The Death of Flash

 

On 13th July 2015 Facebook’s chief security officer Alex Stamos asked for Adobe to give a date when Flash will be killed off. This followed a number of complaints from the security community that the software was vulnerable to hacks. The previous week in a leaked document from a spyware company it was revealed that there was a major vulnerability that has been known about, and presumably used, for years. Steve Jobs wrote that Flash had “one of the worst security records in 2009” in his open letter “Thoughts on Flash” explaining why Apple would not allow Flash on its devices.

Once the mainstay of animated advertising banners and online games, Flash has fallen out of favour due to what seems to be inherent security issues. With Firefox blocking it, YouTube dropping Flash as its default video player and even Adobe have stopped all development of Flash Player since 2011, what can you do about your site.

  1. Use HTML5 options as much as possible…..it even has a nice video player
  2. Ensure your site has been developed using modern, open standards
  3. Uninstall Flash Player to remove any vulnerabilities
  4. Upgrade your browser. Although this isn’t so much about removing dependency on Flash, this will ensure that you are able to view sites using modern web standards in the manner they are supposed to be seen – especially if you are using Internet Explorer 8!

 

If you are unsure that your site is up-to-date with new web standards or perhaps you have some Flash, why not give us a call.

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PR Key Calendar Dates September – November 2015

In order for campaigns to remain current, it can often be useful to base your ideas around significant events taking place throughout the year. We advise clients to start preparing for campaigns at least 1 month in advance – so we’ve put together a list of important dates to add to the diary for 2015, to help you stay organised and to ensure that you don’t miss out on any opportunities.

Please note: this list is not definitive and will be updated as and when new dates are confirmed.

 

September

  • 9th National Fitness Day
  • (dates vary) Back to school
  • 22nd-23rd Leisure Industry Week
  • 29th World Heart Day

Sporting Events

  • 5th 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games
  • 18th September - 31st October Rugby World Cup

 

October

  • 1st International Day of Older Persons
  • 3rd Grandparent’s Day
  • (dates vary) Autumn Half Term
  • 25th British Summertime Ends, clocks go back 1 hour
  • 31st Halloween

November

  • 1st-30th Movember
  • 1st-30th Lung Cancer Awareness Month
  • 4th National Stress Awareness Day
  • 5th Guy Fawkes Night
  • 8th Remembrance Sunday
  • 11th Armistice Day
  • 13th World Kindness Day
  • 14th World Diabetes Day
  • 27th Black Friday
  • 29th First day of Advent
  • 30th Cyber Monday
  • (TBC) Children in Need

 

Bigwave media is a creative marketing agency working with clients across the UK. To discuss campaign ideas that we can help you develop, please contact us on 0845 643 2385 or complete our contact form.

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The Biscuit Elections – staff training with a difference

Our second hack event merged the world of politics with the biscuit industry and culminated in the Biscuit Elections. A unique fusion, but a fun one!

Biscuit Elections 2015

Staff across the design and web agency collaborated towards the task, titled ‘Sway’ which aimed to hack the elections and formed the basis of our annual staff training day. Staff were split into five teams, all mixed from across the creative studio, account management and digital teams, with each team holding four to five bigwavers.

Each team represented a biscuit party and the premise was to create a campaign to sway the electorate and get their biscuit to the top of the polls. The parties needed to create a campaign concept in the medium of their choice (billboard, poster, party political broadcast, social media, pamphlet etc.), focussing on a set demographic and outlining the core proposition. As part of the task the parties had to present back their concept to all staff and the judging panel, as well as take part in a hustings Q&A panel.

The end of the day was marked by an election where all staff voted for the party which swayed them the most (staff votes were for fun and didn’t count towards the overall scores).

  • Here’s a round up of the parties and their campaigns:

The Rich Tea Party 

Team members: Dan James, Wayne Morrish, Chris Fiddimore, Luke Simpson
Campaign tagline: The lord of Biscuits

In short: With a focus on traditions and values the Rich Tea party created an outdoor media campaign which was to be fronted by Terry Wogan, who famously (?!) said that Rich Tea biscuits were ‘The lord of Biscuits’.

 

The Ginger Nut Party

Team members: Luke Stone, Rosie King, Max Rogers, Nick Penny, Karlie Williams
Campaign tagline: Ginger is making a come back

In short: The ginger nuts led with a social media campaign that aimed to squarely put the Ginger Nut at the forefront of the biscuit aisle with a bold and risky campaign utilising famous ginger haired people. The core campaign included the use of memes to create a viral message.

 

The Bourbon Party

Team members: Dan Tofield, Emily, Rupert Bennett, Nick Stanbridge, Rebecca Cooper
Campaign tagline: Times may change but Bourbon’s don’t

In short: The Bourbon’s took the traditional biscuit into the 21st century and pushed it squarely into social media. The campaign provided consumers with a free bourbon biscuit phone case and encouraged consumers to take a #Bourbonselfie. The advertising campaign used iconic images of celebrities eating bourbons in photoshopped selfies through different eras.

The Malted Milk Party

Team members: Justin Peppin, Laurence Hawkins, Erika Smith, Sean Jermey
Campaign tagline: Go on, have a cheeky malt

In short: Malted milk identified key areas to focus on, the first being that malted milks can be a fun snack, often associated back to childhood. The second that malted milks can be a good source of calcium and low in calories and finally that as a manufacturer they would provide a fair deal to milk farmers, giving them a strong proposition in the crowded market place.

 

The Custard Cream Party
Team members: Kerry Albertyn, Laura Rogers, Aaron Brooks, Joseba Altuna
Campaign tagline: The biscuit that has stood the test of time

In short: Backed by over 100 years of heritage since it’s debut on the British marketplace, the Custard Creams lead squarely on tradition. The advertising campaign focused on iconic scenes and products from the past century that were identified to create an emotional association that hopefully carried said attributes across to the humble Custard Cream.

The results were in…
The judges voted on 3 key areas, each out of 10:
Presentation quality
Campaign concept
Hustings conduct

The five judge’s votes ended up with a three-way tie between the Bourbon party, the Malted Milk party and the Custard Cream party so, in the end, the final result went down to the staff election results which firmly placed the victors as: The Malted Milk Party.

Biscuit Election 2015 results

Election poll results

Each team member won a day of extra holiday for a well earned break from politics. Well done those Malted Milks!

Public vote
How would you have voted?
Considering the campaign concepts above we’d like to canvass your opinion.
To vote in the public vote please click here.
(There is no closing date) 

Cup of tea and a biscuit
As you might imagine – we get through a lot of tea and biscuits. If you have a product of service you want to catapult into the limelight, a marketing campaign you need promoting or an audience you need to sway please contact us and arrange to pop in to our Exeter offices for a cuppa and a biscuit!
Alternatively, if you are interested in joining #TeamBigwave please check out our careers page.

Review the day’s events on Twitter or Facebook by searching: #BiscuitElections #BigwaveHack
You can read out about the 2014 Hack event here.

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Near Field Communication

Image: iStock

Contactless Payments have been with us for a while. Barclaycard has had the feature since 2008 and you don’t even need to ride a roller coaster to work to use it. With Apple Pay, Barclays’ bPay stickers and EE’s Cash on Tap app everyone will be tapping to pay for things. The transaction can be almost twice as fast as conventional cash, credit or debit card methods. But what exactly is it?

Contactless Payments make use of a technology called Near Field Communication (NFC). The card, sticker or mobile phone has a unique radio-frequency identification (RFID) chip embedded with a thin copper wire around the edge acting as an antenna. The card reader at the point of sale terminal emits an electromagnetic field. When the device enters this field it starts communicating with the reader in an encrypted language and the transaction is made. Apple Watch users don’t have it quite so easy due to having to hold their wrist up to the terminal and press a button twice but even then, with no signature or PIN verification required the whole process is still much faster.

Like all new technology, there have been problems reported. Card clash seems to be the most common, with a wallet full of debit and credit cards tapping the whole thing could result in the wrong card being debited. Transport for London even have a whole page explaining how to avoid it so travelers aren’t hit with extra charges.

Security concerns are minimised too, being able to tap to make a payment could mean fraudsters simply need to bump into you to extract money. If an Apple Pay user is using their iPhone, they need to use the device’s Touch ID fingerprint scanner to authenticate the transaction. There are payment limits set on single transactions. For example bPay will only let you pay for things £20 and under although that will be increased to £30 in September 2015. There is little chance of making accidental payments either as the device needs to be about 5cm from the reader to make the transaction. So no chance that you will accidental pay for someone else’s sandwich. And finally to mitigate concerns over identity theft, contactless cards and devices do not hold details about the user. Instead a placeholder name is used.

Image: barclaycard.com

With Mastercard insisting all payment terminals in Europe should accept contactless payments by 2020, Southampton FC is the first football club globally to offer its loyal fans the band for free. Southampton FC are issuing bPay bands to its season ticket holders which will enable them to have exclusive offers, special experiences and prize draws. Soon we will all be tapping!

Bigwave media is a creative marketing agency working with clients across the UK. To discuss campaign ideas that we can help you develop, please contact us on 0845 643 2385 or complete our contact form.

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Augmented Reality Marketing

Image: feedplatform.com

Augmented Reality (AR) is the blurring of the real with the virtual world. By analysing sound, graphical or GPS data, a person’s current perception of reality is enhanced. Whilst QR codes can be a way to connect customers to your online content, AR can help to make your content stand out. Imagine having a business card that played a video presentation to a potential customer, or a print flyer that they could swipe through your latest promotions. One famous example is the Pepsi Max bus shelter experience where they surprised members of the public with unbelievable scenarios.

As content marketing has increased, it is getting more difficult to get heard. Social media provides a good method for sharing material; but with everybody doing it, it can be like having a conversation in a loud nightclub…especially if you follow a lot of people on Twitter. That’s why it is important to have high quality visual content such as videos and images. But why limit it only to the digital arena when it is just as important to have a presence in the physical world. That’s where AR comes into play, with more users viewing online content with mobile devices, using AR would allow them to interact within a physical context.

Here are a few examples where AR could be used:

Banners

Attending conferences or trade fairs, all businesses will have a banner or two and flyers to promote themselves. If you have an exclusive offer for the event then by combining image scanning and GPS data (or perhaps iBeacon technology), visitors to your stand could be taken instantly to the landing page.

Brochures and Leaflets

Sales literature can come in many forms….and can be expensive to keep up-to-date or have multiple versions for different events. AR can collate all press releases and articles, including some that are literally only minutes old, into one page. Embedding links will continue to drive traffic to your site and combined with videos will help to give your customers a greater understanding of your product.

Business Cards

The humble business card is still as popular as ever, it makes contact more personal than simply making a request on social media. With AR, your card can be more than simply a list of contact methods. It could create direct links to your social media profiles, sign-up pages to newsletters or even play a corporate video.

Bigwave media is a creative marketing agency working with clients across the UK. To discuss campaign ideas that we can help you develop, please contact us on 0845 643 2385 or complete our contact form.

 

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The Internet of Things

Image: iStock

The Internet of Things (IoT) is an inter-connectivity between things such as locations, objects and even people through wireless communication. The Internet of Things ultimately exchanges data through the internet without human-human or human-computer interaction. Day-to-day tasks will be automated with devices being able to act upon data collected such as windows closing to keep the house warm because the temperature is due to drop.

IoT is already with us. The Nike Fuel Band, Fitbit and smart watches already connect us but these are just scrapping the surface. It’s not just about clever fridges that can reorder the milk for us or wearable technology that can log our exercise. IoT will impact the way we do business and will affect our everyday lives.

Exchanging of Sales Data

Sales data is the life blood of any business. By having access to information on how, where and when your products are being purchased and used, you can tailor your marketing efforts to specific customers. Smart devices would be able to collect and give you the data in real time and enable you to be more responsive to change. If a specific product or service isn’t performing you won’t have to wait long to find out and make the necessary changes.

Smarter customer analysis

When used with your customer relationship management (CRM) system, IoT will be able to do more than simply collect and organize customer data. It will be able to analyse the data giving you results to act upon about your customers.

Self-awareness

No, not Skynet or The Terminator, but as we all know devices break and always at the most inconvenient times. Imagine devices that could not only perform self-diagnostics but could also order replacement parts and even tell you when they are close to the end of their lifespan – perhaps even 3D print the part for you. They would minimise down-time by constantly monitoring themselves, identifying the problem AND solution in record-quick time.

An ever increasing number of objects are being fitted with sensors and given network accessibility. Just look at the humble telephone, these days we use them more for social media, emails and searching the internet for movie times than actually calling people! Imagine a smart home, not only could it warm rooms in advance of you entering them, but also tell you that a light bulb is nearing the end of its life. Imagine having digital billboards that welcome your customers by name as they enter your premises.

Here at Bigwave, we believe that with billions of things becoming smarter, it’s important that your business stays smart too. To discuss campaign ideas that we can help you develop, please contact us on 0845 643 2385 or complete our contact form.

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PR Key Calendar Dates August – October 2015

In order for campaigns to remain current, it can often be useful to base your ideas around significant events taking place throughout the year. We advise clients to start preparing for campaigns at least 1 month in advance – so we’ve put together a list of important dates to add to the diary for 2015, to help you stay organised and to ensure that you don’t miss out on any opportunities.

Please note: this list is not definitive and will be updated as and when new dates are confirmed.

 

August

  • 31st Summer Bank Holiday

Sporting Events

  • 25th-30th World Judo Championships
  • 30th-6th September World Rowing Championships

 

September

  • 9th National Fitness Day
  • (dates vary) Back to school
  • 22nd-23rd Leisure Industry Week
  • 29th World Heart Day

Sporting Events

  • 5th 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games
  • 18th-31st October Rugby World Cup

 

October

  • 1st International Day of Older Persons
  • 3rd Grandparent’s Day
  • (dates vary) Autumn Half Term
  • 25th British Summertime Ends, clocks go back 1 hour
  • 31st Halloween

 

Bigwave media is a creative marketing agency working with clients across the UK. To discuss campaign ideas that we can help you develop, please contact us on 0845 643 2385 or complete our contact form.

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How to use Twitter Events to Engage

Image: iStock

With events becoming worldwide trends and social media being the new way to find out breaking news, it’s no wonder why twitter have introduced Event Targeting into their Twitter ads. Much like TV targeting, events targeting allows businesses to advertise their products/services based on any event. As Twitter is a go-to for users to voice their opinion on certain events and trends, this new type of advertising enables businesses to interact with customers on a relevant subject matter that they are interested in. Event Targeting has three main sections, Event Calendar, Event Insights and Event Activation;

Event Calendar

Image: blog.twitter.com

 

The new event calendar includes all the up and coming events all across the world for the next couple of months. These are spilt into sections such as Sports, Entertainment, Holidays etc., from the list of events, businesses can plan which events they can tailor to their business to advertise.

The calendar can be segmented into location, by further targeting your audience, there will be a lower possibility that someone in America will engage with your UK business. If Twitter didn’t include this further targeting then this new feature could cost your business money as it is very unlikely that someone in America is going to come to the UK for a round of golf! Use more regional location targeting and you are going to get the best reach for your pound.

Event Insights

Image: blog.twitter.com

Event Insights include statistics from the previous year’s events, which means that businesses can compare the characteristics of the people who tweeted about the event. This includes the total reach of the event, the device breakdown and the tweets that gained most engagement. By basing your targeting to last year’s event statistics, it’s more than likely that your tweets will gain more engagement than usual.

However, as it is new, Twitter won’t be able to supply the statistics from all of last year’s events. Nevertheless, as this analytics becomes more developed, businesses will be able to target based on last year’s results. This would be useful as the businesses could look at the statistics such as The PGA Championship 2014 which 63% of engagement was made by male. Businesses could target this by targeting males for a golf or sport promotion.

Event Activation

Image: blog.twitter.com

The final step in creating the new campaign is to set up who you’re going to target, businesses can target people for more followers, tweet engagement, leads on twitter, website clicks and app installs. Twitter have also made it possible to target users via location, this includes postcodes, regions and countries. This way you are targeting exactly who you want to target without an excess amount of people that are not interested in your product/service. Businesses can also target people who follow certain people, for example, a Golf Club based in Exeter can target people in Exeter, who follow Rory Mcllroy and Justin Rose that are tweeting about the PGA Championship. Another segment is interests and behaviours, the business can target people based on their behaviours on twitter. Going back to the example about an Exeter Golf Club, they can target sportsmen or people that behaviours show a healthy and fit lifestyle. Twitter can also target demographics and occupations of Twitter users such as people in education, employment, retired, business travellers etc.

Success

With Event targeting only being published over the last few months, there has been an incredible success around the targeting. For example Mindshare UK used the Wimbledon 2015 event for their clients and found that engagement increased from 73% to 110% when compared to traditional targeting settings. With this success, and a low cost per engagement, there’s no reason not to try Event Targeting.

Here at Bigwave we are excited to see what Event Targeting can bring to your business. To discuss campaign ideas that we can help you develop, please contact us on 0845 643 2385 or complete our contact form.

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iBeacons- The New Era

Image: iStock

Image: apple.com

Being dubbed as the new era of technology, iBeacons have the potential to revolutionise customer experience. The Apple-developed technology has the ability the send a message to a Bluetooth 4.0 Smart connected phone that is in close proximity to an iBeacon. This Bluetooth low energy device is relatively low cost and can self-run for up to 2 years depending on the signal strength settings. Unlike GPS, iBeacons have the ability to work seamlessly indoor- allowing marketing content to be sent inside facilities. Apple has made this technology public and so it is compatible with iPhone and android devices, meaning that businesses can develop integrate the technology in different and interesting ways. A number of providers have entered the market to provide iBeacon devices, these include our two favourites: Estimote and Gelo.

So how do they work?

If a consumer walks within x metres of an iBeacon, a personalised message could be sent to their device, this could include 10% off a hot drink or just a welcome message. iBeacons can give the mobile user an incentive to purchase a product or interact, as they could feel like they’re getting a personalised bargain or augmented content.

Who’s leading the trend?

With Business Insider predicting that iBeacons alone will trigger $44.4 billion sales in the USA in 2016, European brands are starting to dabble into the idea of the technology. The Groninger Museum has integrated iBeacons into their visitor experience by presenting information about artwork as the visitor approaches each piece. This gives visitors a more in-depth insight into the artwork that they are viewing.

Have they crossed the line? 

iBeacons have the ability to send notifications without the user actively having the app open. They have the potential to be revolutionary, however with increasing awareness comes an increasing number of organisations using it and a risk of turning customers away by bombarding them with messages. Smart use will encourage usage, for instance some businesses have more than one iBeacon in store – this way they can track exactly where the potential customer is and can send them a more personalised message. This could include information on a product they are standing in front of. Importantly, iBeacon devices in themselves are incapable of storing data – they merely pass the information to the mobile.

iBeacons will transform the way brands communicate with consumers, opening a new chapter for mobile marketing. Here at Bigwave we have experimented with iBeacons and are excited to see what the next year will bring for this fast-growing technology… are you?

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The Power of Team Building

Team Bigwave at the Exeter Business Games Boat Race 2015

With this year’s Exeter Business Games (Bigwave’s answer to the Olympics) now over until next year, we’re taking the opportunity to reflect on the value of corporate team building. We all know how important it is to keep clients and customers satisfied, but it’s not uncommon for the heart of an organisation – its employees – to sometimes be overlooked.

So what is it that makes team building so much more than just a chance to escape the office? Here’s our take:

1. A chance to socialise

Busy schedules and set workplace layouts can often mean some workmates rarely cross paths with one another. By getting involved in a team building event as a company, these barriers are broken and Jim from Accounts can get to know Sarah from the Finance department on a level playing field (perhaps literally).

2. Boost moral

The clue’s in the name – partaking in “team” building activities will enhance your “team” spirit. It is a well-documented fact that feeling part of a group leads to increased motivation and performance. Team building events can provide the perfect opportunity to show mutual respect and support for one another, which will work wonders on individual confidence and collective performance.

3. Networking

Like Exeter Business Games, many team building events provide the chance to mix with other organisations. Raising your brand profile, forming relationships with like-minded businesses and even the possibility of creating new leads can be part of the team building experience. And, of course – a dose of healthy competition can heighten natural cohesion amongst your own team members.

4. FUN

Nothing releases endorphins like a good old competitive event. The buzz that comes with taking part in physically and mentally stimulating activities allows employees to kick back, learn new skills and break up the (sometimes inevitable) monotony of a 9-5 day in the office. With new experiences come new ideas and thought processes. Changing dynamics at a team building event could provide that light bulb moment for improving performance and increasing productivity once you’re back at work.

Walking the walk…

Bigwave media at the Michelmores 5K Charity Run 2015

As well as running Exeter Business Games, here at Bigwave media we love getting involved in team activities ourselves. Our latest events have included the gruelling 10K RockSolid race and the Michelmores 5K Charity run to name a couple.

They don’t all have to be physical; “thinking outside the box” was the main aim at our first Bigwave Hack event, where we took time out to get our creative juices flowing in unfamiliar territory, by coming up with innovative business ideas designed to disrupt existing markets.

Bigwave media's Ping Pong TournamentSince our new Ping! Exeter ping pong table arrived from Active Devon, we’ve been making full use of our lunchtimes by having an office tournament! And now that the Great British weather has eased off for a few months at least, we’re looking forward to our annual Bigwave Summer BBQ. We’ve even rounded up a Bigwave rounders team (excuse the pun), making the most of the evening sun every Thursday by joining Exeter’s mixed social league, organised by Active Devon as part of the Workplace Challenge.

 

Sounds like fun? Join our team - we’re currently recruiting!

You can register your interest in Exeter Business Games by completing the contact form for the 2016 Games. Not based in Exeter? Watch this space - UK Business Games is coming to a city near you, soon!

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