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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.


How useful is the introduction of Snapchat Memories for brands?

How useful is the introduction of Snapchat Memories for brands?

Snapchat recently introduced its Memories function to the photo messaging app. Users are now able to create and save snaps and albums. One key feature is that you will be able to log memories and not just from new snaps. People can now compile retrospective memories from existing saved snaps and camera roll images. This update signals the next chapter in Snapchat’s evolution moving away from the short-lived disappearing image messages and giving users a wider choice of content posting formats.


The big plus for brands on Snapchat is that Memories allows you, for the first time, to access your camera roll, and use a wealth of existing content. Over the past few weeks we’ve found it especially useful for sustaining momentum after a big brand event and getting more value from the exclusive images and video captured there. Telling a behind the scenes story after people have seen the end result often has more impact and gives much more flexibility in how and when you distribute content before, during and after a special event or campaign. With Memories, brands can present any relevant existing content or plan out future opportunities rather than having to dedicate time to creating content solely via the app, a great step in broadening the scope of content that brands can present to their audiences.

Interested in understanding more about Snapchat for brands? Have a look at our recent campaign with the Scottish Youth Parliament where we ran Snapchat geo-filter ads to target young people.

Feeling GINspired at the Drinks Roadshow Edinburgh

Feeling GINspired at the Drinks Roadshow Edinburgh

The Drinks Roadshow hit Edinburgh last week – bringing a free trade tasting and networking event to Checkpoint, Bristo Place.

It was a great chance to mix with the industry and sample a neat range of wines, craft beers and premium spirits.  This included some of the newest Scottish gins making their mark in the market from Edinburgh’s Ian Macleod to Porter’s Gin in Aberdeen and Makar Glasgow Gin to Strathearn from Perthshire.

As a gin fan and a comms professional, I really enjoyed hearing about their products – all had an interesting story to share around how their gin was brought to life. And, clearly they all have a secret botanical recipe behind their unique flavours and character.

A gin masterclass with the Gin Foundry’s Olivier Ward on the day helped lift my knowledge in this area too. Thanks to his accomplished expertise on the Juniper based nectar and his innovative Tasting Wheel – he had my fellow Stripe and I tasting gin like a pro. Post-sesh we could decipher the nutty from the herbaceous and wax lyrical to all about locating the botanical notes.

It also opened my palate to the realisation that I don’t always have to drown my gin in Fever Tree or Fentimans – just a splash or on the rocks will often do nicely. Strathearn’s Oaked Highland Gin in particular stood out here – described as being ‘whisky meets gin’ it’s a great after dinner affair. While Makar Glasgow Gin’s simple serving suggestion of adding a slice of chilli with tonic was, for me, the perfect combination.

After a lot of debate, tasting and discussion, what I left feeling most excited about was the realisation that the ‘Gin revival’ is not showing any signs of slowing down. Gin now contributes £1.6bn to the UK economy – with seventy per cent of this being produced here in Scotland.  What’s more, it seems we’ve become a nation of gin drinkers – apparently we drank a million litres of gin in Scotland last year with Edinburgh drinking more than any other city!

A recent Mintel report has also shown that it’s younger consumers who are really starting to drive growth in this category.  More than two in five (42%) Brits aged 18-34 had drunk gin last year compared with 27% of over-45s.

The younger audience aren’t just drinking it either – some are having a go at crafting it too. It’s three friends from up North that are behind Porter’s Gin. The entrepreneurial trio became the first to start distilling gin in Aberdeen for 100 years, after collaborating with the UK’s oldest distillers G&J to bring their premium gin to the market.  While Luke Smith, a distiller for Poetic License – a Sunderland based gin –  told us how he started distilling gin in his kitchen before venturing into crafting it for a living.

With so much passion behind the craft, it’s easy to see why there are so many exciting gins being produced right across the country. While the gin bubble isn’t ready to pop, it seems like a week doesn’t go by without another new launch to market.

For gin fans everywhere, this makes for an exciting time.  But for the ever-growing range of artisan and craft brands it simply means more competition in an already busy marketplace. Working hard to achieve standout and gain an edge while staying true to their craft nature will therefore be key to maintaining growth and driving sales.  The versatility of this spirit and its appeal to a broad range of audiences presents a huge opportunity however, to drive even more ‘gin-novation’ and forge a strong brand image that really connects with consumers.

Check out this Scottish Ginfographic map from too – a worthy road trip, I reckon.

5pm Gin Map of Scotland





The Power of the Podcast

The Power of the Podcast

If you’re like me and spent Christmas 2014 binge-listening to the dramatic podcast, Serial, then I’m sure you’ll have heard the exciting news! That’s right – Adnan Syed, the subject of the podcast, was last week granted a new trial, which could potentially see the overturning of his 1999 murder conviction.

For those of you who aren’t part of the Serial world, what’s really unique about this story is that what led to the dramatic turn in events was unquestionably the power of the podcast.

Podcasts are by no means a new medium. People have been recording and streaming audio content since the start of the century and the birth of the Apple iPod. While outlets such as The BBC and The Guardian published and promoted a range of podcasts, supplementing their everyday content, for the last decade the medium remained reasonably niche – we all had the podcast app icon on our iPhone, but probably utilised it about as much as we do the stocks app.

Everything changed with the arrival of Serial in 2014. Over twelve tantalising weeks, former journalist Sarah Koenig shared intriguing puzzle pieces of the story of Adnan and the 1999 murder of his high school girlfriend, Hae Min Li, of which he was convicted aged 17.  Koenig’s masterful storytelling reeled in a worldwide audience of millions. She remained impartial, presenting both sides of the argument, telling the story through muffled calls to Adnan in prison, excerpts from his murder trial and eerie visits to the crime scene.

Serial confirmed the potential of the podcast as a medium. Both entertaining and intriguing, the story translated seamlessly onto social media, creating a global conversation and a movement to #FreeAdnan.

The podcast gave Koenig a platform to compose a riveting piece of investigative journalism, the likes of which is often marginalised in today’s newspapers. Serial engaged with massive social media audiences and had a clear real-world impact, which poses the question – are podcasts the future of journalism?

Podcasts are cost-effective and give creators ample time and space to explore subjects they are passionate about, speaking to an ever-growing audience. There has already been a slew of new podcasts following the Serial format. A recent personal favourite is the UK podcast Untold: Murder. Endorsed by none other than Hugh Grant, the podcast explores the as yet unsolved murder in 1987 of private investigator, Daniel Morgan, and calls for listeners to share their own information and theories online – taking the essence of Crime Watch into the 21st century.

Podcasts are also creating a new space where marginalised groups can have their voices heard. Several feminist podcasts are currently among the most popular in the UK charts including The Guardian’s What would a Feminist do? and Emma Gannon’s Ctrl, Alt, Delete. Through their podcasts, these hosts are creating a space for feminist discussion and directly engaging with their audience.

So while some people might think podcasts are a thing of the past, just like the iPods that spawned them, they have been evolving both in terms of content and reach. Check out your podcasts app and you’ll find a podcast for everything from sports and movies to politics and economics. There’s also lots of fun to be found through the podcasts, with many comedians taking to the medium, such as the hilarious My Dad Wrote a Porno and The Adam Buxton Podcast.

Podcasts present an untapped resource to the communications world, with opportunities for professionals like us to engage with produces, pitch interviews and set up brand partnerships.

Half of podcast listeners are aged 12-34 and 54% are male. Therefore engaging with the shows they subscribe to will help the brands we represent engage with these typically hard to reach demographics. And with 92% of podcast listeners active on social media, the opportunities are huge.

If the podcast has the power to potentially free a man from prison, then just think of the possibilities it has for brands.