Blog : London

Most exciting job on earth? Experienced community manager sought!

Most exciting job on earth? Experienced community manager sought!

We are looking for an experienced, passionate and ambitious community manager to work closely with one of our exciting clients based in London. With an international audience, the role will involve on and offline activity, content creation, influencer management, proactive and reactive social posting, tackling multiple brands and channels simultaneously and everything that comes with that responsibility.

You will be energetic, outgoing, have a love for all things entertainment and showbiz as well as the ability to work in a fast paced culture, but in an organised way. With a solid understanding of how brands use social channels, how they should operate in the social space and the ability to lead an account from planning, delivery through to reporting and analysis, you’ll deliver innovatively and effectively.

If you are curious and creative, with amazing communication skills and a major love of the Mail Online’s sidebar of shame, send your CV and links to your work to talent@stripecommunications.com.

Location: London
Ideal start date: ASAP

Trump embassy visit: Using fake news to make news

Trump embassy visit: Using fake news to make news

On Friday 12 January, the world woke up to the news President Trump had cancelled his visit to the UK, originally scheduled for February, citing the US embassy in London as his reason for the change of plan.

For many, it was just another ill-advised tweet from Trump. For us, it turned into the perfect newsjacking opportunity, putting Madame Tussauds London front and centre of the international news agenda and giving the people of Britain what they were promised – Trump.

As other people began arriving at their desks, we’d already pitched the idea of taking Donald Trump’s wax figure to the US Embassy. Whilst domestic and international media descended on the London Embassy, we would bring them what they really wanted – the most infamous man in global politics.

The first call was to our friends at the Press Association, to validate they’d be interested and to package our content. Was it something they’d be interested in? Obviously! Next, the amazing Madame Tussauds PR team sprang into action, getting Donald’s figure out of the world-famous attraction and ready for his moment in the spotlight with only a moments notice. There’s nothing better than a client that works fast and shares your vision, just as determined to make it happen as we were.

As we arrived at the now infamous (and amazing!) US Embassy we were greeted by the world’s media. Our number one priority was to protect the wax figure, then to give everyone the shot they wanted when we were ready for them. Not easy surrounded by over 100 people. In fact, before we’d even had the chance to fully unveil the uncanny likeness, photographers were snapping and members of the public were trying to capture their selfie.

We stayed outside the embassy for 30 minutes – in that time we did live broadcasts with BBC and Sky News, we facilitated interviews with Washington Post, CNN and Al Jazeera and we dealt with the courteous Metropolitan Police who had been notified of the media scrum. We drafted media comments, quotes and news alerts within the space of 20 minutes.

CNN Trump Tweet Madame Tussauds Stripe

While we were busy working to finalise the stunt, a social media storm was taking place. Our content was being shared by major news outlets, publishers, celebrities and influencers across

Trump madame tussauds wax work Stripethe globe. And all of it positive, congratulating Madame Tussauds London for their wit, satire and speed of reaction to deliver this moment. Highlights included CNN, Mashable, Sophia Bush and The Poke. Then came the Twitter Moment, a personal career highlight!

Brands clamour to create newsjacking opportunities but few succeed and only a handful have succeeded to this scale. Four words define successful newsjacking: Relevance. Timeliness. Simplicity. Distribution. We take for granted that this was a simple activity to execute, but its simplicity is only driven by a well tuned and tried and tested approach to capitalise on these moments when they arrive. Use the media to craft your story, don’t second-guess them. Build strong relationships so that they become a sounding board to deliver them what they need, how they need it.

Madame Tussauds London was featured on the six o’clock news across BBC, Channel 4 News, ITV and Sky News, was covered internationally on CNN and Al Jazeera – as well as securing front page of Saturday’s The Times. Despite this, it was the social content, both earned and owned, that delivered above and beyond what we had hoped for.

How often are we asked to make something go viral? Well, this time we did it. With over 24,450 online mentions and over 27m impressions within a 48hour period, it may have been a bad day for Trump, but it was a good day for Stripe and a GREAT day for Madame Tussauds London.

To the Wildlands and back

To the Wildlands and back

“Let’s make a feature length documentary on the war on drugs and release it alongside the launch of the video game.” When I sit on my sofa with my laptop and write that it sounds easy.

A couple of points to note. We had never made a feature length documentary film. We knew nothing about film distribution. We had a great idea but no idea on how to translate that into something you could sit and watch on a Saturday night.

This week, Wildlands premiers on iTunes and Amazon Prime, followed by GooglePlay, and following an international film premiere at BAFTA. It’s still hard to believe we dared to achieve that.

The term branded entertainment content covers a multitude of sins. Some examples in our industry barely doing those three words justice, some genuinely making a step towards how brands can create meaningful connections to their consumer.

Ubisoft – one of our founding clients in London and one for whom has defined for me, a collaborative partnership, visionary marketeers and a true desire to innovate in a dynamic and fiercely competitive category – tasked us to launch Ghost Recon Wildlands, a video game exploring a fictional narrative of Bolivia in the grips of a drug war and on the cusp of becoming a narco state.

From this brief, we recognised the opportunity to harness global interest in a morbidly entertaining subject matter and create a companion documentary to enable real life comparisons with a fictional video game world, realised from the stories of those who shaped it in Wildlands, the documentary.

The journey to make Wildlands was like going horse riding for the first time and they hand you Desert Orchid. It bolts off at 100 miles an hour and you hope you have the courage, desire, concentration and instincts to finish the race. It turned out we won the race. Wildlands won a D&AD pencil at this years’ awards, followed by a Silver Award at the Clio awards for Branded Content. We hope many more will follow.

We travelled to the slums of Medellin, the coca fields of Bolivia, and small-town America to discover the stories of those who have shaped the war on drugs from both sides of the law. Our real-life characters mirrored to and characterised in a video game. We created branded entertainment content to accompany, celebrate and elevate our clients’ entertainment product – what we achieved was genuinely innovative and won critical acclaim from a notoriously cynical industry.

We hope you enjoy the film (and buy the game).

Craving experiences

Craving experiences

Last month, Madame Tussauds London launched Alien: Escape, a terrifying multi-sensory experience, developed with one of the most genius creative companies in the world – Creatures Inc. When we first began working on Alien: Escape, I didn’t know what to expect. Isn’t that the beauty of working in PR though? You start a project with no previous knowledge and by the end you’re an absolute pro – whether it’s a video game, a food product, a documentary, or an experience inspired by a popular film franchise.

Alien: Escape is a multi-sensory experience, which follows the release of the critically acclaimed blockbuster film, Alien: Covenant and challenges guests to navigate a trail of blood, gore, chaos and danger. The mission is simple: Run. Survive. Escape. It is also the most terrifying experience Madame Tussauds has ever worked on, with a recommended age of 15+. If you don’t believe us, you can see how terrifying our celebrities rated it at the launch event.

Madame Tussauds London introduces Alien Escape
Michael Fassbender Alien Covenant

But why do we need them? Are we craving new experiences more than ever before meaning that we no longer need material belongings? Not really. In my opinion, we are still very much a commodity focused society. We love our products and we definitely like to show off with them even if we don’t admit it.

And because we love our products so much, they have been made much more accessible for us. In Western societies, it seems almost unreal to own an iPhone with a model starting below the number 5. No really, who has iPhone 4 anymore? The market is overly saturated and since we all use similar brands and products, we have changed the focus and become much more ‘spiritual’. We’re frantically looking for things to do, because we have everything.

Certain brands have realised this social trend and have adapted accordingly. Snapchat and Instagram are all about experiences – capturing places, people and things we have seen. Facebook has added a permanent “Feeling (happy, excited, tired, sad etc.)” to our status updates.

Any forward thinking brand that seeks leadership in its sector has to realise the potential in triggering some sort of emotion – whether this would be comfort, loyalty, excitement or fear. Madame Tussauds London has definitely raised the bar with getting its audience to show fear with their horrific new Alien: Escape.

SEA LIFE LONDON AQUARIUM APPOINTS STRIPE COMMUNICATIONS TO LAUNCH NEW ‘OCEAN INVADERS’

SEA LIFE LONDON AQUARIUM APPOINTS STRIPE COMMUNICATIONS TO LAUNCH NEW ‘OCEAN INVADERS’

We are excited to announce that Stripe Communications has been appointed as the retained PR agency to launch SEA LIFE London Aquarium’s brand new attraction ‘Ocean Invaders: Enter the world of the Jellies’ which is due to open for Easter 2017.

The 12-month project brief will see Stripe deliver creative PR communications plans supporting the announcement, launch and ongoing creative ideas for its latest stunning attraction. The selection follows Stripe’s recent appointment by Madame Tussauds London as their retained agency after winning another competitive pitch earlier in the year.

The Stripe London team will be managing the account and working with Merlin Entertainments London attractions marketing and PR team with work already well underway.

Chloe Couchman, Head of PR for Merlin Entertainments London Attractions, said, “Stripe have demonstrated a quality of creative thinking that will deliver real impact supporting our latest exciting experience. The team demonstrated a strong understanding of our core audience and the London attraction landscape as well as passion and drive to create memorable moments to give our attraction stand out in a highly competitive market.”

Chris Stevenson, Stripe Communications Managing Director said, “It is a privilege to work with SEA LIFE London Aquarium and a Marketing and PR team with the vision and ambition to deliver highly creative and innovative work. We are also delighted to extend our relationship with Merlin Entertainments London Group. With such fantastic attractions to work with, we expect to deliver outstanding memorable moments for them in the months ahead, driving London tourists into these wonderful attractions during key sales periods.”

Stripe’s London office is headed up by Managing Director, Chris Stevenson, who joined Stripe in January 2016 and has overseen the rapid growth of the agency’s client roster which now includes prominent national and international brands such as Ubisoft, Madame Tussauds London and Paddy Power.

UBISOFT UK APPOINTS STRIPE FOR CONSUMER AND CORPORATE PR BRIEF

UBISOFT UK APPOINTS STRIPE FOR CONSUMER AND CORPORATE PR BRIEF

We are delighted to announce that we’ve been appointed by Ubisoft UK as the retained agency for its consumer and corporate PR, working alongside the in-house PR team. Our brief is to deliver creative PR communications plans supporting all of Ubisoft’s major video game launches in the UK including Ghost Recon: Wildlands, Watch_Dogs 2 and South Park: The Fractured But Whole. In addition to this, we’ll support the French video games giant with corporate positioning and issues management in the UK.

Ubisoft logoThe account will be managed by our London office and will report in to the Ubisoft UK marketing and PR team with work having commenced from June 2016.

Mark Slaughter, Ubisoft UK Marketing Director, said, “Stripe have demonstrated a quality of creative thinking that will deliver real impact to our national campaigns this year. The team showed strength in that they could not only deliver great product campaigns but also help us realise our ambition to be recognised as one of the world’s leading entertainment brands.”

Stripe’s London office is headed up by Managing Director, Chris Stevenson, who joined in January 2016 and has overseen the rapid growth of the agencies client roster which includes Magners, Paddy Power and now Ubisoft.

 

A new Stripe force in London

A new Stripe force in London

It’s official… We’re excited to announce the opening of our new London office and the appointment of Chris Stevenson as our London MD.

Chris joins us from Emanate and over his career has worked with some of the most respected agencies and exciting brands to deliver PR, digital and communications strategies for clients across consumer tech, entertainment, FMCG and sports. He brings his expertise and innovative thinking to lead the business and nurture and grow our reputation in London.

But that’s not all we’ve been up to, as we continue to develop our strategic, creative and digital offering. We’re excited to announce that we have three further new senior players to add to our team.

Anna Russell, former General Manager, Brand Marketing at Audi of America has joined us as Director of Strategy. Anna will be expanding Stripe’s strategic and creative services and continuing the digital evolution of the agency.

Lesley Morton was part of the original start-up team at Stripe and returns as Head of Brand Entertainment. For the last four years she has been working on global brand campaigns and brings communication specialisms across music, arts, film & TV from her previous role as head of the Music & Entertainment team at CSM Sport & Entertainment.

And last but not least, we announce Hilary Joiner as our new Creative Director. With 20 years’ experience in both traditional and digital arenas, Hilary will be responsible for developing and delivering Stripe’s creative capabilities and ensuring that great ideas continue to be a part of our DNA.

We’re kicking off 2016 as we mean to go on. It’s our tenth year and we’re as ambitious now as we’ve ever been. The demand from our clients for integrated communications continues to grow and at Stripe we’re committed to innovating and differentiating our business.

Watch this space…

Two days of daylight with VELUX

Two days of daylight with VELUX

Three Edinburgh Stripes packed their bags and headed south last week all in the name of daylight. No, we weren’t just fed-up with the dreich Scottish ‘summer’, we were off to attend VELUX’s 6th Daylight Symposium.

Tobacco Dock, East London
The biennial, two-day event brought together over 350 people from across the globe to discuss and debate.

I know what you’re thinking – how could you possibly discuss daylight for two whole days. From health, to architecture, to learning, to sleeping patterns, to nature, the lists goes on. Daylight influences and plays a role in everything we do.

Tobacco Dock Interior
Experts in architecture, design, engineering and building congregated in the Tobacco Dock – one of the most Instagram-able buildings in East London – to hear 35 daylight themed lectures.

Having set up in a seat in the back row, team Stripe unpacked all manner of cameras, Dictaphones, videocameras, notebooks and laptops and set to work. Amongst hosting media our job on the day was to man the social media channels. Four in total – Twitter and Instagram for VELUX UK & Ireland and Twitter and Instagram for The Daylight Project.

Flipping between all four, searching hashtags and scrolling through newsfeeds, we live tweeted during the talks. We had to be on the ball to draft instantaneous creative content. We pulled out nuggets of information and quotes from the speakers, overlaying them over stand-out pictures or did a quick Google search to source pictures of the buildings the speakers were talking about.

Trying to negotiate complex daylighting data into 140 characters was a bit of a challenge, but as the engagements rolled in I loved the buzz.

One of the many highlights for me was at dinner on the first night. We got chatting to a building surveyor from Holland who told us how excited he was that VELUX had retweeted him during one of the talks. There was a bit of a jazz hands moment as we owned up.

ScottishPower raising £5 million for Cancer Research UK

ScottishPower raising £5 million for Cancer Research UK

Last week some of the Stripes ventured down to London Town to help unveil a giant sculpture to celebrate ScottishPower raising £5 million for Cancer Research UK.

The sculpture – weighing almost 40 stone– was unveiled at 7am in central London to encourage people to recognise the fundraising efforts by ScottishPower to help Cancer Research UK develop newer, kinder treatments.

As word spread, plenty of people popped by to have their picture taken with the sculpture, and of course the lovely Dawn O’Porter, who helped to celebrate the £5 million milestone.

There might have also been an incident with a bird…