Backing Buy North-East Initiative

Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce has launched a new campaign to persuade businesses in north-east Scotland to source more products and services from within the region and in turn support fellow local firms.  The aim is to retain more money in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire and give the local economy a shot in the arm.

buy-north-eastBuy North-East is being run in conjunction with Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire councils, Scottish Enterprise and Aberdeen Journals and encourages local private, public and third sector organisations to procure more items from local suppliers.  The Press & Journal and Evening Express newspapers are highlighting the importance and benefits of sourcing products and services locally with regular editorial articles.AberdeenHundreds of businesses of all sizes and operating in all sectors have signed up to the initiative, including ourselves here at Innes Associates.  As an Aberdeen-based advertising, marketing and PR company we know the importance of using local suppliers.

Explaining why Innes Associates is backing the campaign, managing director Charlie Innes said: “We have always aimed to use local suppliers as much as possible.  Working with suppliers who are on our doorstep allows us to build strong relationships with them.  Nothing beats discussing a project face-to-face and having that personal relationship can help when last minute projects crop up.

Charlie Innes, managing director, Innes Associates

Charlie Innes

“Our network includes freelance designers, photographers, video production companies, gift suppliers and printers, and although each varies in size, they all contribute to ensuring we have a diverse economy here in the north-east.

“This campaign gives us the opportunity as a business to explore how we can support more north-east suppliers to fulfil our own needs and those of our clients.  Businesses should also be encouraging their staff to examine where they spend their money and inspire them to shop locally where and when they can.  If we all make some small changes it will have a positive knock-on effect right down the supply chain.”

For more information on Buy North-East visit www.buynortheast.co.uk.

Firm Donates Free Food To Local Foodbank

Aberdeen-based marketing and communications consultancy Innes Associates has donated a second batch of free food to local food bank Community Food Initiatives North East (CFINE), proving that giving to charity does not always need to cost money.

Staff at the firm have been accumulating food and toiletries they have received when purchasing a copy of the Evening Express or Press and Journal from Aberdeen Journal’s roadshow events in Aberdeen’s Trinity Centre. The items were being given away free to readers as part of a promotion run by the papers.

Fiona Rae of CFINE (centre) accepts a donation from Charlie Innes (left) and Ian McLaren of Innes AssociatesThe idea of donating the free items to charity was sown in the minds of the Innes Associates team after being struck by a 12-year-old schoolgirl’s generosity last year. The youngster had saved up toys she had won at Codona’s and donated them to the Cash for Kids Mission Christmas gift appeal.

This latest batch of food and toiletries totalled 56 items, with an estimated retail value of over £60. A further £10 of tinned and dried food was also donated to the charity which was purchased from loose change collected in a tin in the firm’s office.

Boosting supplies – £60 of free food thanks to Aberdeen JournalsEarlier in the year, staff handed in 27 free items with a combined value of £35 to CFINE’s premises on Poynernook Road along with 21kg of additional food purchased by the team. These free items had been collected in the same way.

Along with donating items to the food bank, Innes Associates has also handed out some of the food to homeless people and donated Easter Eggs to local children’s egg appeals.

Free food – first batch of food collected for CFINEFoodbanks across Britain have been experiencing unprecedented demand in recent years. CFINE is the lead partner of the Food Banks Partnership Aberdeen, which comprises 37 partner community and voluntary organisations in the city. The Aberdeen foodbanks put out a call earlier this year which local residents got behind. Donations are constantly required, meaning this latest donation was well received.

In 2014, the partnership distributed over 13,000 emergency food parcels across Aberdeen, with CFINE itself handing out over 3,300 of them. This year, CFINE has dispensed, on average, around 750 emergency food parcels every month and as temperature begins to fall it is once again witnessing an increase in demand. The charity estimates that over the course of the year it will hand out nearly £160,000 worth of food and toiletries.

Ian McLaren, Innes Associates’ PR account manager, said: “We were all struck by the generosity shown last year by a 12-year-old girl who donated gifts she won to the Cash for Kids Mission Christmas appeal. It got us thinking about the things we could do that could have a similar impact and this is the result.

“In its simplest form it was about not being greedy. Instead passing on the goodwill shown to us, to those in need. It shows that donating to charity can at times cost nothing.”

Fiona Rae, deputy chief executive, CFINE, said: “This was a great initiative run by the team at Innes Associates. All of the food and toiletries that have been donated to CFINE are a huge benefit. Regardless of the time of year, we experience strong demand for food parcels. Every donation is greatly appreciated, particularly as we approach a time of year when additional pressures are put on our finances.”

Coinz Meanz Beanz For Charity

A humble tin of baked beans has allowed an Aberdeen charity to coin in over £100 thanks to a local firm.

Bean tin sprouts into charity cash

The store cupboard staple sprouted into £120 for Cash for Kids thanks to Aberdeen-based marketing and communications consultancy Innes Associates. Over the past year, staff at the firm have been putting loose change into an old baked bean tin, collecting a total of £16.15 in coppers and silvers. Staff members then individually matched the amount, with the total then being doubled by the firm.

Cash for Kids is currently running its annual Coats for Kids appeal, which aims to provide warm winter clothing to hundreds of underprivileged north-east children, and will use the donation to help meet an anticipated 600 applications. The charity supports disabled and disadvantaged children and young people under the age of 18 living in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. All of the money donated to the charity is spent in the local area.

Beans and coins

Normally the preserve of the bottom of pockets and purses, coppers and silvers are often an irritation to the public, but the team at Innes Associates grew to love the pesky pennies. In total they collected £1.33 in pennies, £1.32 in 2ps, £2.90 in 5ps, £4.20 in 10ps, £5.40 in 20ps and £1 in 50ps, along with a rouge American cent.

Charlie Innes, managing director of Innes Associates, said: “This was a really simple fundraising idea and it was surprising just how much we raised as a result of some loose change. We all often curse the coppers and small silvers that rattle around in our pockets or purses, so this put them to great use for a worthwhile local charity.”

Charlie Innes, managing director, Innes Associates

Charlie Innes

Michelle Ferguson, Cash for Kids’ charity manager, said: “This was a fantastic fundraising concept and goes to show that little things can accumulate into substantial amounts. Loose change is a bugbear of many people and this is an initiative many other firms could also adopt.

Cash for Kids logo“All of the money that is raised for Cash for Kids is used to support young people here in the north-east. Instead of being used to support our Coats for Kids appeal, a donation of this value could help a family to purchase clothes, bedding and other essentials for their children, or fund quarter of the purchase cost of a specialist wheelchair for a disabled child.”

Innes Associates Launches Summer Adventure Campaign

Summer has always been a time for adventures. Whether it was building sandcastles and exploring rock pools at the seaside during your six-week school summer holidays or jetting off from work for two weeks on the sun-kissed beaches of the Mediterranean, discovering something new has always been part of summer.

#InnesAdventures ideas - Scotland

This summer we’re launching something new and have some great prizes up for grabs. Over the next eight weeks we want to come along with you on your summer adventures. We know that you’ll already have your suitcase jam packed, so we’ve something far more manageable for you to take on your travels, an #InnesAdventures card.

What we want you to do is pick up one of our adventure cards and take a selfie with it while you’re on your holidays. Once you’ve taken your selfie upload it to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #InnesAdventures and add the location of your snap.

Our competition runs from today – Monday, 29 June – until Friday, 21 August and we’ll be awarding a prize for the furthest travelled selfie and the quirkiest selfie. If you’re sunning yourself in the Seychelles, exploring China’s Forbidden City or heading off on a road trip round Scotland, make sure your Innes Adventures card is packed and then get creative (within reason as we don’t want you doing anything dangerous just to get a quirky picture) with your photography.

#InnesAdventures cardsFeel free to pass on your Innes Adventures card to family, friends and colleagues and get them involved too.

Instructions

  • Pick up an Innes Associates adventure card and head off and visit some sights.
  • Once you have arrived at your destination, simply take out your phone and your Innes Associates adventure card, and then take a selfie with us.
  • Hold the adventure card with the white megaphone facing the camera, get your landmark in the background and smile.
  • After you have taken your selfie, upload it to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, or even all three. Include our hashtag #InnesAdventures, and add the location of your Innes picture.

#InnesAdventures ideas - LondonSelecting the winners

We’ll be awarding prizes in two categories:

  • Quirkiest Innes Selfie
  • Furthest Travelled Innes Selfie*
    *Miles will be calculated from our office at 1 Little Belmont Street, Aberdeen to the location of your snap.

The winners will be able to choose from a selection of prizes – including vouchers for cookery classes at the Nick Nairn Cook School in Aberdeen and a champagne afternoon tea for two people at Meldrum House.

Remember, your #InnesAdventures selfie must be submitted by Friday, 21 August.

If you have any questions, or want to get involved, contact Bronwyn on bronwyn@charlieinnes.com or 01224 925051.

Innes Adventure ideas - Dunnottar Castle and Pennan

History repeating itself

Are companies too quick to change their branding or ditch an ad campaign?  We take a look at how history can repeat itself in marketing and beyond.

The old adage of holding onto something for long enough and it’ll come back into fashion seems truer today than ever. Perhaps it’s this age of austerity that we’re living in or that these items have an emotional pull that makes us look back fondly on a certain point in time. Maybe it’s just that we like to get our money’s worth out of a product! Whatever the reason, many things that were sales successes decades ago are among today’s must haves.

If you were a child of the 1970s and 1980s you probably got busy with the fizzy and were used to the iconic sound that a Soda Stream made. The machine and the bottles have undergone a few redesigns over the last 30 years, but Soda Stream’s sales are once again rising – up 25% in 2013. If you’re still using the version with the glass bottles you’ll probably be seen as the height of retro fashion.

When it comes to toys and games, some things have an enduring appeal. Board games such as Monopoly and Cluedo have remained popular for over 60 years, and building just wouldn’t be the same without Lego. One game that became popular with youngsters again recently was Subbuteo. Originally manufactured in the late 1940s the game was a mainstay of kids’ toy boxes until the mid 1990s when production stopped. With lots of accessories you could recreate your favourite teams and even stadia! Production started again in 2012 and youngsters once again discovered the joy of Subbuteo – also the injury your finger sustained from flicking the little figures…! With the FIFA World Cup just round the corner, players young and old will no doubt be laying the green Subbuteo cloth over the kitchen table and getting competitive with the plastic men wobbling about after the ball.

Even computer technology launched in the 1980s is being reinvented. The Sinclair ZX Spectrum was a popular home gaming computer and over its 10-year production run around five million of the British-built devices were sold. Now mobile games firm Elite Systems is aiming to reinvent the iconic computer as a Bluetooth keyboard that can play an array of classic games on phones and tablets. ‘Head over Heels’ or ‘Arkanoid’ anyone?

As was shown last year it is not just products that can be successes 20 years later, but music too. In 1994, when starring in Byker Grove as PJ and Duncan, Ant and Dec reached number one with ‘Let’s Get Ready to Rhumble’ and in 2013 after performing it on their Saturday Night Takeaway show it hit the top of charts once again as a result of downloads.

Over the last couple of years two things have become fashion must haves – quilted jackets and leather satchels. Walk down the street in any city recently and you were bound to see someone in a quilted jacket. They were the height of fashion in the 1970s and early 1980s, were revived and remodelled in the 1990s as puffa jackets, before Barbour added their twist in 2012 and every clothing manufacturer jumped on the bandwagon. The humble leather school satchel that carried every primary school pupil’s jotters until the late 1980s has also become a must-have accessory. The bag has been jazzed up from its brown origins and can now be bought in all sorts of vivid colours.

An old schoolbag is now the height of fashion

An old schoolbag is now the height of fashion

Even the royals are famous fashion recyclers. The Queen has been known to dust off the same outfit time and again; recently she was snapped wearing a coat that she bought in the 1960s. Her Majesty’s make do and mend attitude has also rubbed off on her children. Princess Anne has been known to sport outfits 20 years after she first wore them and Prince Charles has been seen wearing 40-year-old shoes and darned jackets.

Marketeers and advertisers aren’t averse to delving into their promotional archive and blowing the dust of successful campaigns from bygone years.   We’ve seen many of them do it and to great effect. Milky Way revived its ‘Red car and the Blue car’ advert 20 years after it was aired, while Persil, Fairy and Tennent’s all looked to their advertising past for inspiration for TV campaigns 25 years on.

When it comes to brand identity, however, some firms don’t bother undertaking rebranding exercises. Instead they just update their brand to prevent it from becoming dated. Shell’s Pecten has stood the test of time over the last 114 years, with only its shape and the typography used altering slightly. The most drastic changes were the introduction of red and yellow in 1948 and then the removal of the word Shell in 1999.  This is how it has evolved.

Motor manufacturers are another example of brands that rarely change their logo. Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Volkswagen, BMW, Ford, Chevrolet and Toyota have all made few changes to their identities. However, Fiat has changed its logo several times throughout its history and the most recent incarnation from 2006 takes inspiration from the badge of the 1930s that adorned vehicles for more than 30 years.

Regardless of whether it is something in our home, an item of clothing or even an ad campaign, hang on to it for long enough and it will be back into vogue before we know it. Maybe we should also take the view of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, and save ourselves a lot of hassle and money. Let’s hope we’ve seen the back of some things though. Do we really need shellsuits again…?

April Fools’ Day

April the first has rolled round once again and with it comes the job of trying to differentiate fact from fiction as we attempt not to fall for the pranksters’ tricks.

The exact history of April Fools’ Day, or All Fools’ Day, is unknown, but there are many theories. It has been suggested that precursors to April Fools’ Day include the Roman festival of Hilaria which was held on 25 March and the Medieval Feast of Fools, held on 28 December. Pranks are still played in Spanish-speaking countries on this date.

In Scotland, April Fools’ Day was called Hunt the Gowk Day – gowk being Scots for a foolish person.

No doubt in offices around the world many pranks have been played this morning already. The April Fools’ jokes haven’t been restricted to places of work. Over the years we’ve had to tread carefully while reading the newspaper or watching TV. Here are just a few:

  • In 1957, BBC got in on the act and broadcast a Swiss farmer harvesting freshly-grown spaghetti. The corporation was later inundated with requests from viewers looking to purchase a spaghetti plant, forcing it to declare it all a hoax in its news bulletins the following day.
  • Blackpool Zoo announced that it was launching a recruitment drive to find giraffe keepers in 2010. The prospective keepers had to be over 6ft 2in tall to even be considered for the role. The Zoo teamed up with GMTV for the stunt and the broadcaster encouraged viewers to visit its website for more information on the job, or sign a petition on heightism.
  • GMTV was involved in another April Fool in 2008. This time it was Yorkshire Water that provided the idea, which actually formed the first stage of its quality water campaign. The firm was to ‘launch’ diet tap water that could be plumbed into consumers’ homes. It provided a freephone number for people to find out more and in the 12 hours following the TV broadcast more than 10,000 had called.

  • Last year, The Guardian unveiled a new way to read the paper. Lois P Farlo reported on a groundbreaking pair of web-connected augmented reality glasses that would beam its journalism directly into the wearer’s field of vision. It all sounds farfetched, but aren’t Google already planning something similar? Read the full Guardian article here.
  • Advertisers get in on the act too. In 2013, BMW cashed in on the royal baby craze that was sweeping the nation by announcing the arrival of its P.R.A.M or Postnatal Royal Auto Mobile. If you were interested in purchasing one you were asked to e-mail Joe King.

BMW P.R.A.M

Today’s crop

What has made the news today? Well, The Sun has reported that Her Majesty is going to drill for oil at Buckingham Palace, while Vegemite is to launch a new energy drink called Vegemite iDRINK 2.1.

If you had a boiled egg for breakfast this morning while watching ITV’s Daybreak don’t rush out to purchase new egg cups. The story of a farmer managing to rear hens that lay square eggs may have been cracking, but in reality it’s half-baked.

The newspapers weren’t afraid to wade into the debate on the Scottish independence referendum today either. The Guardian had an exclusive story that in the event of Scotland gaining independence from the rest of the UK it would switch to driving on the right. It even posted a video on its website to explain the changes and how they would work at the border. While The Daily Telegraph’s Flora Poli revealed the Scottish Government’s plan for the Scottish pound or Salmond Sterling. In place of The Queen each coin would be adorned by Alex Salmond. Perhaps we need more humorous stories like this before 18 September.

Read with care out there today. If you spot articles from Lois P Farlo, Flora Poli or even Paolo Frils, don’t believe everything you read. And remember, if you’re planning an April Fools’ joke make sure you do it by midday or the joke is on you.

Energy publications

Some of the publications that support the global oil and gas sectorAberdeen is the heart of the European oil and gas industry and there is a wide range of publications that cover this important sector.  With the rise of online media the number of platforms has increased in recent years.  Here are some of the media, both print and online, that many of our clients feature in.

The Press & Journal – Aberdeen’s daily newspaper covers the sector in each daily and has a monthly supplement called Energy.  The paper launched an online news service called Energy Voice.

Roustabout Energy International is a long-standing monthly Aberdeen energy publication.  Over the past 40 years it has charted the development of the industry in the north-east of Scotland, but also features international news.

Platform is another Aberdeen-based monthly magazine publication and its digital version can be read at www.platform-oilandgas.com.

Oilonline.com is the online home for well-established magazines Offshore Engineer and Asian Oil & Gas.

Oilvoice.com is an online news service bringing together news of the global oil and gas industry.  It provides daily and weekly e-newsletters to subscribers’ inboxes and also publishes a digital magazine on its website.

Offshore-technology.com is another online news service dedicated to the global oil and gas industry.  It also produces a digital magazine called Offshore Technology Focus.

Published since 1944 by the International Association of Drilling Contractors, Drilling Contractor magazine covers the global completion and drilling industry, onshore and offshore.

Hart’s E&P is another long-standing energy industry publication.  It informs exploration, drilling and production operations managers, onshore and offshore and in all parts of the world, about the trends and technology they need to do their jobs more efficiently.

There are many other titles and we will add them to this post in the coming days.