Practicing what you preach

2018 was the right time for BEAR to put itself under the microscope: it was time for a new look. We’d spent the past 18 years adding real value to other businesses, through branding and identity. Yet, in that time we’d rarely taken a step back to explore whether our own brand was representative of who we are.

Starting from scratch

Analysing yourself is no mean feat: we had to separate ourselves from what we’ve known for the past 18 years. Were we successfully representing everything we now stand for? Did our identity portray us as a forward-thinking brand communications agency?

Looking at ourselves with fresh eyes was liberating. We began the exact process we recommend to our clients, to find the real heart of our business, the reason we all get out of bed. Find this, and the rest always falls into place.

Our new branding is built upon the core concept of getting to the heart of businesses and affecting real positive difference. We experienced – as always, a few too many iterations but once we’d nailed it, well, that was it – the new BEAR was well underway.


Cutting to the chase

A popular phrase within the BEAR team, ‘cut to the chase’ has now been taken from the studio floor to stand centre-stage on our new homepage. Cutting to the chase represents exactly what we do as an agency, what we’ve got tons of experience doing.

It does not mean cutting corners; in fact, it’s the very opposite. We deep-dive into your business and discover exactly what you and your customers need without any delay or fluff. We unearth your businesses’ key drivers and differentiators and execute them through quality branding and communications to drive commercial success.

Taking it to the next level

Our logo links back to ‘cut to the chase’. After many tweaks, we flipped the ‘A’ of BEAR by 90 degrees to represent a moving arrow, nodding to our constant forward-thinking nature and keeping with the repetition of arrows across our site that demonstrate business growth through design.

Take our Music Licence case study: by amplifying simplicity for customers and injecting a much-needed personality there’s an immediate credibility from the get go. A few months ago, there was nothing for customers to connect with and now there is a product with a clear identity, tone of voice and offering… it’s speaking to hundreds of thousands of businesses.

Giving the green blue light

Even our brand colour was a carefully considered affair. It’s no longer acceptable to choose red, or perhaps green? With retina display devices becoming more and more available, brand colour can more expressive. We didn’t just want to produce the blank canvas sight so many agencies adopt. We wanted to stick our necks out with a colour that cuts through and, moving forwards, it’s about design for device over print.

We are really proud of what we have achieved, and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. There will be regular updates with our content and in particular new project case studies, watch this space!

Author: Roberto D’Andria. Owner | Strategic Creative Director

Wish you Could Create the Best Social Media Campaign in the World?

The Topline


Tasked with creating the retail giant’s 2017 Christmas social activation campaign, we set about making dreams come true, capturing people’s hearts and minds in the process.


Leveraging the tremendously successful #YouShall TVC, our digital fairytales were showcased on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube and reached 6 million people.


Creating and managing all aspects, from strategy to creative concepts and their implementation, Magnafi delivered real stories for real people with just the right amount of magic.


The campaign went to win the Best Social Media Campaign accolade at the World Retail Summit 2018.


The Mission.


Debenhams knew that they needed to go beyond the hard-sell with their Christmas strategy and required an inspirational content strategy that would roll out at crucial points during the festive build-up.

The “You Shall” campaign takes a modern twist on the classic fairytale Cinderella, with magic and discovery at its core. Debenhams needed a campaign strategy that would capture this concept, evoking an emotional response from customers as well as subtly showcasing their breadth of gifts and products in the process.


Wish you Could Create the Best Social Media Campaign in the World. Debenhams - You Shall Campaign - Magnafi



We planned a multi-layered campaign encompassing Hero film to deliver against wide-ranging marketing goals. With the “You Shall” concept, Debenhams granted wishes and treated nominees to a fairytale Christmas surprise, all captured through the medium of film and impactive stills.


Debenhams - You Shall Campaign


After a call for nominations, there were 4 selected nominees, each with a clear message that tied back to Debenhams marketing objectives.


‘Deck the Halls’, focused on festive decorations, ‘Steal the Spotlight’, looked at beauty makeovers, ’Find the Perfect Gift’, explored people’s best and worst ever gifts and ‘Make their Christmas’ showcased a community group who received an unforgettable party with toys in abundance.


Wish you Could Create the Best Social Media Campaign in the World. Debenhams - You Shall Campaign - Magnafi


Each Strand rolled out with a Hero Video campaign across Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, followed by organic and paid social posts to drive engagement.


The Bottomline.


Following from the launch campaign, our community-focused message received an abundance of praise. With an impressive reach just over 6 million, the campaigns amassed 3.6 million views, nearly 500 times more than the forecast figures.


The competition element drove thousands of submissions and surpassed forecast reach by 500%. Engagement Rate was triple the benchmark, with clear brand advocacy and conversation among customers.



Best Social Media Campaign - Debenhams - You Shall



The campaign recently received recognition at the World Retail Awards 2018 winning Best Social Media Campaign. An incredible accolade, beating, among others, Marks & Spencer (UK), Tommy Hilfiger (USA) and Bobbi Brown (Turkey) to the punch.

The Feedback.


We tasked Magnafi with helping us bring our Christmas campaign to life on social and we are delighted with the results. Moving from brief to planning in a matter of weeks, they’ve made the complicated task of surprising competition winners with magical experiences look easy, managing the tight deadlines with professionalism, creativity and humour. It’s been a pleasure working with them to deliver such a fun and festive project that our customers have thoroughly enjoyed.

Sean McGinty, Head of Marketing Operations, Debenhams.


Hero Social Media Campaign Activation with Magnafi.



We work with brands that are hungry for smart, measurable video campaign planning that hooks their audience from the first click.  We combine the talents of a video production agency with the expertise of our straight-talking digital strategists who understand how to craft assets and messages that shine across all platforms.


Every decision made in the planning process is backed up with solid reasoning and geared towards getting the right results with a message that captures the heart and mind of your audience. If you’re looking for support activating your brand’s next Hero Social Campaign, look no further than Magnafi. Get in touch today.

The post Wish you Could Create the Best Social Media Campaign in the World? appeared first on Magnafi.

For KAYAK, Confidence is king

Martin Agency Brings Its Signature Zaniness to Kayak After Years of Tomfoolery for GEICO
Confidence is king in the brand’s weird vignettes

It’s been a little more than two years since Kayak decided to shift its creative account from one set of acclaimed weirdos to another, leaving Barton F. Graf for the Martin Agency.

Martin’s first outing with the brand was the “Kind of Like Kayak” campaign,which compared the travel booking aggregator to various other resources, like an army of body doubles to help you try on pants, or a personal style forecaster who’ll tell you when your man bun is past its prime.

The agency’s newest Kayak work is still odd, but this time it’s a bit more in the vein of Martin’s longtime, high-profile client, Geico. Martin has spent decades honing Geico’s ad approach, which typically centers on unexpected situations that fit tightly into a 15- or even 6-second space.

To highlight the idea of being “Kayak confident”—ie, secure in your decisions based on the app’s sprawling amount of travel data—Martin has created a series of short-form spots, including a dentist working on a shark and a snowman hitting the tanning bed.

There’s also a set of ads showing how the app helps you change your scenery, from the drudgery of workaday life and home improvement fails to floating fountain-side at a resort or watching hula dancers on the beach.

Read full article here.

Harvest Digital crowned 2nd most diverse agency in Bing Partner Global Awards

We’re proud to announce that we have been shortlisted for the award as the Most Diverse and Inclusive Agency in the Global Bing Partner Awards.

We came first runner-up in the award, and it’s no surprise that Bing has chosen to recognise two independent media agencies – especially after large conglomerate media agencies have been getting a kicking lately.

As one of the UK’s most diverse and inclusive agencies, we work hard to make sure that we are inclusive of skin colour, religion, sexual orientation and ability in all the work we produce.

At Harvest Digital, we embrace and encourage employing individuals from varying backgrounds and cultures, creating an environment of diversity, from which we thrive. Through the collaboration of a diverse workforce, we benefit from the creativity and innovation that comes from bringing different experiences and perspectives together.

We also celebrate the cultural identity of our staff – more than half of our team at Harvest coming from outside the UK. Equally, as a fast-paced, forward-thinking agency, we recognise that it’s about hiring for talent (and promoting based on skill) – it’s not just a numbers game.

We believe in an open and non-hierarchical structure where people can thrive and build their careers based on a meritocratic system.

We’ll be flying out to Seattle in May for the Global Bing Partner Awards ceremony, as well as the Global Bing Partner Summit that takes place the following day.

Fancy working for a diverse and inclusive agency? Drop us a line below, or find out what vacancies we currently have here.

Related posts:

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On the quest for simplicity



On the quest for simplicity


As we witness a decline in consumers’ trust in brands and a need for simplification as shoppers become more and more overwhelmed by choices in aisle, plenty of brands have switched their strategy to a ‘One Brand’ approach in recent years.

In an FMCG industry driven by innovation and newness, companies continue to look to new products and sub-brands for growth. Every small consumer trend or fad leads to a product in a variety of categories. Each introduction increases the challenges around product positioning, portfolio optimisation, channel strategies and marketing planning. A masterbrand’s existing equity would help to overcome these barriers by conveying an emotional connection combined with credibility, familiarity and quality perceptions; especially for iconic brands such as the following 3:

Coca-Cola: Their research has shown that not everyone understands the options available and benefits of each drink under the Coca-Cola portfolio; which is why Coca-Cola Great Britain have introduced a new “one brand” strategy.

Hersheys: understood the need to simplify their offering in the minds of consumers and to connect with them on an emotional level rather than fragmenting the brand’s equity across the portfolio. Moving forward, Hershey’s will be synonymous with happiness through the “Hello Happy. Hello Hershey’s” campaign in the US.

McCain:  The McCain masterbrand approach aimed to simplify the McCain products range and position it as the stand-out brand for all potato meal solutions, no matter the occasion. This approach is reflected in their ‘We are Family’ British campaign (link) featuring their frozen and chilled line-ups.

As the media landscape becomes even more fragmented, brands will increasingly find it difficult to identify and own unique positioning platforms for each of their sub-brands; it adds complexity to marketing plans and may drive lower efficiencies. A ‘One Brand’ approach will allow them to:

  1. Unify the brand under one personality and one single message that resonates with consumers/shoppers.
    By developing customer bonds with the masterbrand, companies can offset the loss of consumers when their product’s appeal is based on a discrete period, for example, a certain life stage.
  2. Drive efficiency in terms of channel strategies and higher return on investment.
    Promoting a single brand with a single campaign makes for more efficient media spend, and in today’s fragmented media landscape, the ROI will be stronger.
  3. Give the masterbrand stronger competitive positioning.
    Between the new start-up craze, consumers’ changing tastes and the rise of own-label ranges, it is has become easier for small businesses or retailers to build attractive brands and compete against the big players. However, a masterbrand with strong equity and combined resources will make it harder for these new entrants to overtake any category.


So what does this all mean for shopper marketing?

The ‘One Brand’ approach is executed more easily in shopper when the brand’s portfolio of products sits within the same category/aisle (e.g. frozen), however, when considering a masterbrand that spans multiple diverse categories e.g. Nestle, companies must ensure that any masterbrand message transcends all categories and is adding value for the various targets.

Like everything else in marketing and advertising today (traditional vs. digital, mass vs. personalisation), it is about finding the right balance and right level of integration between both approaches. In the case of McCain where their new range sits in the chilled category, a bit more effort is required from shopper marketing to educate consumers and prompt shoppers on auto-pilot to go down the chilled aisle looking for McCain for those food for tonight occasions.

As we move towards more and more simplification, keep an eye out for more FMCG brands that will follow suit. We are intrigued to see how they approach shopper under one umbrella brand.

If you’d like to read the full article, give us a shout at



The post On the quest for simplicity appeared first on Capture.

Audi Work Nominated for Webby Awards

  Our work with Audi has been nominated for two categories in the Webby awards! Vote for Spider-Man in the Film & Video/Branded Entertainment/Short Form category: Vote for Think Faster one for Advertising & Media/Branded Content/Automotive:

Thank You

As I walk out the door for my official last time today, I look back in satisfaction on 35 remarkable years as a brand management principal at The Richards Group. I came in with that designation, and I proudly retire with it too.

When I joined Stan and his mighty band of 35 or so Groupers in 1983, I had already been blessed with a solid launch at Foote, Cone & Belding in Chicago and almost ten years in marketing at Frito-Lay. I was 35 and, some would say, a bit full of myself. What I learned most from Stan, and all my colleagues here, is that the agency business is the ultimate team sport. There are no more important jobs – or less important jobs. They are all critical to our work, the growth of our clients, and the welfare of our people. Nothing else matters.

I have also grown to understand that hiring and developing smarter, more organized, and harder-working people will help you grow and ensure that your clients and the agency prosper too. And many of these wonderful people will grace you with friendships that will last a lifetime. I am also counting on many of them to lead the next generation of Groupers to carry on Stan’s legacy far into the future.

Every retiring agency person has enough client stories to fill at least one book, but in the interest of blog etiquette, I will keep to just a few. My first big new business “win” was Motel 6, and it wasn’t a real win but an assignment from one of Stan’s former clients.

The first thing I learned on Motel 6 is that advertising can do very little unless the product is at least competitive. Motel 6 delayed the launch of a new campaign until they finished some major remodeling and product enhancements, like putting telephones in the rooms. But that gave us time to really understand the motivation of the potential customer – and time for the creative and media folks to develop one of our most successful and longest-running campaigns, which is still running today. Though I passed the baton early to another principal, I was asked to take the helm again later in my career to ensure that we kept the business on track. Along the way, my wife, Becky, and I developed a lifelong friendship with our first CMO at Motel 6, Hugh Thrasher, may he rest in peace.

My next new business highlight – and I partnered with my good friend Jeff Upshaw on this one – was The Catfish Institute. We had been recommended to the institute’s president, Bill Allen, by a New York consultant. But Bill also knew of Jeff, whose family still farmed in the Mississippi Delta.

Jeff and I worked hard to understand the challenges of working for a farmer cooperative and had great fun plotting with the first creative team, Glenn Dady and Mike Malone, to help put farm-raised catfish on the menus of America’s white-tablecloth restaurants. And what fun we had along the way! I still count Bill and Jeff as two of my closest friends.

I was also blessed to lead the agency team that pitched and won Chick-fil-A. Though a couple of smarter, harder-working folks eventually took the ball from me and ran with it for the rest of our 22-year run, I was fortunate to be there at the start. Our team helped craft the Original Chicken Sandwich strategy that pitted us against the burger boys. A brilliant young creative team came up with the self-preservationist cows, and we were off to an incredible run – and a few more lifelong friendships including Steve Robinson, David Salyers, and Greg Ingram.

Another really interesting opportunity came our way with a call from Malmö, Sweden. The woman in charge of Perstorp Flooring’s advertising admired our work for The Container Store, Elfa’s primary retail outlet in the United States. She invited us to Fort Worth to meet Perstorp’s president, Lars von Kantzow, who had just signed Color Tile as their first U.S. outlet.

Stan wasn’t available, so Owen Hannay and I were on our own. We told The Richards Group’s story the best we could and showed our work to much nodding and laughing, so we knew there were no language or cultural issues. We then suggested that Lars consider Stan’s four conclusions that he hopes every client prospect will come away with at the end of a pitch: I like what you said. I like how you said it. I like you. Let’s do business.

Lars called the next day and said those conclusions right back to me. Together, we launched Pergo, the most successful new flooring brand in a generation. And I made another lifelong friend in Lars.

These are only a few of the stories about this place and our wonderful clients, but they are representative of my story here. They are part of why this place has meant so much to my career and why I have remained here so long. But in every story, it wasn’t just the business success – it was the people I had the opportunity to work with every day. They are what I will dearly miss.

Thank you.

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