November, November, it's Almost December

Hello, good morrow and welcome to the end of the year.

November has happened. What a month! Starts with a big fire then it’s just downhill to Christmas.

We’ve reached that upsetting no man’s land in which no-one knows whether it’s still too early for Christmas talk/songs/decorations. It divides the nation – Mums have already put the sprouts in to soak, Dads are furious if anyone so much as mentions the existence of tinsel.

Meanwhile cool guys, in their shades and backward caps, are rolling their eyes at the rest of us getting excited, because they’re just above the whole thing, y’know?

The Trump family have nailed their colours to the mast and got the decs up already. Presumably Melania has gone for something traditional, bright, festive and oh good lord…

Is there a metaphor in this? Almost certainly. Almost certainly. 

Is there a metaphor in this? Almost certainly. Almost certainly. 

That’s an actual picture of the White House Christmas decorations. Merry Christmas! May your days be bleak and your nights filled with terror.  

WWF

And now, a short play…

Kathy:   Bill, I think we need to talk about something.

Bill:        Oh?

Kathy:   I can’t ignore it any longer. We need to discuss this.

Bill:        Discuss what?

Kathy:   You don’t think I’ve noticed? The tonnes and tonnes of buns you’ve been buying, the mountains of dung in the living room, the trumpeting in the night? The GIANT bath?

              We need to talk about the elephant in the room. You’ve adopted him, haven’t you?

Bill:        Yes.

                END

Thank you.

This month we made an ad for WWF (not the Wrestlers) about the plight of elephants and how you can help by adopting one. WWF are a fantastic company to work with, and we love getting to share their message as loudly and as widely as possible. Listen here and remember, if you do something nice for an elephant, they never forget it.

Look at his smart little haircut. 

Look at his smart little haircut. 

The RADdest of Awards

It goes in this order, normally. Nobel Prize, Oscars, Baftas, RADS. They’re the top four awards you can win if you’re an important thrusting team with big dreams – and we’ve been nominated for one of them.

Our work with EE has seen us nominated in the RAD awards, celebrating creativity and innovation in the recruitment advertising industry.

Sure, we’ll brush off our tuxedos and dresses, we’ll polish our necks and varnish our ankles, we’ll take the (hopefully) free drinks and we’ll eat the canapes but we will not enjoy it, because we’re not in it for awards. We’re in it because we love recruitment.

Hear one ad from the award nominated campaign, here!

Crystal Ski

Who doesn’t love skiing? Pop two planks of wood on my feet and push me off a mountain? Yes please!

But Crystal Ski are a little more sophisticated than that. We made them a few lovely ads this month, and we’ve also put them…here! Have a little listen and then book a holiday with them, you deserve it.

Xero

There are the bits of adulthood we all look forward to. Drinking, staying up late, eventual death. But there is one minor downside. You have to do your own accounts. Not like when you’re a child, and your parents did your accounts for you. Now, you have to make the numbers add up, you have figure out complex tax codes, you have to keep all your receipts on a spike for some reason.

Well, worry no more! Xero makes your accounts easy and fun(ish).

We made a couple of ads for accounting software company Xero, and they sound lovely. They were voiced by the lovely Elis James: Welshman, comedian and Carmarthenshire’s 5th tallest commercial radio DJ.

FACT: Elis James also owns a Dutch Barge he calls 'Smooth Linda'

FACT: Elis James also owns a Dutch Barge he calls 'Smooth Linda'

That’s what he looks like, this is what they sound like.

And speaking of celebrities…

Some…More…Celebs…

Oh it’s been an exciting month for celebrities. I mean, normally I try to be cool and aloof about the whole thing but then on Tuesday this happened…

Please, Guy, hold me like a newborn.

Please, Guy, hold me like a newborn.

Guy Garvey came to broadcast from our studios for two hours and I am now officially dead. I died the second he came through the door and have remained dead ever since. There was a funeral, I was cremated, my earthly body is now ash and my ghost is writing this. I am dead.

Guy was here with Polydor Records to promote the new Elbow Best Of, and was as lovely as you’d imagine. He is the only guest we’ve ever had who made his own tea because he didn’t want to make a fuss. He is beautiful, he is an angel, and he hath slain me.

Oh yeah and Anton du Beke was here too, that was fine.

100% dapper, 100% of the time

100% dapper, 100% of the time

I’m JOKING, of course, he was a DELIGHT. He lit up the room and danced with our office manager Debra. Footwork was a little lazy and I would’ve liked to see a lift, but not bad. 6 out of 10.

If You Want To Hire Our Studios – You Gotta Get With Our Friends       

Our studio is not just for VIPs like the Queen, Hulk Hogan and former Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez. It’s also for less important people, like you!

We have two lovely studios here, and now an extra voice booth, perfect for self-operated voice sessions and podcasts. If you ever need a studio – whether you’re making an advert, recording an audio version of your own obituary, putting together a showreel, or just need a completely silent place to get a bit of peace and quiet for an hour IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK KAREN? FOR JUST AN HOUR TO MYSELF!…then get in touch!

Get Your Briefs Out

Send us through your most troublesome brief and we’ll help you make it into an audio masterpiece.

No obligation - just to show you what we can do.

Is it too visual for radio? Is it a rubbish product? Is it tricky?
Is it something you wish would just go away?

Whatever the reason, hand it over and let us make it shine.  Send your tricky briefs through to us at production@maplestreetstudios.co.uk.

And that is all for November.

I hope all your Christmas shopping is going well, and you’re not leaving it to the last minute like last year, you silly thing.

Don’t worry, I’m not expecting you to get me anything.

Seriously, you really don’t have to send me anything, I do this for the joy of it.

I’m usually a medium, started taking a large more recently.

Don’t get me anything.  

We’ll probably be in touch closer to Christmas with a funny, probably blasphemous, piece of Christmas content – but if not, have a wonderful Yule and an excellent new year.

Peace and Christmas love.

I Come from the Future...

Back in 2000, Michael Hill, Tony Moorey, Ali Rusted and I worked together to launch the new DAB station ‘BBC 5Live SportsPlus’ - now BBC 5Live Sports Extra. The total listening audience was, at a rough guess, around 4*.

We were blazing a trail, but with a bloody long run-up. We’d punt out for texts, not because we had a hot topic to discuss, but in the same way that you might nervously shout into a newly discovered cave - to find out whether there was anybody there.

Around that time, I would amuse myself in John Lewis or Curry's and asking the Sales Assistant whether they had any ‘digital radios’.

AAIAAQDGAAAAAQAAAAAAAAoIAAAAJGIzOTc1MDQ5LTE3YzEtNDUwNS1hMGM1LThkMjliYmI0N2E1Yg.jpg

Inevitably, the confused person would ask me to repeat the question, think for a moment (Curry’s staff take a little longer over that) and then point me in the direction of a standard AM/FM radio, but with a digital display. Oh how I laughed. Internally.

I would then give a self-satisfied grin, like a massively patronising Marty McFly, in the knowledge that I was already living in a future that they were still too naive (or insufficiently well trained) to see. I'd then say ‘Don’t worry about it’ and walk away. 

So today in John Lewis, I took this photo. Still a bit tragic, admittedly, but done in the spirit of a happy enthusiast rather than a smug knob.

The audio & speaker department has more shoppers and floor space than TVs and tablets put together. There’s an enormous range of affordable (albeit garishly coloured) DAB radios. Alexa and Sonos are the sexiest tech brands in the store. As for headphones, people are spending incredible (and often, lets be honest, acoustically unjustified) cash.

We’ve won the future. Listening to stuff is, and always will be, wonderful. It’s fun to spend good money on, and a great gift. On Christmas morning, there’ll be more people with more ways of listening than ever before. 

As audio producers, our job is to continually seize the moment and make sure the content is as exciting, innovative and extraordinary as the technology. And, happily, we are. We’re creating work, dreaming up approaches and developing ideas that give me the same feeling I had back in 2000. Brilliant, hugely ambitious podcast concepts, dynamic creative and voice interaction techniques that will again change how everyone thinks about, and uses, audio - listeners, platforms and advertisers.

Once again, I know what’s coming. I love it, and I can’t wait for everyone else to love it too. I just promise not to be quite such a knob about it this time.

*Now 1.2 Million.

Is that John Lewis kid...OK?

Hello there!

So, let’s cut to the chase – you’ve seen the new John Lewis ad, right?

If you haven’t, watch it here, right now:

As always, it’s raised questions.

Questions like... is it as good as last year’s?

And, more crucially, what is that thing?

Why does it have one solo testicle for a nose?

Where is the other testicle?

All important questions.

But we thought that the parents in that ad might also need to ask themselves a question or two. Namely – are we terrible parents?

To which the answer would be yes.

Anyway, long story short – we made this:

Merry Christmas!

Radio? Seriously?

By our Creative Director, Neil Cowling.

"Radio? Seriously? I hear press is the next big thing too!"

LinkedIn provides many fascinating insights into what others think of what you do. This particular comment was made by a man who works in ‘paid search’ - an industry that didn’t exist 20 years ago, and therefore provides him with the self-aggrandising feeling that a) he works at the cutting edge of something, and b) any other media that’s been around for longer must be dying.

I’m a big fan of paid search. It’s brought much great content my way. It’s an effective and precise method for finding what I want.

I’m also a big fan of cutlery. It’s brought much great food my way. It’s an effective and precise method for putting it into my mouth.

However, my emotional connection is still very much with the content/food, rather than the search/cutlery. This fact doesn’t seem to have changed, even when I was introduced to the phenomenal modern concept of the ‘Spork’.

Not technically a Spork, I don't think, but it serves a purpose by illustrating the idea and breaking up the text so, you know, it'll do. 

Not technically a Spork, I don't think, but it serves a purpose by illustrating the idea and breaking up the text so, you know, it'll do. 

Great radio advertising creates messages that fit perfectly with the food, not the fork. Get the perfect tone, voice, and script, place it in the right show or daypart, and you can leverage the listener’s profound love of their favourite radio station for your brand. 

So, news for you, my LinkedIn contact of a contact. Radio’s not the next big thing. It’s the thing. It’s humour, it’s news, it’s music, it’s live, it’s changing, and it’s loved by a non-diminishing 90% of population. Hooking into that is a lot of fun.

That won’t change in the next ten years.

But paid search will. It will become screenless, as you use your voice to search and your ears to gather the information from your Amazon Echo or Google Home.

If only there was a blueprint for a method of delivering information in a perfectly judged / entertaining / informative manner using audio alone.

Oh, perhaps radio is the next big thing after all.

We've Done Radio

By our Creative Director Neil Cowling. 

Late night. Marketing industry event. A friend introduces me to her colleague - a Marketing Manager.

Friend: “Hey – this is Neil. He makes radio ads.”

Friend’s colleague: “We’ve done radio.”

Walks away.

Ah. Right.

End of conversation.

This guy is so fed up of people not understanding the power of radio he's turned into stone. 

This guy is so fed up of people not understanding the power of radio he's turned into stone. 

You’ve "done radio" huh? I assume you mean it didn’t work for you, so you won't be doing it again. Let me guess:

The brand is too visual? Crap. No decent brand is too visual. If it’s got any sort of emotional value or connection with its consumer, that connection can be expressed in words and sound. What you mean is that you or your creative agency is too visually focused, and not capable of cracking a brief without drawing something. Close your eyes and think again. Or give me 24 hours to prove it.

The creative wasn’t good enough? Pay decent money then. If you’ve booked £100,000 of airtime, don’t get the creative bundled in for free (it’s not really free), or quibble about paying a few hundred/thousand quid extra to get it right. Use specialists who value their work properly. Otherwise, just burn that £100,000, open the window and shout at passers-by.

Radio’s not measurable enough? Oh dear, do you love celebrating getting 0.69% click through rate on your digital banner rather than your standard 0.63%? No, you won’t get that with radio. Sorry. How about a direct response campaign with a text-response mechanism? Running an offer in a test area and seeing how quickly it sells out? Or even, blow me, consistently building your brand over the medium term with brilliant, memorable audio creative and a single-minded, perfectly written message.

No-one listens to radio any more? Don’t get me started. Google Radiocentre and read the stats.

Would you give up on digital if it didn't work first time? No.

So do radio again. Just do it better.

I would have said all this at the time, of course. But he’d already started talking to someone else, and I didn’t think quickly enough. I was also a bit pissed. Next time I’ll do it better.

Boo! That's Right...it's SHOCKtober!

Now we’re talking!

cat

October - one fine mother-humpin’ month. The sky is grey, the leaves are finally dead (those bastards) and everyone, everywhere, is scared. Terrified. Because October is not only the tenth month of the year – it’s also every ghost’s birthday!

And I’m afraid, as is tradition, the Maple Street Creative October Newsletter will offer no refuge – it is, once again, very haunted. Keep your eyes peeled.

You should already have your Hallowe’en costume sorted, of course, BUT if you are at a loss, here are a couple of ideas that you can do at low cost and with minimal materials, to wow the pants off any party –

  • Fat Skeleton – Go naked, but paint your body white.
  • The Concept of Death – tell everyone you’ll be there, but don’t tell them when. Arrive unexpectedly at some point, immediately switch off all the lights and make everyone leave.
  • Business Ghost – Cut two holes in a white sheet and pop it over your head, wear a tie over the top. Boom. Business Ghost.
  • The Invisible Man – Don’t go, say you did. 

 

PROMAX Awards – Abomo-Nomination

So, yes, no need to boast, but we, along with our sister company Fresh Air, have been nominated for a PROMAX Award, and obviously we’re very proud, yes yes, thank you thank you. But more importantly…would it be appropriate to go to the awards dressed as a Business Ghost? Obviously going as a normal ghost to a formal, black tie event would be incredibly disrespectful…but going as a business ghost…in a dickie bow…that’s fine, right?

We’re very proud of this nomination, the PROMAX Awards are a big deal and we’ll be rubbing shoulders with some very exciting people. Our nomination is for our work on the ITV Promo for The Level,

 

Haunted Section

Uh oh.

pumpkin

Yes, I’m afraid you guessed it. This section is entirely haunted. By this particularly frightening pumpkin.

Sorry.

 

john

The Second Annual Maple Street Comedy (FRIGHT) Night…

…is over. Sorry. You have now missed it. But it was great!

John Robins finally got to the bottom of the tricky issue of Internal Comms, Heidi Regan revealed her boxset based system for re-educating Hitler, and Tom Ward played us the sexiest noise Prince ever made. And there were lots of other bits, it wasn’t just that.

It was a great laugh, so, what d’you reckon – same time next year? 

 

 

MQ Mental Health

mq

MQ Mental Health are a little team of legends trying to change the way mental health is treated and understood in this country. Through scientific research, they’re making big old strides and it’s a wonderful thing to be a part of.

We made their radio ads, and we like them a lot. Have a wee listen here.

 

scream

Second Haunted Section

This section is brought to you by Ghosts!

Whether you’re looking to decrease the price of a property you’re interested in, spice up a spooky party, or you simply live alone and could do with the company – ghosts are the answer to all your problems!

Rent a ghost, today!

(Look, we’ve got to fund this Newsletter somehow. It was only a matter of time before we sold advertising space to the undead, you know that.) 

 

 

 

 

24 Hours to Catch a Killer with Trevor McDonald

It sounds like a dream you had, sure – but it’s not. It’s a breath taking new ITV documentary with unparalleled access to the Police in the immediate aftermath of a murder.

We produced the promo for the show, which you can hear here – and it was voiced by Big Trev himself! Cue a surprising amount of swooning around the office.

trevor

 

They Come at Night       

They roam our hallways. They creep in beneath our floorboards. On certain nights, in certain lights, you can hear them, calling out, even now, dying to be heard…

Who are they?

Celebrities…

We get famous people in here – both living and (possibly) dead. Want to follow in their ghostly wake? Then you, like them, could use our studios! From adverts, to podcasts to, who knows, your own (posthumous) ground-breaking rap album – record in top class facilities with top class producers and a fully working fridge.

 

And that is all for October…

 

...Sorry, Another Haunted Section

Ah. Sorry, I really am. I thought that was the end. But this is another haunted section – and possibly the scariest of them all.

Yes, that’s right.

Bone People.

I’m sorry to scare you.

Enjoy your Hallowe’en, stay safe, and remember, only call your local Ghostbusters in the event of a ghost busting emergency. Hallowe’en is their busiest night of the year. For non-urgent issues, call Scarestoppers or visit your local Ghostbusting Station.

Stay spooky, gang!

skeles

Remember, Remember also Rhymes with September

September is over, we’re all back at school, summer is but a long forgotten dream. Ah, those heady days, when it was too hot and yet also rained heavily almost all of the time. Soon you won’t be able to go outside without a jumper because you’ll die.

Let’s face it; September is one of the bad months. Good riddance. No wonder that guy from Green Day sleeps through it every year. What good comes in September? A cursory glance at the national days we’ve had in September makes for grim viewing.

September 2nd – Victory Over Japan Day – That’ll be in America then. Seems unnecessary to rub it in like that. You don’t have to name who you beat. Just call it Victory Day. Or y’know, stop mentioning it. That’s more polite.

September 19th – International Talk Like a Pirate Day ­– an absolute bull***t day for children. A day that devalues the whole concept of ‘National Days’. A day for virgins.

September 28th - World Rabies Day – Well, that one’s a curveball. And it’s today. Hope you’re celebrating, guys, by…I dunno. Staying clear of foamy dogs?

Anyway, point proven. September sucks. Here’s how we spent this terrible month.

Historic England

Did you know, in the past, they didn’t have podcasts? I know, right? Mad! If they wanted entertainment on the way to work they had to trick a crow into dancing for them. That was literally all they had, back there in the past.

Fortunately, we now have podcasts – and, soon, we’ll have one more. Our sisters at Fresh Air are producing a fantastic new podcast in partnership with Historic England.

It’s a chance to explore England’s history through its most spectacular landmarks – it’s a huge project that will be fantastic when it’s ready. There’s a trailer here. In the meantime, I’d recommend not listening to anything else, just because.

Minoli Tiles

Tiles? Where would be without them? Well, firstly, we’d all have very wet carpets in our bathrooms. Secondly, we wouldn’t have anything to go out on. And thirdly, Scrabble would be a challenge.

We need tiles. And if you’re going to get tiles, you might as well get quality tiles. And if you’re going to get quality tiles, there’s only one place to go. Minoli Tiles. Of course. Here’s a nice bit of creative we did for Minoli Tiles.

Bath Spa University

Another month, another university. I know last month we were all ‘You should go to Staffordshire University’ but, friends, we were mistaken. You should actually go to Bath Spa University. That’s where it’s at!

You love a bath! You love a spa! And you need to go to university, because how else are you going to spend that random 30 grand you’ve got lying around? 

If that’s not enough, listen to this. Advert. We made. For Bath Spa Uni.

Sky Store

Here at Maple Street, we’re all about helping up and comers. Start-ups, small businesses – anyone who could do with a helping hand to get on their way in the business world. And it’s that kind of charitable spirit that led us to work with Sky, this month, on their latest Sky Store ad.

If you’ve not heard of Sky, they’re a small telecommunications company and Sky Store is a, like…a sort of online video shop, if that makes any sense? It’s in your TV, and it has, I assume, a few video cartridges already installed, and then you can choose the one you want to watch without having to get it out of the box and put it in the slot. Will it catch on? No, probably not. But we did our best. Listen here.

Be Our Guest, Be Our Guest…

We’ve got some great studios here for hiring – and sometimes those studios are hired by people you’ll have seen on telly.

They come in and they’re nice, and they sort of act like they’re like us. But deep down they’re not. They’re better than us. Wealthier, healthier, more attractive. Leading more meaningful lives. Getting up earlier. Running more. And working harder. They are better than us, and they rub it in our faces because they know it hurts.

We hate them.

This month we’ve been lucky enough to hate loads of great people, thanks to Giovanna Fletcher and Pixiu, who are recording Giovanna’s podcast Happy Mum, Happy Baby. Giovanna is an accomplished actor, writer, and vlogger – and is also married to at least one member of McFly. She keeps bringing in notable mums and interviewing them. Notable mums thus far include Fearne Cotton, Jo Elvin and two of the mums from the Saturdays. It’s a great podcast, well worth a listen. You can find it here.

She’s not had my Mum on yet though, which feels like a snub. My mum is lovely. Don’t get why Giovanna hates her so much.

We Need Good People. Hire Our Studio. Please.

Want to follow in the footsteps of Giovanna Fletcher, Fearne Cotton and (potentially) my mum? Then you, like them, could use our studios! And who knows, maybe you’ll appear here in this very newsletter! From adverts, to podcasts to, who knows, your own ground-breaking rap fusion album – record in top class facilities with top class producers and a fully working fridge.

Get your briefs out!

Send us through your most troublesome brief and we’ll help you make it into an audio masterpiece.

No obligation - just to show you what we can do.

Is it too visual for radio? Is it a rubbish product? Is it tricky?
Is it something you wish would just go away?

 Whatever the reason, hand it over and let us make it shine.  Send your tricky briefs through to us at: production@maplestreetcreative.co.uk.

Well, we’ve got there in the end

This month, I’ll be honest, it’s felt like a struggle to write this. I’m sure it’s been quite a difficult read for you too.

It’s because, you know…September is dull. It’s just such a dull month. And yet it has the audacity to have more letters in it than any other month. Arrogant.

I honestly couldn’t hate September more. Pointless, pointless month.

Let’s meet up again in October. Yes, October – now there’s a month! It’s got Hallowe’en, with its witch hats and pumpkins and honestly ludicrous apostrophe placement. And also National Cat Day on the 29th. What a great month.

See you then.

Au-gust Another Newsletter

Hello old friends.

August has come and gone in the blink of an eye – and the world looks fine, doesn’t it? I mean, sure there’s a storm of unprecedented size raging on America’s southern coast, devastating mass floods in India and Bangladesh, Neo Nazis are marching again, North Korea float missiles over Japan willy-nilly now and the sun literally disappeared for a small amount of time during August, but…y’know, otherwise a good month, no? There was a bank holiday!

Fortunately, here in the safety of our purpose built underground bunker, the Maple Street team have stocked up on clean water and tinned goods so that, when the inevitable nuclear winter/biblical crisis hits, we’ll be able to keep making podcasts and 30 second adverts about it. Need to put out a catchy call for survivors amongst the wreckage? Want a funny podcast to soo the the wrath of N’Bahsulu, the vengeful Sun God that now rules us all? We’re your guys!

But until that happens, it’s business as usual. And business is goooood…

 

Maple Street Comedy Night 2017 – September 28th

Do you remember our comedy night last year? It was fun, right? We all had a laugh and some drinks. Well FORGET IT. Compared to this year’s comedy night, last year’s comedy night will look like a funeral! More drinks! More jokes! Slightly fewer crisps, actually, than last year – we’re on a budget. THREE AWARD WINNING COMEDIANS! And endless, ceaseless, seizure-like laughter.

Don’t want to build it up too much, though. It’ll be fun. Invites will be sent out soon with the full, very exciting line-up.

 

Victoria on ITV

Queen Victoria was the longest reigning monarch in English history, until our current Queen came along and absolutely smashed it – so it’s no surprise we need more than one TV series to get through her story.

Victoria returned to ITV last week with more wacky tales of the Widow of Windsor (sorry, bit of a spoiler). What kind of scrapes will she get into this series? Well, specifically, she’ll be balancing her role as Queen with her new role as a mother and wife – and also dealing with famine and unrest, so that’s less cheery.

Fortunately, you already know all this because you’ve heard the radio adverts we made for ITV advertising Victoria’s return. Or, if you haven’t, you now can – right here!

 

TV Licensing

Kids, now, listen. University is an exciting time, sure – and if you’re jetting off there in September, I wish you all the luck. You’ll have a great time. And, naturally, you’ll want to experiment. To try new things, to break the rules, to discover your own boundaries.

Drugs? Fine! Sex? Go for it! Not paying your TV Licensing? Now that’s where you lose me. Always, always pay your TV license. That’s (kind of) the message behind our new TV licensing campaign – which you can hear, here. They’re going out across Radios 1 & 2, encouraging students and parents to get their TV licence at university.

 

Staffordshire University

Speaking of university, if you’re going to go anywhere, you might as well go to Staffordshire University. Why? Because we made an advert for them, and if you’re not going to base your major life decisions on our client list then what are you even doing here?

Here’s the ad we made – listen to it, then enrol. Immediately.

 

And Now, Some Happy News…

Nicki Marinovic is dead.

Ok, that doesn’t sound like good news. But it is. Because she’s been reborn as Nicki Fantei.

Essentially, what I’m saying here in the worst way possible, is that our Senior Creative, Nicki, just got married! IN ITALY! Ahhhhhh!

Here she is with her new husband, literally glowing. We’re very happy for her and you should be too, you monster.

 

And that is the end of this month’s newsletter.

Honestly, guys, it’s been a blast. May you all have safe and happy Septembers – and let’s catch up again in, say, a month’s time? Does that work for you?

In the meantime I’ll be on the e-mails in case you urgently need someone to badly explain something to you.

The New Voice Booth Could Be Yours!

Prepare the trumpets! Ready the canons! String up bunting from the light fittings! Maple Street have an announcement!

booth

WE’VE GOT A NEW VOICE BOOTH!

…yeah! Woo. It’s…I dunno…I felt like this would be more of a moment, you know? Doesn’t look that exciting written down.

But it is! We’re championing podcasters and independent voice overs and that’s exactly what this new voice booth is for. It’s entirely self-operated, so go-getting audiophiles can use it to get started. 

OK, how about this…

YOU – YES YOU!! – CAN BECOME PART OF AN EXCLUSIVE LIST OF OUR MATES, ENTITLING YOU TO SPECIAL OFFERS ON OUR STATE OF THE ART BRAND NEW BOOTH.

And all you have to do is click the red button. The RED BUTTON. Like with TV. Press the red button now.

It basically means studio quality sound, for a discount price – and even further discounts if you join our list.

We’re currently in guinea pig mode – so do not hesitate to let us know if you’re a guinea pig, or would like to be one.

booth 2

So if you’re an indie podcaster or a nomadic voiceover artist, press the red button, to find out more and get on the god damn list godammit!

Our Studios are Great - We're Not Ju-lying

It’s July – which means we’re now more than halfway through the year. In other words, time to check up on those New Year’s resolutions! Have you kept up with…oh. None of them? I mean, yes, it has been a tough year but you seemed so determined to…right, OK, I’ll stop asking. Yes I would like a Twix.

July has been all about two things – BBC pay and Love Island. Don’t argue. They are the only two things you’ve been talking about and you know it.

We’ve already covered the BBC pay scandal – we decided to follow suit and reveal our own salaries, which you can see here. But, without making any comment or moral judgement, it’s worth mentioning the fact that Alan Shearer earns more than Fiona Bruce.

The sad news, of course, is that Love Island is over. Where will you get your gossip for the rest of the summer? Here’s a few options –

1)      Hide under a table in a McDonalds on a Saturday night.

2)      Round up 12 exceptionally beautiful and stupid people using a series of elaborate traps and maroon them on a desert island. Hide in a tree and watch the drama unfold.

3)      Ring your Mother, for once.

 

Here is what we did in July.

 

Hummingbird Bakery

Hummingbirds are birds from the Americas that constitute the family Trochilidae. They are among the smallest of birds, most species measuring 7.5–13 cm (3–5 in) in length. They are known as hummingbirds because of the humming sound created by their beating wings which flap at high frequencies audible to humans

hummingbird

Yes, maybe I have just copied and pasted the first paragraph of the Wikipedia page for Hummingbirds. So what? It’s OK to learn something every now and again.

We made some ads for Hummingbird Bakery, a cake shop run entirely by Hummingbirds. Have a listen.

 

eReceptionist

What do you do if, say, you’re a small business owner who is suddenly forced to be on holiday for, let’s say, 12 weeks in Magaluf in a villa for a reality TV show? Who will look after your small business?

What I’m saying is let’s hope Chris from Love Island has eReceptionist, so that his calls still get professionally answered while he’s grafting away. We made some new eReceptionist ads, by the way. Have a listen to them here.

 

It’s a New Dawn, it’s a New Day, it’s a New Voice Booth

…for us. And we’re feeeeeeeeling tired.

voicebooth

We’ve got a brand new voice booth. It’s been gradually installed over the last two weeks and it’s now fully operational, ready for you to breathe, speak and scream in.

It’s self-operated, which means even you can do it. As well as doubling our studio capacity, it’s designed as a hub for indie podcasters and voice overs. It’s currently in guinea pig stage – so there’s lots of sawdust on the floor – but if you fancied trying out the new booth, give us a shout!

 

 

(Also a New Website)

Sorry there’s so much to update you on! We’ve revamped our website!

I could tell you all about it – OR you guys could all go look at it and save me some time. Go on…

I’ll wait…

Thanks. Nice, isn’t it?

 

Simon & Schuster

henry

Do you remember the Tudors? From school? Lovely family, bit of strife, couple of inheritance squabbles – all got sorted out in the end though, right? No. Not right. Wrong, in fact. It all got very dramatic. And now you can read a book about it.

Philippa Gregory’s new novel ‘The Last Tudor’ is out now, in Tesco of all places – and here’s an ad we made to advertise that fact.

 

Beef, Dairy and Gail Porter

Earlier this month, Good Broadcast went into their Celebrity cupboard and whipped out Gail Porter. She came into our studios to talk about school uniform and was as lovely a ball of energy as you would expect. We’d have her back any time.

Then, a little while later, award winning podcaster Ben Partridge was one of the first to try out our fancy new voice booth. He recorded the latest episode of ‘The Beef and Dairy Network’ and wore some of the best shorts we’ve ever seen.

gail

We Need Good People. Hire Our Studio. Please.

Want to follow in the footsteps of Gail Porter, Roger Daltrey and Hugh Bonneville? Then you, like them, could use our studios! And who knows, maybe you’ll appear here in this very newsletter! From adverts, to podcasts to, who knows, your own ground-breaking rap fusion album – record in top class facilities with top class producers and a fully working fridge.

 

And that was July.

July.

JULY.

How is July already over?! What…how? HOW? Honestly, I wake up and a month has passed. It’s 2017! The millennium was 17 years ago! Princess Diana has been dead for 20 years! Time is bounding away from me in huge, arcing leaps towards the horizon. Time to start thinking about Christmas, I guess. Time to start considering a pension plan, most likely. Time to start planning my funeral, I suppose. We are all going to die.

I’m sorry. Love Island ending has really hit me hard.

See you in a month!

Maple Street Salary Reveal

After the BBC made the decision to reveal the salaries of its top earners, it has become clear that there is an appetite amongst the general public for greater transparency from their media and content providers.

In light of this, Maple Street have opted to follow suit and reveal how much we earn, in the hopes of building greater trust between ourselves and our clients.

All salaries are correct at the time of publishing

neil

Creative Director - Neil Cowling

Neil earns a salary of £1.5 million, though he insists on being paid exclusively in Francs, the extinct French currency, so his actual take home pay, after tax, is £0.

sara

Head of Production - Sara Hashem

Sara works on the basis that we keep her identity secret and continue to aid her flight from justice.

nic

Senior Creative -Nicki Marinovic

Nicki is in fact the ghost of a small Serbian child, and earns revenge rather than money.

kat

Content Producer - Katherine Kerr

Katherine works on a day rate – meaning she is paid in days. For every week she works, we extend her life by a day. Kat is 134 and will never die.

julia

New Business Manager - Julia Vethakkan

As our newest recruit, Julia is still on probation and is therefore is not paid an actual salary – we simply provide her with food, water and a small piece of tarpaulin she can use as shelter during rainy nights.

spalds

Creative Writer - Rich Spalding

Rich earns £nowherenearenough – his salary is surprisingly low, considering his talent, his good looks and the amount of joy he brings us on a day to day basis, both personally and professionally. He is well overdue a pay-rise and is absolutely not using this as a passive aggressive method of asking for one. But do please get #getrichapayrise trending. Thanks.

lou

Executive Producer - Louise Mulroy

Louise shits gold and has no need for actual money.

laura

Assistant Content Producer - Laura Gallop

Laura is paid in weapons.

There are two major conclusions to take from this –

As at the BBC, there is a clear and present equality issue at Maple Street. 75% of our top earning staff are women, only 25% men. It’s a problem we are very proud to have and are doing absolutely nothing to rectify.

None of us actually take home a penny – so please, please keep doing business with us. Our families are very hungry.

That is all. Thank you.  

Everything JUNE-eed to Know…

Oh. Hi…

politics

Didn’t see you there.

How’ve you been? Yeah, it has been a while. How am I? Oh, you know, same old same old. Yeah, still writing the newsletter. Yes it is very fulfilling, thank you.

Anyway, best get on with this.

What a month it’s been, dear readers. At the start of June, against all the odds, we found a way to make our country even less stable. An honestly remarkable achievement in the current climate, and one that raises the stakes for any other nation hoping to play at destabilisation in the coming weeks. Your move, America.

We’ve put together a handy (read: silly) guide to politics that you can hear, here.

But anyway, look at me blabbering on. How have you been?

Great. We should catch up properly sometime. I never stopped loving you.

 

This was our June.

 

23 & Me

Because you can never be sure, can you. OK, people kept telling you she ‘looks just like you’, but you didn’t see it. I mean, how could you? She was a baby, she looked like every baby. Like a faraway Ian Hislop. And sure, yes, the timings add up, and she takes after you. But there’s still that doubt…that little niggle of uncertainty late at night. Because she’s ginger and so is the milkman.

What I’m saying is, for Father’s Day, why not get your dad a DNA test? That was (sort of, but not really) the message behind our campaign for 23 & Me. These ads delve into the fascinating world of genetics. We love these ads. Have a listen!

 

Honestly, We Hate to Boast, We Really Do, But…

…bloody constant flow of celebs this month. I feel like I’ve been knocked out in a cartoon - because I’m seeing stars. I feel like an astrologer, because I’m – well, same joke that, no need to repeat it. Basically, it’s been a star studded month. I feel like an astronaut because I’m always surrounded by – yeah, you get it.

HEAD OF PROD Sara and NEW hubby mart

HEAD OF PROD Sara and NEW hubby mart

We had the genuine honour of producing radio commercials for the Red Cross this month. Their appeal for support in the wake of the recent tragedies in Manchester and London were voiced by Martin Freeman, and ran across Bauer and Wireless Group stations.

For the last few weeks we’ve been hosting radio royalty. Kyle Sandilands (about two-thirds of KIIS FM’s Kyle and Jackie-O), has been coming into our studios, under the cover of darkness, and broadcasting to the whole of Australia - every evening! Once voted Australia’s most-hated celebrity (though recently beaten to the top spot by Rolf Harris…genuinely), Kyle’s shows have been typically raucous and non-PC. The biggest challenge was turning him upside down so he felt at home while broadcasting, but we managed it with a series of winches and pulleys, and it was very worth it.

 

ITV

Sorry gang, but the celeb fest boast-a-thon isn’t over yet! Not only did we produce the commercials for ITV’s Ascot coverage, we had them voiced by none other than the Captain of the Titanic! And he didn’t propel us all to an icy grave!

Also known as Bernard Hill (or the King of Rohan from Lord of the Rings if you’re a nerd), he did a typically spell-binding turn and raised the commercial a whole new level. Have a listen to him here!

 

A Spokesman Said

You’ve gotta fight…DUN-DUN…for your rights…DUN-DUN-DUN…to consume energy and insure your house/car at a fair price.

It’s not as catchy as the Beastie Boys original, but there’s a certain ring. We’ve made a couple of ads for A Spokesman Said who, despite their baffling company name, are a price comparison website that “fight for consumer rights”. We took that very literally, and made a number of ads for them themed around physical violence (kind of). Have a listen here. 

 

We Need Good People. Hire Our Studio. Please.

Want to follow in the footsteps of Bernard Hill, Roger Daltrey and Hugh Bonneville? Then you, like them, could use our studios! And who knows, maybe you’ll appear here in this very newsletter! From adverts, to podcasts to, who knows, your own ground-breaking rap fusion album – record in top class facilities with top class producers and a fully working fridge.

 

gybo

 

Get your briefs out!

Send us through your most troublesome brief and we’ll help you make it into an audio masterpiece.

No obligation - just to show you what we can do.

Is it too visual for radio? Is it a rubbish product? Is it tricky?
Is it something you wish would just go away?

Whatever the reason, hand it over and let us make it shine.  Send your tricky briefs through to us at 

production@maplestreetcreative.co.uk.

 

And that’s what we’ve been up to in June.

Why not let us know what you’ve been doing with your month? We’d love to read it! (Please note that due to the high volume of fan mail we receive we will be unable to read or reply to individual correspondences, though they are, of course, appreciated).

And all that’s left is for me to thank everyone who made this possible. Thank you to my mother for always believing in me, my friends and family for their constant support and belief. And last, but not least, thanks to you, dear reader. My still point in a turning world. My only true friend.

This has all gone to my head.

 

Goodbye.

Brand Safety Doesn’t Concern Me

Confesses Neil, our Creative Development Director. A blog originally written for the IAB.

I know it’s a hot topic at the moment, but it doesn’t worry me now and it probably won’t worry me in the future.

Why not? Because I work in audio advertising.

That’s not to say I don’t care about it - I do, but working in audio and worrying about brand safety is like living in London and worrying about volcano eruptions. Scary, and not nice for the people affected, but we can be grateful that it doesn’t directly affect us.

IAB

I’m not trying to be smug, but brand safety is less of an issue because planned digital audios ad largely run on:

a)The digital stream of a broadcast radio station
b)A music streaming platform like Spotify or Deezer
c)A podcast platform against a set vertical on an approved whitelist

Programmatic is making its way to audio and is currently used on Spotify, and via DAX, and with “A Million Ads” technology, the creative can even be dynamic. The creative possibilities of this are what drive audio nerds like me to be super excited about the next few years, as what used to be purely “radio” advertising moves closer and closer to matching the personalisation levels offered by digital media.

Radio stations, streaming services, and podcast platforms all have full control over their content. If you want to buy programmatically you can rest assured that the content’s been approved, or if you want more control, than advertisers can choose the precise music genre, podcast series, or radio stations to advertise on.

So, for those of us in audio, the term “brand safety” can still be used, but in lower-case letters, with a soft, creative emphasis. It’s about making sure that the client chooses the PERFECT environment for their brand: Do the subtleties of the brand’s tone of voice fit seamlessly with the platform, the radio station or the associated content? Are they speaking as effectively as possible to the perfect audience, not just a good one? 

There’s still some risk that, for instance, an ad for walk-in baths could appear next to some hard-core hip-hop, but the platforms and agencies, like Radioworks, should work together to make sure the plans and the algorithms guard against that scenario. 

Audio is an intimate, infinite blank canvas, speaking to people in unique, personal moments. So if you’re dreaming of a brilliant, creative, adored medium that gives you a break from worrying about brand safety, just close your eyes and open your ears. You’ll find it’s right here.


Read more here

Maple Street News - It’s May-Ple Street!

Summer is here and we already don’t want it. People are taking their tops off in parks, wasps are back to ruin everyone’s good vibes, and we’re sweaty.

We’re all sweaty. I don’t remember what it was like to be dry.

Fortunately, it’ll only last about a week. HAHA. British humour, eh? We bloody love talking about the weather.

One deadly serious point before we go on, however – no man looks good in shorts. It needs saying, as a public service. There is not a man in the world who can get away with shorts in a non-sporting capacity. And I say this not as a critic, but as a man who cannot get away with shorts. For all our sakes, men, please, stick to trousers. Go for light trousers if you must. If you’re about to question whether that includes ¾ lengths then, no, obviously, they are the worst of them all. The key message here, lads, is that, as recompense for all the privilege being male affords you, you must now have sweaty legs for the next few months. I’m sorry. Please deal with this quietly.

Here is what we’ve been up to. 

 

D&AD Awards

THE BEST ADVERTS IN THE WORLD is how they are billed – and they’ve just been announced. Sadly, our work isn’t on the list, but that may be partly down to the fact that we didn’t enter (can’t lose if you don’t try – smart) – but the people who did win are well worth listening to. Here is a link,so relax, maybe have a bath, light some candles, chuck in some bubbles - and treat yourself to the very best of radio advertising. What an afternoon.

dad

 

Bravissimo

I can be mature about this.

bravissimo

We’re doing adverts for bras. Fine. That’s absolutely fine. Honestly, I think of this client like I would any client. It’s actually kind of boring to me, now, thinking about it. It’s on a level with, I dunno, MOTs. It’s just bras, guys, get over it. Can we all be grown-ups now please?

We’re doing adverts for bras. The ads are great, as are the bras. Listen here.

 

 

RAJAR

Good news, stats fans! Last week the latest RAJAR came out.

Like any normal person, you’ll probably have pored over it in the kind of detail you normally reserve for this newsletter, but for anyone who hasn’t yet, here are the extremely edited down highlights…

capital

CAPITAL ARE BACK TO NUMBER ONE – in London, at least.

DIGITAL RADIO’S LISTENING SHARE REACHES 47.2% - which is significant, because it’s close to the 50% mark, and the 50% mark is the point at which the government will start to consider switching off FM and essentially banning old people from listening to the radio.

COMMERCIAL RADIO BACK IN FRONT OF BBC – with 34.5 million listening hours a week. Take THAT, public ownership!

 

Barnet and Southgate College

teens

Are you a trendy cool young teen who recently completed their GCSEs? If so, this e-mail newsletter almost certainly shouldn’t have reached you. We’re sorry, we’ve made an error. However, while you’re here, listen to this ad we made for Barnet and Southgate College helping #teens work out what to do with their lives. It’s one of two, and we think they both sound great!

 

In the meantime, what are you doing with your June? Voting in the election, most likely. We’ve all gotta vote these days. It’s not the past anymore, where some of us weren’t allowed. No. Now we all can, so we all must. See you in a school hall on June the 8th. LET’S TURN THIS COUNTRY ROUND!

Maple Street? More Like M-APRIL Street

Oh bloody hell.

Elections are like buses, aren’t they? You know, you wait years for one and then three run you over in quick succession, leaving you with life-altering injuries from which you’ll never truly recover.

So there’s another one, now, and surely no-one is more annoyed than David Dimbleby. The only reason elections are held five years apart is to allow the Double-D to catch up on his sleep. He’s having to make a very early start to his rigorous pre-election routine of daily coffee enemas.

But let’s forget about the election for a second, and look overseas. What’s been going on in the rest of the world? More elections, obviously. In France? Elections. Turkey? Elections. Everyone is constantly trying to elect people these days. Everybody is voting for things. Everybody wants a say. Well not on my watch! This newsletter is, always has been, and will forever remain, a benevolent dictatorship.

Now read what I’ve written and like it.

 

The British Podcast Awards

nationaltrust

It’s glad rags time, gang – we’ve been nominated for an award! Well, two awards, in fact! As you will surely know by now, our sister company Fresh Air Productions are podcast experts, with cutting edge podcast ideas constantly plopping out of their nether areas. And now, their excellent National Trust podcast has been nominated for ‘Best Branded Content’ and ‘Smartest Podcast’ at the BPA’s. We’ve picked our walk on music, we’ve had a flag designed, the speech currently stands at 3,000 words. It should be quite a night.

 

 

 

 

Election and the Deregulation of Commercial Radio

In which our intrepid hero continues his tireless quest to bring you the MOST boring news possible.

Because elections are about more than Brexit, nuclear weapons, global warming and Brexit – it’s also about the deregulation of commercial radio. The Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has pledged earlier this year that ‘radio will no longer be shackled to an outdated regulatory system’, which is great, because these shackles really rub at your wrists. Apparently the election shouldn’t delay the great un-shackling, so if you like your radio de-regulated, you’re in luck. Right, that’s that dealt with. Thank you for your time.

 

WorldPay

worldpay

WorldPay might not be a company you’ve heard of – but that’s about to change. Chances are they’ve been part of your life for a while anyway, without you even knowing…

It’s actually not as sinister as it sounds – they’re a company that provides payment systems, so like those little card readers and online transfers and stuff. They’re not just any payment provider, mind you – but the UK’s leading payment provider. And we’ve just produced their first ever radio campaign! Have a wee listen here.

 

H & S Gone M

Innovation. Disruption. Industry 4.0. These are all words I don’t get to use in my work. But they are all found in our new, industry focussed podcast for Heidrick and Struggles. Listen to important people talk about the future of business - what it will look like, how it will smell, that sort of thing.

 

Chris Ramsey’s Got a New TV Show

…and we made the advert for it. It features people from Newcastle being from Newcastle, and I, for one, am 100% behind it. Have a listen.

 

Who Are You? Who? Who? Who? Who?

We all got a little over-excited, earlier this month. Honestly, I Can’t Explain it as we’re used to famous faces, but to My Generation this particular guest is a genuine (Pinball) Wizard. A few people didn’t recognise him when he came in, and had to ask Who Are You, but once they’d worked it out they said they Won’t Get Fooled Again

Yes, this month we had John Bishop in our studios! He was joining Jason Manford to record Jason’s Absolute Radio show.

Also Roger Daltrey was there.

(Some have questioned whether that lengthy set up of creaky puns was worth it for the punchline. I say yes.)

 

Little Boy Blue

This month we made the audio for ITV drama Little Boy Blue – about the murder of 11-year old Everton fan Rhys Jones ten years ago. It’s a difficult watch, but an important one – and you can hear our audio here.

 

And that’s your lot for this month. A month of change, a month of turmoil. But, on the bright side, two bank holidays next month, so…

Keep safe, keep strong. Eat shredded wheat. Remember that you can burn in the UK, so be sure to use sun cream on hot days. Don’t worry too much. Watch out for vandals. Eat your five a day, don’t talk to strangers. And, most importantly of all, remember that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, so don’t even try, OK?

Beware the ads of March

‘The trees are coming into leaf,

Like something almost being said,

The recent buds relax and spread,

Their greenness is a kind of grief.’

larkin

Trust Philip Larkin to make spring depressing. It’s just the pollen, Phil. It makes your eyes water. Have a Piriton and get on with it.

This is, of course, the first newsletter since the triggering of Article 50 and Britain’s entry into an unknown world. What will the future look like? What colour, what tenor, what hue? What shape will our bananas be? Can we still get brie? What do we do with Nigel Farage now?

This is an unsteady, unsure world. All I can offer you, dear reader, is the comfort of knowing this newsletter will continue, as will the stellar work of the Maple Street Creative team and the general depression of early spring. Have a Piriton and get on with it. Here’s what we’ve been doing with our March…

 

parliament

Parliament Explained: The Podcast

What really goes on in the Houses of Parliament? We all know the obvious answer (it’s where they make brown sauce), but believe it or not, there’s more to the place than condiments.

Our brand new Parliament Explained podcast will take you by the hand and walk you down the corridors of power – basically explaining, step by step, how the laws that govern our country are made. It’s a hugely important project, particularly at a time like this, and we’re very proud to have worked on it. You can download it here.

  

 

 

Horse Racing Returns to ITV

barhorse

A horse walks into a bar.

‘Why the long face?’ the barman asks.

The horse, startled by the sudden noise, rears up onto its hind legs, knocks over two tables and breaks the landlady’s arm.

And that’s why horses aren’t allowed in pubs. They are allowed on ITV though – as it’s the new home of horse racing! We’ve made the radio promotions, as part of our ongoing relationship with ITV, and you can hear them right here.

 

Phillip Hammond and the Budget

HOLD ON! NO! DON’T STOP READING, PLEASE, BEAR WITH ME! This won’t be as boring as you think.

hammond

Basically, recently, the budget happened. And halfway through, Phillip Hammond started talking about terms and conditions in advertising. It felt like he’d just gone a bit sideways, but in fact, part of the budget is a proposal to tackle lengthy Terms and Conditions in adverts, as listeners tend not to remember them and they put advertisers off.

Apparently the radio industry loses £120 million a year due to long terms and conditions (which seems too high, surely?) But nope, apparently, it’s true, and Phillip Hammond is single-handedly going to turn this ship around! Terrible news for Ts and Cs fans, great news for the rest of us!

 

Laundrapp

laundrapp

There’s nothing we love more than a new client and there’s nothing we hate more than dirty laundry. So writing and producing the new radio commercials for Laundrapp has been an absolute dream! Listen to the squeaky clean new creative right here.

 

 

 

Britain’s Next Top Model

We all know who Britain’s current top model is, of course. No need for me to give you that information. But we’re getting tired of her – the real question is who is going to be next? Well, we can narrow it down to these eleven women, but beyond that it’s anyone’s guess.

If you want to find out, why not watch the show? And if you’re going to watch the show, why not listen to the excellent commercial we made to promote it?

 

All Around Me are Familiar Faces…

This month has sadly seen the return of our cursed celebrity infestation. We lay traps, we put out poison but each month celebrities get in through the pipes and start recording in our studio.

keaveney

Here are some of the disgusting vermin we’ve had to deal with this month.

Shaun Keaveney was in to record a podcast for Pan Macmillan, where he chats to some of the world’s leading experts in economics, biology, physics and more.

Former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan was in courtesy of the Central Media Group. He’s a tall man, that Michael Vaughan. An unexpectedly tall man.

 

EA Games

Can you lead a team of military trained explorers through new hostile galaxies, where danger awaits around every corner?

That’s the question posed in our new advert for EA Games’ Mass Effect Andromeda! I know my answer – no I absolutely cannot.

 

And that’s the end of this crazy ride. Shall we do it all again next month?

Well, I’m contractually obliged to, so…yes! Let’s!

Until then, have a Piriton and get on with it.

Absolutely Feb-ulous from Maple Street Creative

pancakes

It doesn’t feel like it’s been a month since last I wrote. Have you been keeping well? Do you get my letters? Why do you never reply? Am I simply shouting into the void?

It’s been a tumultuous month, ol’ February. The shortest month, let’s not forget, but still one that packs a few punches. Valentine’s Day, Pancake Day…but it’s once February’s over that things really get exciting, because…it’s ASH WEDNESDAY!

It’s only a week ‘til Ash Wednesday, guys! Comes round faster every year, doesn’t it? Who can forget that feeling of an Ash Wednesday morning? Charging downstairs to see if the Ash Man has been – then rushing into the street and playing in the freshly fallen ash! Ah, Ash Wednesday…the worst of all the holidays.

Right, now you’ve read that load of nonsense – why not stay on and find out what Maple Street have been up to this month…

 

RadioPlayer Car

radioplayercar

Picture this. It’s you. In your car. Top down, wind in your hair, long red scarf billowing out behind you – your favourite adverts blasting out of the radio. And then, all of a sudden…it cuts out. You’ve lost signal. You’re so disappointed you swerve off a bridge and plunge to your death.

Well now, at long last – this scenario can be avoided thanks to RadioPlayerCar. It’s the new technology that, once fitted to your car, tracks the best signal from FM, DAB and online and makes sure you get the best possible reception wherever you go. We worked with the brilliant team at RadioCentre to make the commercials for it. You can hear them across hundreds of stations all over the country – or, right here, by clicking this link. We’re dead proud.

 

E-Receptionist

receptionist

E-Receptionist is the technology every business needs – it answers and directs your calls while you’re away from the office – so you never miss out on business. How do we know all this? Magic. And also the ads we made for them. Hear them here – or across the country, on your radio. 

 

 

 

 

Mystery Celebrity

We’ve had a person visiting this month, someone you’ll definitely know…but we’re not allowed to tell you who that is, or what they’re doing. It’s exciting, but you’ll just have to take my word for it. We’re working with them to do something – and that is honestly the most transparent I can be. But below are four celebrities…could it be one of them?

Hint: it is none of these people.

potter
queen
radcliffe
biebs

 

Bloom and Wild

letterbox

Did any of you forget Valentine’s Day? Despite the fact that it’s on the same exact day every year. Despite the fact that it’s the only thing anyone talks about for a solid fortnight beforehand. Despite that – I bet someone, somewhere, still forgot.

Fortunately, we at Maple Street did not – and our Valentine was the lovely Bloom and Wild, purveyors of beautiful flowers, delivered the next day for especially forgetful lovers. We made them an advert – they gave us some flowers (and money). But they genuinely sent us flowers. Isn’t that lovely?

 

ITV

broadchurch

Our work with ITV is some of the stuff we’re most proud of. This year we’ve already produced radio campaigns for programmes such as The Unforgotten and Good Karma Hospital  – and next up is the return of bum-clenching mystery series Broadchurch.

Dr Who and Sophie from Peep Show team up once again to fight crime on dramatic clifftops. Keep your ears pricked for our Broadchurch trails on your airwaves soon – along with promos for other great shows, including Dawn French’s Little Big Shots, Prime Suspect: 1973 and Dance Dance Dance!

 

dairylea


And that, dear friends, is the end. Short month, short newsletter, I guess. Have a great last five days of February. Spend them wisely. Drink only the best wine, eat only the finest cheeses, sleep on a bed made of goose down and yoghurt. Frolic, if you get the chance. Recycle. Do a press up.

But most importantly, be kind to each other and to yourself. And to me, your lowly Newsletter writer.

Good bye.

NEW YEAR, NEW-SLETTER

meat

Well, we made it, gang – we crashed through January like a rhino through a tuck shop – eyes closed, head down, spearing fizzy cans with our enormous horn. And now you’ve got crisps in your nostrils and ice cream in your eyes. In other words, January is a tough month.

Have you kept up with your resolutions? Who cares. Get off the treadmill, drop that celery stick and instead pour yourself a huge glass of drugs before tucking into this month’s meaty Maple Street newsletter.

 

Bat Out of Hell

meatloaf

Depending on your point of view, Meatloaf is either a phenomenally talented singer of huge, era defining rock n roll ballads, or a weird kind of ground meat dish Americans eat. For us, it’s very much the former – and we’ve had the huge privilege of producing the ads for the brand new Meatloaf musical – Bat Out of Hell! We’ve not seen the show but I imagine motorbikes will feature heavily – alongside bats and, presumably, hell. Have a wee listen here

 

Leyland SDM

leyland

DIY. Do It Yourself. That’s the selfish motto of Tory Britain, am I right? Yes, I am. Or, for balance, no, I am not. I do not know what I am talking about. But when it comes to DIY, Leyland know exactly what they’re talking about. And what they’re talking about is DIY. And how are they talking about it? In store, over speakers, using audio we created for them. Wow, we got there in the end.

Essentially, we’ve made some in store audio for Leyland – because there’s no kind of audio we can’t do – and you can hear a little sample here. You can also, of course, hear it in store. So please do that too.

 

ITV

unforgotten

Sanjeev Bhaskar and Ruth from Spooks work out why an MP’s body is chopped up in a suitcase. That’s (kind of) the premise for ITV’s second series of Unforgotten (alternative title: Remembered). We’ve made the trailer for the new series - which you can listen to here – along with trailers for Dance Dance Dance and Halcyon. Keep your ears pricked for further ITV trailers courtesy of Maple Street, including Good Karma Hospital and the long-awaited return of Broadchurch.

 

Brandon Trust

Sometimes, in this job, you actually get to do a good thing. We made an ad for the lovely people at Brandon Trust this month, to help them find the right person to work in their care home. The ad features the words of their employees and their service users – and it sounds lovely. You can hear it here.

 

Is That Him Off the Telly?

We’re lucky in our office to get the opportunity to hob, and indeed, nob with the great and the good of the glamorous world of celebrity. This month has been no exception.

Our seaworthy friends at Pirate FM brought in actual royalty for their latest campaign. Hugh Bonneville – Earl of Grantham and Paddington’s Dad – came in to voice a series of ads. He was taller than we expected, even more handsome in person, and so nice it was almost silly. 

Then this guy showed up again – seriously, I can’t remember the last time I turned up to work and Frank Skinner wasn’t here. But we wouldn’t have it any other way. Frank spent a day in our studios being funny courtesy of our good friends at Good Broadcast.

And in breaking news – Dominic Byrne from off of the news came in. He was voicing an ad for the big dogs over at Xero – which you can hear, here.



And that, I’m sad to say, is that. A new year has started. Let’s make it a better one than last year – and let’s face it, the bar for doing that is set remarkably, unfeasibly low. Like, it’s not even just on the ground. A team of people armed with industrial drilling machinery have dug a hole and lowered the bar into it.

Here’s to an absolutely average 2017. What a remarkable achievement that would be.

Have our studios STOLLEN your heart?

balls

So - been quite a month, hasn’t it?

Who saw that one coming? Donald Trump has put the NO into November, grabbed America firmly by the p***y and is going to power us all face first and screaming into the boiling centre of the planet where, quite frankly, we now belong.

But Ed Balls has been a laugh on Strictly, eh?

ANYWAY – it’s nearly Christmas! Time to stock up on bin bags to put all your torn wrapping paper in – time for a moderate to serious breakdown in a card shop – time to pretend you don’t like sprouts, even though you do really, we all do, sprouts are god damn great and you god damn know it!

Welcome to the Maple Street Christmas Newsletter – ho-ho-hold on to your hats…

 

Samsung

We love clients big and small. From one man and his dog selling a lawnmower from his front garden, to the big names – like Samsung! We’ve produced Samsung’s latest bit of radio creative – and you can listen to it, on your Samsung phone, hopefully.

 

Sausage FM

sausagefm

You love sausages, of course. Goes without saying. But I bet you don’t love sausages so much you’d set up a radio station, hire a former member of JLS and broadcast the noise of a frying pan for a week, do you?

To celebrate National Sausage Week (basically the English equivalent of Martin Luther King Day), Good Broadcast did exactly that – and we were dead excited to help out. Along with producing all the jingles and imaging, Maple Street hosted former JLS boy JB Gill as he led a week’s worth of sausage based broadcasting. It even featured on Have I Got News for You! One of the most bizarre – and most enjoyable – jobs we’ve ever done. Can’t wait to see what they’ve got planned for National Human Rights Week!

 

stone

Taking the Pulse

When the political landscape is so topsy-turvy, so extreme, so treacherous, what you need is someone sensible and level-headed to guide you through. Unfortunately, all we’ve got is Ian Stone. The comedy stalwart is helming a brand new weekly podcast called Taking the Pulse, produced by Maple Street Studios. Each week he is joined by comedian Geoff Norcott and former Labour adviser Ayesha Hazarika to pick the funny bones out of another political carcass – it’s really funny, listen here.

 

Our Famous Mates

buckley

It has been raining celebrities here at Maple Street this month. They are literally falling from the sky. We have to get in early to sweep all the celebs off the front step. It’s getting ridiculous. Here’s just a few of the ones who have graced our studios of late.

millican

Good Broadcast delivered us James Buckley of Inbetweeners fame and Jodie Kidd of cars, modelling and Strictly fame – they were here (separately) to discuss gaming and cars (respectively).

Comedy superhero Sarah Millican came in to talk about her new DVD, just in time for Christmas (savvy).

And then Brian Blessed was here again. We cannot keep that man away (and we wouldn’t want to).  Here he is with our Senior Creative Nicki!

 

 



So there we go. The end of this month’s newsletter. If you’ve made it this far, well done you. As a special treat, here’s the blooper reel – some of the things I got wrong whilst writing this. Worth sticking around for.

I accidentally spelt ‘house’ with two S’s – so it said ‘housse’, which might’ve been funny if someone had tried to read it aloud.

I didn’t hit space after a comma on one of the lines, which is incorrect formatting. What am I like?

Left the UNDERLINE button on when I wrote ‘You love sausages’ which made it look like a title. Would’ve been a weird and aggressive title, wouldn’t it?

We have a wacky old time here, we really do. Even when the cameras aren’t rolling. Ahh…happy memories…

 

Bye.