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Autofutura

On the back of significant investment into the business, the UK’s leading automotive retail and finance software company, Autofutura have appointed us to consolidate and evolve their brand messaging and hierarchy to accommodate exciting NPD. We have also been asked to develop a full communications plan to facilitate and enhance their European expansion plans. In addition, we’ll be redesigning their website and further developing their brand visual identity. The combination of You Agency and You Digital – both part of You Holdings – provided a fully integrated solution to both owned and paid platforms. ‘It’s pedal to the metal’ said our CEO, Michael Carr (yes really, Carr).

A new client is born

Following a competitive pitch we’ve been appointed to help King’s fertility, one of the world’s leading fertility clinics, to develop their messaging strategy and marketing communications to position them as the legitimate voice of the industry, promote their total transparent approach and to promote their services to both the private and public (NHS) sectors. Watch this space…

Making bacon

Working with our Tribe Global partners, Family, we have been appointed as media planning and buying agency of record for Naked. We will be working across all paid channels, digital and above-the-line, for this ground-breaking anti-nitrite bacon, ham and sausage brand. Naked, part of Finnebrogue, is the market leader in this field and has distribution in all major UK supermarkets nationally. It is also the perfect excuse for us to have agency bacon sandwich mornings for the foreseeable future.

Premium paint win

Working with our partners at Pablo, we’re thrilled to have secured Craig & Rose’s media planning and buying business. As a premium paint brand originating in Edinburgh in 1829 and now distributed through their own stores and Homebase, we’ll be helping them to get the recognition they deserve within the home improvement sector. Through performance digital combined with smart ATL we will be helping Craig & Rose to become the default choice in the premium market.

You don’t need a million pounds. Just a million-pound idea.

A few years ago, an article appeared in The New York Times about a new breed of accountant.

After trying his hand at being a rock star, Jason Blumer eventually took over his father’s accountancy firm. Bored out of his tiny mind, he set about transforming how he did business.

His radical idea was to do away with suits. And timesheets.

Charging by the hour meant that his worth was set in measurable units of time. And selling time rewarded people for dragging their heels on tedious jobs.

The system wasn’t geared to providing valuable insight into how to run a business more efficiently and ultimately save a shed load of cash. And it was those complex, exciting projects that the rock star in him wanted to dedicate his life to.

His ambition was to make and save his clients enough money that they’d pay him a handsome fee, without wanting or needing to ask how long it took. Jason became a leading figure in a brave new band of accountants that call themselves Cliff Jumpers.

From flat, milky-grey bookkeepers to fearless, adrenalin-fuelled Cliff Jumpers. Without a doubt, a multi-million-pound idea.

Now let’s go back in time to when Napoleon was romping across Europe. Prussia needed to fund their war effort.

The Prussian royal family asked the wealthy to exchange their gold jewellery for iron replicas. And they obliged, providing the military with a much-needed cash injection.

Then a very interesting thing happened.

The rich were out of pocket. But at balls and banquets, the blackened iron around their necks eventually became a symbol of patriotism and commitment to the cause. Temporarily at least, the jewellery became more valuable as status.

A relatively cheap source (the salary of the royal advisor who came up with it). Revenue generated. Target audience happy. Million-pound idea.

So today, how can you maximise your chances of getting that million-pound idea, without paying a million pounds for it?

After all, no one really knows what a big idea is worth when it first presents itself. It’s only over time that the real value of an idea becomes apparent.

But some of us do have a gauge for measuring an idea’s potential. And it’s no big secret. At You Agency, for example, we scrutinise how well we think an idea leverages a combination of brand belief, product benefit and how much of a bond it’ll make with the consumer. Three Bs, if you want to get all corporate about it.

What you can do, is employ the minds of people who use data, experience and a massive dose of creativity to do it day in, day out. And guess what? You don’t need a big agency to find them.

It’s easy to be seduced by the names above the door, the warm, cosy bosom of a motherly agency and by an historical reel spilling over with work for huge brands.

But the truth is, none of that guarantees a thing, apart from a spanking monthly retainer.

Some small agencies are filled with big people. People who use all their experience to work fast. People who have gone from big to small for a reason. Because their brains are uniquely wired. And they want to make a difference.

Those people come without the eye-watering price tag. Yet still approach every problem with the same ferocious, unbridled enthusiasm to get to brand-changing ideas. Because they can’t help themselves. It’s what gets their tails wagging.

They are out there.

And when you find them, I can assure you, you won’t be paying anything like a million pounds for million-pound ideas.

Boring Conversation Anyway..

I was at a dinner party last Saturday night with some loose acquaintances (no, not loose in that sense, it wasn’t that sort of party). We’ve all been in a similar situation where your choice of seating dictates whether you have a scorcher of an evening or a politely ankle-deep exchange of banalities with a stranger.

On this occasion, the social wheel of fortune had not been terribly kind to me, and as I sat there half-heartedly talking about schools (again) I started to muse on what the missing ingredient actually was that could transform this conversation from vapid to vascular.

I needed something to push against to be engaged. A point of view, an opinion, a stance, a spicy attitude. It was then that the upsetting truth of the situation hit me: I was clearly not providing anything for my table-mates to engage with either. Dammit.

It is curious to see that in an environment of outrageously fierce competition for consumers’ attention, not all that many brands recognise that they are in danger of being the dullard at the party. In the absurdly media-saturated lives of consumers (numbers vary but consensus suggests that consumers are hit with between 2,500 to 10,000 branded messages a day, around c360 ads are seen, c150 are registered and only around 12 can be recalled), it should be increasingly obvious that there is a need to boldly engage with consumers and to do it with audacious conviction.

 

Let’s call this Attitude Marketing

There was a time when we beat ourselves half to death trying to define a product differentiator however teeny, tiny, fag-paper thin it was, it was our Grail. How times have changed. Most brands recognise that any tangible product differentiator will no doubt be either overtaken or leap-frogged within 12 months.

I’m sure that this notion isn’t a huge shock to anyone reading this, however, what should be a shock is how few brands are doing it. Back as far as 2014, 75% of millennials agreed that they wanted to share a point of view with their brands. And yet, with notable exceptions such as Old Spice’s ‘Running on Empty’ or KFC’s ‘We’re Sorry. FCK’, this undertaking is rarely seen in earnest.

What I find the most surprising is that smaller brands, or brands with smaller marketing spends are not leaping on this as the way to punch above their weight, to get noticed, to win affection. And that not more agencies are prepared to tell their clients that they are in danger of being the drabster at the table.

The start-point in developing authentic Attitude Marketing is to fully understand the business that the brand is in. Travel companies aren’t in transport, they are in adventure. Detergents aren’t in hygiene, they are in family love. And burger and pizza restaurants aren’t in food, they are in connection.

 

Having an attitude requires commitment

During the last US Presidential election, we presented a new campaign to Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK). It required them to create a new burger made from rump meat so that they could run our campaign ‘VOTE RUMP, our thickest burger ever’ with the strapline ‘It’s a bit of an arse’. Our client at the time looked at it once, laughed like a drain and bought it. With a total budget of just £150k all in we made it happen and the results were stunning – it became their then best-selling special of all time.

 

As a post script, not only is that GBK client now Marketing Director of Burger King UK, she is also a fantastic person to sit next to at a dinner party, bursting with engaging opinions and most of all, attitude.