Service provision during the Coronavirus outbreak

CORONAVIRUS – 17th March 2020

In view of the ongoing developments relating to coronavirus and the PM’s briefing yesterday (16th March), we’d like to make all our clients and suppliers aware of the provisions we have in place in order to continue delivering our services.

As of tomorrow (18th March), on the advice of the government, we have asked all staff to work from home. Fortunately, as a business we are well placed to perform virtually all activities remotely. 

  • All staff have laptops, mobile phones and home internet access
  • Client services and studio staff can access work servers remotely, including Workbook, our online job management platform. 
  • Direct lines will divert to mobiles.
  • Conference and video calls can be made via Microsoft teams.
  • Our servers and emails are securely backed up daily to a cloud-based server.
  • All scheduled meetings will now take place remotely. 

We’d like to reassure all our clients and suppliers that we will continue ‘business as usual’ and, as we receive new information from the authorities, we will make further announcements.

Stay safe and stay in touch.

Best regards
The Board
One Brand Magic

One appoints new Creative Director

Andy Wood is a well-known force within the creative industry and with over 20 years’ experience, he’s worked for a multitude of agencies across Manchester on a freelance basis for the last 14 years.

Throughout his career, he’s frequently worked alongside the previous creative director here at One, Pete Johnston. Since retiring, Pete has returned to One as part-time creative consultant and continues to work alongside Andy.

After joining the team as a freelance copywriter in 2016, Andy has now decided to take the permanent role of creative director.
Andy commented on his appointment: “Having worked as a freelancer for 14 years, moving into a permanent role was always going to be a big decision – one that’s not taken lightly.

“My time working with One became more frequent over the last 12 months and in this time, the company has seen real change and has shown incredible initiative to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of marketing. This was a key influencing factor in me wanting to keep working with the team.”
Andy was involved in One’s rebrand in mid-2018, which saw the agency unveil a new proposition and brand identity, as well as a restructured service portfolio to better support our growing and diverse client base.

Andy continued: “This is genuinely one of the only, if not the only agency I would have considered becoming part of full-time. The whole team’s brimming with tenacity and determination to deliver the absolute best work for clients. This, combined with the service offering and ‘Brand Magic’ proposition, makes One an agency to watch and a team I want to be a part of.”

With our Managing Director, Wayne Silver adding: “Andy’s work on every project he’s been involved in has wowed clients and colleagues alike. It was obvious that the chemistry between Andy and One was there right from the beginning and the time leading up to his appointment has felt like natural progression and growth.

“Having worked with Andy over the last couple of years, we know that this appointment is a fantastic move for One, especially for all current and future clients.”

For more information about One and our services, follow us on Twitter or Instagram.

One boosts vital statistics with BUPA TV commercial

Following a competitive pitch, we were delighted to get the opportunity to work with Bupa’s insight and designs teams to develop a successful direct response television campaign (DRTV).

The ‘Back on track’ DRTV commercial represents a shift from previous ads by highlighting the emotional benefits of Bupa’s private medical insurance, supported by the promise of ‘fast access to treatment.’

Keen to avoid clichés and steering clear of saccharine montages of happy families and forgettable benefits, we wanted to tell a story audiences could really relate to. After several scripts, the preferred route was developed with consumer research validating the strategy along the way, both at storyboard and first edit stage.

Production involved a suitably rainy day in Manchester followed by a glorious day in Snowdonia for the outdoor scenes – weather that helped to tell our story perfectly.

The result, an inspiring ad that created good visibility for the brand, proving to be Bupa’s strongest preforming DRTV ad to date. The campaign is achieving its commercial objectives, with both telesales and online lead generation performing strongly.

Watch the advert here.

5 Steps to Improving Marketing Effectiveness in 2019

This month we headed down to London to get the latest insights from some of the industry’s best minds at the IPA’s annual Effectiveness Week conference. As a precursor to the evening’s glitzy IPA effectiveness awards, which awarded gold to campaigns for the likes of Direct Line and The AA, speakers explored the ways in which companies and agencies alike can develop sustainable effectiveness cultures.

As well offering Naga Munchetty (compere for the day and BBC Breakfast presenter) a welcome respite from Trump’s posturing and daily Brexit mishaps, the various presentations and panel discussions reiterated five themes that can be used to propel effectiveness to the top of the agenda as we all enter the definitive stages of the 2019 planning season:


1.) Place creativity at the heart of all advertising

This sentiment is nothing new, but with the rise in data-driven (as opposed to data-informed) marketing offering up risk averse alternatives to hard-fought Big Ideas, it’s easy to see why creativity has become a necessary sweetener rather than the driver of commercial success. Enter Orlando Wood (of System1 Group), whose research has uncovered a direct correlation between emotionally resonant creativity and long term sales growth.

Advancements in behavioural economic theory have proven that we, as consumers ‘think much less than we think we think’. The notion that the majority of everyday decisions are rapidly made and principally steered by emotion and experience means that advertisers have a need to create a fluency/mental shortcuts between the consumer and the brand meaning that the former is able to recognise it quickly and is assured that it is a good choice.

Wood contends that around half of all advertising spend in the UK and US contributes little to long term growth, as it focuses on rational communications over provoking positive emotional responses that help to nurture these ‘mental shortcuts’. Referencing M&M’s ‘Scott’s home early’ ad and Anchor’s ‘that’s the good stuff’ campaign amongst many others, the research shows how these executions harnessed positive emotional responses through the use of characters (or more specifically ‘fluent devices’), which when combined with a competitive share of voice equated to disproportionate market share gains. This uplift in effectiveness also extended online (e.g. online video, display advertising) with spikes in direct response metrics (e.g. clickthrough/viewthrough rate) demonstrating that all elements of the marketing mix can stand to benefit from the initial creative leap.


2.) Implement a culture of effectiveness

A study into ‘marketing effectiveness culture in practice’ that was discussed during the day revealed that only 9 of the 100 internal brand owner survey participants (including marketing, research and finance department staff) strongly agreed that their company prioritised the correct mix of resources (people, capability, systems and structures) to support marketing effectiveness. Gain Theory’s Jon Webb opined that de-siloing data from different departments was the main way to reconcile this disparity and ensure that effectiveness becomes a shared responsibility.

The key to integrating this culture is to firstly establish the ‘value creation zone’ of a brand and set common objectives that seek to deliver this seamlessly and measure its success accordingly. Indeed only 14% of the same respondents strongly agreed that the marketing success criteria had been established across all relevant stakeholders and business areas. Overcoming internal politics and the issues faced by data being stored in different systems and departments allows us to bypass inconsistent answers to what is happening and why it’s happening.

Only with these foundations in place, can organisations enter what Webb labels the ‘test and learn’ phase of measuring effectiveness. This is vital for looking beyond insights and effectively embedding change. It follows that a culture of test and learn can understand failures, embrace them and leverage them when delivering change.


Matt Lucas on stage


3.) Market marketing internally

The Achilles heel of marketers was unanimously agreed to be internal communication, specifically with the finance department. In her lecture on ‘building bridges with finance’ Fran Cassidy argued that the rise in automation of pure financial activities has resulted in the function becoming more focussed on increasing performance than reporting. In order for marketers to speak in a common language they must first become financially literate.

Understanding the meaning of (what Cassidy intimidatingly termed) ‘machometrics’ such as ‘organic revenue growth’ can help marketers become part of the defining strategic conversations. Guest speaker Steve Langan, CEO & CMO of Hiscox, saw the simplification of ‘marketing speak’ as the most significant transformation behind the two functions moving away from suspicion and hostility and towards collaboration.

Financial teams are ideally placed to unlock the potential of marketing, but it is incumbent on marketers to stress how strong brands are central to progressing drivers of growth, namely customer acquisition, price improvement and mental availability. Successful implementations of this have led to a rise in what is known as ‘capex mentality’. This principle regards certain marketing expenditure as capital rather than operational expense, preserving the long term focus of a marketing strategy. These developments are fundamental for marketing departments to transition from a justification culture to one that focuses on ‘test and learn’.


4.) Develop a tailored measurement strategy

During one panel discussion, Sky’s Aji Ghose (head of research and analytics) described the painstaking lengths they were forced to go to when reducing their 2,000 KPIs they reported on down to a mere 30. This highlights that just because we have the ability to measure something, it doesn’t mean that we should. The first step to developing a measurement strategy that sidesteps the ‘one size fits all’ approach, is to define what success looks like and decide upon what metrics serve to measure this appropriately. Having this applied from the start and disseminating throughout an organisation and its partners (e.g. agencies) is a prerequisite for implementing the effectiveness culture.

The most successful organisations have a measurement strategy that adheres to a ‘hierarchy of metrics’, which is invariably topped by an overarching ambition for year on year profitable growth. The growing tendency to favour short term metrics is a product of their relative ease of measurement, combined with the difficulty faced when tracking the long term business value of a strong brand (e.g. value perception, price elasticity). This trend has become entrenched, with 70% of the survey sample agreeing that their main focus is reviewing and reporting on individual campaign or channel effectiveness. To return to the finance debate, the function is naturally fond of short term ROI but a robust measurement strategy must contextualise these short term metrics as serving the stages up to profitability growth, i.e. volume sales increase rather than YOY profitable growth itself. Metrics must be set as relative to the objective of the activity that it serves and how this delivers value to the hierarchy.


5.) Apply the 60/40 rule of thumb to brand building and brand activation

To close the day the ‘Godfathers of effectiveness’, Les Binet and Peter Field, took to the stage to present some of the latest findings from their new report ‘Effectiveness in Context’. Their previous research identified that the optimum budget split for sustaining relationships between customers of today and tomorrow was 60% for brand building (long term drivers of brand growth, e.g. brand ads, PR, sponsorship) and 40% for brand activation (triggers of short term sales uplifts, e.g. launch advertising, price promotions, PPC). Whilst the advisory split does differ according to various factors (e.g. sector, nature of purchase, ease of activation, level of product innovation), it still stands as a benchmark.

The crux of the matter is that without a strong brand, companies can’t remain agile when trying to enact positive change for growing market share. The award winning case study for the AA perfectly characterised this when, after completely cutting brand spend in favour of more ROI efficient activation which promoted initial discounts preceding renewal hikes, their market share was on the wain and collapse was predicted in five years. To avert impending catastrophe they shifted focus to wider reaching, brand building activity which revolved around the emotionally resonant ‘Singing Baby’ ad. After restoring the balance, in 2017 they finally regained market share in one year after 5 years of decline.

Their research shows that excessive short termism leads only to the erosion of long term brand health and diminishing returns for differentiation. In order to have this message of effectiveness heard internally, marketers first need to forge relations by speaking in a common language (i.e. less ‘marketing speak’) which facilitates a de-siloed culture of shared responsibility.

Eff-ing brilliant!

One of the great things about working at an agency like One is the focus placed on continuous professional development (CPD). For somebody like me – who loves to learn something new every day – it gives me an opportunity to keep on top of the latest insights and trends that can make our clients’ campaigns even better. I’ve always had an interest in being able to prove conclusively to clients that their work is working, so in January I jumped at the opportunity to undertake the IPA Eff Test – an intensive crash-course in Marketing Effectiveness.

Historically, the view has been that agencies have shied away from discussing effectiveness with their clients, for fear that delving too deeply might uncover that – shock, horror – their campaigns weren’t actually delivering the results that they had promised. The IPA developed the Eff Test to empower marketing professionals to discuss the effectiveness of their campaigns with confidence, by bringing Effectiveness Measurement in to the early phases of Campaign Planning. The syllabus delivers a comprehensive understanding of Effectiveness Planning, right from setting campaign objectives, through to understanding which metrics will prove conclusively if those objectives have been met, and how to implement strategies to achieve those objectives along the way.

Whilst I never expected the exam to be easy, I have to admit that the Eff Test was even more of a challenge than I’d thought. Having not taken an exam for nearly 10 years, my revision skills were beyond rusty!  But in the end, all of the late nights and long weekends were worth it – and I was incredibly proud to receive a Pass with Credit in July.

Whilst I don’t want to say that the Eff Test has changed my life, it has changed the way that I think about Marketing Effectiveness, and how I approach it with clients. Effectiveness measurement needs to become one of the first things that we discuss together, making sure that clear, measurable objectives for the campaign are defined right from the beginning, and that we’re thinking about the metrics that we need to consider all the way through the development of the campaign. In this way, we can work together to build a comprehensive set of measurements that can be taken back to the wider business, helping them to see and understand the impact that the marketing team are having on the bottom line.