Christmas ads are fast becoming a staple of the festive build up, with the public waiting in anticipation for their launch to firmly mark the start of the festive season.

The popularity of Christmas adverts has become almost unavoidable with everyone keen to give their opinion of the best/worst ad of the year – or remind us of a classic that won’t be beaten!

This year, some of the RH team have been drafted in to give us their review of the Christmas ads submitted by the big names, introducing Geoff, RH Creative Director, Client Director, Mitch, Dawn our Studio Manager and Digital Executive Eleanor.

First things first, it’s John Lewis’ 2017 attempt:

Geoff: Seems very familiar as if we’re going over the same tired ground as before. Plaintive cover version – check. Cute kid with very active fantasy life – check. Cuddly toy merch spin off – check. 5/10

Mitch: Underwhelmed by John Lewis this year, felt like it was geared around selling monster merchandise rather than the take away message. Elbow definitely the best element.  6/10

Dawn: Great, different theme that held my attention from start to finish – message, know your child’s wishes at Xmas ;-) 8/10

Eleanor: Not sure I am fully on board with the storyline this year. Quite disappointing and I was no where near crying – I expect more John Lewis! 5/10

Next up we’ve got Sainsbury’s, who has achieved the most viewed Christmas advert to date with Mog’s Christmas Calamity in 2015 – racking up over 37 million Views!

Geoff: Nicely art directed featuring real people, but overall, I was left feeling a little confused. 3/10

Mitch: More original and ‘real life’, will definitely resonate with audiences. Also very clever with the Karaoke version, will surely go viral.  8/10

Dawn: What the flipperty giblets was that? Too fast to follow and looks amateurish. 3/10 for Ricky Tomlinson’s contribution.

Eleanor: It’s bearable if you listen to it without the sound… 5/10

This year, Debenhams gave us a modern day love story…

Geoff: Cinderella reimagined by Richard Curtis. Nice trailer for a feature film but what’s it got to do with Debenhams? 6/10

Mitch: Nicely produced love story but could be an ad for anytime of the year, not massively festive. What’s McGregor doing in there??! Doesn’t add anything and surely doesn’t need the cash!  6.5/10

Dawn: Pure cheese, I literally felt a bit sick when they kissed! 5/10

Eleanor: I really like this – but it may be just Ewan McGregor’s narration that has hooked me in! 8/10

Marks & Spencer brought Paddington Bear into the mix

Geoff: Paddington does sterling work in promoting the idea of Christmas as a time for good will to all men – even burglars! 7

Mitch: I get angry with lazy advertising, like Halifax crowbarring in classic cartoon characters (scooby doo etc) for the nostalgia effect. Come up with your own ideas! M&S have seemingly done the same and are piggy backing on Paddington’s popularity and not being original.  4/10

Dawn: Marmalade is an all too forgotten treat – sweet ad, nicely done, no expense spared, again entertained me from beginning to end. 9/10

Eleanor: This is cute – love the storyline and use of Paddington Bear in this one! 8/10

Tesco heads down the ‘Everyone’s Welcome’ route for 2017

Geoff: Tesco offers up a slice of inclusiveness that showcases their turkey offering. Tasty. 7

Mitch: Sometimes just keeping things simple works best. The Turkey, the centre piece for Christmas table – and real people doing what we all do – argue, eat and be happy!  8.5/10

Dawn: Much more realistic – but why would we want a preview of the horrors of Xmas day – I prefer a bit of fantasy, especially around Christmas :) 4/10

Eleanor: Bit more of a realistic representation of Christmas Day making it relatable! 7/10

Finally, we come to Asda

Geoff: Wes Anderson meets Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. 6/10

Mitch: What’s going on here?! its fine but I’m not taking anything from it! Fleetwood Mac the best bit.  5/10

Dawn: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory revamped into a Christmas ad! 6/10

Eleanor: Meh, it’s ok… 5/10

So there we have it, the great RH Christmas ad review is over.

The winner? It’s a mixed bag but Aldi and Kevin the Carrot could have just edged it! 

Come back in 2018 for the next installment!

To cap off a year of successes and significant growth, RH has been placed within The Drum’s coveted Top 100 Independent Agency list for 2017!

As well as making it into the 2017 Top 100, RH also secured the top spot nationally the Turnover Per Head category amongst SMEs (1-25 staff). The award follows a string of good news for RH, including three RAR Digital nominations earlier this year and achieving Google Premier Partner status in the last 12 months.

The Top 100 is the cherry on the cake for RH in 2017, which has seen the agency consolidate its specialism in the Education and Local Government sector adding some major new client wins including the University of Huddersfield, the University of Plymouth International School, University Centre Somerset and Hampshire County Council.

“It’s been a particularly impressive year for RH”, said Paul Ridgers, Managing Director, “we’ve got a highly talented team whose creativity, innovation and sheer hard work has been rewarded with some significant client wins as well as expansion of our existing client activity”.

“Our digital activity has increased exponentially and we have also seen growth in traditional media as well. In the age of digital and media-only agencies, RH are becoming almost unique as a truly through the line full service communications agency. It’s fantastic for our expertise to be rewarded by the Drum’s prestigious Top 100 recognition”.

New clients and a continual drive to innovate across digital channels has meant that the RH team has expanded in 2017.

“The South West is increasingly recognised as one of the best places in the UK in terms of digital innovation so it’s brilliant to be able to attract more talent to the area to work on exciting national and international projects,” said Tom Ritchie, Head of Digital.

“It’s been a particularly busy and exciting time in our 40-year history!”

With turnover planned to exceed £6m this financial year and impressive pitch win percentage, the future is looking bright for an agency established in Exeter way back in 1976.

After designing the branding, and producing a launch campaign, for the new University Centre Somerset, we were delighted to be asked to provide ideas for the interior of the new university building itself.

With a brief to provide a stimulating, engaging and fun environment for both students and staff, we designed bespoke wall graphics that highlighted key facts about the courses and subjects. On larger walls, we show-cased students and student life in Somerset with impactful floor to ceiling photography. This is just the first stage of an ongoing project.

    

Want to know how to reduce your food waste? Our latest campaign with Recycle Devon can help you do just that!

To encourage residents in Devon to reduce food waste by making the most out of their fridge or freezer, RH is running an incentivised campaign where residents have the opportunity to receive a Free Love Food Hate Waste box full of helpful tools, tips and tricks on how to prevent food waste by solving an interactive puzzle.

This bespoke puzzle can be solved by clicking on the tiles, which contain imagery of regularly stored food items, and sliding them into the correct order they should be stored in the fridge. Not only is the puzzle informative but it also provides an additional opportunity for measurable engagement, which can be utilised by Recycle Devon to calculate the approx. tonnage of food being removed from the waste disposal system.

The campaign features three short films rewinding the decaying of potatoes, strawberries and bread and enjoys a cross-channel approach, using a combination of radio, strategically placed 6 sheets in the county as well as digital activity to encourage the residents to try and solve the “Big Chill challenge” and save a massive £700 a year.

The campaign is running until the end of October so why not visit Recycle Devon and tell food waste where to go!

Weston Park, the beautiful stately home and gardens on the Shropshire, Staffordshire border is perhaps best known for hosting the V-Festival and prestigious events like the G8 Leader’s Conference.

But there’s much more to it than that: weddings, parties, corporate events, family days out, art exhibitions and fantastic local food and drink.

With everything Weston Park offers a new website was needed, to properly showcase this unique property.

After already working with Weston on promotional print pieces, we were pleased to be given the brief to design and build the new site.

In answer, we have produced an image led site, featuring new photography, that is both aspirational and engaging with much more emphasis on social media.

Take a look at it for yourself www.weston-park.com

The youth market are notoriously hard to reach and engage and are ever-becoming more suspicious of advertising.

Recently, SnapChat opened its doors to advertisers of all sizes with new self-service buying tools

The leaves are changing! Summer is gone and it’s now time to discover autumn in all its glory. We’ve launched a brilliant campaign to attract short-break visitors to Wiltshire in the autumn period.

A combination of Paid Search, Google Display, Facebook and Instagram have been used to attract the short break / short stay market by showcasing the wide-range of accommodation and activities in Wiltshire – Home Of Timeless Experiences.

The campaign borrows Visit Wiltshire’s ‘Timeless’ branding, targeting families, art and history lovers and outdoor enthusiasts who can book a getaway during term time and focuses upon securing high-quality traffic to Visit Wiltshire’s site to search and book accommodation for a well-deserved autumn short break.

Video – comprising Youtube, Facebook and Instagram, has been used to help provide an insight into the wondrous and spectacular views that you could wake up to this autumn.

It’s safe to see why Wiltshire has been a special place for such a long time!

RH Launches Somerset & Exmoor Summer Campaign

RH has been tasked with helping attract visitors to Somerset and surrounding areas during the high (noon) season summer months. In-order-to achieve this RH has utilised digital and offline campaigns including a short video centrepiece showcasing the unspoilt beauty of this area and the vast range of activities and things to do when you spend your summer holiday in the ‘Wild West’: Riding, climbing, rambling, swimming and more!

You can watch the video on YouTube here 

The digital campaign is targeted at younger families and active enthusiasts who are looking to take a holiday during the summer. RH has embraced social advertising to reach these audiences on channels including Facebook and Twitter. In addition to social campaigning, programmatic search and display advertising (including Youtube) has been used to target these audiences whilst they are researching summer holidays and browsing online to drive them to the Visit Somerset website where they can find out more information and plan their adventure.

Somerset & Exmoor Once upon a time in the west

Rail 6 sheet posters formed the offline campaign and these were placed at key rail station locations to drive awareness and showcase the beauty of Somerset & Exmoor through vibrant and eye-catching imagery in-keeping with the Wild West theme.

Geoff Dodd, Creative Director at RH, said of filming the video ‘When someone asks, ‘what did you do at work today?’ and your answer includes, mountain biking on the Quantocks, climbing in Cheddar Gorge, road biking around Glastonbury and wild swimming on Exmoor, you know it’s been a good day at the office.’

Instagram, your favourite photo-sharing, filter-selecting, aspirational food-filled social platform has seen huge growth in the past 12 months.

From Instagram Stories to Boomerang and Instagram Live Video, the platform has rolled out more than 20 new features within the last year encouraging more users to engage and produce photo and video content.

And it seems that these new features are pulling in the crowds.

Most recently Instagram reported that there are now 15 million business profiles creating content to share within their communities whether organically or as a paid advert.

Back in March, the platform announced that there were one million active monthly advertisers up from 200,000 the previous year. What’s more, it seems that users are receptive to this advertising with over 120 million Instagrammers reported to have visited a website, received directions, called, emailed or direct-messaged to learn more about a business.

Instagram Stories has grown from strength to strength, with well over 200 million users now using the feature on a daily basis.

With the addition of richer content and more chances to engage, it is not surprising that users are now spending more time on Instagram too. Those under 25 spend more than 32 minutes a day on Instagram, on average, whilst those 25 and older are spending more than 24 minutes of their day on the platform.

As users turn to richer content we can expect to see the platform grow further, so what better a way to reach your target audience than introducing some Instagram advertising into your digital strategy. Get in touch today and find out how we can help you.

Want the chance to win a limited edition Red Arrows themed Aston Martin? Well you’re in luck.

Aston Martin Cambridge have commissioned 10 limited edition Red Arrows themed Aston Martin Vanquish S cars from Aston Martin of which 9 are up for purchase. But the 10th and final car, aptly named Red 10, has been donated to the RAF Benevolent Fund who are offering you the chance to win the car as part of their raffle.

With all proceeds of the raffle going to the RAF Benevolent Fund, the campaign has already received support from the likes of Judy Dench, Jodie Kidd and automotive YouTuber Shmee150.

And RH are supporting this campaign by helping to advertise it digitally by carving out three distinct target audiences that include car enthusiasts, aviation enthusiasts and charity supporters.

The campaign is running across a hoard of platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Gmail, Display & PPC in a multitude of ad formats.

Paul Ridgers, Managing Director of RH Partners, says of the campaign:
“RH are proud to be working with two of the most quintessential British Brands, the RAF Benevolent Fund and Aston Martin on what is a particularly exciting and worthwhile campaign.”

Tickets for the raffle can be purchased here and cost £20 each. The raffle runs until 1st December 2017 and the winning ticket will be drawn on 8th December. Good luck!

Make sure to tweet a photo of the car using #AstonRed10 if you see it out and about!