Without wishing to start this Maple Street newsletter sounding like the late Denis Norden…
‘If… you’re anything like me…’ you’ll spend the best part of the build up to Christmas already thinking about the new start you’re going to make in January. And over the next few weeks, as well as writing national campaigns and producing podcasts, we’ll also be refurbishing Studio Two and giving it some TLP (tender loving paint) readying it for a busy 2019.
Back in 1973, Capital Radio also saw fit to make best use of the Christmas period and changed their music policy overnight, tailoring it to a younger pop-orientated audience, jettisoning some journalists and a drama department in the process. Given that they go in to this festive period back on top as London’s most listened-to commercial station, I would think there’s little chance of this being reversed come New Year’s Day.
Something else that shows little sign of reversing is of course Brexit, which will doubtless have implications on every aspect of business, including the radio industry. At a recent debate on consumer protection, Brexitier Vicky Ford brought up the issue of the long, complex, and often unnecessary terms and conditions that follow the creative treatment in audio advertising. Ford, a former MEP isn’t alone in her crusade on this as the European Commission’s regulatory body, REFIT are also lobbying for a change in legislation, as is the Radiocentre here in the UK. Any revision to consumer law may or may not be subject to a customs union, a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic, the loss of freedom of movement around member states, and a significant cut in GDP. Your fish are a risk if a deal cannot be reached by July 2020.
Potentially set for a third year of record-breaking ad spend, commercial radio goes from strength to strength with its prowess for putting brands in the right place at the right time, and here at Maple Street we’re delighted to have just finished working on our second national campaign for Victoria’s Secret. The ads were designed to run during a short period up to Black Friday and were to highlight the great offers available in-store. As well as being a great opportunity for us to build on the creative we’d previously worked on, it was also a chance for our talented writers and producers to show how dexterous and conscientious we are when working with briefs. (Is it not Panto season yet?)
Whether it’s Panto season or not (oh yes it is) it was definitely awards time for voice-overs at the recent Vox event, and at Maple Street we’d like to shout about some of our friends and celebrate the enormously talented nominees and winners we’ve recently worked with, including; Blanche Anderson, Bethan Dixon Bate, Kenny Blyth, Robin Bowerman, Elisa Canas, Peter Cousins, Guy Harris, Hannah Melbourne Jack Oddie and Sarah Sealey.
If all that talk of charity and Christmas has got you in the mood for something that conveniently combines the two then look no further than Elf Day, which Maple Street has worked on for Alzheimer’s Society. It’s a cause that’s close to a few hearts in the office and the pleasure was topped off by having another opportunity to work with Jo Brand: a woman so talented it takes both Jack Dee and Stephen Fry to even get close. Look out for that special day on December 7th and be sure to share the elf.
British Heart Foundation
Another talented voiceover, but one who isn't in that list, is the fantastic Katie Flamman, with whom Maple Street recently worked with on a ground-breaking campaign for British Heart Foundation. The creative goes out on Echo smart speakers via Dax and has become the first time a UK charity can receive donations through Amazon Pay by using an Alexa skill. It was a great thrill for us to work on such a project and we couldn’t have done it without the labour and vision of those at BHF and RadioWorks.