime, download your copy now.

Latest news from The Drum

Snapchat looking for journalists to cover 2016 election
Posted on Friday May 22, 2015

Snapchat has put out a job query looking for ‘political junkies’ and ‘news aficionados’ to cover the 2016 US presidential race.

In the job posting, Snapchat states that it is looking for members to join its NYC team to help review snaps that are submitted to ‘Our Story’ events and cover other news in addition to the election.

The company is looking for applicants that are ‘creative storytellers’ with ‘experience in journalism and storytelling of all forms.’

It also states that it is looking for candidates with experience creating, editing, or curating media content.

Coldplay, Kermit, and Neil Patrick Harris generate buzz for NBC’s ‘Red Nose Day’
Posted on Friday May 22, 2015

NBC’s inaugural US ‘Red Nose Day’ caused quite the stir on 21 May (Thursday) as actors, musicians, and others showed their support for the charitable campaign, which helps children living in poverty around the world. 

Red Nose Day began in the UK 30 years ago. This was its first foray into the US, with donations going to the charity Comic Relief, Inc.

According to social media marketing platform Spredfast, there have been 268,794 tweets about Red Nose Day in the past seven days, with buzz peaking from 7-8 pm CST on 21 May.

The breakdown of social conversations was 62 per cent female and 38 per cent male. 

In a three-hour special on NBC, stars including Julia Roberts, Ed Sheeran, and Chris Martin wrapped up the day’s events with entertaining bits poking fun at themselves and others. 

On a segment called ‘Hollywood Secrets,’ Roberts and Notting Hill co-star Hugh Grant surprised viewers with what their voices ‘really’ sound like.

Another features Coldplay as the band works on its ‘Game of Thrones’ musical.

Many celebrities also tweeted about the event throughout the day, donning their red noses:

The Drum’s top ten tech disruptions of the week – Google's creepy toy, Oculus porn & L’Oreal 3D printed skin
Posted on Friday May 22, 2015

It’s been a busy week in technology. Here The Drum has rounded up 10 of the top tech innovations that have been touted this week as capable of disrupting the world as we know it.

 

1. Google has filed a patent for an unsettling doll capable of watching and listening to you. The toy is capable of moving and comes with a microphone and camera. It will be able to interact with internet of things installations to dim lights and change room temperature.

 

2. German beer company Astra Bierre has come up with a creative way of marketing its wares to women using tech and creative advertising to get their attention. Astra erected a digital advert which identifies commuters by their gender – delivering exclusive messages only to women.

 

3. KFC acknowledged its propensity to cause mess with its ‘Finger Lickin’ Good’ food, trialling disposable paper typing trays in Germany. The campaign, ran by Serviceplan, Germany, was sadly a marketing stunt although participants could keep the keyboards which operate smartphones and tablets via Bluetooth.

 

4. Oculus’ virtual reality platform Rift will not censor or remove pornographic apps, according to company founder Palmer Luckey. She said: “The rift is an open platform. We don't control what software can run on it, and that's a big deal.”

 

5. Uber’s self-driving car has been spotted on the roads of Pittsburgh. A modified Ford, laden with rotating rooftop cameras and lasers, was caught mapping the city with a Lidar scanner.

 

6. The US Department of Defense is investing heavily in the field of robotics to create a new breed of ‘humanoid robots’ for deployment to disaster zones. The machines would undertake humanitarian assistance too dangerous for humans whilst remaining under supervision.

 

7. NASA has kicked off a $2.25m competition to design and build a 3D printed habitat for deep space exploration, including the agency’s journey to Mars. The designs could be used on Earth, to one day construct affordable housing in remote locations with limited access to conventional building materials.

 

8. French cosmetics brand L’Oreal will 3D print skin as a more effective means of testing its products on live tissue. L’Oreal partnered with bioprinting startup Organovo, and is looking to sidestep the ethical and legal complications sparked by animal testing.

 

9. Cashless payments overtook cash payments for the first time ever in the UK last year, according to research from the Payments Council. 52 per cent of payments were composed of electronic transactions.

 

10. Tunepics chief Justin Cooke, told The Drum that the Apple Watch will add another sensory element to social media. He asserted that user feedback will help to improve the wearable.

Hillary Clinton just ceded her Twitter handle to a supporter (and here’s why marketers should pay attention)
Posted on Friday May 22, 2015

Bill Clinton’s #askingforafriend quip wasn’t the only tweet to grab the public’s attention this week. Hillary Clinton had a win of her own yesterday, when she announced that she would be allowing one of her supporters to take over her Twitter handle for the day.

Mary Jo Brown, a small business owner from New Hampshire, tweeted on behalf of @HillaryClinton for several hours on May 21. During a series of tweets, Brown candidly discussed her family, her business, and the issues she cares about most ahead of the 2016 election. She even ended the day by posing next to a poster of the famed meme that shows the presidential-hopeful texting with her shades on.

Marketing has always been core to political campaigns, as candidates vie to separate themselves from the field by telling compelling stories. And if Barack Obama’s social media successes have been any indication, digital storytelling in particular has emerged as a key tactic for political hopefuls aspiring to connect with a younger crop of voters.

Clinton’s move demonstrates a powerful lesson for marketers when it comes to winning over media-powered consumers who are less receptive to top-down advertising messages. Here are three things that brands can learn from Clinton's Twitter coup:

When it comes to connecting with your customers, partnerships are the new relationships.

When social media first took off, the word “relationships” was on the tip of every marketers tongue. We defined relationships as having a genuine connection with people, but younger generations are looking for more. They don’t simply want the ability to fire off a tweet to a brand at-will. They want a seat at the table – a meaningful role in the product development and marketing process. 

Forging a true partnership with your customers means giving them a voice that matters and a direct path to your research, innovation and marketing teams. It means incorporating their ideas and feedback across all phases of the marketing process, and rewarding them by giving them more access. For large, complex organizations, this might seem like a daunting concept, but fortunately, technology has made it easy to maintain these ongoing connections at-scale. In fact, the hardest step is shifting the approach your brand takes to marketing. Is it about you, or is it about your customers? Are you a closed brand, or are you an open brand?

People-powered stories resonate with younger generations of consumers who trust word-of-mouth above traditional advertising.

Clinton could have told a story similar to the one Mary Jo Brown did, but it would not have made the same impact. In today’s environment, the source of the message is just as important as the message itself. According to a Crowdtap and Ipsos MediaCT study, Millennials trust peer recommendations and user-generated content 50 percent more than they do traditional advertising.

Hearing from a real person is a much more effective (and authentic) way to communicate your brand essence (e.g. what you stand for as a company, beyond the wares you sell). A recent example of this is Whirlpool’s latest campaign – it’s largest to-date – which is celebrating stories from real people to help the brand move away from functional product messaging to a more emotional story about the impact Whirlpool customers are making in the home. (Crowdtap did play a part in this campaign.) This type of messaging would be far less compelling, and far less authentic, if it were coming from the brand itself.

 Curation is a marketer’s best friend when it comes to controlling the “chaos.”

While the new landscape is pushing marketers to relinquish some control of their brands to consumers, there are effective ways to mitigate risk without sacrificing the inherent value in giving real people a more prominent role in your marketing. If marketers of the TV era were narrators of their brands’ stories, you might think of today’s marketers as editors in charge of maintaining standards and guiding the overall editorial vision.

When it comes to content generation, marketers can leverage curation technologies to identify and surface high-quality content that can be amplified across paid, earned and owned media. Brands can also partner with expert content creators to shape rich multimedia experiences that connect them to new and diverse audiences across relevant interest groups. These tactics allow brands to give authentic user-generated content a prominent place in their marketing without sacrificing quality standards or veering from their business objectives.

Brands today are faced with a challenge not unlike that of Hillary Clinton and other politicians: they must rewrite their playbooks to reach new generations of consumers (Millennials and Gen Z in particular) who demonstrate markedly different behaviors than their parents’ generation, and are commanding a new kind of connectivity with brands that empowers them to be partners with brands instead of customers.

Matthew Scott is senior vice president of business development & strategy at Crowdtap.

Twitter unveils ‘NeighborNest’ in San Francisco to help needy citizens
Posted on Friday May 22, 2015

Twitter has opened its ‘NeighborNest’ in San Francisco, a family-friend center for the city’s low-income and homeless residents that will provide access to technology, classes, and resources.

The center is part of a deal with San Francisco that prevents the company from having to pay pricey payroll taxes in exchange for local outreach programs. It plans to invest at least $3m in the NeighborNest over the next four years. 

Its grand opening took place earlier this week, starting with a ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by CEO Dick Costolo and San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee.

Of the center, Mayor Lee said: “In this time of great success for San Francisco with a stronger economy and economic foundation, we have a special opportunity to ensure everyone shares in the prosperity of our city.”

The social media platform has paired up with a number of local organizations, including Compass Family Services, Community Technology Network and the Boys & Girls Club, to help address issues facing low-income and homeless families.

Brand Vine Chart: Adidas, Twitter and Cosmopolitan storm the chart
Posted on Friday May 22, 2015

Welcome to The Drum's Brand Vine chart, powered by Burst, the short-form social video specialists.

The chart is ranked on the number of loops generated by brands on the video sharing service each week.

Adidas France clocked in at first place this week thanks to a Vine showcasing Olympique Lyonnais full kit.

With a 98 per cent increase the sporting brand's loop count now stands at almost 100,000.

Taking the second spot was Twitter Music with a clip of American DJ duo Jack Ü from Hangout Fest.

The live recording took the social network's loop count up to 1.4m.

And a clip of Calvin Harris and Taylor Swift hugging earned Cosmopolitan number three.

Paul Smith, Amazon and Liverpool FC also made it into the chart.

Vine Chart

1

Brand: adidas France
Weekly Increase: +98.20%
Current loops: 940,825
2

Vine by Twitter Music

Brand: Twitter Music
Weekly Increase: +50.73%
Current loops: 1,409,691
3

Vine by Cosmopolitan

Brand: Cosmopolitan
Weekly Increase: +34.97%
Current loops: 18,349,740
4

Vine by adidas NEO Label

Brand: adidas NEO Label
Weekly Increase: +19.95%
Current loops: 1,389,845
5

Vine by Billboard

Brand: Billboard
Weekly Increase: +16.63%
Current loops: 6,836,873
6

Vine by Paul Smith

Brand: Paul Smith
Weekly Increase: +14.97%
Current loops: 2,997,135
7

Vine by MLB

Brand: MLB
Weekly Increase: +12.58%
Current loops: 128,942,308
8

Vine by Amazon.co.uk

Brand: Amazon UK
Weekly Increase: +10.39%
Current loops: 93,695
9

Vine by Liverpool FC

Brand: Liverpool FC
Weekly Increase: +8.26%
Current loops: 11,252,608
10

Vine by HTC

Brand: HTC
Weekly Increase: +6.00%
Current loops: 502,625

Uber is seeking $1bn line of credit from banks
Posted on Friday May 22, 2015

Car service app Uber is asking for a $1bn credit line from numerous banks, people familiar with the subject told the Wall Street Journal.

The company has recently reached out to a a number of large banks, asking them how much they would be willing to commit to the loan. 

The people added that about six to seven banks are expected to be part of the deal.

The move could signal an initial public offering (IPO), though people familiar with the subject told the Journal that an IPO isn’t imminent for the company. One said it might not happen until next year at the earliest.

Last year, Uber brought in about $400m in revenue, according to the Journal.

Police sides with the machines in Terminator – The Genisys partnership
Posted on Friday May 22, 2015

Watch brand Police has entered in a promotion partnership with much-anticipated movie reboot ‘Terminator – The Genisys’ in a campaign which will encapsulate the launch of a limited edition Reaper model.

The push, which will run during the summer, will be spread using digital and outdoor advertising, supplemented by social media activations to publicise both the movie and the launch of the Reaper Watch (pictured) which features a terminator cyborg.

Digital advertising will rally around a Police and Terminator branded microsite hosting a competition inviting entrants the chance to win an ‘Ultimate Terminator Genysis Home Cinema Package’, including a 55-inch LG 3D Smart TV and Bose TV sound system.

Julie Halford, head of marketing at Inter City Group, said: “We really wanted to do something for the middle of the year that created an excitable buzz with our customers whilst at the same time generating retail traction.

“Terminator – The Genisys is the perfect outlet for this… Terminator is a renowned, celebrated brand that’s set to be a huge hit this summer, so it was a natural choice to amplify our exposure with a blockbuster our demographic will love.”

Culminating the outdoor push, the brand will be hosted on Europe’s biggest advertising screen on the M6 motorway.

Sun crime reporter found guilty of paying Heathrow police officer for tips
Posted on Friday May 22, 2015

Anthony France, crime reporter at The Sun, has been found guilty of aiding and abetting a Heathrow-based police officer to commit misconduct, a judge at the Old Bailey has ruled.

France stood accused of cultivating a corrupt relationship with PC Timothy Edwards between March 2008 and July 2011.

Edwards, who was working at the airport in SO15 counter terrorism command, was said to have sold 38 stories and pieces of information to the journalist in exchange for more than £22,000

One such story – which ran on The Sun’s front page in March 2010 – reported on a ‘Heathrow sex scandal’ and detailed a member of staff who was using the x-ray body scanners to ogle a female colleagues breasts.

The court was told that Edwards was paid up £1,200 for the story which was later found to be inaccurate.

Edwards was also accused of accessing the police database and crime reports to sell France personal details of victims as well as perpetrators.

France had denied the charges throughout the trial, saying he was a "man of good character not involved in crime" and would never have bought story tips if he had known it was illegal.

The Old Bailey trial was part of the Metropolitan Police's Operation Elveden, which is investigating alleged illegal payments to police and officials.

Ad of the Day: PetSmart - Partners in Pethood
Posted on Friday May 22, 2015

Meet the ‘Avant Guardians,’ a pair of fashion-obsessed Shih Tzu owners that genuinely believe their dog is the pet world’s style icon.

Created by GSD&M-Austin, the spot features the couple as they claim other pups do a ‘doggy double-take’ when they see their stylish Shih Tzu.

The video was directed by GO’s Christopher Guest, famous for his work on ‘Best in Show,’ a movie that parodies pet owners competing at a national dog show.
 
PetSmart’s tagline for the spot is ‘Pethood is better with a partner,’ encouraging viewers to book an appointment with one of their groomers online.

Credits:

Agency: GSD&M
Client: PetSmart
Title: PetSmart Partners in Pethood
Launch Date: 5/18
Chief Creative Officer: Jay Russell
Group Creative Director: Scott Brewer, Ryan Carroll
Associate CD/AD: Ross Aboud
Associate CD/Writer: Kevin Dunleavy
Art Director: Morgan McDonald
Copywriter: Scott Chalkley
Director of Production: Jack Epsteen
Executive Producer: Bill Wine
Producer: Abigail Hinojosa
Assoc. Producer: Adriane Weast
Business Affairs: Lindsay Wakabayashi
Account Leadership: Scott Moore, Sabia Siddiqi, Ben Creasey, Nadia Elias
Project Management: Maria Roepke
Experience and Insights: Andrew Teagle, Rene Huey-Lipton
Studio Services: Michele Head, Summer Ortiz
Production Company: Go Film
Director: Christopher Guest
Director of Photography: Kristian Kachikis
Executive Producer: Gary Rose, Catherine Finkenstaedt, Adam Bloom
Line Producer: Mark Hyatt
Editorial Company: Mackenzie Cutler, NY
Editor: Gavin Cutler
Senior Asst. Editor: Ryan Steele
Asst. Editor: Pamela Petruski
Post EP: Sasha Hirschfeld
Colorist: Fergus McCall & Mikey Rossiter, the Mill, NY
VFX/Online: Nick Smith, Finland Finish, Austin
Sound Design & Final Mix: Chris Erlon, Digital Domain, Austin
Original Music: HUM Music, LA
Graphics: Brad Hodgson, Perfect Form, Austin