Posted by Lua Cooper on March 18, 2013 Comments Off
This week our office Manager Heather Shutt has written a guest blog on our Comic Relief activities and fundraising escapades in the office….
Since 1985, Comic Relief has raised over £800 million to help change the lives of millions in over 70 countries.
From those suffering from abuse here in the UK to people living in urban slums in Africa – Comic Relief supports many issues, and what better way to raise money than by comical entertainment! So what did we do to get in on this?
Always fans of championing a good cause, two years ago Active International employees decided to get involved and raise some cash. Coming to work in our pyjamas for the day, there were strange looks on station platforms and on Oxford Street at lunch – but it was worth it, we raised over £1,600!
This year, we rolled up our sleeves and got involved again. However rather than fashioning our best Disney and woolly Primark pyjamas, we put our creative skills to the test in the kitchen!
We all dug deep in our pockets and donated to participate in an afternoon of decorating cakes and gingerbread men – it was taken very seriously and became much more competitive than we anticipated. With our Marketing Manager, Lua, attempting to thwart potential gingerbread man copycats and our Business Services Director, Steve, hiding his creations in the kitchen – we realised we’d unleashed some real rivalry.
But it was all in good humour, and one of our clients had the honour of picking the winners. Well done to Emma for her winning decorative cupcake design, and Stacey for her winning bikini gingerbread beach bombshell!
You’d be surprised to see the level of excitement created by just a few tubes of coloured icing, sprinkles and sweets – but the aftermath has found the rest of the team gracefully accepting defeat with the donations still rolling in.
Active just loves doing something funny for money! Watch this space for next time!
Posted by Lua Cooper on October 22, 2012 Comments Off
Active International is proud to be a supporter of the NSPCC and the X Factor ChildLine Ball.
Our CEO Dean Wilson attends annually as a guest of Phillipa Brown, CEO of Omnicom UK – also a big supporter of the NSPCC. This year, the ball rose over £500,000 – enabling volunteers to answer over 150,000 calls from some of the UK’s most vulnerable children and young people.
The annual auction, always a highlight of the evening – has led to a number of interesting icons popping up in the Active offices, as well as the holiday we donated raising over £6,000 for charity.
This year’s artistic addition for £3600 was the Copper Box – the BT Artbox created to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee and London 2012. As beautifully modelled by Dean Wilson below, a few of us are still questioning whether it will fit in the lift, and how we can successfully get it up to the 19th floor of Centerpoint tower.
This joins the 2010 Big Brother gold angel winged chair with an acrylic seat for £5000. Whilst I have tried convincing Dean it would look much better in his office behind the desk, he assures me his own office chair is much more comfortable – even if it doesn’t make an entertaining photo opportunity.
Posted by Kate Kinnish on April 4, 2012 Comments Off
This week in the Wednesday Wrap, Twitter explains its new products, Don Draper gets milk and the Metro prepares for underground domination. These are the stories we’ve been talking about lately, tell us yours @ActiveIntlUK
Twitter has released a really simple video explaining its two products for small businesses: promoted accounts and promoted tweets. In Californian drawl, the narrator explains that no new content is required and the promotions are automatically targeted based on interests and engagement.
Not just for Twitter neophytes, this video is music to the ears of all those with a bit too much confusion in their lives. Recommend.
Last week saw the launch of the fifth series of Mad Men on Sky Atlantic, and brands like American Airlines and the Milk Marketing Forum dug out their 1960s ads and joined in the Madison Avenue fanfare.
Metro, the free newspaper launched its first consumer marketing campaign to raise awareness of the tablet edition of its newspaper.
This comes in the wake of the announcement that TFL and Virgin Media will offer WiFi to passengers at all underground stations, potentially stealing Metro’s monopoly on commuters’ attention underground.
Metro reported last month that almost one third of its UK website traffic came from mobile devices and the iPad app racked up more than 360,000 downloads between October 2011 and February this year.
Posted by Kate Kinnish on March 28, 2012 Comments Off
This week in the Wednesday Wrap, Social Media Today pay their respects to Pay-per-click, Citymaps replace street names with brand logos and the latest Fipp report finds innovation still bubbling in magazine publishing. These are our favourite stories from last seven days, tell us yours @ActiveIntlUK
With the ABC reports harvest little optimism, the Fipp report came to the rescue on Monday revealing magazine publishers’ unyielding innovation in the face of declining circulation figures.
From augmented reality via new technology such as Blippar, to good old scratch and sniff covers courtesy of Esquire, the run to the newsagents has never been more inspiring. But it’s the ‘handbag mag’ from Hungarian Lack, which gets the vote amongst the ladies of the office.
Since its inception, pay-per-click advertising has effectively cemented itself as a stalwart of online marketing. But research has revealed that just 18 per cent of SMEs using Google Adwords actually recoup their investment: could the PPC party be over?
Social Media Today certainly seem to think so, citing it as a short-term fix and brand-unaware. What do you think?
Posted by Kate Kinnish on March 16, 2012 Comments Off
So you’ve had a little insight into the worlds of some of my colleagues over the past few weeks, and it’s been suggested that it’s my time to shine! I’m Kate, Director of Travel and Marketing at Active. If you think you’ve spotted Zoe Ball in a chunky knit around the office, that’ll probably be me.
Posted by Kate Kinnish on March 5, 2012 Comments Off
We’ve been a bit obsessed with infographics over the past few months – some useful, some silly and some inbetween. This one, I think I might categorise as the latter. Biscuits are something I take very seriously!
What do you think?
While the office favourite is Fox’s Chunky (sadly not represented above), I still love a good ol’ Digestive. They’re good for dunking, and always remind me of Peter Kay when he called Rich Tea biscuits ‘one-dips’. You know, the type of biscuit that has little hope of sustaining structure in a steaming cup of tea. They crumble away almost instantly, sinking slowly down into the bottom of your mug.
Posted by Kate Kinnish on February 24, 2012 Comments Off
By: Dean Wilson
We have a new member of our team here at Active. Mark Chippendale, the former Commercial Director of CBS Outdoor, is the brand new UK Managing Director of Active International.
We’re very excited for him to get started next week, and I know he is too. (If not just because our view on the 19th floor of Centrepoint has to be better than CBS’s!)
On the slightly more practical side, Mark will be responsible for continuing the development and management of our business. The corporate trade market is growing and it became clear to me that we needed additional leadership to continue to drive our business forward. Mark, with his fantastic record across TV, digital, press and outdoor, is the perfect fit.
We’ll save him the embarrassment of having to do a ‘Me, @ Active’ post in his first week, but he better watch out for the next!
If you want to learn more about Mark and his background, check out his news announcement on Media Week.
Posted by Kate Kinnish on February 17, 2012 Comments Off
Treat yourself to a rare insight into the world of Kieron Murphy, our Head of Press and OOH Trading. You may recognise Kieron from the office as the man on the phone behind stacks of newspapers, magazines and candid photos of OOH campaigns! That and his hair…
Say hi to him on Twitter @KieronGMurphy
What’s the best thing about your job?
The key thing I have learnt recently is……
I’m not as young as I used to be
What do you have too much of?
What do you have too little of?
What’s the most frivolous thing you’ve purchased?
The Christmas cheese – might have got a bit carried away
What’s your favourite advert of all time?
Jeremy Clarkson’s mock TV advert for the VW Scirocco
Favourite place in the world?
County Wicklow, Ireland. Home!
Funniest office moment at Active?
JC splitting his trousers when bending down
Favourite thing to do in London?
Dinner out with my gorgeous fiancée
Who is your celebrity doppelganger?
What piece of technology can’t you live without?
What might people be surprised to learn about you?
My aunt is a nun
Posted by Kate Kinnish on February 10, 2012 Comments Off
We’re very excited to announce that we’ve taken on a new team member, Alexandra Neal, who joins us as a Media Trading Manager
While she’s only been with us a few weeks, we are most definitely keeping her busy, as she is looking after all of our broadcast relationships with media owners, agencies and clients.
In her past life, Alex was at Carat where she was Broadcast Communications Manager. However, she’s certainly no stranger to corporate trade. In addition to working on broadcast strategy across TV, VOD, cinema and radio, part of her job was to work closely work with Active.
We know corporate trade can take a bit of ‘bedding in’ time, so we’re glad Alex already has experience working with us. She’s already hit the ground running, and we couldn’t be more impressed.
"The nature of the food industry means that we occasionally have an excess of stock that may be getting close to its ‘use by’ date. Active have given us an alternative to just accepting that as part of the cost of doing business." Young's Seafood
"When we realised we could turn underperforming stock into a tangible benefit for our business, we didn’t hesitate." John Mills Ltd
"ITV have conducted business with Active International for many years. A relationship which has proved to be mutually rewarding through their excellent servicing, pro-activity and professionalism." ITV