ICONS ARE BETTER #79: BIC BIRO

If there ever were a pen of the people, it would be the BIC Biro. Known for its simplicity and accessibility, the ballpoint pen now rests amongst the legendary pens we all remember using at one point or other in our lives. No doubt it has been the tool of choice for many, whether for doodles, signatures, stories or exams; the Biro has been there, done that, and signed on the dotted line.

But its iconicity doesn’t come just from the fact that it is a globally recognized and utilized product, oh no, it’s gained iconic status also because it challenged the status quo, it started a movement and-dare I say it- changed the world. Let me explain…

In a world dominated by fountain pens, BIC came along and introduced the world to a simpler alternative- a plastic disposable ballpoint pen with continuous ink flow. Long gone were

ICONS ARE BETTER #78: DIETER RAMS

Dieter Rams is the doyen of design and the arbiter of good taste. His influence can be seen in thousands of things we use without thinking everyday: from shavers, to sofas to iPhones.

An architect by training, Rams began his career as an industrial designer at Braun in 1955. Back then designers of “high tech gizmos” considered themselves a class above the blue-collar peasants and housewives who used their products. So user-friendliness was basically non-existent.

Rams turned this trend on its head, by designing products that were intuitive to new users and had a distinctively minimalist visual signature that contrasted with the usual 1950s gaudiness. His inspiration came from his carpenter grandfather, who taught him that the key to good design was ‘less but better’.

Rather appropriately for the greatest designer ever, he also designed the ultimate system for actually teaching good design (sorry for using the word

Creativepool Launch Party

On 10th March 2016, Creativepool hosted their Annual Launch Party in Covent Garden. This exclusive gathering reflected the amazing talent of the global creative community found on Creativepool by bringing together the shortlisted companies and individuals. Thanks to his hard work, Rohan Farrell, our Design Intern here at Big Cat, attended this year’s event and here’s what he had to say about his experience.

On Thursday, I was lucky enough to be invited to Creativepool’s launch party. It was a private event exclusive to those who had entered to win the prize of being in their 2016 annual and had been shortlisted.

I had a great time at the event so much so; it has taken me until now to to fully articulate my experience.

The event highlighted great work from around the world from agencies and individuals, creating a platform where talent can receive much deserved recognition from peers in

Business books that have shaped my thinking for 2016

Being a small business owner I have found it invaluable to gain insights and ideas from global problems and the challenges faced by other industries and how they overcame them.

As the traffic on roads steadily gets worse and I spend more of my time on the train to London, I have taken to listening to audio books to pass the time but mainly so I don’t feel like I am wasting my life.

There are three books that have affected me the most and have helped shape my thinking for 2016. Naturally I am employing insights and ideas from them at Big Cat. My challenge has been interpreting the theories, ideas and methods to apply them to my agency processes.

My goal is to better integrate creative, marketing and communications strategies as well as services that best serve my team, clients and investors.

Matthew Syed, author of Blackbox Thinking suggests that making

5 SEO Strategies to Keep You Ahead in 2016

Any true Digital Marketer would agree that we dwell within an ever-changing world. Only 3 months into the year, and anyone paying attention to SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can see that things are definitely changing. This has a huge impact on how you should approach the remainder of 2016!

 

1. User Intent > Keywords = The New Formula!

Gone are the days when a focus on keywords meant successful optimization. In fact, the once impactful strategy of keywords has been on a downward spiral for quite some time. The problem with keywords, is that they simply do not provide optimal results. Well, that is unless they tell you about user intent. Let’s be honest, knowledge of what your visitors intend to search for is what anyone should be utilizing in their optimization. Your strategies should not be stagnant, but instead changing to suit the intent of

How does advertising affect mental health?

Having recently worked on three sexual health awareness campaigns for University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust as part of their ‘Umbrella’ service, and assisted the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation to boost involvement in their Big Yellow Friday campaign, we like to keep up to date with what’s happening within the third sector.

As such, we were taken aback when it was recently reported that three-quarters of people with mental health problems don’t receive any support, with mental health care often being referred to as the “Cinderella service of the NHS” due to its neglect. With the government promising a £1billion investment into the mental health service last week, it got us thinking about what we as a country have done, or can do, to end the stigma of mental health.

A recent study in the ‘Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology’ notes the correlation between social media and mental health issues

Sign for Life gets bigger and better in second year

23red has helped recruit over 35 partners to join with NHS Blood and Transplant for the second year of the `Sign for Life’ campaign, which runs from 27 February to 13 March 2016 and asks football and rugby fans to “join our team” and sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register.

On average, three people die each day in need of a transplant and there are around 6,500 people in the UK on the waiting list. Despite a 50% increase in deceased donors over the past five years, there are still not enough organs being donated.

With 23red’s support, NHS Blood and Transplant is aiming to create a revolution in public behaviour in relation to organ donation so that attitudes change and people will be proud to donate, when and if they can.

Developing impactful marketing activity with partners is vital to this

#Abusing #The #Hashtag…

So, before I start bashing hashtag abusers, let’s have a mini history lesson on the infamous symbol that has become a part of almost every social media post…

Let’s get it right, Twitter didn’t invent the hashtag (#), but it most definitely popularized it with the masses. In August 2007, designer Chris Messina asked his followers on how they felt about using the pound sign to group discussions or conversations, resulting in him becoming the first person to use the hashtag on Twitter…

From then, Twitter has never looked back and eventually Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest adopted it.

So I am going to focus on the most common hashtag abuser, generally known as the ‘Hashtag Stuffer’. This is someone who cannot just post a simple photo of, let’s say July 4th fireworks. They bombard their post with nonsense such as #fireworks, #boom, #4thJuly, #July4th, #RedWhiteBlue, #Red, #White, #Blue #Freedom #IndependenceDay #FreeFromTheBrits #1776B******. There are even those types of