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It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

19 November 2014

Christmas. One day of the year that most seem to enjoy, or at least look forward to.

It’s also one special day of the year that retailers look forward to as a great opportunity to cash in on people’s unusually generous spending.

I’m all up for a bit of Christmas cheer and celebration. I’m certainly no Grinch. However (and there was bound to be a however), when I see a Christmas display in a shop window, in the middle of SEPTEMBER, I do have to stop and think… has it gone too far?!

From the shops' marketing perspective it makes total sense. Be the first to offer the goods and the sales shall come.

From my perspective this is not the case. By offering Christmas products so early in the year, the retailers have managed to ruin that special feeling that is supposed to surround the few weeks leading up to the 25th December.

Often a subject of conversation around this time of year, I would tend to believe that most people agree that Christmas products should not be on sale until nearer the festive season (debatable as to when that actually is). I’ve lost count of the times I’ve heard “Christmas decorations already…how ridiculous”.

This makes me feel less of a spoil sport. But despite the mutual agreement, I can’t help feel we are fighting a losing battle.

I was out a couple of months ago near Baker Street. As I walked down the road I noticed a quite spectacular display of Christmas decorations, cards and other shiny things. I have to say I was impressed, and it was also the first display I had seen this year. I was not alone either. There was a small crowd next to me peering through the window.

So what next?

We agree Christmas merchandise should be reserved for ‘the festive season’ but when we see it outside of that time zone we are fascinated.

Next year I’ll probably be buying my baubles in August...

Written by James Ryan, Social Media Manager at Upfront promotions Ltd.

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Where Are We Heading?

5 November 2014

Technology has been around for years now and it’s interesting to see how it affects the way we live. Recently I’ve been looking at smart watches, a watch that gives you updates about your health, activity and notifications from social media. It’s a cool device and a bright idea but it also marks the start of something that we’ll be seeing a lot more of…Wearable tech.

Wearable tech is technology at its most personal level. With the new Apple Watch you can send your heart rate directly to your friend's wrist. This is incredible and a little concerning, how much more can the company know about you? What could your phone be uploading without your consent? We all just agree to the terms and conditions without thinking much of it, we could be allowing companies to sell very personal information about us and with the advancement of wearable technology, that information is about to get a lot more detailed.

Technology will continue to improve at a staggering pace but it always seems to be running in the same direction, communication and information. Technology has made it easier than ever to connect with people yet it’s also doing the opposite, ever noticed how a phone can grab someone's attention and instantly put an end to your conversation with them? Phones can take any moment away simply by vibrating.

Watches aren’t the only form of wearable tech we’ve seen recently, Google Glass was a huge project and a big success. The glasses can give you directions, make calls and take pictures. These are things we would never have dreamed of and now it’s a reality, but how will it affect us in the long term? Will it even be widely adopted? Will it change the way we communicate? These are the questions we rarely ask ourselves when it comes to technology but it’s important to take them into account when making a purchase.

So what exactly am I getting at here? The point is, technology is incredible and it’s about to start getting a lot more personal with us. So next time you’re at a family meal or chatting with a friend and your smart watch taps you on the wrist or your glasses start playing cat videos, just remember, that notification will still be there later but this moment wont be.

Written by Luc Gibson, Designer at Upfront Promotions Ltd.

Image courtesy of http://www.henry4school.fr/Sciences/techno.htm

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Supermarket Sweep

29 October 2014

I look in my purse and amongst the usual rabble of receipts and bits of change are a variety of wonderful cards. All rewarding me for spending money with them in their own special way.

We’re a sucker for these loyalty schemes in the UK, and many of us base our purchases around them, especially when it comes to the weekly food shop.

On the 14th October Sainsbury’s announced plans to halve the value of their Nectar points from April next year. Customers are set to only receive one point per £1 instead of the current two and no longer be rewarded for re using carrier bags. 

The re-think of their loyalty scheme will see customers competing for points rather than earning them, through a ‘swipe to win mechanic’ to gain extra points.

Sainsbury’s currently operates the largest loyalty scheme in the UK with over 19 million users, but have they just assisted in the jump the customer has already started to make in shopping cheaper rather than where they are best rewarded?

In the UK we have long been used to the supermarket industry’s oligopoly, with the ‘Big 4’ looming over us. In the past we have had little choice, shopped based on convenience and fooled ourselves that we were receiving value for money. Sucked in by the various loyalty schemes available to us and taking advantage of the ‘fantastic’ money saving offers in store.

But is the British food shopper now wising up?

Food prices in Britain are falling at the fastest rate since 2002, prices are down by 1.4% according to the Office for National Statistics.

What has caused this?

Savvy shoppers are searching for discount stores such as Aldi and Lidl, who incidentally both reported companywide profit growth of over 50% in 2013. With the Big 4, in turn, having to reduce their prices to compete, we’ve seen that Tesco’s profits from January to June of this year have fallen by 92%, Morrison’s from March to August by 50% and even Waitrose by 10% in the first half of 2014.

As a nation we are all developing our own individual shopping habits. The days of travelling to one place, buying the same products week in, week out, and paying an ever increasing price for those goods is passing. There is more shopping choice than ever available.

I myself revel in the task of hunting out the best buys on a weekly basis. 

Lidl for meat, Sainsbury’s for branded items on offer. The list goes on…

And a joy my boyfriend (who I’ve recently moved in with) is quickly becoming sick of!

Written by Gemma Decent, Operations Manager at Upfront Promotions Ltd.

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We Don't Talk Anymore...

22 October 2014

Not a reference to Cliff Richard's 1979 no.1 single, or the primary reason cited for most divorces, but a reference to a lack of nattering to our customers…

As I sat down on day one of my first job in sales, I was given a pad, pen, business directory and a phone – my boss told me that was all I needed.

I hardly ever wrote anything to my customers, which wasn’t a bad thing, as it hid my terrible spelling.

I just talked to them… a lot.

And what it did, was help me build relationships with them. Good ones, based on trust, acceptance, and bags of loyalty. You see, when we engage in verbal intercourse we get to know each other better, and business is about relationships.

Back in the day, my phone was red hot and rarely away from my ear – so much so, that I’m now convinced one of them is closer to my head than the other.

I wore out the number digits on the phone's keypad, my phone bill was huge, I was constantly talking - I couldn’t type for toffee.  But it didn’t matter, I could talk for England!

Fast forward 20 years and it’s all different – the office no longer has a constant phone ringing or someone shouting, "It’s Paul on line 1 for you." It now has the sound of the mouse clicking and incessant typing.

Yes we have everything in writing and (I think) we are more productive - we are also able to cover ourselves by cc’ing in all and sundry on the email, but are we missing opportunities to bond with our customers by not talking to them enough?

Are we losing the art of conversational selling?

People also think and act differently when they have the time to write down their thoughts. As a conference call company say on their adverts, 'People type tougher than they talk,' and ‘You’re all mouse and no trousers.'

So get them on the phone, have a natter, chew the fat, and then follow it up with an email.

You’ll get to know them better, they’ll be nicer, and business will boom because of it.

Written by James Kilmartin, Director at Upfront Promotions Ltd.

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Suited Then Booted?

15 October 2014

Recently the Upfront team descended onto the Brand Licensing show at Olympia to look for great new content coming out and potential partners for our clients…

Wandering around the show was a visual assault on the senses with colourful stands from TV, film and game companies from all over the world plying their latest brand character.

As we walked around the stands looking for the ‘next big thing’, I noticed that a large amount of stands had people dressed up in full character suits walking around waving at delegates, hugging them and trying to get their attention.

As I looked into one character’s cold plastic eyes I felt very sorry for the marketing junior or unemployed actor squeezed into and sweating inside a large pink teletubby suit of foam and plastic with a fixed grin tattooed on his face.

At one point there were so many dressed-up characters walking around me I thought I’d gone on some sort of Disney-fied, hallucinogenic experience as various indeterminable, brightly coloured, life-sized childrens’ characters wobbled into my path…

I’ve always found all types of character suits rather unsettling since my small children once cried and cowered at the sight of someone dressed as Captain Hook from Peter Pan at Disneyland Paris where we also fled screaming whilst being chased by a giant Mr Blobby.

I can only reflect that the people inside these character suits must desperately want to be in show business so much, they will happily give up any dignity they might have to get a foot on the showbiz ladder.

I’m advocating a ban on character suits for BLE 2015 for health and sanity reasons!

Written by Simon Stanford, Managing Director and owner of Upfront Promotions Ltd.

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The Internet Of Things

8 October 2014

Have you heard about the Internet of Things (IoT) yet?

It’s going to be the next big thing. Apparently.

Earlier this year, David Cameron announced that the UK government will spend an extra £45 million on IoT technology. By 2020, US research firm Gartner predict that IoT will create $1.9 trillion of economic value-add with over 30 billion devices in use.

Big numbers.

So what is it?

Bill Wasik, senior editor at Wired, describes it as:

“…an era when the most mundane items in our lives can talk wirelessly among themselves, performing tasks on command, giving us data we’ve never had before.”

Eh?

Today, most of the data that’s collected and used by computers relies on human input – typing, scanning, photographing, etc…

But humans are humans.

We’re restricted by our very nature. We get distracted. Or tired. Or hungry. Or don’t have time. So the data we collect lacks accuracy.

With IoT, every ‘thing’ would have its own sensor, IP address and the ability to transfer information. Data would be collected for us allowing us to measure and track everything. In theory this would mean less waste and less cost. Sounds good.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few examples of IoT implementations that already exist and some we might see in the near future.

Nest currently offer 2 products.

First up is a smoke alarm that talks. It tells you if there’s smoke vs carbon monoxide, which room it’s in and if you’re in immediate danger. And if you’re away from home when there’s a problem, it texts you to let you know.

Neat.

Or smart (as they seem to be calling it).

Then there’s their thermostat which monitors your behaviour and learns your heating preferences creating a personalised schedule. It focuses on saving energy by offering all manner of usage stats and suggestions on how to lower costs – if you want them.

Other benefits include the ability to control it from your phone and, if you pop out and forget to turn it off, it does it for you. Obviously.

In January this year, Google bought Nest for $3.2 billion. Put that in your pipe and smoke it (just not in a room equipped with one of their smoke alarms).

Propeller Health are on the case too.

They’ve created a sensor that attaches to your asthma inhaler which monitors where and when you use it generating insights into where an attack may occur.

So no breathing difficulty there either.

Mark One are a startup who have created Vessyl – an internet connected cup aware of its contents that tracks everything you drink. Pour in any drink and it will know the exactly what it is and what’s in it. It even recognises which brand you’re using.

The focus here is on health – it tells you exactly what and when you’re consuming and suggests how you could lose weight, stay hydrated, regulate your caffeine and sugar intake and even sleep better.

The benefits to the consumer are obvious and it’s easy to see how this data could be used by brands to tweak and improve their products.

Anonymous mobile data is already being used by phone companies and has great appeal to marketers. The ability to track and monitor footfall near your billboard advertisement, or outside your shop window or through your aisles will transform and dictate where and when to spend your budget.

IoT will generate more data than ever. Questions surrounding security and data protection are coming thick and fast. It is undoubtedly a serious concern and one that will need to be addressed.

In the meantime, we can enjoy the prospect of knowing that the hob is definitely off and the back door is definitely locked. That your lawn contains the perfect amount of moisture. That your pet hasn’t strayed too far from the house. That your fridge will text you to say the milk’s gone off when it knows you’re shopping.

And that your toilet will call for an ambulance after sampling your waste while your health insurance premium rockets.

Written by Jonathan Bridger, Production Manager at Upfront Promotions Ltd.

Image courtesy of thepatternlibrary.com


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You're So Vain You Probably Think This Blog Is About You

1 October 2014

As a keen photographer I’ve always enjoyed creating things that people enjoy looking at, so a couple of weeks ago I took my love of photography and shaped it into something new.

I decided to try my hand at videography. What could be better? Not only could I now show people my photos but I could also show people a video too.  

With the bee buzzing loudly in my bonnet, I contacted a few people and before I knew it I was booked in to film a short promo video for some Dj pals of mine.

In my head I could already imagine myself, camera in hand, going for that ultra artistic shot that would make my video look that little bit more quirky and polished.

How exciting I thought.

Unfortunately, the reality of the situation was somewhat different to what my imagination had lured me into thinking. In fact, the reality of the situation would lead me to discover that nightclubs are not a fun place to be when you’re not there to let loose and spend money that you don’t have at the bar.

I soon realised that carrying around a professional camera draws a lot of attention to yourself and automatically leads people to the conclusion that you are there to take a photo of them.

I was there not to take their photo, but to film a video. Obvious of course in my eyes but perhaps not so much for those under the influence of alcohol… and the rest.

The club was very busy and I’m sure it was also about 40°C… I couldn’t tell you exactly as I’d forgotten to bring my thermometer with me. So as you can imagine the conditions were great to be carrying around my camera and bag full of equipment.

So there I am, busy dodging sweaty ravers and pointing my camera in people’s faces without their permission to make sure I don’t miss any of the action, and whilst the majority of people seemed either oblivious to my presence or quite happy to let me film them while they danced (if you can call it that) to their favourite tunes, there were some that seemed to think I was there exclusively to document the night for them.

I was probably approached with the question, “Babe can you take my picture?” at least 15 times throughout the night. Now, I get that people enjoy having photos of themselves and their friends on nights out… But when my reply is, “Sorry I’m filming a video,” and their response is, “Go on it won’t take long,” or, “Am I not good looking enough?” or even, “Fine be like that,” it starts to grate a little.

The night went on and I’d been at the club for a few hours. By this time I found myself seeking particularly dark corners to hide in so as to avoid being asked to take anyone else’s photo before having to bite my tongue and politely decline.

I decided to call it a night. I had the footage I needed. I also had just enough patience left to make it to the exit without strangling the next person that asked me the same question.

After my experience of filming in a nightclub I learnt two things.

The first is that people are very persistent and very vain. Even those not asking for photo’s would often make sure they adjusted their hair or formed a little pout to make themselves look beautiful. Some would even gently guide my shoulders towards their own group of friends to make sure they would feature in the video.

The second is that I never want to film there again.

Written by James Ryan, Social Media Manager at Upfront Promotions Ltd., keen photographer and budding filmmaker.

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The Highs And Lows Of Dress Shopping

24 September 2014

It all started on Wednesday evening.

Last week.

I hadn’t planned to buy a new dress but I had wandered past a mannequin in Selfridges and found myself getting sucked towards it.

Within approximately 45 seconds I had utterly convinced myself that I needed a new dress. After all, I was going to the opera the following Friday and why on earth hadn’t I bought something new for it?

The fact that I had 2 or 3 outfits that would have been completely perfect seemed, at that moment, to have slipped my mind. I gazed at this beautiful silk dress and wondered why I didn’t own this essential piece of clothing.

The sales lady spotted her easy prey and down she swooped.

Off she trotted to find my size and when she came back empty handed I swung from devastation to frustration and back again.

One might suppose that, at that point, I would’ve moved seamlessly on and into thoughts of fate and destiny and reasonable musings of, “Well I obviously wasn’t meant to buy it after all.”

But this didn’t happen.

In fact I embarked on a quest.

Indiana Jones style.

I had to locate - in London - this dress in my size.

The incredibly helpful sales lady suggested I try Harrods. So that evening, work completed, I made that my next port of call.

What followed was a strong reminder of a scene from Pretty Woman. But only in the complete condescension from a sales assistant I hasten to add.

Sadly I do not possess never-ending legs, a permanent smile nor, in fact, am I a prostitute.

However here I was, happily trotting through the labyrinth that is Harrods, with very helpful people giving me clues as to where I might find the appropriate section. After a good many pointed fingers I found myself at my destination.

A blonde woman with weirdly interesting lips glared at me over the counter.

She looked me swiftly up and down and drawled, “Yes madam, ‘ow may I ‘elp you?”

I couldn’t place the accent – I can only guess she’d recently been watching numerous episodes of ‘Allo ‘Allo! on catch-up.

I dutifully described the dress that I was looking for.

“Madam, we did not buy that dress for Harrods. It would not suit the clientele 'ere,” she responded.

Gosh.

Had I described a cheap, nasty item?

Had I not explained myself fully? 

I felt mortified.

Giving it another attempt I proceeded to give a detailed description of said dress with arm movements to boot.

And as I waved my hands around like a lunatic, she said, “No madam, I know exactly the dress you mean and we do not stock it 'ere. 'ere we are Harrods. You saw that dress in Selfridges. Zat is where the tourists go. It is Oxford Street. This is Knightsbridge. This is… Harrods.”

She finished with a dramatic pause and quite a wonderful hand flourish that I really must try myself at some point when I want to dismiss someone or something completely out of hand.

“I wonder if they have it in Harvey Nicks?” I mused out loud.

She swung her hair round and, as I ducked, she retorted, “I do not know, nor do I care what they sell in Harvey Nichols. This is Harrods.”

For some unknown reason I still didn’t give up.

“Well, ok, do you have anything similar?” I tried.

And at this point she really outdid herself.

I received the ‘up and down’ peer once more and then the ultimate put down.

“Not for you madam, no.”

Maybe I did look like a prostitute after all.

Written by Justine Young, Consultant at Upfront Promotions Ltd. and former Harrods customer. 

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Scottish Independence

17 September 2014

Will we need to take our passports with us when we hit the A1 north next time we travel to Scotland? 

Tomorrow is decision day for Scotland in the referendum to leave the UK or not. This is a momentous day in all our lifetimes and the decision will have repercussions across the whole of the UK. The world is watching awaiting the Scottish peoples' decision and it's on a knife edge in the polls and could go either way. 

For me I can see the benefits to both arguments so if I was Scottish I would be battling with a difficult decision. 

As an observer however its great to see democracy in action and working whatever the final result. I just hope every one in Scotland will stand by and embrace the final result whichever way it goes.

Written by Simon Stanford, managing director & co-founder of Upfront Promotions Ltd.


Image: alumni.umich.edu

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The 10 Golden Rules Of Great Customer Service

10 September 2014

The internet makes it so easy for customers to get in touch with a company to let them know if they’ve done something wrong. From a simple tweet to a lengthy email, companies now receive more customer feedback than ever before. In 2013 the Ombudsman Services recorded a new complaint every 1.2 seconds!

Working in customer facing roles since the age of 16, I’ve picked up a few things along the way. Here are my 10 golden rules to providing great customer service:


1. Know how to apologise. 

The first thing anyone entering into a customer service role needs to be able to do well is apologise. Many customer queries are emotional rather than logical. Appease them by starting with an apology for whatever may have gone wrong.


2. Respond to enquiries quickly

The first response to any enquiry will help to steer the entire relationship that you build with the customer. By responding as quickly as possible, if only to acknowledge receipt of the enquiry, a positive experience is created for the customer.


3. Take your time. 

Talk to the customer, ask them about themselves, their name where they live, how they would like to be addressed. Finding out as much information as possible and taking your time with a customer will make them feel valued and confident in you as their point of contact.


4. Listen. 

Customers like to rant. Let them get everything off their chests before commenting or offering any advice. Never interrupt and never argue! Let them know you understand their concerns.


5. Don’t make false promises

A ‘say it now and figure it out later’ attitude won’t work. There is nothing to be gained from promising something to the customer that you won’t be able to fulfil. This will only lead to disappointment and further frustration on the customer’s part.


6. Don’t try and place blame, just make it right

Whilst it is important for a customer to understand a company’s process they are not interested in where a mistake was made, just when and how their issue is going to be resolved.


7. Take ownership of a problem. 

Liaise with a customer as much as possible. Contact them even if there is no new information, customers like to know they haven’t been forgotten. Never wait for a customer to come to you for an update.


8. Leave your personal opinions out of it. 

Your opinion of the customer doesn’t matter. They may be wrong, they may be rude, they may shout. But it is your job to remain calm and polite throughout. Same applies if you’re having a bad day, your personal issues don’t come in to it. Don’t project your bad mood onto the customer.


9. If you’re going to say No, have an alternative at the ready.

Sometimes a customer may ask something of you that really isn’t possible. If this is the case be armed with an alternative solution.


10. The Customer is always right.

Well, this might not always be the case but they must always feel like they have won.


Written by Gemma Decent, Operations Manager at Upfront Promotions Ltd.

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Guerrilla (Marketing) Warfare

3 September 2014

Nowadays companies are in constant competition with promotions and advertisements running all the time.

Businesses are trying to find new and different ways of grabbing the attention of the public - this is why ‘guerrilla marketing’ is becoming increasingly common.

Guerrilla Marketing is an advertising strategy that aims to deliver unconventional and creative promotions for a company. The term was coined by Jay Conrad Levinson in 1984 in his book ‘Guerrilla Marketing’.

Many of you may have already seen adverts like these in online compilations or even in the streets, a few of them have even become famous for their creativity such as the Zoo bus that looks like it’s being crushed by a giant snake! These methods of advertising are becoming increasingly popular due to their tendency to dramatically boost sales and grab the attention of those nearby and even online where they are showcased quite regularly.

Guerrilla marketing comes in an endless variety of ways but one of the most popular is billboards. Companies are using billboards to their full advantage, making use of the surroundings and buildings. One of the most famous companies for use of guerrilla marketing is Durex, their use of surroundings and textures have made some of their ads incredibly popular online.

My favourite example of guerrilla marketing is from 3M, they setup a glass box at a bus stop and put what people thought was 3 million dollars in it. It was an advertisement for their security glass, whoever could break the box could keep the money. 3M never announced that the box actually only contained $500 in a different currency, Guerrilla marketing is meant to be cheap and effective, 3M must have only paid a small amount to run this promotion yet it became very popular online due to the rumoured amount of cash.

The demand for promotion is growing at a huge rate and adverts are popping up everywhere around us, companies are starting to find new, interactive and futuristic ways of pitching their products or services to the public and I’m excited to see what comes next...

Written by Luc Gibson, Designer at Upfront Promotions Ltd.


Image: adsoftheworld.com

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He Who Dares Rodders

27 August 2014

Felix Dennis, who sadly passed away in June this year, was a bit of a hero of mine.

An immensely colourful and occasionally un-PC character, who had some poignant quotes.

Here’s one to get you thinking... 

“If it's a good idea, go ahead and do it. It's much easier to apologise than it is to get permission."

If you think something is right then go with your gut, trust in your own judgment and just do it. For if you ask for permission beforehand, your idea maybe thwarted before it's got a chance to shine. 

And if you're wrong, then hey, just apologise.... 

You see, most people would rather play safe than risk having egg on their face by making a wrong decision.

Now while obviously this shouldn’t be adopted in every aspect of life, and not taken literally in every situation, it should be written in the magna carta of any decent creative company as this mantra gets ‘stuff done’.

And getting stuff done is the life blood of every organisation.

So next time you have a brainwave and it feels right, have the courage to follow it - be a maverick. 

Felix would love you for it.

Written by James Kilmartin, Director at Upfront Promotions Ltd. and master of getting 'stuff done'.


Image: http://bit.ly/1qy524H

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Why We Are All Gamers

20 August 2014

Computer games are big. 

Last year the global games market was worth over $75 billion. 

Back in 2007 we saw Halo 3 pull in $300 million in opening week sales obliterating Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix ($140m), Pirates Of The Caribbean At World's End ($139.8m) and Transformers ($70.5m). 

It was a tough time for teen wizards, swashbucklers and robots in disguise. 

Since then major game releases have been consistently out-performing blockbuster Hollywood movie releases.

Perhaps it's no surprise then that gaming is the most popular activity amongst tablet users (84%). 

So how about you?

Has Candy Crush taken over your commute? Is Clash of Clans driving a wedge between you and your partner?

No?

Not yet.

Gaming is so popular that brands can no longer ignore it. And you can't blame them. The most successful brands are experts at adapting with the times. That's why they're still around.

But gaming?

Let's take Nike for example. The Nike+ running app allows you to score points (they call it NikeFuel - clever, eh?) for going running.

The more you move, the more NikeFuel you earn. Do more and unlock awards, trophies and surprises.

One big game. You get fitter. They get richer. Everyone's happy. 

It's a great model and it utilises basic gaming elements perfectly. It brings out that healthy competitiveness, a desire to get an increasingly high score and unlock what are really very menial rewards - a digital trophy collection (and a little fitness).

But it's fun!

The marketing world has already coined a phrase for this technique. Gamification. 

Look out - it's spreading like wildfire. Go ahead. Google it.

Not a gamer?

You've probably been one for years…

Written by Jonathan Bridger, Production Manager at Upfront Promotions Ltd., conscious gamer and digital enthusiast.

Sources:

www.margaretwallace.com/state-of-video-game-industr/

www.grabbagcinema.com/news/opening-weekend-video-game-sales-vs-movie-sales-infographic/

services.google.com/fh/files/blogs/AdMob%20-%20Tablet%20Survey.pdf

wearesocial.net/blog/2014/01/social-digital-mobile-worldwide-2014/

www.nike.com

Image courtesy of thepatternlibrary.com

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What's going on? A note from our MD...

13 August 2014

Hi there! 

I'm Simon Stanford, Managing Director and owner of Upfront Promotions and this is the first blog entry I’ve ever posted. So please bear with me…

Having just completed an excellent and very emotional 340 mile London 2 Paris cycle challenge, I arrived back at work this week feeling ready to take on the promotional world with new vigour (and needing new legs).

It’s been another busy week so far for the Upfront team with the launch of our latest on-pack promotion for Thorntons Continental chocolates. You can check it out here.

We've also spent a full day brainstorming concepts for a top secret loyalty scheme for a well-known cosmetics brand. Our creative sessions always get the grey matter bubbling and fizzing especially when you’re locked in a room with only water and chocolate biscuits. Lots of great strategy and reward ideas came out of the process as well as, as usual, lots of stupid names for the scheme. A good one will eventually develop...

A meeting at the HQ of Prezzo Restaurants this morning brings positive feedback about our Let’s Get Together in-restaurant promotion in conjunction with Virgin Experience Days - take a look here - and a discussion around opportunities in the run up to Christmas. Feels slightly weird talking about Christmas in August when it’s 25 degrees and sunny. It’s definitely coming...

Off to the Daily Mail tomorrow morning to present our latest promotional ideas and to bask in the glory of our recent and spectacular loom band promotion. In fact I’m wearing one now as I type - how about that for product placement?

Over and out for now.

Simon

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