Last Thursday, teams of Monkeys went head to head in the Shooting Star CHASE ‘The Apprentice Challenge’, competing against each other to raise as much money as possible for the charity in one day in a charity store takeover.
Shooting Star CHASE is a children’s hospice service and a charity caring for families with a child or teenager with a life-limiting condition. Every day they support over 650 families living in west London, Surrey and West Sussex, making every day count for these families and helping them face unimaginable circumstances. They need to raise £23,000 every single week to keep this vital service going.
Shooting Star CHASE became a client in early May and our charity of the year, and since then we’ve had a lot of fun raising money for what is a truly wonderful cause.
For the Apprentice Challenge, the teams were located across 6 Shooting Star CHASE charity stores and one market stall in London, all with one objective in mind – to raise as much money as physically possible! This was a complete store takeover with the Monkey teams given the brief to do whatever they could to raise money – all within the law of course
Tactics ranged from cake selling and face-painting to busking and hula-hooping. Alan Sugar would have been proud of the imagination and graft.
Like any competition, there could only be one winner – pictured below the team from Shooting Star Whitton who raised a whopping £600. As a member of that team, I can vouch for the effort put in and, of course, the Onesies…
Overall, the day was a great success and we managed to raise a shade over £3,000 across the 6 shops and the market stall at Kempton.
If you’d like to find out more about Shooting Star CHASE and its work or get involved in their Apprentice Challenge initiative, please contact the team: SSChase@3-monkeys.co.uk or visit the website.
Next up for the Monkeys is the Nuts Challenge in August which will see two teams of Monkeys compete across a 7km army assault course to raise money for the charity. Only 73 days 21 hours 56 minutes to go. Gulp!
What do we mean by wearable tech? Well, it includes anything from personal health monitors to smart watches, wearable cameras to intelligent clothing – all providing unique insights into our human self.
Whilst we expected there to be some level of demand for these devices, we were surprised to see that there are already a high number of Brits using some form of wearable tech, at an estimated 8 million, with over one in three (39 per cent) intending to use these devices when more widely available. I certainly think the uptake of devices like Google Glass is going to be a slower burn in the UK, but you don’t have to look too far to see how many people are seeing the benefits from using other wearable devices for health and fitness reasons. This matched with the research findings in that 63 per cent of users have already seen health and fitness improvements, so perhaps this technology isn’t just the latest consumer fad.
Media interest in the study has been substantial, particularly around the widespread privacy issues associated with Google Glass and wearable cameras. The majority of respondents felt that these devices need to be regulated in some form and most media coverage centred around the fact that two thirds think Google Glass should be banned. As you’d expect from our respective cultural differences, Brits were far more concerned about privacy than Americans, with 69 per cent in the UK compared to 55 per cent in the US.
The study sparked huge media interest, including BBC Newsnight which commissioned a 15 minute feature about the wearable technology revolution. The segment, which aired on Monday 3 June, included a live in-studio discussion between Rackspace’s Start-up liaison officer Robert Scoble and Jeremy Paxman about the impact that wearable technology is having on society, an interview with Lori Williams from Appirio about the use of Jawbone UP for the company wellbeing scheme, and great examples of OMG’s Autographer ‘lifelogging’ camera in action.
A couple of years ago, I wrote a feature for Campaign magazine about ‘the future of engagement’ that described why truly original and compelling content was so vital in stimulating consumer participation – and what could happen when this content ‘went social.’
I was reminded of this article much more recently – last Friday to be exact – at The Content Marketing Show in London, a full day’s worth of talks from the great and the good of content marketing, which demonstrated just how rapidly things have moved on.
Between them, the various speakers described a world of branded content that’s now truly multidisciplinary, spanning editorial, production, design & build, search, social media, influencer outreach and online / offline PR. That’s a heady brew that dictates a growing need for agencies of all kinds to work in different ways: employing specialists, building freelance talent pools, sourcing talent and partnering with others.
All these things and morecame together in our ‘Random Adventures of Brandon Generator’ project for Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9 which won the ‘Best Use of Digital’ award at Monday’s CIPR ceremony. Creating a truly unique animated film noir tale that not only asked consumers to share it – but to help create it and even live within it – led the CIPR judges to proclaim:
“This was a truly integrated campaign that saw public relations as architect of both the creation and execution of the underlying creative concept, through an impressive array of digital channels […] Not only were the stated objectives achieved, it had the effect of radically changing the client’s view of what public relations could contribute. In light of the impressive results achieved, this is a blueprint for how public relations can lead the way in 21st Century digital communications.”
I like to think of Brandon Generator and some of the content models we witnessed at the Content Marketing Show as ‘supersocial’ – living across multiple channels and powered by consumers themselves.
As you can see from the campaign showreel video below, Brandon was a truly integrated campaign that was led by a PR concept – not advertising creative. Based on strong insight into the target audience of web browser users, creative and truly original content was created to positively change the perceptions of Internet Explorer users.
The judges added: “In light of the impressive results achieved, this is a blueprint for how public relations can lead the way in 21st Century digital communications.”
As you may have already spotted this week in PR Week, we are delighted to have been selected by Appirio as their lead PR agency in the UK. Our task will be to raise brand awareness amongst those who shape IT purchasing decisions for large companies and position Appirio as a thought leader within the global services sector in the UK. Appirio is a global services provider that helps enterprises reimagine their business with cloud, social and mobile technologies.
Michelle Swan, vice president of communications and field marketing at Appirio says: “Appirio has spent the last two years building a presence and strong customer base in the UK market, and we’re excited to be working with 3 Monkeys Communications to help tell our story and how we’re helping customers power their business with the cloud. The 3 Monkeys team impressed us with their proven results and deep technology expertise, but their creativity and culture is what made them stand out as a perfect partner for us.”
Jasmin Athwal, Associate Director at 3 Monkeys says: “Appirio is a truly innovative company which works at the leading edge of the cloud computing sector. The brand is extremely well established in the US with many high profile clients and a rich heritage which will help Appirio become a leading voice within the sector in the UK and help drive the cloud computing revolution.”
Great news for a Friday – have a good weekend all!
As a doctor, one of the things I love about medicine is that nothing ever is quite what it seems. Maybe it makes the science more challenging – the practice of medicine was ever an art, magic even; or perhaps I’m selfishly reassured that without certainties the role of the doctor can never be replaced by computerised smart systems that follow hidden algorithms to reach their diagnosis.
Take the menopause for example or childhood fevers. For donkey’s years, the menopause and the need for Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) was inexorably linked; and aspirin was spooned out to children with a fever ever since early man discovered it’s precursor in willow bark. Then out of the blue came studies that showed, much to everyone’s consternation, the use of both are actually riskier than doing nothing at all. No woman can get HRT routinely any longer and aspirin for the under-12s is banned.
But decisions have to be made; certainties have to be created, and it’s here that doctors’ desire for proof and the need for better public protection really come to the fore.
You would have thought that introducing laws to ensure cyclists wear a helmet to prevent head injuries would be a ‘no brainer’ (excuse the pun)? Like for seat belts and road traffic injuries many have lobbied long and hard to introduce laws that would require the equivalent of the cyclist ‘buckling up’ each time they sat on the saddle. But new research in the BMJ this week suggests that any potential legislation to make wearing bicycle helmets compulsory would have minimal impact on admissions to hospital for head injuries.
Whist the authors say that helmet use should be encouraged, legislation – in addition to current safety campaigns – would have no great effect.
The researchers from Canada found that between 1994 and 2008, there were 66,716 hospital admissions for cycling related injuries, 30% of which were head injuries. During this period there was a substantial fall in the rate of hospital admissions for cycling head injuries and reductions were greatest in areas that had helmet legislation in place. Whilst there was a decrease in hospital admissions, researchers point out that admissions were falling before the research was commissioned and before helmet legislation was enforced. Based on this factor, the researchers concluded that helmet legislation did not necessarily reduce head injuries.
Is this the science of the absurd or should it steer us away from legislation? You may scratch your head, but despite the solid science of this cycling study, I fervently hope it does not prove a set-back for legal protection for all cyclists’ craniums in the UK.
The M Savers campaign was a truly integrated offering, led by insightful and timely research into families financial concerns for the summer of 2012. The team highlighted the plight that many families faced in the summer of 2012 – feeding and entertaining their children in the face of the worst UK recession since the 1930’s. Based on this insight, the experiential element brought the campaign to life, helping to position Morrisons as “Mums helper”. The team created 10 pop-up play parks positioned at key Morrisons target audience locations that offered free play and cooking advice for parents in need of help and guidance in the tricky summer months.
If you would like to see the campaign in all its glory and take a look at the fantastic results the campaign generated, please take a look at the campaign highlights video below.
As we all know, the hunt for a means to establish social business models – and to measure clear and direct return on social content – preoccupies many marketers who are looking to invest in the space.
At least some prayers may now have been answered in the form of YouTube’s “Shoppable” videos – which enable consumers to shop whilst watching a video by clicking on, say, a lipstick, a pair of shoes, or a jumper and being able to research the product and its availability and make a purchase if they wish.
Such functionality has been around for at least a year, but the absence of a large-scale, proprietary social solution has, until now, largely led brands to partner with third-party technology providers to allow viewer interactions.
But now, with YouTube tightly under its belt, Google is releasing a “channel gadget” that brings some of that functionality straight to the video channel.
“The new channel gadget will enable shoppers to seamlessly move from browsing videos to finding which retailers carry the products, checking availability, comparing prices and making a purchase, streamlining the user experience.”
Google states that the new gadget will first be made available as a “premium offering” to its major FMCG clients, with a broader roll-out to be confirmed.
We believe that this development will break down barriers between (say) celebrity glamour and high-street consumer fashion, by enabling users to purchase items directly within – and as a result of – the ‘influencing’ editorial content. By rolling this out to a broader audience and potentially more platforms, it may even challenge more traditional methods of advertising and reinvent the way brands promote products and consumers purchase them.
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last couple of weeks you could not have failed to notice the huge buzz around the impending arrival of Google Glass. Its arrival in 2013 is set to signal the influx of wearable technology in a huge way – with smart watches, wristbands and intelligent clothing all linking with our human self to connect us with our friends and colleagues like never before.
You’ll no doubt already be using some form of smart app on your mobile device to measure your weekly run, but the smartphone is merely a staging point in the wearable tech phenomenon. Recently launched products such as Nike+ Fuelband and Jawbone UP take this a step further by measuring your daily activity, heartrate, sleeping patterns and diet, to help us better understand our inner self and bring the ‘gamification’ element to our lifestyle. We’ll also soon see hands-free wearable cameras, such as the Autographer from OMG Life, hit the market that will bring the term ‘lifelogging’ into the fore, enabling us to visually map together key moments from our day in a matter of seconds.
For a tech geek like myself, this is hugely exciting (I can’t wait to get my hands on the new Pebble e-paper watch!), and even better is that we have a client that shares this passion for tomorrow’s technology. We’re working with cloud hosting provider Rackspace and the Centre for Creative and Social Technologies (CAST) at Goldsmiths, University of London, on an exciting project to explore the impact of wearable tech on everyday life from wellbeing, education, security, productivity, and lifestyle. Chris Brauer, who is leading the project, talks about the issues in more detail in this week’s CityAM.
We’ll be announcing the results in the next few weeks, so watch this space. In the meantime, if you want to keep up with the Google Glass hype, check out Robert Scoble’s blog here and follow him on @Scobleizer – he can’t get enough of them!
Two pieces of big news for doctors and patients this week. First, new rules designed to speed up and simplify the process of assessing bad doctors were implemented on Wednesday. They are a welcome part of the on-going process put in motion as a result of the Shipman Inquiry – the unassuming general practitioner who turned out to be one of the most prolific serial killers in recorded history (250 dead and probably more undetected).
Now, doctors with claims brought against them either by their patients or colleagues can be assessed in a new and simplified procedure that promises a faster, fairer and more satisfactory resolution of problems. Something we should all, doctors and the public alike, gratefully exhale in unison about.
But for those outside the medical profession, its really not been clear how fundamentally the Shipman debacle has shaken what was previously a complacent and often self-serving system. In the past a small minority of poor doctors, could merrily plough their own incision across all and sundry without any great fear of detection. I can remember as a young doctor, hearing stories too awful to describe here. One consultant surgeon I vividly recall having to ask his colleagues to release his fingers from a high powered orthopedic drill because his well-developed neurological condition would not allow him to let go his grip of the trigger. He was removing someone’s hip joint.
So from the 1st of January this year, every doctor in the country has had to begin what’s termed ‘Revalidation’; a rolling process of assessment that will take 5 years to scrutinize every doctor in the country to ensure they are fit to practice.
And so we come to the second major piece of news this week…I just passed! (waves his arms in the air hysterically). And for any of my ex-patients reading this – I deny everything and will see you at the GMC’s new Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) next week.
Martin Godfrey, Managing Director, Health + Wellness