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Latest news from The Drum

Reebok unveils landmark $70m UFC sponsorship deal
Posted on Tuesday June 30, 2015

Reebok has signed a $70m sponsorship deal with the UFC which will make them the sole supplier of uniforms for the world’s leading mixed martial arts company.

The official Reebok uniforms were unveiled at a press conference in New York today where some of the sport’s top athletes including Conor McGregor, Ronda Rousey and light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier were present on stage to show advertise Reebok’s apparel.

The six-year deal will begin on July 7 2015 and will see every athlete in the UFC wearing Reebok apparel while competing in the octagon.

Athletes pay will be affected by the new sponsorship deal with a pay structure being implemented to determine what each fighter will earn. Under the new payment tier, fighters with 1-5 bouts will receive $2,500 per fight; 6-10 bouts get $5,000; 11-15 bouts get $10,000; 16-20 bouts get $15,000; and 21 bouts and more get $20,000.

At the unveiling press conference Reebok representatives discussed the brands transformation in recent years and how the company has “gone back to its routes in fitness”.

The Reebok advertising has used the caption of ‘Be More Human’ which company representatives said “speaks to our consumer about living an active life and training like a fighter is at the core of that.”

UFC president, Dana White, was at the New York press conference and described the deal as “a big moment for us”. Discussing what the deal meant for the sport he said that “now, like every other sport, we have a major sporting appeal brand the UFC.”

The first event with the new sponsorship in place will be on 11 July at UFC 189 in Las Vegas.

The full press conference can be viewed above.

Heineken elevates Publicis Worldwide to lead global creative agency
Posted on Tuesday June 30, 2015

Heineken has strengthened its ties to Publicis Worldwide by appointing it lead global creative agency for its flagship beer brand.

The announcement makes official what the brewer had all but confirmed earlier this month when it split with Wieden + Kennedy. At the time Heineken said global work would be handled by Publicis but had not awarded it lead agency status.

It said the decision continues its existing approach of using “top in-market creative agencies” to develop local platforms within Heineken's global positioning, and for “top-spin activities” to support the global campaigns. Publicis will work alongside more than 10 creative agencies to further develop this model.

Jan Derck van Karnebeek, chief commercial officer at Heineken, said: "We are delighted to be extending our relationship with Publicis. Over the last two years, the team has produced exceptional results for Heineken, especially the responsible consumption and Dream Island campaign. The team has consistently demonstrated a strong understanding of the strategic direction of the brand and we have been enormously impressed by their strong creative ideas and innovative approach.

Heineken had worked with Wieden + Kennedy since 2010 and during this period developed high profile work for the brewer’s Heineken, Heineken Light and Desperados brands including the current “Legends” activity. Despite the success helping it scoop this year's Cannes Lions Creaive Marketer award, the brewer believes an advertising shakeup is needed as part of wider changes to how it runs its marketing. These changes saw it scrap the chief marketing officer role in April in favour of chief commercial officer with combined sales duties as well as the removal of regional marketing and regional sales roles to support the plan

The brewer told The Drum at the time that the changes aimed to curb duplication, streamline processes, simplify decision-making and lower costs. Heineken hopes the moves are successful enough to hit its medium-term target of improving consolidated operating margin by an average of 40 basis points per year.

Apple launches Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 radio station – social media reacts
Posted on Tuesday June 30, 2015

So Beats 1 has launched, the first of Apple's web-based radio stations and the spear-tip of the technology giant's assault on Spotify's ad-supported music streaming model.

The 24/7 international radio station, fronted by former BBC radio presenter Zane Lowe, is now available in over 100 countries, making it a truly global platform. 

Despite an Apple Music subscription setting consumers back $9.99 a month, access to Beats 1 and other radio stations will be free for iOS users through the 'Music' app. 

Desktop owners with iTunes installed can also tune in, furthermore, the app will be opened up to Android users at a later date.

Lowe kicked the service off on Tuesday evening with 'City' by Manchester band Spring King.

The launch was not without its teething problems. 

Desktop users needed the latest build of iTunes (version 12.2) - many were not quite capable of downloading it.

The user interface was also criticised by some, although it is still very early days for the app.

A devoted Tumblr page will inform viewers just what to expect from the service, with a number of high-profile celebrity guests lined up already. 

At the close of the broadcast, Lowe said: "So much of radio and broadcasting can be one way traffic, let’s open this up. The last few weeks have been crazy, there were times when we didn’t think we could get this on air... the dedication of everyone involved has got us on air.

“We’re dedicated to exposing and discovering new music... and to tipping our hat to the legends.” 

Old Spice game takes players on a cruise of Terry Crews’ muscles
Posted on Tuesday June 30, 2015

The latest ad from the male grooming product company comes in the form of an online game where players AIM to navigate chambers within the body of the muscle laden body of Crews. While doing so they are met with comedic chaos which includes a tiger eating a cube of doom created by an evil mastermind, an old lady playing a keytar and a surgeon franticly conducting an eyebrow transplant.

More than two hours of footage make up a variety of different scenarios which unfold depending on the path a player takes. Each scenario allows for the opportunity to play as a cast of characters portrayed by Crews including a doctor, an 80s exercise-video weightlifter, a sitcom mom, a super-villain and a tiger.

Old Spice spokesperson Kate DiCarlo spoke to Mashable and said that the Wieden+Kennedy-produced ad was created as a bid to capture the attention of a video game-loving, digitally tuned-in young crowd that makes up a big chunk of the company's audience.

DiCarlo touched on the fact that much of its audience spend a lot of time engaging with friends digitally as well as brands and so the company came up thought “'Why not give it a try and turn Terry into a game?”

The ads from Old Spice owners, Procter & Gamble, reflect a trend of marketing around youth-oriented brands including Skittles and Mountain Dew which regularly adopt surreal and wacky advertising in a bid to capture a viral online trend.

The intro to the ad can be viewed above.

Microsoft is helping teachers use Minecraft as a learning tool for kids
Posted on Tuesday June 30, 2015

Minecraft, the block-based, world-building game, is looking to position itself as a learning aid to further cement its use in schools.

Widely loved by kids, Minecraft, which is the third best selling video game of all time, playable across a host of devices including PCs, mobile and gaming consoles, is looking to train teachers in the use of the game.

Following Microsoft buying over Minecraft-developer studio Mojang for $2.5bn last September, under the new leadership the company is looking to gamify education and provide teachers with creative methods of engaging children.

A statement from the firm reads: “Minecraft in education is a way to teach, learn and inspire. It’s students visiting ancient civilizations to create and play out their own stories. It’s exploring mathematical concepts like perimeter, area, and volume by breaking and placing Minecraft blocks.

“It’s practising collaboration, problem solving, digital citizenship, and leadership skills through creative thinking and innovative design. Minecraft in education is teachers and students inspiring each other to change the way we learn.”

Read more about the scheme on Tumblr.

Beagle Street encourages living life to the full with #LeapSecondMovie
Posted on Tuesday June 30, 2015

Beagle Street has challenged BAFTA-nominated filmmaker Gary Tarn to produce the world’s shortest short film, #LeapSecondMovie, to commemorate today’s Leap Second (Tuesday 30 June).

The online life insurance company asked Tarn to produce a film celebrating the joy of being alive; the result is a collection of 25 frames cut to a four-note soundtrack which lasts for exactly one second.

“The Leap Second is a unique event that gives us all an extra second to stop and think about how we live our lives and spend our time,” explained Tarn. “My one-second film celebrates 25 captured moments, personal to me, that make my heart sing. In an increasingly busy world, I’m hoping people will spend just a second to watch the film and be inspired to recognise, enjoy and appreciate the amazing lives we share with those we love.”

Hannah MacAulay from Beagle Street added: “#LeapSecondMovie is a (very) quick reminder to make the most of every moment, enjoy life and live it to the full.”

The Leap Second is added to the world’s atomic clocks on 30 June at 23:59:61 in order to compensate for the slowing of the Earth’s rotation.

Cannes Confessions: We reveal the stories ad and media execs wish had stayed in Cannes
Posted on Tuesday June 30, 2015

As the advertising industry recovers from another year at Cannes Lions, you can almost hear the collective sigh of relief from PRs that some stories seemed to have missed their Ubercopter back to the UK.

Or so they thought.

Here are some of the goings among the advertising community during a week in the south of France. 

Ebay campaign offers discounts based on rising temperatures
Posted on Tuesday June 30, 2015

Ebay has rolled out a campaign offering consumers discounts based on how hot it gets over the 4 July weekend.

The activity has been dubbed ‘Hot Deals for Hot Days’ and will kick off on Saturday with discount designer sunglasses that mirror the high temperature of the day – for example if it’s 85 degrees in New York City, shoppers will get 85 per cent off sunglasses.  

“Our customers love great value and selection, so we’re focused on growing our Deals business to deliver what shoppers want most,” said Bryan Murphy, vice president of North America Verticals, eBay.

“Ebay Deals gives shoppers unparalleled access to top brands and designers at incredible prices – always accompanied by free shipping. What started as a ‘single deal a day’ program back in 2009 and continues to grow,” he added. 

Shoppers can can access the deals though the dedicated Deals site or via the mobile app. 

The campaign mirrors similar activity from the likes of Pimms. Earlier this year, the Diageo-owned brand launched a digital out-of-home campaign that activates when the outside temperature reached 21 degrees.

Elex Games appoints The Specialist Works’ Broadcast House for optimised TV campaign to track and attribute app downloads
Posted on Tuesday June 30, 2015

Elex Games, currently China’s largest distributor of social online games, has appointed The Specialist Works’ TV division Broadcast House to launch a TV campaign in the UK for its latest adventure-strategy game, Clash of Kings.

The campaign will use advanced optimisation tools to track and attribute app downloads (for Android and iOS) back to individual TV spots.

Matthew Pover, director of strategy at Broadcast House, said: “Our partnership with Elex has allowed us to engineer a bespoke analytics package, tracking and attributing app downloads back to individual TV spots. Elex Games really recognises the value of our approach and how it can help them get the most from their UK TV budget. By measuring the sales influence of airtime, our team can change the shape of the campaign while it’s live to make sure we optimise download numbers and access the full potential of every spot.”

Elex Games, founded in 2008, has offices in China, Taiwan and Brazil. Clash of Kings has already hit 50m downloads worldwide, having topped download charts in Germany and Russia.

Yorkshire man launches IndieGoGo crowdfunder to save Greece with a €1.6bn pledge
Posted on Tuesday June 30, 2015

A man has launched an ambitious crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo to help stave off the Grexit.

In a bid to keep Greece in Europe, 29-year-old Yorkshire man Thom Feeney, launched the push to raise a mere €1.6bn for the fiscally floundering nation.

Feeney’s logic is that if Europe’s 503 million people “just chip in a few Euro, then we can get Greece sorted and hopefully get them back on track soon”.

Things seem to be picking up on the page, at the time of publication raising an impressive €111,827.

On why he embarked on the fundraiser, Feeney said: “I was fed up of the Greek crisis going round in circles, while politicians are dithering, this is affecting real people. While all the posturing is going on, then it's easy for the politicians to forget that. I just thought, sod it, I'll have a crack.”

The perk for a €3 donation is a postcard of Alex Tsiparas, for €6 you can snag a nice Greek olive and feta salad and for €25, a bottle of Greek wine.

Previously, Feeney offered a small Greek island the size of “about the size of Inchmarnock off the coast of Scotland” but IndieGoGo flagged it as a breach of its rules.

Of course, if the campaign fails to raise €1.6bn in the next seven days, all donations are refunded...

Get involved here.