Never Mind The B-Word…It’s All About The C-Word

talk studio.png

Brexit, I’m told, is becoming something that people are fed-up of hearing about…really? When it can have such an enormous impact on your business? Despite it being thirty-four months and counting since the referendum, I still find myself seeking out the latest news, and my wife will testify that it’s not a good idea to ask my thoughts on the matter if you’re someone whose largely ambivalent to the outcome. Someone else with prominent views is Media Consultant, Duncan Tickell, whose urged politicians to consider the economic consequences of their actions – or rather lack of action – and get behind one of Britain’s most valuable assets, the Creative industry.

Duncan Tickell

Duncan Tickell

Adam Hopkinson

Adam Hopkinson

Duncan was talking to Adam Hopkinson for a new podcast called Let’s Do The Right Thing, created to shine an illuminating light on life after advertising. The series starts later this month and future guests include Jonathan Durden, Amy Williams, Cadi Jones, Kathleen Saxton, and Mike Anderson. Watch this space for more controversy…or lack of controversy, depending on your views.


Blood On The Tracks… And In The Studio

blood on the tracks rec.png

Last month it was Showy with the Zoe…this month we present Lolling with the Colin…

It was lovely to welcome back the Shooting Shark production team for another series of Blood on the Tracks for the BBC Sounds thing. Great music and much hilarity are guaranteed in every episode and it’s a fantastic vehicle for Colin Murray, who’s brilliant at disarmingly bringing out the inner voice of his guests. The new shows go out next month and there are plenty online to keep you going until then.


Never Mind The Length, Feel The Quality

One of the nice things about working with agencies is that because you deal with the same people on a regular basis, you’re able to build in a level of trust and reliability. We were the beneficiaries of such a relationship this month when we got to work on a sixty second ad for the wonderful musical Dear Evan Hansen. The multi-award-winning show from the song-writers behind The Greatest Showman comes to the West End later this year and to be able to produce something where the great content spoke for itself was a joy. Also note, the good work of voice-over, John Calvert.


A New Look For Some Familiar Sounds

Maple Street Voices

Maple Street Voices

Another highlight of recent weeks has been the relaunch of Maple Street Voices. As the preferred talent pool for the UK's largest independent radio and digital audio advertising agency, its vitally important that we can offer our clients not only some exceptional voices, but also a diverse range of style and tone. You can browse the talent at www.maplestreetvoices.co.uk/ and if you’d like to send us a showreel please contact: allyl@maplestreetcreative.co.uk


To Begin At The Beginning. Then A New Beginning…Then Another…

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, the people of the Miami Ad School have taken the ‘all weaknesses are strengths’ adage to a new level by turning a cliché in to a great and original idea. The common held notion that all copywriters have attempted, at one stage or another to write a novel, was put to the test with the institute inviting first chapters from all over the globe. The intention being that any profits would go in to a scholarship for future failed novelists…I mean future copywriters. With the pledge fund having reached its goal, the book is set for publication in the summer. Whether the 60% of those in Maple Street who’ve attempted a novel have sent their first chapters in will have to remain a mystery until then.


Take a Gamble on the Creative 

do something great 2.jpg

Maple Street has heard that at Media Central’s recent AUDIOlogy talks, there was a call for radio advertisers to embrace the possibilities presented by new technologies and improve upon creativity. Well, at Maple Street we already are. Following our ground-breaking creative with the British Heart Foundation and Amazon Alexa last year, we’ve recently finished working on a series of ads for PlayOjo, featuring the voice talents of Martin Trenaman and Gerard Fletcher. If agencies can win the trust of good clients, then the opportunities to raise the bar are there.

Smart Speakers... Smart Thinking

Mastercard gets it, why doesn’t your brand? On all our campaigns at Maple Street we discuss the importance of audio branding with our clients, yet still a generally recognised figure within the industry is that only 17% of companies have brand guidelines for a sonic identity, as opposed to 86% for visual strategies. As advertisers seek new ways to interact via new technologies, it’s clear that sound will have a much larger part to play when it comes to brand recognition, particularly when you also consider mobile screens are getting smaller again. One CMO leading the way is Raja Rajamannar. Following on from the move to symbol-only logo, Mastercard has now added sonic branding to augment consumers sensory relationship with the brand. Smart stuff.

Consolidate to Accumulate

No prizes for guessing the biggest news of the week, Global’s decision to network the Heart, Smooth, and Capital Breakfast Shows, with the latter going national as early as April 8th. The figures and facts have all been detailed in the Radioworks blog but it would be strange for us to not pass comment on a story of such enormity. With the Global Awards fast approaching Maple Street is relieved to see that Paul Gambaccini is not in line to present anything. After the BBC announced massive job cuts in 2012, Gambo hosted the Sonys that year with the opening line, ‘Enjoy the night…15% of you won’t be here next year!’

‘Rift’ Recording with Aaron Attenborough

rift.png

A more palatable topic of conversation is free money…Maple Street Creative has just delivered two more ads for refund specialists, Rift and with the end of the tax year fast approaching you’d be mad not to listen to Aaron Page’s great delivery. It’ll reimburse you for reading this far at least.

Finally, we’d like to introduce you to a new slot in the monthly newsletter that we have provisionally titled, Showy with the Zoe, where we profile our favourite Zoe’s who have recently been in to the Maple Street Studios. First up is Zoë Wanamaker.

Great Ads. Fab News. Superbowl.

LAZY PIC.png

Hello you. Have you just reared your head from January? Were you hibernating with some vegan cheese and reams of paperwork whilst stressing over your self-assessment tax return? Why? Didn’t you hear the great ads that came out of Maple Street?

xero.jpg

angry man sq.png

Some that are showing little accountability for themselves are those MP’s who continue to push the UK toward a no-deal Brexit. Last week, the prominent research company Enders Analysis predicted that if Britain were to leave on such terms then we’d be facing an advertising recession. Whatever your views are on the best use of the English Channel, no one wants the industry to have to wade through such choppy waters. Although the House of Commons voted against accepting a no-deal this week, that vote was purely academic and not law-making. I’m not going to go on record and state how Maple Street feel about such things, but I will say this: If we were in favour of Brexit we’d never…vote that way, tell everyone else to vote that way, then announce this week that we’d be moving our headquarters to South East Asia. But no one would do that anyway, would they?


THE FUMBLE.png

Over the last few weeks here at Maple Street we’ve enjoyed the company of Vernon Kay and Darren Fletcher, who’ve been recording the excellent ‘Fumble’ Podcast for Shooting Shark Productions. And as the Gridiron season reaches its climax with the Super Bowl on Sunday, American Marketeers are gearing themselves up for one of their high days.

Listen Here

Although last year’s viewing figures were disappointing by comparison, the ad men still know they’re guaranteed a captive audience of 100 million in the States, and as such they’re pulling out all the stops to stand out, particularly when it comes to selling beer. Stella Artois has brought The Dude and Carrie Bradshaw together for a fun ad with plenty of slapstick, and Michelob Ultra have made an outstanding commercial, augmenting their content with ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response). It’s unusual for a visual piece of work to spend so much time on the sound, never mind allowing the audio to lead the creative. UK take note. 


scala radio large.png

Well, have you listened yet? Of course you have! And whilst there’s little doubt that the brand-new Virgin Breakfast Show sounds…familiar…there’s also a great certainty from all those who’ve ever worked with Chris Evans that he’s going to put the station in the minds of the opinion formers and on the radios of UK listeners. Not just through his talent, but with his unrelenting drive to create something his high standards can be proud of. He’s already on the way it seems, as Maple Street has learnt that after the first week, listening hours were up by a mere 2000%. And Chris hasn’t been the only one switching sides this year. It was announced this week that Simon Mayo has joined Bauer for the launch of their classical music station, Scala. Just as Chris took everything but the rubber plant to his new home, so Simon is taking with him his Confessions feature. Whether the programme will rely on sponsorship over ad revenue like Chris’ is another guess entirely.


Finally, just when you thought podcasts couldn’t get any sexier, along comes David Tennent with this…

So, debonair A-list celebrity presents his own show with Hollywood acting chums. Chances are, if you could travel to any place in time, you’d never find a better year for audio. 

Tech the Halls: Innovation in Charity Donations and the Latest News on those annoying Ts&Cs

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. 

studioshiz.jpg

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. 

VS Logo.png

Victoria's Secret

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?)

Voiceover Talent

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.

Elf Day

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.

BHF Alexa.png
Elf Day.png

The Secretary of State for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport is Dead...

...long live the secretary of state for the department of culture, media and sport!

You might have seen in the news that…stuff…has been…happening.

We could refer to it as a cabinet reshuffle, but I feel Jenga would be a more accurate comparison.

Jenga.jpg

David Davis resigned. Boris Johnson resigned. Jeremy Hunt has become foreign secretary.

And that left a space in health that, sadly, our glorious leader Matt Hancock has been asked to fill.

Matt’s been in charge of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport for a short period, but he’s made an impact. He was a minister at the forefront of the digital age – calling for social media regulation and also setting up his own social media app called…Matt Hancock. He even said goodbye to us all with a ‘#ThankYou’ – on brand ‘til the end.

He also got into parkour, bafflingly.

He’ll be missed, of course, but is expected to use his new free-running skills to scale hospital walls and front-flip out of ambulances – exactly what the NHS needs!

But when God closes a door, he opens a window, and clambering (slightly less gracefully) in through that window is our new glorious leader – Jeremy Wright!

What’s Jeremy’s pedigree when it comes to the digital world?

Matt Hancock and his mates

Matt Hancock and his mates

Well, he has a Twitter account that he has posted from five times, the last time being more than three years ago.

What did he have to say back then? Well, strap in…

4th April 2015 – Set up my official Twitter account

6th April 2015 - I have since updated my Twitter Handle to comply with regulations. Please share

Great content, thanks Jeremy.

So, sure, Jeremy’s not great on digital stuff, and yes, his voting record is quite an alarming read if you believe in, I don’t know, human rights, gay rights, welfare and sort of equality in general, but, y’know, that aside…erm…he…err…*scrolls through Wikipedia for ages* lives in the village of Shrewley. So that’s good.

Anyway, welcome Jeremy, for as long as you last. You better get parkour-ing pretty damn quick, you’ve got a lot of catching up to do.