UK advertising to go ‘digital-first’


Digital Advertising Internet Enabled Devices Mobile Phones

The UK is set to become the first country where over half of advertising budgets are spent on digital and online media.
Group M, the worldwide media buying arm of WPP, has predicted that 50% of £15.7 billion advertising spending in the UK will go to digital, beating channels including print, cinema, buses, newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, billboards and posters combined.
The way Britons have embraced internet-enabled devices, along with a national obsession with gadgets, social media and online shopping are cited as reasons for this shift. An Ofcom survey has shown that over 44% of households own both a smartphone and laptop.
Countries set to follow this move to digital include Sweden (47% digital spending), Denmark (43%), Australia (42%) and Norway (40%).
Click here to find out more and let us know what you think about the UK’s predicted 50% digital status.

Online media streaming up nearly 400%


Online media streamingNew figures from Adobe have shed light on the latest online streaming trends, revealing that online TV video consumption has risen by 388%.

Using smart devices to watch videos is on the rise, with over a quarter of online viewing taking place on a smartphone or tablet.

However, desktop is still king, with Adobe finding that videos that reach 25% completion on a desktop computer are three times more likely than on a smart device to reach 75% completion.

Read more about the research here.

Building awareness for a technology company


useMangoEntrepreneurial London-based technology company useMango Limited worked with The Think Tank PR team to announce its game-changing software test automation tool.

It was looking for a B2B PR agency to help create awareness of its innovative tool to support automated software testing and to demonstrate the benefits that comprehensive test automation can bring.

Finding faults in software early saves time and money, and improves quality. useMango Ltd’s software test automation tool, useMango™, which launched at Oracle OpenWorld, was a result of a fresh look at the test automation technologies and methods in use.

Through a series of press announcements, The Think Tank helped generate a buzz within the technology community.

The announcements not only focused on the evolution of the test automation tool, but on the company’s channel strategy and the business drivers behind the innovation.

We secured an interview with the respected industry publication Computer Business Review, as well as securing coverage in both the IT channel press and the broader technology media outlets.

The founders of the company are now working with The Think Tank on a second campaign for useMango’s founding partner, Infuse Consulting Limited.

To date this has included a messaging workshop, exhibition support, and design work, along with press relations support.

British Airways launches animal channel


Paws and RelaxBritish Airways has tapped into the ‘cute’ zeitgeist by releasing its own animal channel for passengers.

The airline now offers ‘Paws and Relax’ to long-haul passengers as part of its ‘Slow TV’ in-flight entertainment package.

‘Paws and Relax’ content will include animals from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, the cartoon ‘Simon’s Cat’, and ‘Secret Life of Cats’.

BA’s in-flight entertainment manager, Richard D’Cruze, said: “We discovered some scientific research that proves watching images of cute animals can actually lower your heart rate and reduces stress levels.”

Find out more about the channel, which is being curated by Spafax, here.

Will you be watching BA’s new channel?

A press meeting with Russian journalists


Formica Russian press briefingPR Account Manager Jana Pavelkova flew to Moscow last week to help facilitate and attend a special press briefing organised with our partner agency in Russia and client Formica Group.

The importance of meeting up with journalists face to face is still key in this world of email and online communication. It offers an opportunity to explore areas of mutual interest, and is critically important in some countries like Russia where press briefings are seen as a requisite for being perceived as a serious player in the market.

We have been supporting media relations with the Russian press for Formica Group over a number of years now, and the opportunity to get together was an important step in highlighting Formica Group’s activities at a local level.

Formica Group’s key representatives in Russia presented an overview of product ranges, surfacing trends and how Formica® laminate is being used and specified in buildings.

Jana says: “We invited the journalists to get involved and ask questions throughout the presentation, which led to some very interesting discussions such as the differences between country specific design trends, sustainability vs greenwash, as well as the latest advances in laminate manufacture and the material’s progression since 1913.

“The face to face meeting with journalists also helped to establish Formica Group’s presence on the Russian market and presented the company as an expert in their field.”

Helping spread the word for Tackle, the prostate cancer patients’ charity


Tackle press coverageThe Think Tank has been working with prostate cancer patients’ charity Tackle providing some core PR support since the start of the year. In the past weeks this has specifically involved a critical announcement regarding the availability of a new drug for cancer patients.

The goal was to put forward Tackle’s viewpoint on the availability of this treatment which offers a vital lifeline to thousands of men facing ‘death sentences’ due to the very limited options for treatment if chemotherapy has failed.

PR Senior Account Executive Kate Stewart said: “It was critical that Tackle was seen to be involved in the news debate, and we issued a statement saying the charity was giving a cautious welcome to the turn-around by NICE* on the availability of this new drug Enzalutamide.”

“The statement was issued under embargo and we followed up with as many of the key press writing on this subject as possible, and who we have been in dialogue over past months, offering spokespeople from Tackle for comment.”

The PR initiative paid off and Tackle received online coverage on several high profile websites, including The Mirror, ITV, The Daily Telegraph, Nursing Times, The Courier, Daily Mail, and the Huffington Post!

An article also appeared in print in The Daily Telegraph.

*National Institute for Health & Care Excellence

Interactive illustrations that play with perception


Putting Finger illustrationPrint media can’t be interactive – or can it? Two designers play with this assumption in a new exhibition called ‘Putting Finger’.

Masahiko Sato and Tatsuya Saito have produced a series of illustrations that encourage interaction through ‘gaps’ in the pictures.

By placing your finger in a particular place, the images appear completed, casting shadows from ‘light sources’ or ‘holding’ scissors.

The designers, who are exhibiting their work in Osaka’s DDD gallery until late April, intended people to reconnect with their physical surroundings by interacting with the illustrations.

Take a look at some of the ingenious illustrations here, and tell us if you would interact with them.

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