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Archive for the ‘Interesting, Weird and Wonderful’ Category

QR Codes

August 16th, 2011   By   Filed Under: Everyone, Interesting, Weird and Wonderful

My experience so far with QR codes has been disappointing. I just don’t seem to have seen one that has made me go ‘Wow!’ or been that breakthrough idea where they are really adding value or improving the customer experience.

A recent example comes from a poster I saw in London which I presume was advertising a band’s new album. I say ‘I presume’ as all that was there was the band’s name (which I have forgotten) and then a massive QR code which, in normal music marketing, would be replaced with a picture of the album cover or the band itself (the skinnier the jeans the better) with various comments and star ratings.

I rather cynically assumed that the brands marketer thought, “Hey, you know what? Mostly kids and teens like this band and they are cool and down with new tech, let’s just whack a great QR code on the poster and that will be ground breaking”. No it wasn’t in my opinion. I have no idea what band’s poster I am talking about, whether they have a new album or a new tour and I have no idea what message they were trying to spread other than “We’re not trying to talk to you”.


Lego Goes Experiential!

August 2nd, 2011   By   Filed Under: Everyone, Interesting, Weird and Wonderful

You all remember Lego Technic right?! I definitely do and personally speaking I was a bit of a dab hand at making planes! So it was great to see the brand brought to life through a recent experiential campaign.

The campaign invites fans of all ages to invent and build their own Extreme Machine using Lego Technic to win a range of prizes. A panel of judges from The Gadget Show, How It Works magazine and Lego Technic will pick winners based on style, function and imagination.

Harry Harrison of Lego Technic said: “With Lego Technic, the possibilities are endless, so we are asking people to run with their imagination and invent their ultimate ‘Extreme Machine’.

“It’ll be a lot of fun whether you’re five or 50. People can get involved either by coming along to the roadshow, or by building or drawing their own ‘Extreme Machines’ at home and uploading the image online at”

The Lego Technic Invent and Build Garage will be touring the country, stopping at Smyths toy stores, Center Parcs holiday destinations and Legoland locations until September. The tour will allow fans to use Lego Technic to build their own Extreme Machine. Models built on the day will be entered into the prize draw and participants will get the chance to win one of the extra daily event prizes.


The HR Director is the new Marketing Director

July 29th, 2011   By   Filed Under: Employers, Interesting, Weird and Wonderful, The Forum

 You can now watch Tom Fishburne’s full talk at this event here

As part of Dylan’s forum events we are welcoming Tom Fishburne (a.k.a The Marketoonist) from San Francisco. Tom will be giving a specialist talk on behalf of Dylan on how we are all responsible for setting a company’s culture and how essentially the HR department are the new Marketing department! Tom speaks regularly as the Marketoonist about creativity, marketing, and innovation, using his cartoons and marketing career to tell the story visually.  As Tom says, “If a picture tells a thousand words, a cartoon tells a thousand boring PowerPoint slides.”

In preparation for this special event, we spoke to Tom who had this to say:

“I am excited to share my take on how we are all responsible for setting the culture of the businesses where we work.  I speak frequently about marketing, but rarely about the crucial, but often overlooked role of recruiting in how a brand is marketed.

The big focus of my talk for Dylan is how the best brands and businesses “market from the inside out”.  We all work in marketing, no matter our functional expertise.  Everyone in the company has the ability to impact the brand, whether they work in accounts payable or marketing. That means that the HR Director is the new Marketing Director.  Recruitment is as important to how a brand is marketed as creating a marketing plan.

I’ll share a number of examples of homework assignments and other tactics that ensured that the right talent ended up on the team, as well as examples of how recruitment choices produced amazing marketing.”

Tom started drawing cartoons at Harvard Business School by doodling on the backs of business cases.  He later started Marketoonist to develop cartoon campaigns as a form of content marketing.  As example is a Unilever cartoon campaign for career planning.  Other campaigns were developed for Wall Street Journal Asia, Kimberly Clark, Kronos, and Motista.  Tom says, “cartoons have a superhuman ability to break through the clutter.  They thrive in social media, accelerate PR, and cut through email inboxes in a single bound.”

Before Marketoonist, Tom had a 15-year career in consumer marketing in the US and UK.  Most recently, he was VP at Method Products, the innovative home care brand, and he previously led brands at Nestle and General Mills.

We’re delighted to have such a great, world renowned speaker coming to talk to you all, we too can’t wait! What Tom didn’t say when we spoke to him was that his cartoons now reach over 100,000 marketers every week (you may have seen them in Marketing Week) and The Huffington Post ranked his South By Southwest talk the third best of the conference out of 500.

You can find out more about Tom and see more of his work here and see him in action here

Brands, Principles, Values and Morals…

June 14th, 2011   By   Filed Under: Everyone, Interesting, Weird and Wonderful

Giggs is another star that has allegedly succumbed to temptation. A man famous for his “clean” image touted as a role model for the young and once even asked to keep an eye on Wayne Rooney after he strayed from the straight and narrow. The Media has jumped on this and is seems that there may be more to come.

Now the reason I am interested in this (other than gossip) is the concern of Sponsorship deals and how brands have to deal with the fall-out. Stars are big money for Brands. Looking at Giggs again, it is being suggested that he may lose his £20 million sponsorship deal with Reebok. (Marketing, June 2011)

The Daily Mail claims the brand would not comment when asked whether they would stand by him. Nigel Currie, Director of sports marketing firm Brand Rapport told the paper: “What he had going for him from a marketing perspective was his seemingly clean-cut personal image.”

He continued: “A little like Tiger Woods, he had this untouchable air about him, almost Mr Perfect – he was seen as a model professional and a really good guy…Once that image goes, he’s likely to find his whole unique selling point has gone, too.” (The Drum, June 2011)

Should Reebok drop him? They Sponsor him for being a brilliant Footballer/Athlete, someone kids want to be. Should they be concerned by his private life? Well it comes down to Morals and Values. Does Reebok want to be associated with someone that the Nation value as Immoral?

Talented@… Bowling?!

June 3rd, 2011   By   Filed Under: Everyone, Interesting, Weird and Wonderful

Bloomsbury Bowls was the venue and competition was definitely the name of the game. Despite my best efforts (god loves a trier right?) nothing went my way. Desperation tactics to distract my colleagues with booze even failed and I was left languishing at the gutter end of the points table.

I couldn’t have asked for a better start, maybe it’s because I didn’t care or that I had an inkling at the misery that lay ahead but to my surprise the first bowl was a strike! I won’t bore you with the rest of my attempts (largely because they were rubbish) but needless to say my downward spiral was a stark contrast to everyone else who seemed to get better and better. Someone won, I forget who, and we all left with varying degrees of dis/satisfaction with our attempts. Honourable mentions go to Sophie “bowls like a dude” Jammes, Seb “showboat” Haire & Lucie “bouncing bomb” Emma.

It was great to get the troops out of the office, the standard has been set and we’re all eagerly awaiting details of our next day out, which will be when the Social Sec has found a medium he can excel……pub?

How to get VERY creative with your cover letter

May 19th, 2011   By   Filed Under: Candidates, Employers, Everyone, Interesting, Weird and Wonderful

If you’ve got, ever had, or are desperately seeking a job in the media industry I’m sure you’ll all be familiar with the friendly email response ‘your CV is on file, we’ll contact you if a position becomes available’. It’s the big hand of the media industry cyber-slapping you in the face. I graduated in June 2010 and must have emailed hundreds of companies and applied for hundreds of jobs, just to be sent the same computer generated response every time.

I’m not blaming anyone, they receive a ridiculous amount of CVs by email, and if they sat down to look at and reply to every one nothing would be on television except maybe a documentary about how many people in the media industry suffer from depression. So after one too many slaps in the face I took a step back and reconsidered my angle entirely. If I was in charge of sifting through thousands of similar applications what would I want to see. The answer’s obvious really, something different, something that would make my day that little bit more exciting.

I came up with my idea based solely on this, what I would want to see as someone working in media? A video that distracts them with comedy and heart-warming amateurism, makes them forget that they’re just looking at my cover letter, seemed like the perfect option for me. It was an example in itself, proof that I could be creative and proof that I had the skills they were looking for. The idea of making it like a letter was decided after I read an article about how the writer was tired of computers and much preferred the human aspects of a I’d received a pen for my birthday and it was collecting dust!

I finished it in around ten hours, it would have been sooner but I was determined to shoot it in one continuous take, and kept mucking up, if you’d have heard the audio you would have been impressed with my plethora of foul language!

The response was out of this world, it shot up past 2,000 views within a day, and it spread virally very quickly, I’ve had dinner dates, drinks at gentlemen’s clubs and loads of meetings with people not only high up, but people that were genuinely interested in me and ready to help me on my career. The best response by far was from the Head of Creative at 4Creative (the creative department at Channel 4), he actually took an hour out of his schedule to make a response video (it followed my video above)! It has so far led to me freelancing with a lot of incredibly creative companies and meeting a lot of incredibly creative people.

My advice to those graduating is to prove what you’re good at, and don’t get disheartened by the automated responses and negative feedback you’re bound to get along the road. I want to go into a creative position, either in TV production or advertising, so I produced something creative and had a lot of fun doing so, if you can prove to people you love what you do, they’ll love you for doing it.

Gareth Cash

What is Digital?

May 18th, 2011   By   Filed Under: Digital, Guest Blog, Interesting, Weird and Wonderful

Everyone seems to banging on about “digital” in the advertising, marketing and PR industries. If they’re not banging on about digital it’s “mobile” or “social” or a nonsensical point release of something that already exists:

• Enterprise 2.0
• Government 3.0
• World’s Oldest Profession 5.0

Organisations with little digital experience ask me what the role of digital is. That’s the wrong question. The question should be “how should our organisation operate in the 21st Century”. In the 21st Century digital technologies are an ordinary, everyday part of people’s lives. In this context it’s important to understand what digital is.

At its most simple, digital is connection, or, more properly, a network of connections. When the web was created this was the connection (by hyperlink) between one “page” of information and another. Digital is also a contemporary means of connection between one person and an organisation (more…)

The Art of Kinetic Type

April 6th, 2011   By   Filed Under: Everyone, Interesting, Weird and Wonderful

I am a big fan of kinetic typography videos to generate an emotional response to a simple message or a statement.  Not all of the them work, they’re really difficult to get right, and so they’re all the more pleasurable to watch when they really come together, really pop. The example above is from the Conan O’Brien Show, and the example below is a great video from Dare…


Updates for Apps

April 5th, 2011   By   Filed Under: Everyone, Interesting, Weird and Wonderful

Twitter released it’s latest update for the I-phone last week, version 3.3 – And the feedback was awful. According to a Mashable poll 81% of users found this an intrusive and un-necessary update. The new features that offer trending information hovered above the users screen being a nuisance. The average user doesn’t care for the stats, they just want to Tweet.

Reading this made me ask the question “Are constant updates and upgrades a good thing?”

I invested in an I-pad 6 months ago and the app fever hit me. I downloaded games, publications, books, documents and anything I thought would make my life easier, provide great insight and look good!

The initial buzz was great, I was engrossed in all my new options and toys and the great thing was that if there was a bug in the system, it would be fixed and updated. Brilliant.

However, as the months have have moved on, I now live in fear of the update. Today, for example, I had 10 updates available. By the time I logged onto the wireless, downloaded them, one by one as they can’t download at the same time, I was over the whole process and haven’t been into the Apps to see what these “updates” are.

Now, I’m not saying that updates are all bad. I think they are essential for progress. I’m just not sure we need them every other week just because they thought of something new.

As the saying goes “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”

From the Mash Field to Office Glory – Part 1

February 8th, 2011   By   Filed Under: Interesting, Weird and Wonderful

Over the next few weeks, we are going to feature some real Mash Success Stories.

The spotlight turns to 5 Top Mashers who – after representing us brilliantly in the field on multiple campaigns – are now displaying their talents and skills here at Dylan Towers – either with us at Dylan London or with our Sister Company – Mash.

Each of our featured Mashers are fantastic evidence of where you can get with hard work, professionalism and no little fun…

Today’s featured Masher is the one and only Seb.

“Whilst at Uni I worked for Mash in the field. I started as a BA working on L’Oreal in-store delighting the females of the North with the fragrance of Ralph Lauren.. Throughout my time I worked on Armani, BlueSquare, Eat Natural, Cadburys, Lindt Chocolate, Ray Ban with the pinnacle of my Mash career running the Tic Tac campaign across the North East of England. The Orange van and Hawaiian shorts were a big hit!