Why Tech-Savvy CEOs Rule the World

Posted on Sep 17, 2014

Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Google’s Larry Page…the list goes on. Each of these leaders possessed a deep understanding of the technology that their business was built upon.

…the best ones are those who really “get” their products–from the inside out.

One notable outlier here was Steve Jobs, but his vision clearly negated that issue.

Via Inc.

Sir John Hegarty on How the Ad Industry Has Lost Its Courage

Posted on Sep 16, 2014

Sir John Hegarty seems to be saying this a lot lately, but a good article in AdAge nonetheless.

Sir John’s first job was at Benton & Bowles’ London office. “I was this upstart young creative who was very lippy, who had all the opinions going for me in the world.” And he soon found out he was dealing with people “who just didn’t get it.”

But he kept offering up his unadulterated opinions on how things should be, “and in the end it was kind of, ‘John, I think our paths should now part and you should seek your fortune elsewhere.’ It was a very nice firing in a way.”

I can’t help but feel an affinity for his first job where people ‘didn’t get it’ to how many people today don’t really ‘get’ content marketing and how to be truly effective in marketing their brand/product/service by using content properly (not just using it as a way to get your logo on minutes of video, for example). (It’s funny how he even places disdain on “some bloke in a sweaty T-shirt who’s 18-and-a-half has said to you, ‘You don’t need to do that.”) Does Hegarty now not ‘get it’? (don’t shoot me!).

With regard to content marketing, it certainly feels there’s still a lot of educating to do to bring people (agencies, brands, colleagues) around, and in line with Hegarty’s point – everyone needs to be brave and courageous with their budgets to really be successful.

Make the most of your platform

Posted on Sep 7, 2014

This post from Brendan Gahan really nails some key points with how to get the best out of YouTube, and the audience you want to reach. One point really sticks out though for me, the use of gadgets or microsites embedded into a YouTube channel.

It doesn’t make any sense, there’s a website for that.

Use YouTube for videos, not a website jammed into a separate tab on the channel.

Oh yeah, it doesn’t work on mobiles or tablets either.

Lot’s of brands use channel gadgets (here’s an example of one). These gadgets are apps in an iframe on the Youtube channel. It interrupts the user experience and forces viewers to interact with the brand in a manner that they’re unfamiliar with. As a result there is a ton of dropoff (50% fewer viewers convert to subscribers, and there are 15% fewer shares than brand channels without gadgets).

Gary Vaynerchuk: How to Tell Stories in an A.D.D. World

Posted on Sep 7, 2014

Loved this talk from Gary Vaynerchuk. His intensity is something to behold – and he makes some great points. One that really stuck out was using all the different platforms we have access to in the right way.

Instead of just whacking links on twitter (something I’m guilty of) use it to connect with people on twitter.

Don’t just use these platforms to link people to content that lives elsewhere.

Create content that’s native to that platform, or don’t bother.

What does an editor do?

Posted on Apr 21, 2014

This film uses motion graphics to great effect to explain what an editor does.

This would certainly come in handy explaining to the parents and grandparents of all editors the world over in explaining what they do.

Never shoot a man in a parachute

Posted on Apr 20, 2014

I wasn’t quite expecting this, we’re used to the very restrained stories from things like ‘Band of Brothers’ – but this guy just tells it straight. Not much gloss to it, except when he gets to explaining his guns.

via Reddit

LV= Sick Pay Insurance

Posted on Apr 5, 2014

Here’s our first YouTube TrueView ad we’ve created from scratch working closely with LV= and Google.

I’m really happy with how it’s turned out and hope it succeeds with driving awareness of Sick Pay Insurance for people, with a very different approach to the audience.

Rather than a dry, tepid, maybe even depressing, way to describe what Sick Pay Insurance is for (the clue is in the title), we wanted to turn it on its head and actually create something that entertains first, makes you question what you’re watching and then if it resonates, you might click through to find out more.

A TrueView ad, and the way its served in front of a YouTube video you WANT to watch, can be an unwanted interruption. So why not make it a gift instead for the viewer?

It’s the Little Things – Time to Change Campaign 2014

Posted on Feb 2, 2014

Led by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, Time to Change is England’s biggest programme to challenge mental health stigma and discrimination. Mental health problems are common – but nearly nine out of ten people who experience them say they face stigma and discrimination as a result. This can be even worse than the symptoms themselves.

Across the Pond developed the creative and produced a series of online films, TV and radio commercials and print for Time to Change’s new campaign for 2014, with it’s focus being on the small things you can do to support someone experiencing a mental health problem. Whether that’s sending a text, chatting over a cuppa, giving them a call to find out how they are or inviting them out, for example, all these are small things that show you’re there for someone and can really make a difference.

The campaign shows that anyone can experience a mental health problem, reduces the discomfort and awkwardness in talking about mental health and gives people the tools to help them feel able to support friends, family and colleagues affected by mental health problems.

Everyone featured in the campaign has either had personal experience of mental health problems or been there to support a friend, colleague or loved one with their mental health by doing the little things.

You can help to get the nation talking by:

* Sharing the new TV advert with your friends, family and colleagues
* Signing the pledge wall and sharing online
* Taking part in Time to Talk Day on 6th February
* Joining the conversation on Facebook or Twitter

We are extremely proud to have been involved with this project, like many, it’s a cause close to our hearts and we hope that this campaign helps people talk about their mental health issues with their friends, family and colleagues.

It’s Time to Talk. It’s Time to Change.


Client: Time to Change
Head of Social Marketing: Sarah Cohen
Social Marketing Officer: Victoria Judd

Media Agency: MediaCom
Director of Content: Thea Cole

Creative & Production Agency: Across the Pond
Head of Strategy: Robert Waddilove
Head of Production: Beki Gard
Creative: Dan Harrison & Jonny Watson
Creative Director: Oliver Dove
Director: Clare Price
Producer: Miketta Lane
Director of Photography: Katie Swain
Production Manager: Charlie Bettice
Location Manager: Ben MacGregor
Post Producer: Sarah Antrobus
Editor: Xavier Perkins
Audio: Rich Martin
TK: Vicki Matich
Producer: Aaron Hutchinson
Designer: Tom Kilburn

Print Campaign

John Hegarty on Creativity

Posted on Feb 2, 2014

Great list to refer back to be more creative…

1 Be fearless – be single minded in the face of opposition

2 Keep it simple – don’t try to say or do too many things at once

3 Stop thinking, start feeling -creativity is driven by the heart, we respond more to emotions than logic

4 Get angry – channel the things that annoy/upset you into more creative tasks rather than getting stressed

5 Juxtaposition – don’t be afraid to place two things next to one another that wouldn’t normally sit together – even in your head

6 When the world zigs, zag –
look in the opposite direction to everyone else

7 Avoid cynics – they drain your
confidence – see number one

8 Ask Why? a lot – question everything like a child

9 Philosophy – always be looking, thinking, watching. Absorb everything around you

10 Remove your headphones! – don’t cut yourself off from your environment.

The book is out on the 10 March 2014.

Hegarty on Creativity: There are No Rules

A homage to Braun

Posted on Dec 1, 2013


One of many beautiful posters from this site.
All designed to promote a cool exhibition of Dieter Rams’ infamous industrial design work.
Loads more info in this great Creative Review blogpost.

Looking forward to going myself.

Systems is open until December 31 at the Walter Knoll London showroom, 42 Charterhouse Square, EC1M 6EA.

Mac Pro

Posted on Oct 28, 2013

I just can’t wait to test one of these bad boys out, and is there a man made product out there that has such a beautiful production process?

Honda – Illusions

Posted on Oct 28, 2013

Nice to see such a beautifully crafted commercial now and again.

Tim & Eric Halloween Special

Posted on Oct 28, 2013

Something to look forward to…

Apple – Intention

Posted on Jun 14, 2013

Love this.

High octane POV music vid

Posted on Apr 11, 2013

Biting Elbows – ‘Bad Motherfucker’ (Insane Office Escape 2)

Really love the energy in this film, and it’s really well done (nearly said executed, but thought it might come off as a lame pun). It’s like a cross between GTA, Doom and those mental ‘Crank’ films.
Also with good use of locations and a small budget it’s a really impressive little video. It’s almost a calling card for Hollywood. Nic Cage could be in this guys next film…

Bob Gill: a life less ordinary

Posted on Apr 6, 2013


“If you’re designing a logo for a dry cleaners, don’t sit at your computer, go to a dry cleaners!”

Sounds like OFFSET in Dublin was a really cool event. This talk sounded particularly inspiring, with great ideas on how to work.

How marbles are made

Posted on Apr 5, 2013

Saw this on Reddit this week – really cute little video (upbeat music, no?!).
Amazing how much work goes into it, great craftsmanship.

40 years of mobile phones

Posted on Apr 3, 2013

As it’s been 40 years since the worlds first mobile phone call, I thought I’d re-link to a mental post I did almost a year ago, which listed all the phones I’ve owned. My prediction for the next iPhone (5) was right, and I’m on course to get the 5S version, likely a speed bump to the sexy new (and seemingly super scratch prone) iPhone 5 design, later this year….



Posted on Apr 1, 2013

Just saw this beaut of a caddy on Kickstarter, it can hold your phone, pens and stuff. It’s made out of bamboo and looks damn good. It’s already reached it’s target, so no need to back, but when it goes on sale I’ll be ordering.


Cool stop motion brewery tour

Posted on Mar 31, 2013

Beautifully produced stop motion for Brooklyn Brewery, with hints of slo-mo and motion design in there too. (Shame that beer isn’t that great).

A behind the scenes is on the link below too.

Brace yourselves….

Posted on Mar 31, 2013


Cool beer packaging

Posted on Mar 31, 2013

I saw this linked from Coudal Partners, and really loved some of the designs, especially this one from Nelson —>


Upon looking into this beer brand (as I’d never seen or heard or it) it’s actually a brand from Fosters, the drink fondly referred to as cat’s piss in the UK. This is quite different from Fosters (in design anyway). This page, from the designers of Nelson’s branding, Taboo, really shows off some awesome design work.

I’m especially interested in beer packaging at the moment, as my brother-in-law is contemplating a micro-brewery and we’re talking about product names and branding. I’d love to go down this route, imagine how you’d savour that beer! Now, pass me an ice cold Pale Ale.


Manliest Fight Ever

Posted on Mar 31, 2013

Just saw this on Reddit, insane fight. Amazed they could keep the ferocity of the punches going for so long. Apart from one guys face looking like a pillow at the end of it, they both must have been exhausted. Special note on the music too, excellent choice by the editor there.