Tag Archives: video

Hanlin and Hufton work their magic as Pull The Pin heads for bumper first year

Putting power in the hands of creators is placing one of Birmingham’s newest digital marketing and video agencies on course for a bumper first year.

Pull The Pin, which is the brainchild of digital expert Sam Hufton and celebrity illusionist and magician Ben Hanlin, is expecting fees to hit over £700,000 by the end of July after picking up a string of new wins.

Located on Newhall Street in the heart of the city, the company has already created fifteen jobs and has ambitious plans to take on four more as it expects to double the size of the business by 2023.

Friends for more than 25 years, the duo have built their business on the ethos that all brands, no matter how big or small, should focus on what they do best and leave their digital strategy to the experts.

They achieve this by streamlining the agency’s approach to creative, video and digital marketing work, so that industry experts effectively connect clients to their audiences, delivering tangible results in the process.

It’s an approach that is already paying dividends, with global professional services firm PwC, restaurant chain Leon, recruitment specialists IDEX Consulting, the English Golf Union, Mazars and The Mirror all tapping into services that include digital strategy, marketing automation, social consultancy, SEO, video creation and TikTok strategies.

“We’ve always talked about doing something together and then Covid-19 happened, which accelerated our thinking,” explained Ben, who made the semi-final on hit TV show Dancing on Ice just before the pandemic broke.

“Some people thought we were nuts starting a business during such difficult times, but it’s something we had kicked around for long enough. The added increase in online use, and especially video, meant it just felt like the right time and the right opportunity.

“Sam is an unbelievable operator in the digital space and very well known throughout the sector, whilst my job meant I was used to creating lots of content that gets millions of organic views – that’s the key to Pull The Pin.”

He went on to add: “All of my bookings and tours vanished overnight, so I started to focus on building a massive online following and thought… ‘why don’t we help companies to do just that, especially those that may not have the in-house capability or are wasting thousands of pounds on polished content that few people view’.”

Pull The Pin has gone from a standing start to one of the region’s most talked about agencies.

At the heart of its success has been recruiting experienced specialists in their individual disciplines and fifteen staff have been brought in to head-up its Birmingham and overseas operations.

Many have been attracted by the founders’ desire to create an agency that people want to work for and a culture that encourages working hard, creativity and autonomy to execute strong campaigns.

This has seen PTP introduce 30 days holiday as standard, regular early finishes to celebrate milestones and the impending prospect of being able to work anywhere from the world for four weeks per year.

Sam, who has previously held senior roles at M3.Agency and Found, continued: “We want to attract the best talent and the best creative minds, so we have to reflect this in our working environment and the culture we are trying to build.

“The plan is working, and we’ve been able to recruit outstanding specialists in digital marketing, web, SEO, content creation, paid for social and video production, whether it is polished films or more ‘in the moment’ footage.

“What this means is that we deliver what we promise, and this is seeing us win high profile accounts and attract growing businesses who are looking for innovative ways to connect with their audiences.”

He concluded: “Putting power in the hands of creators and showing them how to maximise it is the way forward and we want PTP to help Birmingham compete and overtake Bristol, Leeds and Manchester as a hotspot for digital talent.”

Redgate launches free online library of PASS Data Community Summit 2021 sessions

Cambridge UK, Thursday, 16 June, 2022 – Ahead of this year’s hybrid PASS Data Community Summit in November 2022, Redgate has continued its commitment to the data community by releasing a free online library of 261 sessions from the 2021 Summit to help data professionals everywhere upskill their knowledge and careers.

Redgate acquired the assets of PASS when the global data community organization ended operations in January of 2021, and pledged to revive the long-standing annual PASS Summit and make the educational content widely available.

The PASS Data Community Summit in November 2021, hosted online because of pandemic restrictions, was a huge success with the largest program ever presented, and the biggest global gathering of data professionals. 321 speakers presented 433 sessions, which were viewed 70,783 times by the 18,292 people from around the world who registered.

The creativity in delivering an engaging event by finding innovative ways to bring the community together in a virtual setting was also recognized when Redgate was presented with the Innovation Award from Rainfocus, the online event platform. As importantly for a community-focused organization, the team worked hard to create an inclusive and diverse event with 44% of those delivering sessions being first-time speakers at the Summit, and 38% of sessions being delivered by speakers from previously underrepresented groups.

The library of sessions from the event is now available online for anyone to access and, if the popularity of the on-demand sessions matches the original event, query performance tuning will be the most searched for topic, along with areas like data security, Azure, database DevOps, and migrating to the cloud.

“This continues Redgate’s longstanding commitment to supporting the data community by extending and enabling access to shared knowledge and learning,” says Jakub Lamik, CEO of Redgate. “It’s something we strongly believe in because it enables data professionals to deal with the more complex but also more exciting challenges that the constantly changing world throws at them. The Summit library is a significant and important resource anyone can draw on for a whole range of learning opportunities.”

The upcoming 2022 PASS Data Community Summit in November will expand those opportunities further. This year has seen a record 863 proposed Summit sessions submitted by 516 speakers, many of whom are some of the most respected names in the global data community. After making positive strides in 2021, there is also a goal to make the Summit one of the most diverse, with at least 40% of the 2022 speakers coming from underrepresented groups.

The final selected sessions will be presented live from November 15-18 when thousands of data professionals will once again meet up in person, in Seattle WA, the traditional home of the Summit. They will be joined online by thousands more attendees from all over the globe, making the Summit the world’s leading worldwide event for data professionals once again.

Until then, anyone who needs to upgrade and enhance their skills can access, search and view the 261 sessions from the PASS Data Community Summit 2021 already available in the new online Summit library.

Newsflare Hires Head of Data Analytics to Maximise the Value of User-Generated Video Strategies

London, New York, Los Angeles 16th June 2022: Newsflare, the world’s leading licensing platform and marketplace for user-generated video (UGV), has today announced the appointment of Liam Chapman as its new Head of Data Analytics. This newly created role, one of several key appointments following its £5 million series B funding round, will enable Newsflare to target buyers with highly relevant user-generated video (UGV), and help storytellers across TV production, online and social publishing, and brands maximise the value of their video strategies.

With the end of third-party cookies on the horizon, maximising traffic and revenue and meeting higher audience expectations for more meaningful interactions and immersive experiences are key priorities for buyers. Liam’s appointment will allow Newsflare to harness and deliver actionable insights that can be used to drive user experience optimisation, and ensure buyers remain one step ahead when it comes to delivering content that is proven to capture, retain and monetise audiences.

Liam joins Newsflare from Lands’ End Europe, where he held the position of Head of Analytics and brings with him a wealth of experience in using data to understand the wants and needs of users and delivering actionable insights for value-driving decision making. Prior to Lands’ End, Liam held senior analytics roles at BGC Group, Comparethemarket.com and Frontline Group.

Speaking about the appointment, Jon Cornwell, Founder and CEO of Newsflare, commented:

“We are very excited to welcome Liam to Newsflare. Liam is taking on the leadership of a team that develops advanced analytics to help our buyers identify video content that performs. Importantly, insights provided by Liam’s team will increasingly be deployed to direct our filmers to capture video content for which there is a defined market need, giving them a greater opportunity for increased exposure.”

Video agency launches virtual experience with Edinburgh Zoo and Vimeo collaboration

A Midlands production agency has joined forces with global video platform, Vimeo, to launch a new interactive tour experience in one of the first collaborations of its kind in the UK.

Edinburgh Zoo, home of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), has launched the interactive video developed by Colada Creative which allows virtual viewers a chance to choose which animals, enclosures and experiences to visit.

Edinburgh Zoo, one of Europe’s leading centres of conservation, education and research, is home to more than 1,000 rare and endangered animals and welcomes in excess of 800,000 visitors each year.

With the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the zoo looked into other ways to reach its supporters and share the stories of the animals on site. The interactive video feature allows users to tour, view and meet some of the animals and zookeepers at the 82-acre attraction, without having to be on site.

Director at Telford-based Colada Creative, Jack Brodie said: “Video has become a useful tool for tourist attractions throughout the past two years but, as we return to relatively normal life, it’s great to see brands like Edinburgh Zoo use video, and particularly interactive video, as an ongoing addition to its on-site experience.

“Colada is one of very few agencies in the world that are collaborating with Vimeo, to offer interactive video technology to brands like Edinburgh Zoo.

“Interactive video is the future of video — engagement levels are far above standard video content and there are huge opportunities to add layers of information and calls to action.”

Visitors can get up close to fascinating exhibits such as penguins, meerkats and giraffes, while expert members of the wildlife conservation charity’s team provide interesting insight and commentary about the animals featured.

Laura Moore, communications manager at RZSS said, “As a wildlife conservation charity working with rare and endangered species from around the world, this new feature will offer a special insight into the work that takes place here at Edinburgh Zoo in a new way that everyone can access.

“The video was initially shared with our valued members and supporters and is now live on our website for animal and wildlife fans from around the world to learn more about the species and connect with nature from the comfort of their own home.

“It will give people a great insight into the lives of some of our amazing animals and team and we hope it will act as a gateway for people who can’t visit the zoo or inspire more people to come and visit us in person.”

Jack added: “We believe this is just the first steppingstone in terms of using interactive video to provide an enhanced user experience. Whether it is schools or universities offering virtual tours, or other tourist attractions that are looking to capture the hearts and imagination of the general public by giving insight over and above what could be found on site — the possibilities are endless.”

To find out more about Colada Creative, visit www.colada.uk.

To find out more about Edinburgh Zoo and experience the interactive video feature, https://www.edinburghzoo.org.uk/animals-and-experiences/interactive-tour/

Promotion for Ben as creative agency Fluid Ideas expands leadership team

The head of creative agency Fluid Ideas’ search and social media team has been promoted to associate partner.

Ben Meakin joined the agency in 2018 from the University of Derby Students’ Union, where he was the marketing and engagement manager.

He began at Fluid in a marketing manager role but soon began to focus on search and social media. He currently leads a 10-strong, award-winning team with an expanding client base.

Ben is the fourth member of the Fluid team to be promoted to associate partner, a position created to give its rising stars a more active leadership role across the business.

Fluid Ideas is a full-service agency whose operations cover branding and campaigns, graphic and website design, computer-generated imagery, 3D animation and video, photography, copywriting, digital marketing, content management, search and social media – all in-house.

Its client base spans sectors including healthcare, retirement living, property, professional services, education, finance, leisure and hospitality.

The agency celebrated its 18th birthday in January and posted record annual revenues of £3.2m in the year to November, boosted by increased business from existing clients and a raft of new wins. Staff numbers have reached 50 in line with its growth.

Ben’s achievements at Fluid include devising an award-winning campaign for the National Forest Adventure Farm in Staffordshire, which helped attract a record number of visitors to its Halloween-themed scare attraction Screamfest.

He has also worked closely with East Midlands Railway, which has developed into a full service client, has gained further awards recognition for e-commerce campaigns, and through a number of projects has helped generate record inquiries for Inspired Villages, a retirement villages group which is backed by Legal & General.

Ed Bowler, joint managing director at Fluid, said: “From the outset, it was apparent that Ben had a real hunger for the world of search and social. He won our first significant social media client within a few weeks, has continued to grow our digital offering and now heads a 10-strong team from a standing start.

“He brings sheer passion, energy, creativity and a natural positivity to Fluid. He leads by example in his ambition and in the way he supports the team and encourages them to grow and push the boundaries of what they can achieve.

“We have always prioritised internal growth rather than senior external appointments, and Ben’s fully deserved promotion is another good example of this strategy.”

Ben said: “I’m thrilled to be part of the Fluid team and to have been given the opportunity to create an entirely new team.

“I’m extremely proud and grateful to be promoted to associate partner, and can’t wait to be more involved in the development of Fluid as an agency, continuing to help our clients grow their digital brands.”

Turnover and staff numbers reach record highs as Fluid Ideas celebrates 18th birthday

Creative agency Fluid Ideas has seen revenues and staff numbers rise to record levels as it celebrates its 18th birthday this month.

The Derbyshire agency began trading in January 2004 from the basement of a beauty salon and turned over £85,000 in its first year.

Fluid’s revenues in its latest financial year topped £3m for the first time in its history. Increased business from existing clients and a raft of new wins helped it grow turnover by 10 per cent in the 12 months to November 30, from £2.9m to £3.2m.

In line with its expansion, Fluid has seen staff numbers reach 50 with its latest crop of recruits.

The recent arrivals include dedicated Shopify developer Richard Peirce in Fluid’s websites and systems team, who brings a new specialism to the agency.

Shopify is one of the world’s most trusted e-commerce platforms and Richard’s appointment significantly strengthens Fluid’s offering in this area.

Grace Parkin and Nick Raven have joined Fluid’s search and social team. Josh Nurse has been recruited to the agency’s brand and creative team, and Patricia Hernandez has joined the image and motion team.

Rebecca Shelton has been appointed to the agency’s support and delivery team to take the lead on a number of client relationships.

These appointments mean Fluid’s workforce has doubled in the past four years.

Fluid, which is based at Darley Abbey Mills near Derby, is a full-service creative agency whose operations cover branding and campaigns, graphic and website design, computer-generated imagery, 3D animation and video, photography, copywriting, digital marketing, content management and social media – all in-house.

Its client base spans sectors including healthcare, retirement living, property, professional services, education, finance, leisure and hospitality.

Significant client wins over the past 12 months include Midlands estate agency chain Newton Fallowell, Oxfordshire County Council, and international business and IT consultancy Waterstons.

Fluid has also expanded the range of services it provides to existing and long-standing clients such as global chemicals giant Azelis, which floated on the Euronext Brussels stock exchange last year, Barchester Healthcare, East Midlands Railway, veterinary care provider IVC Evidensia and SDL Auctions.

Founder and joint managing director Phil Harvey said: “As a full-service agency, we are proud to be the creators and custodians of brands, in pixel and in print, for an exciting and expanding client base across the UK and Europe.

“The expertise of our growing team and the fantastic level of service they provide enables us to constantly exceed expectations and develop ever stronger relationships with our existing clients, as well as to attract new ones across a wide range of sectors.

“Fluid began with just myself, and now we have reached a milestone with 50 staff as well as achieving record turnover in our latest financial year.

“As the world and life evolves, we’re constantly thinking ahead to meet the changing needs of clients, in particular in terms of their digital requirements.

“Adding new skillsets to the team means we are well equipped and confident for the future as we help clients to emerge stronger from the pandemic, just as we have helped them to come through previous recessions.

“Maintaining our high standards, a positive culture and upholding the values on which the business has been built and continues to flourish ensures our team and our clients enjoy the journey.”

A third of consumers have video called brands or want to

According to new research from the Data & Marketing Association (DMA), Collinson, and dotdigital, 1 in 10 (12%) consumers have video called a brand and nearly a quarter of consumers (23%) are interested in brands using video calls to engage with them in the future.

The ‘Customer Engagement: How to Win Trust and Loyalty’ report highlights a number of changes to consumer behaviour and brand engagement since the survey was last fielded in 2018.

As periods of lockdown and social distancing have become part of daily life during the pandemic, consumers have had to turn to digital channels to maintain daily essential communications. Almost half of consumers (47%) are making video calls weekly.

Consumers are also open to and taking advantage of presence-free communications when engaging with brands. In addition to video calls, half of consumers (52%) have used chat customer service and would do again, or they are interested in doing so in the future.

“Clearly, our lives are all different today than they were a year ago. Coronavirus has accelerated many key trends we’ve been tracking in recent years, such as digital-first routes to brand engagement. While digital engagement with brands is a more viable and needed option for consumers during the coronavirus period, we expect the experiences of living through the pandemic will increase willingness to engage with brands remotely in future,” said Tim Bond, Head of Insight, DMA.

Despite the pandemic disrupting habits, half of consumers (51%) remain ‘Active Loyals,’ compared to 49% in 2018, according to the DMA’s long-running customer loyalty segmentation. Meanwhile, ‘Habitual Loyals’ – those who are loyal to brands the engage with more regularly – have increased to 17% from 13% previously.

“Brexit, Coronavirus, and all the other challenges 2020 has thrown at people has not changed the core principles of trust and loyalty as much as some may have thought. In fact, despite the pandemic disrupting so much of our lives, half of consumers remain actively loyal to brands,” added Bond.

Brands must show compassion during the pandemic
Most consumers (77%) agree that brands should show compassion during the pandemic – 66% want brands to communicate how they are helping customers and 58% want to know how they are supporting staff.

The majority of consumers (76%) expect brands to be flexible about cancellations during this time – a form of practical compassion that could also hold some long-term benefits for brands, as 56% of customers agree they are more likely to stay loyal to brands that are able to offer flexibility in the current climate.

“Compassion is something we have heard about a lot in recent times, but this in connection to a brand is still relatively new. Over time, we have seen that the ethics and credentials of brands are becoming an important part of the consideration phase for many consumers, and this is a natural extension of that during these difficult times. This is definitely something for brands to consider,” said Scott Logie, Chair, DMA Customer Engagement Committee
& Customer Engagement Director, REaD Group.

Zoë Senior, General Manager, Agency, Europe, Collinson: “During the coronavirus period, the retail industry has been under huge pressure. The high street has seen a significant drop in footfall and according to the ONS, clothing and footwear retailers are suffering even more than most. Unsurprisingly, we have also seen a huge jump in online shopping as consumers have moved online to buy everything from weekly essentials to luxury goods. Encouragingly, despite all this change we see some of the fundamentals of loyalty have remained solid. The basic loyalty segmentation has remained relatively consistent with levels of those who are actively loyal and those actively disloyal broadly unchanged since 2017.”

Gavin Laugenie, Head of Strategy & Insight dotdigital: “Trust plays a significant role in the relationship we have with our customers. However, consumers’ trust is not quickly earned. It has to be developed over time, and with each interaction we make, carefully choosing the right channels to direct and manage that interaction. When we earn that trust from a consumer our jobs become more straightforward, so we need to nurture that trust by rewarding existing customers regularly. If not, we’ll find ourselves in a constant battle to win them back as they will put their loyalty aside to try something new and different.”

Further information can be found on the DMA website: https://dma.org.uk/research/customer-engagement-how-to-win-trust-and-loyalty-2020

New social media network YurOn launches, billing itself as the ‘antidote to the dopamine addiction’ of other platforms

This week YurOn, a new type of social media platform, launches to the public.

Social media is leaving us more isolated, polarised and unfulfilled than ever before. As these social media dynasties grow, the problem is only exacerbated. In the words of Alex Roetter (ex-Twitter engineer – The Social Dilemma), “you can’t put the genie back in the bottle”.

YurOn connects people in a way that is collaborative and curiosity-driven – it’s a remedy for relentless and unfulfilling scrolling.

It all starts with a question, which anyone in the YurOn community can reply to, creating a collaborative video thread. Thousands of people from different walks of life – drag queens, mountaineers, activists – have thirty seconds to ignite a conversation, start an Ask Me Anything or co-create a skit.

There are no filters, vanity metrics or validation-driven algorithms. Instead, YurOn thrives off authenticity which encourages people – not hollow profiles – to connect.

And it’s working: users spend more time on YurOn than Twitter per day and have already created more than 5,000 videos with 100,000 views.

YurOn user Kaia Kaemmerlen said that she loves using YurOn to “see life through other people’s eyes. I’ve met ballet dancers, people who live on houseboats, environmental activists and DJs. It’s about connecting with real people living real lives – not fake, airbrushed lives that pretend to be perfect.”

That’s the essence of YurOn: providing a platform for users to connect in an authentic and creative way, rewarding curiosity with community.

YurOn is also developing new ways for video creators to monetise their threads, with a tipping feature and purchasable exclusive content. Posts are asynchronous, meaning there’s no need to schedule; rather, users can connect with and grow their communities at their own pace, meaning YurOn’s potential as a creative, educational, energising and authentic app is limitless.

YurOn stats

● Soft launched in Q2 2020 with pioneer testers/users
● 17% of YurOn users upload content
● 32% of accounts are still using YurOn a month after signing up
● Investors include Betfair co-founder
● Influencers with significant followings on social media (each between 400K and >1M) are also active on YurOn (e.g. @raindovemodel, @omarsamra)

“YurOn is the place where raw curiosity and co-creation rule over individualism. More than ever, people desire authentic interactions that are more rewarding than the mere one-way street that existing social media apps offer. YurOn allows people to engage in a back and forth discussion via video threads – so you interact with the person in a ‘real’ and transparent way, not hidden behind a username or fake account. We believe video is a special medium; it carries more emotion and allows more empathy. And that’s what makes YurOn different.” Said YurOn CEO, Marine Mallinson.

Download YurOn from your app store, or visit: https://yuron.io/
Or visit our Seedrs page: www.seedrs.com/yuron

Remote workers may be more dishonest than office workers – and its women that could be to blame

Women are more likely to be dishonest than men when working remotely, according to research by the University of Cologne.

The research, conducted by Dr. Julian Conrads and Dr. Sebastian Lotz, revealed that women were more likely to be completely dishonest if the method of communication is more distant and anonymous.

The study asked the participants to flip a coin four times and inform the researchers what it landed on. Each time the coin landed on tails; the participants received a monetary reward.
The communication channels used to inform the researchers differed – either no technology was used, for example face-to-face, or it was increasingly ‘distant’ or ‘anonymous’, for instance ‘’web-based’.

“The research reveals that an individual’s lying cost may be affected by social distance concerns, and this effect seems to be more pronounced for women than men when it comes to lying to the full extent. Women – communicating remotely from home – were more likely to report landing on tails for four times compared to men,” says Dr. Conrads.

This research is relevant in an organisational setting as decision makers have to decide which communication channel to rely on when organising communication among employees – especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As face-to-face communication is unavailable due to most employees working remotely, the next best thing is video conferencing rather than chat. Dishonest behaviour was prevalent in all experimental treatments but increased as the method of communication became more ‘distant’ and ‘anonymous’,” says Dr. Conrads.

The study was published in the journal of Behavioural and Experimental Economics.