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The UK Advertising Export Group (UKAEG) chose Crowd to speak at the UK House at a celebration of Cannes Lions Creativity to showcase advertising with purpose. 

The talk covered the MyDorsetMind project  by Crowd. The project created a digital platform that enabled people to virtually access the Dorset countryside during lockdown, and therefore boost their mental health by feeling closer to nature. 

The talk, delivered by Crowd Creative Director Steve Howling, explained how advertising agencies brands should look past messaging campaigns and see how technology and creativity can be used to create tools for consumers. By creating something useful, brands will engage more deeply with their audience, and become part of their life – rather than blend in with the rest. 

This year’s themes from Cannes Lions Live were not only diverse, but also forward-thinking. 

  • How COVID-19 has changed everything – Why culture, society and creativity will never be the same again.
  • Coping with a crisis – Creativity is the answer: now what’s the question?
  • It’s a journey, not a destination – Rewriting all the rules of retail.
  • Build back better – How creative businesses will thrive, not just survive.
  • Will brands still save the world? – The purpose priority post-pandemic.
  • Are you stalking me? – Being cool, not creepy, in the pursuit of personalisation.
  • A fad or the future? – The good, bad and the ugly: seeing the creative potential of new platforms and technologies.
  • The vanilla content issue – Getting attention in a blizzard of bland stories

Our international team and global footprint can help companies expand their horizons wherever they are. Speak to us today.

British attitudes towards travel and tourism have changed almost beyond recognition in recent months. As successive lockdowns have bitten into the national psyche, a series of meta-trends that were emerging pre-Covid have come to the fore. At the same time, the pandemic has itself created new ones. The biggest change? A renewed love for The British Staycation.

When the first national lockdown eased in the UK between June and July 2020, millions of Britons in need of a summer getaway were faced with the challenge of finding holiday destinations much closer to home.

According to Britain’s Office for National Statistics, there were 93.1 million overseas visits by UK residents in 2019, spending a mind boggling £62.3 billion, an increase of 7% compared with 2018. Had that trend continued, foreign travel might have outweighed domestic tourist spend entirely.

But this does not mean that £62.3 billion has gone straight into domestic tourism in 2021.

Domestic tourism forecasts for 2021

At time of writing, the ONS hadn’t released its 2020 data. But VisitBritain put together a provisional outline of the impact of Covid on domestic tourism in England from other data sources – and included forecasts for 2021.

“We have forecast a central scenario for England of £28.5 billion in domestic tourism spending in 2020, down 63% compared to 2019 when spending by domestic tourists in England was £75.9 billion,” the organisation reported.

“In total, this represents a loss of £47.5 billion (£11.7 billion from overnights and £35.8 billion from leisure day trips). The 2020 forecast is for a decline of 60% for overnights and 63% for leisure day trips, although with a different pattern of recovery. While some categories of day trips started to recover first, others are still very limited.”

The impact of regional and national lockdowns has clearly been felt. But within the gloomy reading, the shift to staycations over foreign travel is coming down the road as clear as day itself.

What happens in England is likely to be mirrored in the devolved nations of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – and in every developed country where Covid-19 remains riskily high.

For further insights, see our full Amplify Travel & Tourism eBook here. To speak to Emma, contact her via LinkedIn here or email her at [email protected].

With a Covid-19 vaccine in sight for many people, teams could reasonably be expected to return to the office in the foreseeable future. But a move back to company HQ seems destined to fail if insisted upon too early in the recovery cycle.

It may also just be unnecessary. Firms like Fujitsu and Twitter have already announced plans to make remote work a permanent option, even after the pandemic. Global enterprises are deciding the path that they want to take to avoid staff irritation and confusion down the road.

Long-Term Travel – A Staff Incentive

The collision of technology and our personal desires is opening new avenues that are far flung from old-fashioned ideas about working from home.

With global restrictions almost impossible to predict, short-term travel continues to be difficult. But employees that feel a longer-term escape will benefit their professional focus and overall well-being are finding a new receptivity among progressive employers wanting to give talented individuals the space to find their place in the pandemic world.

Singles and couples that want to escape the same four walls they have inhabited since the beginning of the global lockdown are actively being given the opportunity to do so.

Travel has previously been seen as a potent employment incentive for a global workforce. Now it is a ‘travel-plus-living-in-the-place-you-want-to-work-from-for-a-while’ incentive.

This change has been driven partially by consistent access to the internet. Society already needed a cultural shift away from ‘presentism’ in the office. Although it took a global pandemic to do it, that shake up has happened. With a decent Wi-Fi connection and some initiative, a huge number of people in computer-based roles can get a day’s work done wherever they choose to be.

Working From Anywhere

A survey of 1,123 remote workers by The Times and Morning Consult found that:

  • 86% were satisfied working from home
  • Only 1 in 5 said they wanted to go back to the office full-time
  • 40% said they were taking more walks and breaks
  • 33% said they were exercising more

It seems safe to say that WFH works. But for me, the most telling statistic in this report actually related to the new WFA paradigm. One in three people contacted for the survey said they would “move to a new city or state if remote work continued indefinitely.”

In a world which increasingly seems crammed together, the future of business could be just the opposite: A chance to get out.

For further insights, see our full Amplify Travel & Tourism eBook here. To speak to Jamie, contact him via LinkedIn here.

Globetrender’s recent survey of 2,000 regular business travellers found that despite the increase in video-calling, the majority of people still believe that face-to-face meetings are preferable.

It’s our universal desire to connect with fellow humans that matters – be it for business or for pleasure. And that is why business travel will do more than survive in the long term.

The travel and hospitality sector has adapted to everything that has happened and we’ll adapt to everything that will happen ahead.

All you have to do is ask hoteliers. As Philip Chambers, General Manager at the K+K George Hotel Kensington told Amplify Travel & Tourism magazine, “We are working hard to create hospitality products that encourage the business traveller to spend more time with us. We will emerge from the current crisis with the energy and creativity which has kept it growing for more than a century.”

Themes for 2021

I look forward to travelling for business but believe that it will be less frequent and more intense. Business travellers like me will need to justify their travel for commercial, personal and ethical reasons in a way never seen before.

We will still need to meet new clients, build the foundations for future relationships, and complete complex deals and projects. But we will have to justify the business case for travel and assure our partners and families that the work cannot be done any other way – or take them with us.

We also need to think if a journey justifies the carbon footprint it creates.

Longer stays will be more popular. After the initial shock of Covid-19, we embraced working from home, spending more time with our families and getting involved with our communities. We swapped the commute for exercise and well-being – and theoretically had more time to do the things we love, because we spent less time commuting.

I think a new synthesis will emerge from all of these strands that offers business people the best of both worlds – a flexible work-world, and time to enjoy business tourism with the blessing of the companies that we work for.

For further insights, see our full Amplify Travel & Tourism ebook here. To speak to Vinnie, contact him via LinkedIn here or email him at [email protected].

Last week saw the first SXSW Online, a fully digital version of the annual conference which featured a busy program of keynote speakers, panel discussions, music showcases and film screenings.

After first attending the event in Austin two years ago, we were excited to have the opportunity to take part again, forming part of the UK House. This is a program of events, organised by the UK Advertising Exports Group (UKAEG) and supported by organisations such as the British Government’s Department of International Trade, that showcases the very best in UK creativity.

I made my own SXSW debut this year, joining a panel of industry professionals to discuss how the pandemic has put social communities back in the spotlight, and the wealth of insights available to brands within these communities.

Community is what social media was built on from the beginning, providing a way for people to connect on a scale that hadn’t been possible before. While I don’t believe this ever got lost as such, the pandemic meant that digital interaction became the only way for people to have this connection.

For me, the sweet spot for any brand looking to grow and nurture a community is to strike the perfect balance between offering value without explicitly selling. Depending on your sector, this value can mean to inform, to support, to entertain or to solve a problem. During the pandemic, there is the added complexity of achieving a positive, yet sympathetic tone when facilitating a community of people likely to be experiencing heightened emotions.

One of the most effective ways to find your brand’s sweet spot is to listen outside of our own channels. Audiences speaking to brands is just part of the story, but audiences speaking to each other is a gold mine – and one that is often untapped. This data not only informs the marketing strategy, but it can drive product development and more effective business operations.

If you’re looking to develop your brand’s community strategy, or would like to discuss more about how online listening can deliver insights for your business, please get in touch.

This week we celebrated National Mentoring Day and it was perfect timing because we’ve been organising a Hackathon, in partnership with Bournemouth University and the Arts University of Bournemouth.

This is the second event we will be holding of it’s kind and we’re really excited for the launch next week.

Our team has been working around the clock and we already have the collaboration of the creative and tech teams at Ageas, but we really need agency professionals who work in tech, design and creative to lead the teams of 2 or 3 interdisciplinary students.

We truly believe it will be a fantastic opportunity to give students the ability to improve their skills with software development, data analytics, and digital design, through a virtual event.

If you are interested in mentoring a team of students, you’ll find all the details below.

https://bournemouth.digital/code-jam-2-the-creative-jam/

Cold Banana is a .NET specialist development agency.

We focus on working with you to get a clear and detailed understanding of you, your business and importantly the challenges you are facing. In partnership, with you, we work to uncover the cause of the issue and the outcome you hope to achieve with our partnership. We then develop a digital solution that aims to make the lives of you, your business and your customers easier.

This is achieved by delivering a bespoke online platform that has been developed in partnership with you and your business, delivering a solution that works for the business and importantly for your customers. All our platforms are built on a secure .NET architecture dependant on your needs we work with the support of our partners such as Umbraco, Kentico, Sitecore, Ucommerce and Xamarin to deliver a Content Management Service (CMS) that will be familiar, intuitive and easy to use.

Our Head office is based on the sunny South Coast of England in one the fast-growing digital hubs of the UK, a beautiful seaside town Bournemouth. Cold Banana is a Umbraco Gold Partner, a certified Kentico, Sitecore & Ucommerce partner meaning that we are the software development partner you can trust.

We are the specialists in delivering platforms that work for you and your customers, whether you are an agency, or a business looking for a team to work in your office or additional support.

Bournemouth based digital marketing agency Adido, are pleased to announce they’ve started working with Scottish drinks giant William Grant and Sons. The agency will work on three of their eight main brands plus three of their innovation brands. The brands are Hendrick’s Gin, The Balvenie, Monkey Shoulder, Atopia, Verano and the sustainable spirit Discarded.

The preferred development agreement means they are responsible for working across multiple global markets on each brand to identify digital wins in an aim to increase their digital footprint and ROI. Most recently, Adido has been working hard to strategically support the global brand teams, offering a best practice approach as they go through a period of change within their omnichannel marketing plans due to the current crisis.

They’ve already launched a new global website for Monkey Shoulder using the new brand visual identity (BVI) created by design agency, Space in London. The site uses animation and vibrant, quirky designs all brought to life by Adido.

And in response to the increasing Zoom trend we have worked with Hendrick’s Gin to release some unusual backgrounds to make video calls more theatrical.

“Adido is great at working with our agency partners, always looking at the bigger picture. They happily take on any challenge to get us where we need to be. They work across our markets globally and locally, turning everything around in a timely manner which helps us hugely” said Celine Weldon, Global Brand Manager at Hendrick’s Gin.

The agency has also been working with the Hendrick’s UK team using their data to provide insights for better decision making. In a specific landing page test Google Analytics was used to generate insight around the demand for ‘where to buy’ features within the website. This has helped them to make strategic decisions on their e-comm strategy.

“It has been a very exciting start to the year for all of the Adido team. From being able to make small changes on their websites to helping shape their global digital strategy, we’ve put all of our digital skills to use and are making a real difference. As the world comes to terms with the Covid outbreak, we look forward to working even closer with all of the WG&S brand teams across the globe to understand the nuances of each market and provide insights to help them adapt and win.” said CEO Andy Headington.

Adido was established in 2003 and is a specialist digital marketing agency. Their ethos is to analyse data to enable better decision making & marketing results, an approach that has seen them work with clients like Hall and Woodhouse, Ordnance Survey and Dine. Their strong analytical, development, PPC and SEO skills are currently even more relevant and considered a necessity to get organisations through the epidemic.

Bournemouth-based digital agency ETHICLY launched last week, as the world celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day.

Since 1970 the Earth Day movement has been driving towards widespread, global change for good. All this stems from a clear and central mission; ‘to build the world’s largest environmental movement to drive transformative change for people and planet’.

ETHICLY has a clear mission ‘to Make A Difference with Digital’ and, as such, the agency is uniquely targeted towards ‘brands for good’.

Founder Nikki Webb developed her skills in digital over 20 years working for and with major retail, telecoms and technical brands. In the last 5 years, running her own digital consultancy she has found herself gravitating more and more towards projects where the client’s values resonated with her own. Now as the world survives lockdown, the Coronavirus crisis calls on us all to draw on our innate values of supporting local communities, human kindness and global health, Nikki has launched ETHICLY. This is a Digital Agency that specialises in delivering expert guidance and change to brands, who embody these values: human-centric, earth-conscious, ethical sourcing, carbon neutrality and, in general, striving to ‘do good’ in what they do.

Drawing from the collective wisdom of a tight network of specialists, ETHICLY provides a full spectrum of digital services – from Nikki’s strategic direction and brand development skills, to website build, copy and content, social strategies and execution, and – of course – marketing across the breadth of the digital world.

Nikki told us: “It may seem like a strange time to launch a business, but I can’t think of a better moment to start ETHICLY. As we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of World Earth Day, and see the positive impact of lower emissions on our planet – as well as the kindness and generosity of the human spirit around the globe – I feel even more passionate about using my digital skills and experience for good. To connect people, drive awareness and change, bringing results to brands who are fighting to make a difference.”

Nikki went on to say how excited they are to be working with CTX Global – towards carbon neutral status, and they’ve pledged to plant trees for every project undertaken. The aim is to live the values that they and their clients hold dear.

“At ETHICLY we are conscious, fearless and authentic in our approach, with lots of heart and soul thrown in for good measure!”

You can find out more about ETHICLY at https://ethicly.co.uk/

Written by: Passenger |

Many of the operator TransXChange datasets already added to BODS are hosted by Passenger and linked for automatic updates. Go-Ahead subsidiary East Yorkshire, and operators Transdev and Nottingham City Transport are amongst those already using the new service.Anthony Carver-Smith, Marketing Manager at NCT comments, “When the regulations were announced there was a concern from operators that it could be a time consuming process to meet the new legislation, adding to an already full workload in delivering services. But Passenger has made compliance with the new regulations automatic for us. Each time we upload data to Passenger Cloud for our app and website it gets published straight to BODS. Simple and very effective.”

The Bus Open Data Service went live on 29 January 2020 and over the next year will become the online home of bus operator data in England. The team at Passenger has worked closely with the BODS team at the Department for Transport to enable operators to meet the new requirements.

Alex Hornby, CEO at Transdev adds, “Open data has been shown to stimulate innovation and economic growth. As a forward thinking company we understand the vital role the transport network plays in our community, now and in the future. It is great to see our colleagues at Passenger making it really straightforward for us to publish our data to the new BODS service.”

Following the passing of the Bus Services Act 2017, operators running commercial bus services and local authorities acting on behalf of bus operators must provide their timetable data by the end of 2020. Sharing fare and vehicle location data to BODS will also be required by 2021.

To find out more about how Passenger is helping operators to quickly and easily publish data on the new BODS service please get in touch.