Creative Circle Annual 2017

We will never be like them

Creative Circle’s first female President, Vicki Maguire, has unveiled her new ‘angry, anarchic’ graphic identity for the organisation with the launch of its Annual. Upon being named President, she set out a bold new manifesto for the organisation, ‘we will never be like them’ – and the anarchic graphic identity reflects both her and its desire to disrupt the conservative, po-faced and increasingly corporate persona of the industry’s aware programmes.

Of the 300 printed annuals, no two are identical. Pages torn, crumpled and scrawled on in unique ways.  Details including gold, silver and bronze foils printed onto individually bound cloth jackets, hundreds of paper hole punches carefully placed between pages and the spine traditionally stitched with hand dyed thread are telltale signs that each has been hand crafted.

“It’s akin to old punk zines,” says designer Matteo Alabiso, “Where the outcome isn’t as important as the message”.

Read more about the Annual here.

VICKI CAROLINE

Sweet Caroline

Everyone’s ‘excited’ or ‘delighted’ in press releases about anything and everything these days. But we are genuinely REALLY, properly excited to announce that former BBH Deputy ECD Caroline Pay is joining the agency. She takes a newly created role – Joint Chief Creative Officer – alongside Vicki Maguire, who was been promoted to the position from ECD. The pair, who will also sit on our executive management team, become one of the few all-female teams at the top of a major agency.

MAGUIRE: “I can’t bloody wait.”

PAY: “What can I say? She’s my hero. Having known Vicki for over a decade, we’ve always known we would rule one day. This is the best chance in town. Bring it on.”

RAYMAN: “With these two at the helm, we’re unstoppable – together we’re going to take Grey to another level.”

*An earlier, working title of this post – Pay, Vicki, you’re so fine, you’re so fine you blow my mind, Pay Vicki! – was rejected after we realised way more people are aware of Neil Diamond than Toni Basil, and that it was an awful lot of words to fit into one headline.

**Photo courtesy of Colin Stout / Campaign - where you can also read more.

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This time, it’s personal

We’re incredibly excited to have partnered with our brothers and sisters at Mindshare to launch Mindshare FAST@Grey London: a bespoke unit that combines creative, data and media planning and buying to create adaptive, personalised, programmatic advertising. It’s the first time that Mindshare’s FAST (Future Adaptive Specialist Team) has partnered with a creative agency on an ongoing basis, so lucky us. In a nutshell, fuelled by insights and data from another WPP stablemate, Kantar, we’ll use a combination of signals (think things like gender and age, location and weather, browsing and search data and purchase history and basket data) to create bespoke campaign narratives across the entire comms journey (not just at point-of-sale). No one is really doing this – so we would say that we can’t wait to get cracking, if we hadn’t got cracking already: on a brand campaign for Volvo that launches in a few months.

Read more about all of this over here.

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Shine on

December 21 is the darkest day of the year. But with Volvo LifePaint, it’s also a cyclist’s time to shine. While the unique reflective safety spray is already available via Volvo dealerships in more than 50 countries around the world, we’ve been working hard to ensure the product is even more accessible – and we’re happy to report that cans are now available to purchase online. Launch of the e-commerce platform is supported by digital billboards on some of London’s busiest and most dangerous roads, right when the city is at its darkest.

To purchase your cans, please visit the online store here. Stay safe, and have exceptional Christmases.

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That’s strategy Sor-ted

Another day, another terrible pun – but one that’s been offset by two fantastic hires and one well-deserved promotion. Firstly, we’re really excited that AMV’s Head of Strategy Innovation, Lilian Sor (r), has joined as our new Head of Strategy, replacing Matt Tanter who stepped up to CSO in June. She led strategy on the Guinness account, winning a load of awards, and we’re thrilled to have her. She joins Jonny Ng (l), who joins as Strategy Partner. A former Global Head of Engagement Marketing for Burberry and, most recently, joint head of strategy at Sunshine, he’ll be leading the strategy on our flagship M&S account. Last but certainly not least, the brilliant Ruth Chadwick, who has been at Grey since 2013, has been promoted to Deputy Head of Strategy. Says Matt Tanter, CSO: “There are some incredibly talented strategists out there but Lillian and Jonny stand apart in manner, modernity, energy and ambition. They are joining an already formidable and diverse strategy crew the heart and soul of which is Chadders. This is a team that are hell bent on making work that matters in the world. Of any shape. And doing it together.”

Read more about them here.

UPSTART

Start Me Up

Big news: our entry-level talent scheme, Grey Upstart, is now *drumroll (from Charlie Watts, ideally)* OPEN.

Love creativity and want to make your mark in culture? Then we want to hear from you. We don’t care whether you’re from Aberdeen or Zurich, have a PHD or left school at 16: if you have the talent, an open mind, and an entrepreneurial spirit, we want you on our team. Grey Upstart is what other companies may refer to as their ‘grad scheme’. But this isn’t just for university graduates. We want the best, whatever your background. No CVs – just five questions.

Interested? Find out more here. Applications close on 28 October.

 

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Are you experienced?

A Jimi Hendrix pun despite the fact that Grace informs us she was actually born on the day Michael Jackson’s Thriller was released. We’re slacking. Anyway, and as often, we digress. We’re really pleased to have secured Grace Francis as Experience Planning Partner – a new role for us – to head up our experience strategy team. One of the superstars that helped us win the M&S pitch, Grace will work on our new client as well as bringing together digital strategists, UX leads and data analysts across all our business units to map and identify creative and business challenges and opportunities for our clients. Wayne Brown, our COO, says he is excited by the hire, adding that Grace is  ‘already changing the way we work and what we make for the better.’

(she is)

Read more about her appointment on The Drum here.

MS

Off the Mark(s)

We are, in the words of Ms. Vicki Maguire and in the heads of everyone else here at 77 Hatton Garden, beyond excited to announce that we have won the race for Marks & Spencer’s £60m advertising and digital account. It’s the first time the iconic retailer has appointed one agency to handle both parts of the business and is a genuine landmark win for us – and the first under CEO Leo Rayman and our new management team. In Leo’s words, “This is a defining moment in the Grey London story. We’ve been after a marquee retailer for a number of years, and they don’t come more famed, more loved and bursting with opportunity than M&S. That they’ve fully bought into the new team here, and more importantly what we’re trying to achieve, is a real show of faith. We couldn’t be happier, and I can’t think of a better partner with whom to start what is an exciting new chapter for the both of us.”

David Patton, President and CEO, Grey EMEA, adds: “Grey London’s new management, led passionately by Leo Rayman, has hit the ground running. To have a business as significant as M&S put its faith into that team, from day one, is incredibly gratifying. This win, which is one of the most significant the agency has ever had, is testament to Leo’s ambitious vision and represents a real statement of intent. What an exciting time for everyone involved with Grey London.”

Read more about the pitch, which was led by Leo, ECD Vicki Maguire, CSO Matt Tanter and Managing Partner Barbara Waite, here.

 

REFU

Stand #WithRefugees

On the 5 August, at the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, ten elite athletes will walk out in front of a global audience of over a billion. They’ve survived bombings, walked barefoot through entire countries and swum for hours, pushing a boatload of people to shore. Brave and determined, they didn’t just survive; they trained and qualified for the Olympics. They are the Refugee Olympic Team. Together with Just So, we captured their remarkable story. A trailer, launched in the build up to the Games, previews a forthcoming full-length documentary. This is a story that needs to be told. 

Watch the trailer and read more about Team Refugees here.

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C-sweeeeeeet

Leo Rayman’s first action as CEO was to double the bar tab at the summer party. Cheers! His second? To promote Matt Tanter, formerly head of planning, to be our new Chief Strategy Officer, and Wayne Brown, MD of GreyPOSSIBLE, to be COO. Both are part of our overriding mission: to become the most progressive creative agency in the world. And both Matt and Wayne have already been fundamental to our recent success. At a sprightly 35, Matt becomes one of the youngest CSOs of a major agency. We haven’t checked, but he must be, must’t he? Answers on a postcard if you can think of anyone younger. His background’s in data and digital strategy, and he represents the new wave of creative strategist. In fact, he developed The Lucozade Sport Conditions Zone, which won a Cannes Lion for creative data. Wayne, having helped found GreyPOSSIBLE (which, under his watch, has doubled profit and margins over the past three years), takes the new role of COO, where he will focus on acquisitions to continue to diversify what we can offer, especially in the areas of tech, data, entertainment and earned media. The boy’s come a long way from the post room of Bates Dorland (and, before that, the mean streets of a Bristol Council estate).

Read more about both richly deserved promotions here. The future’s bright.

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CEO: it’s Leo

We are delighted to announce that Leo Rayman has been promoted to CEO of Grey London. He replaces the outgoing Lucy Jameson, who is leaving the agency to pursue her own interests. Leo’s appointment caps an impressive rise at the agency for the renowned strategist, who joined from adam&eveDDB as Head of Planning in 2013 before being promoted to Grey London & EMEA Chief Strategy Officer two years later. “Grey’s culture is what makes us different and it’s bigger than any one of us,” said Leo. “We’re now going to accelerate the Grey project, strengthening our position as the most progressive creative firm in London, with brave culturally-impactful work and acquisitions in tech and data.”

Read more about the appointment here.

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“A salute to the most alive man I know”

The man in question? Iggy Pop, whom Nils Leonard (the speaker of the above words) is interviewing for Grey’s 10th annual music seminar at Cannes Lions later this week. To mark what is Pop’s first appearance at the festival, he has recorded an emotive version of Dylan Thomas’ seminal poem, Do Not Go Gentle. A powerful, raw and expressive read, it is the poem as we’ve never heard it. And to illustrate the performance, Leonard has directed a 90′ film: a salute ‘to the most alive man [he] knows’ and a provocation on the world’s current obsession with dead heroes.

Read more about, and watch, it here.

‘No Not Go Gentle’, a conversation between Iggy Pop and Nils Leonard, takes place at 3pm on Wednesday 22 June at Lumiere Theatre.

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Design Week: BEST IN SHOW

This is big. Last night, we won Best Copy and Best in Show at the Design Week awards, joining previous winners including Jonathan Ive and the iPad, WIRED, Kawasaki and, we think, no other ad agency ever. It’s a proper honour, and one we owe to our Tate Britain ‘500 Years of Stories’ work, which you can read more about here. It’s pretty incredible – the design industry gets the impact great design can have on the world, but it’s rare that advertising is recognised for achieving the same. It shows the power and potential of this work to shake up the arts and open them up to new audiences – not just to drive people into Tate Britain but to make visual arts relevant to the young and at the heart of culture, where they belong. The judges agreed, describing the work as “Brave – purely copy lead for design. Genuinely emotional, which is hard to achieve.”.

The full winners list can be found here.

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Heavy metal

So here we are, in the midst of awards season. And let’s get this straight: awards aren’t why we do what we do. But they are important. Talent is everything in this game, and we need awards to be able to attract the world’s best – and, even more crucially, to hang on to our own (who, believe us, are in high demand!). Thankfully, they’re winning bagfuls of awards right where they are. In the past few weeks, we’ve had excellent showings at D&AD (picking up not one, but two Black Pencils, becoming one of the top-three most awarded agencies in the world), The Webby Awards (we won two – our first ever), The One Show (loads – including Gold for Volvo LifePaint), the inaugural UK Effies and Creative Circle (again, loads). It was also at the latter that our very own Vicki Maguire was named PRESIDENT of Creative Circle. We couldn’t be more proud.

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Doing it for the Kidz

(Childishly) excited by this one: we’ve become the first creative agency to partner with real life role-play experience KidZania. Our partnership sees us open a ‘micro’ version of the agency within the ‘child-sized city’ that is KidZania London, a two-storey, 75,000sq ft space within Westfield London that recreates adult workplaces where kids aged 4-14 will play at carrying out jobs. In our space, which was opened last night by Sir Martin Sorrell, children will be able to learn about the industry and create a custom outdoor advert for KidZania, which will appear on Clear Channel screens around the city. MD Natalie Graeme cites the need to do more to attract the best young talent, pointing out that ‘we’re no longer competing just with other advertising agencies, but with the world’s most creative, innovative and ambitious companies. By becoming the first creative agency to partner with KidZania, we hope to inspire the next generation of young talent into considering a career in the industry.’ And as Joel Cadbury, Chairman of KidZania London, points out, ‘who knows, the next Nils Leonard or Lucy Jameson might be about to walk through our doors’.

Read more about our partnership here and here, or about the wonderful initiative that is KidZania itself here.

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Something in the water

It’s arguably the greatest sporting achievement in history: Leicester City, who fairly unexpectedly avoided relegation in 2015, went on to win the Premier League in 2016, beating the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and West Ham (okay, West Ham are the odd one out, but this writer’s a fan). It defied all the odds. Indeed, the odds of such an occurrence was 5000-1 at the start of the season. So how did they do it? Many suggested that ‘there must be something in the water up there!’. But only one person actually travelled up to Leicester to find out. Step forward Grey creative Rasmus Smith Bech (of LifePaint fame). His hilarious account of the journey quickly went viral, finding its way onto the likes of The Daily Star, The Express, The Leicester Mercury and, faintly ridiculously, the BBC. Give the film a watch – even if just to see Danny “Drinkwater” Drinkwater’s thoughts on the matter. ‘Fuck knows, mate’.

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#JoinTheHerd. Kill the ivory trade.

On 30 April 2016, Kenya burned the largest stockpile of ivory in history. More than 105 tonnes went up in flames, demonstrating the Kenyan government’s zero tolerance of the vile ivory trade. The message was clear: elephants are worth more alive than dead and ivory should be burned like worthless trash. Building on the huge success and reach of our #JoinTheHerd campaign for WildAid, we mobilised the herd to witness this symbolic, important moment in the fight against the ivory trade by live-streaming the burn via Periscope and, in China, WeChat. In China – the world’s largest ivory market – we also hosted a live event broadcast on mobile and projected anti-ivory messages onto Shanghai’s equivalent of Times Square, the Bund Building. Chairman Nils Leonard described the burn as “a bold statement by Kenya that ivory has no value unless it’s on a live elephant – and a bold move by Grey and WildAid to hit at the heart of the world’s biggest market for ivory”.

Read more about the burn and our involvement here.

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Watch That Man

Trevor Beattie recently guest edited The Drum. In it, he decided to interview a series of ‘bold, troublesome, fearless, provocative and influential’ individuals from the worlds of advertising, media, science and art. Unfortunately, they were all busy so he ended up with Nils Leonard. Bmmtsssh! Joking aside, he introduces Nils by saying “Never mistake Nils Leonard for an adman. Even if he wants you to. He’s not. Nils’ meteoric rise and dazzling recent success have come because he is anything but an adman. He’s primarily a stranger. In a strange land.’ You can say that again, Trev’.

It’s a great read, both both interviewer and interviewee. Check it out here.

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Bird of Grey

We’ve won Birds Eye! The title was a pun on ‘bird of prey’, if you hadn’t worked it out. We know they say that if you need to explain your pun, it probably doesn’t work – but we’re not convinced that this one really does. Anyway, we digress: we’ve won Birds Eye. We’ve actually been appointed by Nomad Foods, and will be working across Europe on brands including the aforementioned Birds Eye, Findus and Iglo. We beat off some really strong competition in the pitch, and it’s no wonder. CEO Lucy Jameson commented quite rightly that “these are brands anyone would want to work with: iconic advertising pioneers whose campaigns we remember from our childhoods”. Chairman Nils Leonard, on the other hand, dressed up as Captain Birdseye himself in celebration.

Read all about it here.

 

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Dick pics for D&AD

‘Grey wins YouTube and D&AD Film Hack with inspiring ‘dick pics’ video‘. How’s that for a headline?

Anyway, we did. It’s the second time in three years we’ve won YouTube’s annual film Hack Hack competition, which aims to show the marketing world how the platform can be best used as an effective advertising tool. Our ‘irreverent’ film, which swept both the judges’ and Google metrics’ boards, revolved around the idea that ‘You already do it. Get paid to do it’. Whether it’s taking dick pics, writing witty notes or filming weird stuff, if you do it, why not check out D&AD’s New Blood hub to find out how you can turn eccentric habits into a career in the creative industries? Stephen Lepitak, editor of The Drum, said that “Grey’s winning entry is an excellent example of how to use YouTube and also one that D&AD should definitely push forward as a recruitment tool. Well done everyone involved.”

To read more about it, and to watch the film, click here.

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Follow suit

Who said planners don’t make good CEOs? That’s the leap – despite the perceived wisdom – that Lucy Jameson made 18 months ago, and while the learning curve has been ‘pretty much vertical’, it turns out she’s good at it. What’s more, she’s realised that the industry needs more people to do the same; more people planners who’ll make great strategic suits. In this piece for Campaign Magazine, she explains why that’s the case – and sets out her vision for Grey over the next decade. Just don’t expect her to spend much time schmoozing clients. She’s busy solving their problems instead.

Read Lucy’s call to action here.

 

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School Reports: it’s a nine!

We’re over the moon to be scored nine out of nine – a perfect score! – in Campaign’s annual state-of-the-industry-style School Reports, its definitive ranking of UK agencies. We’ve never been scored a nine (‘outstanding’) before. We’re one of only two creative agencies (and one of just four agencies of any kind) to be scored so highly. We’ve been recognised as having 43% women in our senior management team, and 29% BAME. Those are phenomenal stats, and we’re very proud of them. Without pointing fingers, it’s worth checking out other agencies’ diversity figures. As an industry, we still have a long way to go. We’ve also entered Nielsen’s ‘top 10 agencies’ list for the first time ever, with UK media billings rising by a massive 37%. Selected highlights from Campaign’s write up include talk of our ‘impressive, dramatic turnaround’, our two Grand Prix wins at Cannes (the only agency in the world to do so), being named Euro Effies agency of the year, our policy of promoting the best talent from within, and the fact we were ‘by far’ the best performing creative agency in Campaign/The IPA’s diversity research. We’re very proud. Thanks to everyone that has made it possible – here’s to more of the same. And, indeed, less of the same, as we continue to innovate, push boundaries and redefine what advertising is and can do.

Read the report in full here.

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‘We’re losing sight of the root cause of the equality problem’

CEO Lucy Jameson talks equality in her latest piece for The Huffington Post. In it, she argues that the current focus on equality in leadership positions, or on the gender pay gap – as important as both are – may be causing us to lose sight of the root of the problem: those deep-rooted, more ingrained stereotypes, those which are so commonplace they’re rarely highlighted. One of which is housework. On average women spend 117 minutes more each day than men on household chores. This is despite the fact that today women also make up 47% of the workforce. Indeed, only two in 10 children say housework is split evenly in their home, while a mere 2% of young girls think it’s their dad’s responsibility to do household chores. Isn’t it time that advertising started to question, rather than reinforce, that stereotype?

To read more of Lucy’s thoughts, click here.

Print

Scientifically speaking

Words like ‘delighted’ are thrown around in press releases like confetti at a wedding. But we are genuinely delighted, thrilled, excited and any other synonym you might care to throw at us that we’ve been selected by The Science Museum as its creative partner. As well as driving footfall to the museum – dubbed ‘the home of human ingenuity’ – itself, we’ll be launching its ambitious new interactive gallery, opening to the public later this year. Our work will mirror its subject, with campaigns placing a heavy (and we mean heavy) focus on tech and innovation. The Science Museum is one of the most inspiring and innovative places in the UK and deserves creative work that is equally ingenious and inspiring – work that ensures its new gallery lands right at the heart of culture. We’re seriously excited by this one. Watch this space.

Read more on the win here.

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All’s Fair in love and chores?

Gender equality has come a long way. Yet despite women now making up nearly 50% of the UK workforce, they still spend on average 117 more minutes every day on household chores than men. 60% of children have seen their parents argue about the housework, while only 20% say that housework is shared evenly in their home. Just 2% of girls think it is their dad’s job to do the housework. To coincide with International Women’s Day, and to highlight the issue of gender equality and fairness in the home, iconic household brand Fairy made one small change to its logo: ‘Fairy’ became ‘Fair’. We launched the campaign with a film on Facebook, which encouraged people to question ‘how fair is your home?’. It gained 25,000 organic views within its first 24 hours, and within a fortnight has been viewed more than 600,000 times.

Watch the video and add your voice to the campaign here.

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One does not simply walk into culture

In his latest in his Culture Vulture series for The Drum, CSO Leo Rayman argues why brands must venture beyond the mainstream:

‘Most brands only opt for a nod towards culture, a kind of cultural tourism that is much less effective than actually immersing yourself in something meaningful to your audience. The problem is twofold: first you need to have a purpose (which can be still terrifyingly absent in 2016) and then you need a working knowledge of the culture relevant to your audience. As Boromir says, you can’t just wander in, you have to really understand how it works.’

Check out the rest of the column here.  

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Meowww…say hello to the McVitie’s iKitten

Let’s face it: cats dressed up is a big part of the internet. With this in mind, we’ve created possibly the cutest, but least useful thing in the app store: the McVitie’s iKitten. The augmented reality app allows you to personalise your very own British Blue kitten, dressing it up in purrrfect (sorry) accessories and making it play with a selection of toys. In the less than two weeks since launch, the app was downloaded 59k times (for context, two-thirds of apps don’t get 1000 downloads in their first year. 80% of branded apps don’t get 1000 at all!), saw 2.2m kitten interactions and trended on the App Store on its day of launch. It’s also been rated 4.5/5 stars by the public. Now that’s pretty Sweeet™.

Download your own iKitten here.

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HardWIRED

Nils Leonard – our Chairman, CCO and a man not adverse to a profile piece – recently sat down with WIRED. In the article that chat inspired, he talks about why 90% of advertising is ‘shit’ (and his desire to advance the industry, not just the agency), how a state of panic can lead to brilliant, innovative creativity, and how we’ve fundamentally reshaped the agency – doing away with outdated industry conventions including offices, closed doors and that old advertising ball and chain, sign off.

Read the piece in its entirety here.

Year of the Elephant

A trumpet call to action

33,000 African Elephants are killed every year for their tusks. THIRTY THREE THOUSAND. Every year. That’s 90 every day, or more than three an hour. How depressing is that? Less depressingly, momentum is at least (and at last) building to stop the ivory trade once and for all. That’s why, this Chinese New Year, Grey and conservation group WildAid are calling on the world to help make 2016 the first ever Year of the Elephant and make 2016 the year more elephants are born than are killed. Join supporters including Sir Richard Branson, Yoko Ono, Arianna Huffington, Sir Trevor McDonald, Lupita Nyong’o and Yao Ming and #JointheHerd. Wish your friends ‘Xiàng Nián Kuài Lè’ (See-ANG nyan qua-ler – that’s ‘Happy Year of the Elephant’ in Mandarin). Change your social media profile picture here, and read more about the campaign here.

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Hi!(res)

What better way to start off the year than with a truly terrible pun? Hiring a bunch of bunch of award-winning, innovative, boundary-pushing creatives, that’s what. We’ve been after these guys for a while, so we’re made up to finally get our men (and woman). Jon Kallus & Ash Ghazali join as Creative Directors from BETC London, while Danielle Noël & Thom Whitaker join as a senior creative team from Wieden + Kennedy. Between them, they’ve won a whole metaphorical zoo full of Cannes Lions. But as well as being super talented, they have the right energy – a prerequisite at our place. In the words of the irrepressible Vicki Maguire, “We want people that get what we’re all about, and who get what we’re trying to achieve. People who buy into our culture and who want to create some culture themselves. People who give a shit, making stuff that matters. These guys do.”

Read a bit more about them here.

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Thanks for the debate, Davos, but it’s time for action

In her latest column for The Huffington Post, our CEO Lucy Jameson argues that it’s time for action – not just words – on gender equality. It follows the recent World Economic Forum, where while gender equality was back on the agenda, only 17.8% of attendees were female. Laughably, at least one debate on gender equality was comprised entirely of men. So what are the issues? And more to the point, what has to change?

Read Lucy’s thoughts in full here.

wtf

What the f..?

In his latest Culture Vulture column, Leo Rayman ponders #WTF moments. We talk about them a lot at Grey – those moments when you see something so weird it stops you dead. But how do they happen? And how can brands harness them? Here, Leo argues that culture – unlike price or product – can’t be copied; indeed, it the biggest sustainable advantage a brand can have today. And that to make an impact on culture, brands need a position – even if it costs them or alienates some customers.

Intruiged? Click here.

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A Grey Christmas Carol

So, we’ve just about recovered from our Christmas party-induced hangovers. Yes, it was last week! But that probably tells you just about all you need to know. In accordance with the rest of our year, we decided to go big, putting on our own secret cinema-style gig based on whichever iteration of A Christmas Carol took your fancy. It was such a big job, and came together so brilliantly, that we thought a few (top) hat tips were in order, in no particular order: the events team at Grey, who were left cursing their own ambition on more than one occasion; our venues, Haymarket Cineworld and Tony & the team at The White Rabbit in Shoreditch, who were always excellent; The Flash Pack, who provided the Victorian-style photo booth and who handled 400-odd (or 400 odd?) boozed up ad people with better humour than they probably deserved; our actors for the night – Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit and The Ghost of Christmas Past – who couldn’t have got into the spirit of things any more; the crowd-pleasing The Colts and our DJs; ID&C, who designed and provided the wristbands for the night; and – last but not least – Hattie & Flora, who turned an empty East London studio into a Dickensian wonderland. Have a great Christmas, everyone, and we’ll see you in the new year.

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The context behind the canvas

Art is moving, but not just because of its aesthetic. It’s the narrative behind the art that moves us the most. Despite that, convention dictates that art should be promoted visually, focusing heavily on reproductions of the artwork itself. Well, you can probably guess what we think of convention. To help connect Tate Britain and its artwork with a new audience, we stripped everything away. Rather than showcasing the art itself, we’re using powerful words, enhanced with unusual typographic twists, to tell the story behind it.

Read more about the campaign here.

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Tech at the top table

Properly excited to have these three heading up the creative department: the inimitable Vicki Maguire, ex-BBH-er Dom Goldman and Dare Labs founder Perry Nightingale. Vicki and Dom take dual Executive Creative Director roles, while Perry has been appointed Executive Creative Technologist. It’s the first time a major agency has put technology and digital alongside traditional craft at the top of its creative department. Why? To push powerful, original ideas in culture and to make a different shape of work. We want to push the boundaries of what advertising can be. These three will help us do that. In their own words…

“Fucking brilliant, another “skirt” in a top job.” (Vicki, obvs)

 “This is the most exciting place in London.” (Dom, who knows what he’s talking about)

“A place full of slightly mad artists making brilliant things, I’ve found my perfect place.” (Perry, ditto)

Read more about the appointments here.