The ultimate office makeover

I absolutely love this!

When we returned to work after New Year we had an email from our boss containing one simple task: do something to decorate our desks to help the team get over the January blues.

Being the creative team, we decided we needed to do something special. So we decided to build a giant cardboard castle in the office.

Castle office

In the end, construction took around seven hours, with planning and prep taking a further two hours. We were tired but it was all worth it when we saw our colleagues’ faces the next morning

Castle office 1

Go check out their blog at Viking-Direct to see more images.  I am now thinking what on earth could we do in our office at the church!

Greatest Church welcome

This has to be one of the best ever church welcome signs:

Photo credit: jbbarnes88
Photo credit: jbbarnes88

Photograph location: St Clements Church, Leigh-on-sea, Essex, England

Transcribed for anyone who has trouble reading it from the picture.

“We extend a special welcome to those who are single, married, divorced, widowed, gay, confused, filthy rich, comfortable, or dirt poor. We extend a special welcome to those who are crying new-borns, skinny as a rake or could afford to lose a few pounds. You’re welcome if you are Old Leigh, New Leigh, Not Leigh, or just passing by.

We welcome you if you can sing like Pavarotti or can’t carry a note in a bucket. You’re welcome here if you’re ‘just browsing,’ just woke up or just got out of prison. We don’t care if you’re more Christian than the Archbishop of Canterbury, or haven’t been in church since little Jack’s christening.

We extend a special welcome to those who are over 60 but not grown up yet, and to teenagers who are growing up too fast. We welcome keep-fit mums, football dads, starving artists, tree-huggers, latte-sippers, vegetarians, junk-food eaters. We welcome those who are in recovery or still addicted. We welcome you if you’re having problems or you’re down in the dumps or if you don’t like ‘organised religion.’ We’ve been there too!

If you blew all your money on the horses, you’re welcome here. We offer a welcome to those who think the earth is flat, ‘work too hard,’ don’t work, can’t spell, or because grandma is in town and wanted to go to church.

We welcome those who are inked, pierced or both. We offer a special welcome to those who could use a prayer right now, had religion shoved down your throat as a kid or got lost on the London Road and wound up here by mistake. We welcome tourists, seekers and doubters, bleeding hearts… and you!”

Books I have read: Branding (Design Directories)

Branding Directories

I am fascinated with how stories and companies are marketed, so I was interested to borrow Branding (Design Directories) by Helen Vaid from my local library.

Helen Vaid at the time of writing was Sales and Marketing Director at Tornado Productions Ltd., having been involved in branding for Vodafone, 3M, British Telecom, American Express and many other leading global organisations.

The first half of the book looked at how brands are created, and how the process of development works – for example the differences between branding a specific product and branding a service business.  Vaid then goes onto look in more detail at the main styles of branding through broadcast media, billboards, newspapers and magazines, sales promotions and the internet.

The second half of the book looks at a number of case studies.  Some of these are examined from a historical aspect – looking at how a particular brand has developed over time – for example, the development of the Shell, Apple, Coca Cola and others.  Others she looks at how particular areas are branded, e.g. news, fast food, coffee shops, and more.  These are helpful to see the changes, especially in the 1990s and early 2000s.

This is a helpful book, where the main disadvantage is that the book is quite dated, having been written in 2003 so misses out a decade’s worth of brand development, especially through the use of social media and viral adverts.

Nike send a poor message to youngsters

After Tiger Woods reclaimed his title as the No. 1 golfer in the world, winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, his sponsor Nike (@NikeGolf) tweeted an important message out to all of his young fans along with this image.

Winning takes care of everything

 

Marketing isn’t just about selling a product, but selling a world-view that fits the brand.  This is why the image is of such concern.

To try and tell young influential people that there is literally nothing that winning and being good at sports won’t take care of is such a poor world-view to market.  I imagine that those hurt in the process of Woods’ affair and poor behaviour probably don’t feel like his return to number 1 in the world has “taken care of everything”.  Let alone issues such as cancer, poverty and injustice, natural disasters etc., which just doesn’t seem to be taken care of by Tiger Woods returning to world number 1.

What do you think – is it simple advertising or trying to publicise a word-view that we can’t sign up to?

World’s Best Sign Flipper

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czxSRqXD8BI&feature=youtu.be]

His job is to grab attention, and he’s brilliant at it!  Nonstop (Marquese Scott) collaborated with this sign flipper to bring us a video celebrating some amazing skills.