“I absolutely love reading books.”

The above statement is always exactly what I’m thinking, right up until the point when I am sat, quietly staring at the first page of hundreds that I am in no doubt will enthral and delight. But, it’s at that point that my mind starts to lose focus.

Like most people of my generation, I find it difficult to completely turn my full attention to one thing for a sustained period of time; I’m more comfortable multitasking with three glowing black mirrored screens in front of me than one collection of bound, static pages. I am, I have learned to accept, part of the reason that TV shows now start with #NameOfTheShow: our generation hates the idea of missing out on anything.

When I was younger, I would quietly devour book after book, but back then I didn’t have a mobile phone or a tablet. These things have the internet, which in case you didn’t know, is linked to absolutely everything, which can be, well, quite distracting.

On my first day at Agent, I was recommended a good book that I would find really useful in understanding some of the thinking processes and ideas behind some of what we do here. I accepted it with the best will in the world, read the blurb, convinced I’d have it read within the week… That was a month ago.

At this point I’d like to add that I hadn’t simply just ignored the book I was tasked with reading, I had read around 40 pages in the first week. Not only that, I had sought out and listened to hours of the author explaining his book and the philosophy and reasoning behind it in detail, on various podcasts, interviews and TED Talks he had featured in.

However, I feel this admission of guilt is relevant as perhaps our generation are not entirely a lost cause. As I’ve gotten older I’ve replaced the time spent reading books with listening to Audiobooks and Podcasts. I can still say I usually have at least one ‘book’ on the go at any one time, even if it’s not in paper form. On top of that I can spend hours watching TED and listening to Freakonomics (for example) on a whole range of subjects that I would never have dreamt of lifting a textbook to seek out.

podcastsThis of course does not replace that page turning, inner peace and almost meditative focus that reading great fiction can have, in theory. But as I get older and technology makes everything in life immediately accessible, are books a luxury, reserved only for lying next to a pool on holiday?

For those who love to learn and consume new stories and information I feel that the book has had its day. There, I said it, let’s move forward.

We have become so used to having more information than we could ever possibly digest that you almost take it all for granted.  We’ve started to lose our ability to sit down and focus on just one thing which could be seen as lazy, I see it as progressive. Setting aside hours for a book can be difficult, whereas with new technologies I can learn whilst commuting to work or cooking a meal, for example.


SO: Books, do we need them? Or is what we understand as a ‘book’ now available in other formats more suited for our modern information climate? I will leave the blog space open for any other Agents to counter with and argument for the power of the page. I know books are a hotly debated subject in the office and I imagine there could be some strong feelings.

It’s amazing how authenticity is something we all know, yet few can clearly describe. Whilst I was planning this blog, I asked a couple of the team their opinions on what brands they think are ‘authentic’. There were some usual suspects (Apple, Google and John Lewis) and there were some curveballs I wouldn’t have expected (North Face, Virgin and Lakeland). What was interesting was each of the Agents I asked, almost to a script, responded with the same question: “what do you mean by authentic?”.

Even more interestingly, I couldn’t answer them. Not properly anyway. I gave a fuzzy spiel about authentic brands being those who know who they are, stick to their morals and do good stuff. Then I realised I could have been talking about a charity, Batman or the lady who lives next door and drops off biscuits occasionally for me and my girlfriend.

This conversation was sparked when I read the news about The Co-operative turning back time and returning to a brand identity which they dropped in the early 80s. The group, something I’d have always thought of as being authentic, spectacularly lost their way in the run up to the 2013 meltdown of the company’s brand, business and reputation. A time, when governance was complicated, ambition wasn’t matched with talent and overall a perfect storm brewed which caused serious damage – to the company, to the members and to the brand I used to hold in such high esteem.

Post 2013 there’s been a real sense of ‘going back to basics’, returning to a purpose which previously made money, made a difference in the world, but also made sense. Some of the things The Co-operative was diverging into seemed like a good idea at the time, yet as the purpose got fuzzy so did the way in which the brand strategically conducted its checks and balances.

There’s a real strategic ‘flag in the ground’ feeling with this move and I have to doth my cap to them for going back to this logo in particular. It doesn’t feel like a nostalgia thing (in the same way Miller Lite brings back their 70’s labels every now and again); it doesn’t feel like a medium term gimmick (like the Choco Krispies fiasco of the noughties – stupid idea) and it doesn’t feel like a promotional thing to give sales a bit of a boost (like the way Reebok brought back the Classic, for a while). It feels like they’ve gone for a logo which sets the cultural mentality back to a time of purpose, commercially-led altruism and when loyalty to The Co-operative was unquestionable (as well as being the logo used before it was changed during the ‘greed is good’ 80s financial free-for-all).

And maybe that’s what authenticity is – a feeling. A feeling you get from something you admire that reflects a part of your own values set and personality you want to project. I’d like to think I’ve got good commercial acumen, I’m a solid strategic healthordisease.com thinker and I go out of my way to do things that are beyond my own enlightened self-interests. That’s the feeling I get from this rebrand – hopefully my admiration and faith in what The Co-operative used to stand for isn’t misplaced.

Let’s face it, social media’s a digital minefield. Not only are brands competing for attention from their close rivals, they are competing with anyone and anything that has a profile.  Plus, most don’t really know which, out of a whole range of platforms, to invest their valuable time and energy in.

There’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat and Tumblr, to name just a few of those popular in the Western world. All of these do something slightly different and have different groups of people predominantly using them – just to add even more confusion.

The platform I’m a big fan of currently is Instagram – the photo and video-driven social network – which is taking the internet by storm (despite the rubbish rebrand). So brace yourselves, as I give to you the basics, in terms of where it’s going and what’s different about it.

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[heading]The Cold Hard Facts[/heading]

Instagram has over 400 million active users and is growing, fast (in 2013, it only had 90 million!). In the US the number of people regularly using Instagram will grow 15.1% this year, and by 2017 over 50% of social network users will use it. To put this into context, Facebook (1.59 billion users) will grow 2.9% and Twitter (320 million users) 8%, in the US over the next year.

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[heading]Video, Image, Video[/heading]

By 2018, around 69% of internet traffic will be video content; you only need to scroll down your Facebook feed to see the impact it’s having. Originally focused on imagery, Instagram has changed to take advantage of this by enabling videos to be posted. 15 seconds at first, videos lasting a minute can now be added.

Given Instagram is designed for visual content, it therefore appears to be very well positioned for the future.

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[heading]Higher Engagement[/heading]

Instagram users are, on average, more engaged. In 2014, research shows that Instagram posts returned an engagement rate which was 58 times higher than Facebook and 120 times higher than Twitter. However this has since decreased massively, something which has been linked to the platform opening up to paid advertisements in 2015. On this front, further changes are afoot…

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Until now, Instagram has used a reverse chronological order for viewing posts, meaning no profile or post has preferential treatment. In contrast, the more established platforms enable major brands to get a leg-up, spending vast amounts to benefit from complex algorithms and targeted advertising (Facebook’s ad revenue reached $5.8bn in Q3 of 2015).

But like Facebook and Twitter, Instagram have announced that they too will be creating an uneven playing field, by applying algorithms. In a recent post, the company said “This means you often don’t see the posts you might care about the most. To improve your experience, your feed will soon be ordered to show the moments we believe you will care about the most.” I’m not so sure that they’re being entirely truthful. Plus, they may know what I’m looking at and engaging with, but not necessarily why I’m looking at it or the meaning I’m taking from it.

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[heading]Time to Round up.[/heading]

Social media continues to change, adapt and grow, at a rate of knots. Companies have invested time energy and effort investing in Twitter and others, only for the digital winds to shift toward another network.

Whether you should join Instagram above all else, is up for debate – and is something I will explore in a later blog – however all roads point toward a business and a network that’s here to stay. So you may as well embrace it…

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The British are considered to be the most advanced TV viewers in the world. A record 81% of the UK population have used an online service to watch TV or films, such as (deep breath) Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, 5 On Demand, All 4, ITVPlayer, Now TV, YouTube, iTunes, TVCatchup, Sky Go and Google Play, to name just a few of the major providers. There are even some niche offers out there, which include; something for the kids (Disney Life), something for the culture vultures (Mubi) and something for the non-conformists (Wuaki.tv), to give you three examples.

Netflix, an early mover within the online streaming / on demand market is by and large the UK leader. With over 74 million subscribers globally, 4 million of which are located in the British Isles. The popularity of Netflix is palpable everywhere, with people using the streaming service as not only a form of entertainment, but for also a number of euphemisms for, well, other things.

So, it’s fair to say Netflix is popular. And herein lies the problem. A problem which I will attempt to provide a balanced and objective argument against, using economics (i.e. maths and science) to show you, dear reader, why it might be a good idea to tune out and plug back into the real world.

My argument is based around opportunity cost, which economists refer to as ‘the value of the next-best alternative use of a resource’. In other words, we’re looking at alternatives and their cost / benefit, when they are compared to Netflix.

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[heading]Close Alternatives[/heading]

By and large, the differentiators between the most popular providers is brand preference. Take out the ‘Original Programming’ element for a second (two-thirds of British Netflix and Amazon users don’t watch their original shows), there is not a vast amount of difference in the content provided by Netflix, Amazon Prime and Now TV (The Big Three).

It is this moderately mundane content which really grinds my gears, and is the reason why I much prefer the renting options provided by Apple and Google.

Renting these on a regular basis, would be slightly more costly (especially if you’re a ‘binge watcher’), but they do enable you view a substantially better range of shows and films. In essence, spending slightly more, for an experience you are likely to gain much more ‘benefit’ from.

Despite knowing this, I often find people are reluctant to pay the extra. This shows there’s clearly a force influencing behaviour, which is interesting when you consider the relatively small fee that’s involved. It may have something to do with the fact that the cost for Netflix goes straight out from your account each month (you never need to actually ‘purchase’ it) compared with renting, which involves making a ‘buying decision’ and could lead to pre or post-purchase anxiety.

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[heading]Distant Alternatives[/heading]

Now we’ve got the (relatively) straight-forward alternatives out the way, we’ll focus on something all of us have, but often not enough of: time.

Whether you watch one or ten episodes of Breaking Bad, you’re taking up time that could be spent doing a whole range of weird and wonderful things. You could join a yoga class, learn an instrument, improve your culinary skills or even start a knitting club. I’ll be happy to wager that each of those activities will bring you more enjoyment, than weeping at another mediocre romcom, getting irate at a foreign criminal justice system or binging on the historical analysis of El Padrone.

If that hasn’t convinced you, think of it like this: at an average of three and a half hours spent watching TV each day, the average British adult spends 9 years of their life watching TV. What better things could you be doing with all that time?

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[heading]To Conclude…[/heading]

If you have read thus far, you’ve really won on two fronts. Firstly you’ve learnt about a fundamental economic principal, and secondly I’ve also saved you from a life of misery and regret (fingers crossed). I do hope that next time you’re flicking through your favourite streaming service, you’ll think back to this wonderfully insightful blog and think how this may be ruining your chance to be truly happy…

Walking home last night, more or less equidistant from getting off the train to putting my key in the front door, I felt something. A sensation, which, for the past month or so, has brought me a consistently pleasing and welcome sense of achievement. A buzzing excitement, heightened only by the illumination of a dark and blustery evening, has become something of a daily pursuit of happiness.

This sounds a bit over the top, and frankly it is. But since I got my Fitbt for Christmas I have to admit, I’ve definitely paid greater attention to what I’m eating, how much water I’m getting on board and how active I am. The sheer amount of data I’m getting about how many calories I’m burning (and as a result how many I can consume – effort and reward at it’s very best here guys), what my heart rate is doing at any given time of the day, how well I’m sleeping… it’s allowing to paint a picture of what my overall wellbeing.

Initially, this is all exciting. But what comes to mind is my sometimes used ‘rule of common sense’. Allow me to explain. You’re looking at a body of evidence telling you that this animal that looks like a horse is in fact a camel. Regardless of what the ‘irrefutable’ evidence may ‘suggest’, a three year old can, using the rule of common sense, distinguish between a horse and a camel. These instances, I admit, are few and far between in my world. I rely on a body of evidence to help shape any strategic direction or recommendation. But sometimes, you don’t need something to back up what you know to be right.

And herein lies the issues with my Fitbit. If I have a bad night’s sleep, treat with ambien, I don’t need a wearable device to tell me I’ve had a bad night’s sleep. In the same way, when I’ve gorged on a load of sweet treats, I don’t need my Fitbit to tell me I’ve consumed too many calories.

It’s the classic adage of data overload. I have so many recorded variables about my health now, I’m still unsure about how to use them all. Only by applying some strategic thinking, peppered with a little common sense, can I use this to bring about information that makes sense. Pretty much what me and the strategy team do for clients every day, but with an added benefit that the post-Fitbit version of me is better and fitter than before I began this process.

We have all been there, getting in from the cold, walking up to your record player in anticipation, hitting 45 RPM and just letting everything go. It’s a tradition and an institution that has passed through generation to generation. Remember the first time you listened to Dark Side of the Moon? Remember the teary eyed glee that you got from listening to The Beatles? (Rubber Soul).

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The audio cassette of the 70’s could only knock the revolution, however in 1982 the compact disc was the nail in the coffin. It changed the game for accessible ‘on-the-go’ listening that people just went nuts for. People weren’t shifting their stacker systems in to their cars, people were listening to CD’s. But whilst people were livin’ la vida loca with their compact discs, the underground vinyl scene wasn’t dying, it was plotting a comeback and all it needed was the right time.

The year was 2007, and Record Store Day was set up to appreciate the value of owning cultural independent record stores across the world. With this, global recording artists take part in the tradition by releasing special edition songs, albums and merchandise to promote the event. I myself have took part in Record Store Day for two reasons. One is because I think it’s a great cause to spread support to independent record shops, but also, I really love ‘one-off’ merchandise.

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People my age are really getting into vinyl now, and it’s nice to know that in multiple sub-cultures there’s a common ground we all stand on. But not only this, as vinyl already has a well known demographic that started in the 60’s that is still going strong today. So it’s nice to see there’s a contrasting audience that both share a love for collecting records. Even my social media is filled with others sharing their latest buys which is a really good thing, because I can engage with my audience a lot easier and I have a lot of fun when I do it too.

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Now, have you heard of the office turntable? It’s a fantastic and revolutionary idea that Kontor (Arguably the world’s most famous dance label) came up with. Basically they needed to promote a new single for an artist, but came to the realisation that promo CD’s were being thrown straight in to the bin. So instead they send out specially modified vinyl to various companies that could be played through an app on your smartphone. It just goes to show the mystery of vinyl remains in this modern world.

But there is a problem with the modern 12’’, the audio quality. Because of limited resources and cost effectiveness playing a massive part in having a successful and sustainable business, it is no longer the crackle we once loved. A lot of audiophiles have criticised the modern pressings, saying they’re no better than modern MP3s. And here’s where vinyl takes another colossal blow in the industry as the modern 12’’ album costs on average £18.99. And that’s from HMV! When you get to an independent record shop the prices creep up into the £20s.

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But if you don’t mind paying the extra, like me, then you’re buying into a hobby that will last you a lifetime. A hobby that will take you on an adventure of self-discovery, and it will tell you more about who you are, than a meaningless chat, whilst paying £6.50 for a croissant and coffee at Starbucks.

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So what do you think? Is vinyl a thing of the past, or a timeless resurrection?

Today Britain produces a range of world-renowned products that are associated with innovation, quality and heritage. Britain also has a very strong service sector – our Universities rank highly on global leader boards, we have world-leading status in science and London is a major financial hub.

Despite our strong global reputation and presence within many different sectors, Britain has a long-running trade deficit. Furthermore, Britain currently trades more with Ireland than it does with the high-growth economies of India, Brazil and China combined.

Within this blog, I will investigate what the public and private sectors are doing to help improve trade with high-growth economies and whether we are actually taking advantage of Britain’s reputation.

Public Sector Efforts

Over the past couple of decades, UK relations with India and China have been something of a rollercoaster ride. Between 1999 and 2009, the UK slipped from a mighty 2nd place, to a meagre 22nd among India’s trading partners. What’s more, recent relations with China have played out like a bad soap opera, involving what Wen Jiabao, China’s former premier, called ‘finger-pointing’.

In recent years, the Government has aimed to develop stronger relationships with these countries in the hopes of negotiating an increasing number of trade and foreign investment deals. For example in October, almost £40 billion worth of deals between China and the UK were signed, during China’s first state visit in 10 years. In a joint statement, Cameron and Xi Jinping claimed they were committed to establishing “a global comprehensive strategic partnership for the 21st century.” The Royals were out in full force during the visit, putting on a good spread at Buckingham Palace at the end of the first day.

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Private Sector Efforts

Research conducted by Barclays, shows that 31% of customers in emerging markets have knowingly paid a premium for British products. This contrasts with the figure of 14% for customers in developed economies. Interestingly, at least 50% of respondents in all countries thought the quality of British goods was ‘good’ or ‘very good’. This highlights that the ‘Made in Britain’ mark can add real value to a UK business’s offer abroad, especially amongst developing nations.

Add to this a Royal Warrant or two, and the offer is likely to have enduring appeal amongst the vastly growing middle-upper classes of emerging economies. Royal Warrant holders selling premium products and services are looking more intently at emerging economies as a means of fuelling further growth and profitability. In 2014 China was Jaguar Land Rover’s fastest growing market and Fortnum and Mason opened up a 9,400 sq ft store in Dubai.

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Larger organisations often have the financial muscle and expertise to develop a strong brand presence abroad. But how are SMEs – organisations which are unlikely to have these attributes – doing in terms of gaining a lucrative stake in high-growth economies?

A survey by FedEx, looking into Export Growth outlines a positive outlook for British SMEs abroad, with 53% exporting abroad. Additionally, of those who currently export, 73% do so outside of Europe and 16% export to China. This is positive news, particularly as SMEs contribute 51% of GDP and employ 67% of the private sector workforce.

However, it still isn’t plain sailing for British SMEs abroad. 58% of survey respondents claim they would appreciate more support (from trade bodies, the Government or logistics providers) and perceive China and India to be in the top five most challenging global markets to enter.

So to Summarise…

The trade deficit, current public and private sector activity and the strength of our nation’s strong reputation especially in emerging economies all highlight that as a nation we can and need to do more to increase the value of our exports.

Additionally, it will be interesting to see whether the EU referendum with throw a spanner in the works when it comes to Britain’s ability to stimulate export-led growth and if this will change our relationship with the likes of China and India, yet again.

A few weeks ago the global messaging app, WhatsApp, was banned in Brazil for 48 hours. It caused communication issues for a staggering 100 million people (48% of Brazil’s population) and even spread to other South American countries, including Chile and Venezuela. The question is, why did this happen?

The Brazilian legal system has been known to act frivolously and hyperactively when dealing with digital-related issues. For example, in 2007 YouTube was temporarily blocked when explicit content of a Brazilian supermodel was posted and not taken down. WhatsApp has had similar problems in Brazil. Earlier this year a court demanded the application be suspended for 24 hours, when the company refused to hand over data in a criminal investigation.

Banning certain services because of isolated incidents, have proven to be ineffective. For instance, this most recent Brazilian ban proved to be very good news for the competition, with Telegram (a rival messaging app) reporting a grand total of 1.5 million downloads in 24 hours. So in the end it becomes a game of whack-a-mole for the Brazilian authorities – as you hit one down another will pop up.

Contrary to what you may read on your Facebook timeline, Mr Cameron and Co are unable to secretly look at your WhatsApp messages. This is because it is an encrypted messaging service, which means it doesn’t disclose personal data to third party organisations, such as Governments.

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WhatsApp’s non-disclosure policy has also caused run-ins with the Governments and legal institutions of other countries. If you type into Google ‘WhatsApp ban’ the U.K, China and Dubai all list. This highlights that it’s not only Brazil’s establishment that feels threatened by the potential impact of encrypted messaging applications.

Tim Cook, the CEO of technology giant Apple supports his company’s stance of being ‘pro-encryption’. He claims that providing Governments with the opportunity to investigate certain users “would weaken the protections built into Apple products and endanger all our customers. A key left under the doormat would not just be there for the good guys. The bad guys would find it too.”

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Putting this argument to one side, I believe that if we look at it from the perspective of Governments, we can begin to understand their motives and concerns.

Let’s say for instance, we were children again and there’s a group of your friends secretively discussing something which may or may not affect you. It’s human nature to want to know what’s being said, either for personal satisfaction or the safety and comfort of everyone. This example shows that when you take it down to a rudimentary level it starts to make more sense. But what happens when we look at the issue of snooping on a national or international level?

With the growing concern of global terrorism, much of which is hidden in the murky waters of the dark web and encrypted messaging services, it’s clear to see why Governments want to take action. Additionally, the Paris attacks in November exposed the extent to which terrorist organisations use encrypted communication services to organise their lethal activities.

I understand the concerns of governments around the world, however intervention is sure to open up a whole can of worms. For instance, consider the massive commercial implications that could result from legislation banning encrypted messaging. The public’s confidence in online security would likely take a hit, negatively impacting the way we work, buy and play.

Through this blog, I have looked at some of the key facts and both sides of the argument. This is a major area of controversy as the issue is so binary, with the outcome potentially affecting billions of people. I’m interested in seeing how this debate plays out in the coming months and whether the UK Government goes ahead with its new bill. But until then, if you need me, WhatsApp me.

So much to do and so little time. We’ve all said it.

We’ve all gazed at the blurred scribbles of a never ending to-do list, wondering where to start and where it will ever finish. We all work to deadlines and sometimes it’s a struggle to find the time to get them done. Increasingly, we as a nation, find the time by taking away the things we love doing outside of work. Sacrificing time with our loved ones, opting for ‘something quick’ to eat as well as recharging and relaxing to be ready to do it all again in the morning. And if you take note of any study on our work/life balances, it is doing little to quotecorner online pharmacy improve our health and wellbeing.

But since the eight hour working day is pretty much a standardised practice the world over, is there a better way? Well in Sweden, they think they’ve cracked it.

I’ve read a lot about the six-hour-day and the benefits it appears to be delivering, but never thought it would be possible here. Now, imagine the scenario above, and being told (in front of a film crew and the BBC’s Dom Littlewood) that you’re going to trial it, what would be going through your head? How’s that going to work, I hear you ask. That’s madness, I hear you say. Both things went through my mind when the big reveal happened. Then I switched (as I do) to trying to figure out how to make it work.

In short, the experiment was brilliant. It forced us to find new ways of working, delivering and producing which I dare say gave greater focus and quality. We managed to cut through a lot of the admin which takes up time, to focus on actual project delivery and the results, from a client’s perspective, have been pretty clear when we see for ourselves their delight with what we present to them.

In my personal life, I was able to do all the things I love and not have that nagging feeling at the back of my head of an uncompleted action, because honestly, everything was done. I did more around the house, ate better and saw people I’d have otherwise missed before the Christmas break. It gave me time to relax and reflect and come up with great ideas that seemed to come out of nowhere.

In terms of draw backs; so far I can’t think of any. I’ll not lie, it was a scary idea to wrap my head around to begin with. But in the ‘doing’, it very quickly made sense. Culturally, all of us at Agent love what we do and embrace things that challenge, change and disrupt what is the ‘normal’ way of doing things, so we were already in a good place to give it a go.

Will we keep doing it? Can we keep doing it?

I personally think there’s a way of making it work for us, in the same way that it can work for many other companies. There are also industries that could not simply function on a 6 hour working day, but a more focussed approach to employee wellbeing is something that cannot be taken for granted any more – and if a company wants to be better at what they do – nor should it.

Here at Agent, the strategy team have been working on some exciting campaigns to be launched in the New Year. By working on these, I have started to analyse other campaigns I come into contact with, through a critical eye.

As I take an interest in sustainability, I have been following Greenpeace’s awareness-raising campaigns over the past 18 months. For instance, a campaign run last summer successfully raised public awareness of and eventually broke up the Lego – Shell partnership. Interestingly their latest campaign was slightly closer to home (Mann Island, Liverpool to be precise) at the headquarters of fish company John West. This time Greenpeace wasn’t very impressed that 98% of John West’s tuna is being caught using unsustainable methods, despite pledging that 100% of its tuna would be sustainable by 2016.

Designed to be short-lived, but have a big enough impact to influence change, Greenpeace appears to have created a campaign formula that I believe we can learn from…

[heading]Part 1 – The Big Bang[/heading]

Possibly the most important part of the strategy is the big initial hit. Here the organisation aims to create a high impact stunt using some form of large prop and celebrity involvement. For example, when exposing Shell’s offshore drilling in the arctic, the organisation parked a bus-sized polar bear outside Shell’s HQ in London, with Emma Thompson joining the week-long protest.

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This initial stunt has been proven to generate exposure within the national and international media, including: BBC News, The Guardian and The Telegraph. The more exposure the merrier, as it will not only lead to greater reach, but it will also help to build an army of online and offline activists. The organisation also takes a proactive stance to achieve this, generating visually engaging content, to move the campaign online and stimulate the second attack.

[heading]Part 2 – The Second Attack[/heading]

Greenpeace are more than adept at creating engaging content that mobilises the masses. A great example is the ‘Everything is NOT awesome’ video, which played a large part in the Lego – Shell campaign. Both amusing and impactful, the brilliant film clearly resonated with people globally, as it has been viewed 7.5 million times.

Call to actions are also added, to influence a snowball effect of global digital activism. For instance, in the Lego-Shell campaign viewers were encouraged to email Lego, asking them “to end their inappropriate deal with Shell.” This worked – over one million people worldwide did so, piling the pressure on Lego’s CEO Jørgen Vig Knudstorp.

[heading]Part 3 – The Critical Mass[/heading]

At this point in their process, Greenpeace have successfully engaged the media and the public, and can rely on a steady stream of new stories, social media conversation and user-generated content. Now, it’s all about maintaining momentum until the offending organisation(s) relents.

When (if) the organisation(s) relent, Greenpeace organises the victory parade. This often involves recognising the role of the campaign’s supporters, through key statements like “This is your victory” and “We did it!” This is important, as it reinforces the power of the collective, helping the organisation to form strong bonds with those engaged in the campaign and preparing them for future battles.

So there it is, Greenpeace’s approach to raising awareness, engaging the public and uniting them against a common enemy. My only fear is that the more they use this approach, the less potent it may become. Only time will tell whether the campaign against John West will also lead to positive change, but I am looking forward to finding out.