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It’s a case of “we all scream for ice cream” for O2 as we’ve launched the world’s most tech-enabled ice cream van

Ice cream van company introduce an app that allows you to track their fleet

We had a whale of a time with our lovely client O2 Business last week, launching the country’s most high-tech ice cream van.

Yes, you read that right.

It was part of our “digital makeovers” campaign for O2 Business, which aims to show (rather than simply tell) how technology can help even the smallest and most traditional business thrive and stand-out.

And what a makeover. We worked with Guildford-based Tony Fresko to modernise their 40 year old ice cream van business, kitting them out with the latest smartphones, tablet PCs and Microsoft Office 365 software.

Through the help of O2 Labs, we also created the world’s first ice cream van tracker app, which allows hungry customers to instantly find their nearest van from the convenience of their phone – we do like to solve real consumer problems here at H&G!

The result was a great, eye catching story for the run up to the August Bank Holiday that the media loved. Coverage is still coming in, but already it’s landed great pieces in the Daily Mail, Daily Star, Daily Telegraph, Metro, Gizmodo and MSN, as well as crackers in the trade and local media, including Fresh Business Thinking, ITPro and BBC Radio Surrey.

The cherry on the media cake though was a live interview with Tony Fresko’s fleet manager on CNBC’s flagship slot, the European Closing Bell. Now that’s not something you see every day.

We didn’t stop there and also took the van on a publishing house tour, giving out free ice creams to drive social engagement, not to mention miles of smiles.

As always, great work from the team who remained, ahem, “chilled” throughout (sorry).

A Poochie Pool Party … a public swimming pool in Idaho throws its doors open to a bunch of hound dogs

This is how one pool sees out the end of the season with a closing parties for pooches only.

Love it.

What a “Smart Ass” … Barclaycard and H&G create a contactless donkey rides for Blackpool beach

Barclay Card Pilot Contactless Donkeys on Blackpool Beach

Sometimes you have to take a mildly lateral approach to the world to get a story that gets people talking.

So when we were asked (ass-ked?) to come up with an idea to help Barclaycard get it’s message out about contactless payments, that was just what we did.

Getting in touch with Blackpool’s finest provider of donkey rides, Mark Iveson, we convinced him it’d be a good idea to team up with us and create a “Contactless Saddle” for Dillon, one of his charges.

A spot of design work later (a collaboration with Seymourpowell no less) and we had our very own saddle ready to take parents’ credit and debit cards.

And the story has flown, neigh doubt about it (sorry). The ace publicists of team H&G (alongside those in Lansons, who we work with on this Barclaycard) have pulled some crackers.

Belting pieces in the Daily Mail, Daily Express, Daily Telegraph online, Independent, ES, City AM and The Times, Evening Standard, Daily Telegraph and The Sun in print have followed (with more to come from the Daily Star and The Sun Travel).

Alongside those absolute humdingers, we’ve had about thirty BBC Radio pieces hitting the hourly news on regional stations across the country and cropped up on BBC Radio 2. Then we hit TV with BBC North West finding space in their Breakfast bulletins … and ITV to boot.

With some cracking online and trade pieces – including Stuff, HYC, Travel Weekly, Retail Times, TTG, amongst others – it’s been a great haul for the team.

And a belting opportunity for Barclaycard to promote its innovation agenda, its leadership in contactless and its offer to retailers along the way.

Happy days in Hope&Glory once more.

Here it all is in action in a wee film we made to bring it all to life …

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It’s a world of miniature for Japanese artist as he shoots tiny characters daily for four years

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These are just magic. Basically.

Japanese artist Tanaka Tatsuya has been making miniature scenes and photographing them pretty much every day for the last four years. Now his website has come to the attention of the world’s internet populace and he’s finding a place on the stage that his work probably deserves. Check out Miniature Calendar for more …

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We’ve been taking a bit of a flyer on Rob Lowe … with a complimentary little campaign and bang-on results

www.robwilsonphotography.co.uk

How do you solve a problem like a flyer?

That’s the question we asked ourselves when premium design and print brand MOO asked us to launch their new product. Marrying an idea that tied into the throwaway nature of a flyer and the premium design heritage of MOO’s print business, was a tad tricky to say the least.

The answer? Flyers that you wouldn’t want to throw away.

We worked with Rob Lowe (aka Supermundane) to design some beautiful complimentary compliments on MOO’s new flyers.

He created a total of six designs, featuring stylised typography spelling out compliments such as “I think you’re splendid” and “you’re spectacular”.

The themes expand on Lowe’s previous artworks, such as his iconic “I think you’re wonderful” phrase, whose signature prints have been exhibited around the world.

Each piece of artwork was signed and numbered by Lowe, before being given away in London’s creative capital, the Southbank, as well as at the Design Museum in Boston (and they say you can’t get anything for free …).

The coverage was pretty complimentary too, with nice words being written by top UK design and creative media such as Design Week, Digital Arts, Creative BloqDesign Curial, Deseq and Ideas Tap.

It also made the grade on top global creative and trend sites including Bored Panda, Trend Hunter and Inspiration Room, as well as US marketing bible – AdWeek.

Kudos too to our partner agency across the pond. Williams and House worked with us on the campaign securing some brilliant Boston hits including the Boston Magazine, Boston Calendar, Boston Good Life and Bostinno.

www.robwilsonphotography.co.uk

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Anyone for a spot of roof jumping? GoPro’s partner content programme pulls another cracker

GoPro looks like a brand that has thousands and thousands of natural fans worldwide (which of course they do). But the job they’ve done stunningly is finding people to do weird things and capture them on their cameras. Here’s just one example of one of the world’s best content-driven marketing strategies in full flow …

The Royal Mint marks the outbreak of World War One with a coin depicting Britannia sending troops to war

The Royal Mint release a commemorative coin to mark 100 years since Britain entered the First World War

With the world remembering the outbreak of the First World War, H&G has been busy helping The Royal Mint commemorate the Centenary with the release of a new £20 coin.

The coin, bearing the image of Britannia looking out at the first boats leaving for France, is only the second ever UK £20 coin and is available for just £20.

The team headed down to the South coast to photograph the coins with some creative shots to visualise the story.

We also organised for a host of broadcast and newswires including ITV, PA and Getty Images to visit The Royal Mint and see the coins being struck.

The £20 coin caught the imagination of the media and has became part of the story surrounding the First World War commemorations.

The coverage has been amazing (when is it not?!) with the coin featuring across every national newspaper, including The Sun, Daily Star, Independent, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, The Guardian and two pieces in the Daily Express, as well as making AOL and MSN.

ITV Wales used their footage taken at The Mint on the evening news, and the images from PA and Getty Images have been picked up by regional papers across the country.

Job, once again, done!

Sometimes it’s the simple idea that raises the biggest smile … as in the case of these splendid “statue selfies”

Statues that appear to be taking selfies, the brainchild of Reddit user Jazus_ur_lookin_well.

One of those “bugger, wish I’d thought of that” moments that come along just every now and then …

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Dogs meet their match in the shape of a levitating sausage (except for Tico that is)

Bringing one of the biggest US TV stars to the UK for a tru-ly magnificent media launch

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Last week was something of a starry one, as we spent a happy few days working alongside the iconic ginger-quiffed American talk show host Conan O’Brien.

With his eponymous show launching on truTV, and following countless hours of phone interviews – with the likes of Shortlist, GQ, PA, Metro, The Indi on Sunday, The Daily Star and TV Choice already in the bag – Conan touched down in London as we began a gruelling two day marathon of interviews, taking him to meet the great and good of the UK press.

Kicking things off with a quick jaunt to Global Radio and interviews on The Capital Breakfast Show and LBC with Nick Ferrari – we racked them up and landed face-to-faces with the likes of MSN, Woman, Buzzfeed, The Sunday Mirror, Mirror.co.uk and The Times.

A good night’s sleep and and quick bite to eat with some fellow A-Listers at The Chiltern Firehouse later (which made The Mail Online), we whisked Conan off for a quick chat with the guys at Good Morning Britain, before bagging interviews with Steve Wright on BBC Radio 2, Geoff Lloyd on Absolute and a wonderfully batty stop-off at BBC Entertainment – where he was interviewed (and lost dramatically) over a game of table football.

A couple of hours rest at Shoreditch House, Conan headed to the ‘tru-man  Brewery’ and entertained a mix of 500 media and celebs with 10 mins of stand-up – before hitting the red carpet and getting snapped with Dynamo and a host of adoring fans.

All in all an wonderfully eventful, if slightly surreal, couple of days – but with the coverage continuing to roll in, it looks like only a matter of time till Conan makes his way back to Blighty (watch this space!).

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