It’s been a busy first quarter for us at Pleece & Co – if you count taking photos, stuffing our faces and larking about in Escape Rooms as busy, that is.
There’s (another) new Italian in town.
In January we launched the second restaurant for our extra special client, Cin Cin. Having supported them for over three years from when they were operating out of ‘just’ a van – a nice converted Fiat ice cream van we should add – appearing at weddings, festivals and pop ups, we helped them launch their first place in Vine Street Brighton in 2016 and, after their meteoric rise in a short space of time, we were there at the pre-launch press and blogger night for their fabulous new place in Western Road, Hove.
Not only were we there, we organised the whole event and pulled in over 40 press and bloggers. We loved taking photos of people taking photos of pasta… very meta! It was a great night and you can go and sample this authentic Italian that is shaking up the local restaurant scene by booking here.
This isn’t war, it’s rugby…
We ventured up to Teddington one icy cold January day to take photos of men with arms thicker than our legs dressed only in t-shirts and kilts. This shoot was in aid of promoting London Scottish Rugby with the aim of getting more bums on seats at their Richmond Ground.
With reference to their Scottish and military background, we used club supplier MacGregor and MacDuff to kit the players out and worked in a moody, battlefield background with a headline message that ran across the whole campaign piece: ‘This isn’t war, it’s rugby – but it’s close’ to galvanise the troops in what has been a difficult season for the team.
The campaign was rolled out across web, news, email, social media and out of home and led to the club getting their highest attendance of the season. A great result! Although the final score of 15-55 to Bristol Rugby wasn’t.
Can you take the Pier Pressure?
Escape Rooms are all the rage and we were asked to work on the creative and the strategy for new Brighton based Escape Rooms, Pier Pressure. With rooms covering Modrophenia, the Pavilion and a Rave, there’s something for every Brighton resident to enjoy here. There’s a fourth room coming in the new year too.
As well as handling the creative and PR, we also had a go at the Pavilion Perplex room and, even though it’s early days, we can boast that we smashed the record to solve the mystery – although, admittedly, we did have the help of some very intelligent people from Sussex University’s Brain Energy Lab. Anyway, we thoroughly recommend having a go – you can book here.
We don’t do bungee jumps, we don’t swim the channel and we don’t tip buckets of ice-cold water over our heads on Facebook. We’re not very good at running either, so you won’t see us in any marathons.
Instead, when it comes to charity work, what we offer is what we do best: marketing strategy and promotional opportunities.
We believe our time is far better spent using our expertise to help local causes that we believe in by helping them with their marketing strategies and paying for advertising rather than dangling on the end of a rope over the Himalayas (not to belittle that of course, we just don’t have the collective heads for heights.)
Sure that might be a little more boring, but we think it’s just as effective.
Recently, we have helped a wonderful local charity called Extratime. These guys are really inspiring.
Extratime is the brain-child of two women, Becky Jenner and Marian Tipler, both with children with profound special needs and both, before they set up the charity, frustrated at the lack of out of school care for their own children.
Becky and Marian spent two years planning and working voluntarily to develop an inclusive after school club for special needs and mainstream children aged 5-16 years old, from which Extratime was born.
Extratime provides an essential service for families with severely disabled children and all staff and volunteers have vast experience in working with children with disabilities. Having seen the service in action, we are proud and honoured to work with such an amazing charity with equally inspiring workers.
Our work with Extratime has focused on working closely with CEO Sam Price and founder, Marian, to help them with their marketing strategy, tactics and positioning using our Blend methodology. We undertook a discovery phase where we worked closely with Sam and Marian to identify the challenges as well as the opportunities for the charity and then entered into a strategy session after which we produced a marketing plan with activation calendar.
“Extratime is unique in that it provides inclusive clubs and schemes or out of school activities for children and young people with learning disabilities and medical needs,” says Sam.
“We have many challenges in our day-to-day existence, but we are very focused on the work that we do and the outcomes we achieve which is to ensure that as many children & young people as possible have access to services that meet their needs and broaden their horizons.”
Pleece & Co’s work with Extratime is ongoing. The marketing strategy, plan and tactics have been written and formulated, now comes the challenge of pushing the work out with budgets very limited. We are currently exploring a variety of ways to achieve this, including more donated hours from our team as well as a mix of grants and working with local students under our wing.
The main brief for the marketing work was to help Extratime to become better known (and supported) across B&H and the surrounding areas. They want to build on the strong reputation with their stakeholders (parent carers, schools, local authorities and other community and voluntary organisations) by involving service users more in development and delivery of their services. They also want to reach out to the wider community so that Extratime becomes a ‘go-to’ charity when people think of a fantastic local children’s charity.
To help raise awareness of the charity, our owner Gary, who is also youth chair of local grass roots football club, Montpelier Villa FC paid for Extratime to go onto the front of the under 14s new Adidas kits.
Gary first heard of Extratime’s services through one of the parents of the under 14s whose daughter, Rosie, uses the charity’s services. Karen, Rosie’s mother, couldn’t speak highly enough of Extratime’s work so, inline with Pleece & Co and Montpelier Villa’s sponsorship strategy (we have previously sponsored Gig Buddies) of paying for and putting an inspiring charity on the team’s shirts, a new partnership and relationship was founded.
“We’re hoping that our work with Extratime goes into Extratime (in the football sense) and beyond.” said Gary. “They are an inspiring organisation and we’re really proud to be working with them. We want to help them achieve their goals (football, football!) and we’ll be there for them every step of the way should they need us.”
If you’ve ever watched a post-match interview with a footballer you’ll know that, generally, they’re not exactly the most unmissable part of the beautiful game. More often than not you can predict exactly what their formulaic response will be before the interviewer has even finished asking his question.
With every word meticulously scrutinised by the press, modern-day footballers seem to be nothing more than media-trained robots programmed to speak in clichés. This, along with the multi-millionaire status that even the more average top-level footballer enjoys, has only served to disconnect these players from the fans who pack the stadiums to watch them perform.
Gone are the days of the sixties, when you’d find your local top-flight team’s star striker down the pub or see a new signing travelling with the fans on the bus to the stadium before a game. Football, particularly in England, is now a global product exported for unfathomable sums of money, and the players are brands in their own right. With even the slightest misdemeanour, a player is at risk of losing thousands of pounds from their seemingly endless amounts of endorsement deals. It’s no wonder the modern footballer is hyper conscious to avoid controversy at all times.
Yet fans love a character. Sure, they’re happy to chant the name of a complete bore if they can take on three defenders and smash one into the top corner. However, when a player can also convey a likeable personality the fans really take him to their hearts, regardless of ability. Every club has a player with cult hero status for this reason; Emmanuel Eboue at Arsenal, Nyron Nosworthy at Sunderland, and it’s why Benjamin Mendy has become a fan favourite at Manchester City despite barely playing a game for them due to an early injury.
Social media is the ideal tool for a footballer to show off their personality. The problem with this is that the slightest dodgy tweet can send the media and public into a furore. Many players have received a backlash following an ill-advised tweet. Rio Ferdinand asking fans to “spare a thought” for him on New Year’s Eve because he couldn’t celebrate due to a match the next year, Carlton Cole joking that the England v Ghana friendly was a “trap” set up by immigration services, and pretty much anything Joey Barton has ever tweeted.
Football clubs themselves have taken measures to prevent these types of scandals, with most implementing a ‘social media code of conduct’ for their squad to adhere to. However, many savvy clubs have started using their own social media accounts to release content that shows off their players’ personalities, in a way that’s managed by the club. This kind of content has helped fans reconnect with their players in a way that the club can control, therefore reducing the risk of a player going rogue and offending somebody or embroiling himself in a scandal.
Manchester City’s Youtube videos
Manchester City may be relative newcomers amongst Europe’s elite, but they were one of the first clubs in England to use social media as a means to showcase the personalities of their expensively assembled squad. City’s Youtube channel has been producing funny, sharable content for many years. They gained real traction in 2012 with a series of Christmas themed Advert Calendar videos, many of them featuring the antics of Mario Balotelli. The viral star of the campaign though was Serbian left back Aleksandar Kolarov with his hilarious rendition of Jingle Bells.
Since then City have continued to make the most of their Youtube channel. Features such as Pep’s Taxi saw their manager Pep Guardiola surprising young fans. They have even drafted in celebrities such as actor Kevin Hart, who took part in a penalty shootout challenge against namesake and England number 1 goalkeeper Joe Hart. The crowning moment was a video featuring James Milner opening Christmas presents in the style of the famous Twitter parody character ‘Boring James Milner’. Rather than moan about his personality being mocked by the parody account, Milner played up to the character, which endeared him to even non-City fans up and down country.
Tottenham’s Wanyama spaghetti tweet
In May 2012, when playing for Scottish champions Celtic, Kenyan midfielder Victor Wanyama sent a tweet which simply read: “I had spaghetti and it was very nice i enjoyed it”. Wanyama, who had only been in the UK less than a year must have been baffled when the tweet went viral. People found the charmingly innocent tweet hilarious, at time of writing it has nearly 43,000 retweets and over 32,000 likes.
Wanyama’s career since then went from strength to strength and in June 2016 he was signed by Premier League big boys Tottenham Hotspur. Despite the tweet being over four years old, it’s legend followed him wherever he went. This led to Spurs ingeniously announcing the signing with this tweet and immediately endeared the midfielder to the White Hart Lane faithful:
Bristol City’s goal GIFs
The 2017-18 season has been a success for Championship club Bristol City. At the time of writing they sit 4th in the league despite being tipped to struggle, and await the second leg of a Carabao Cup semi-final with Premier League leaders Manchester City. Impressive achievements, but unlikely to really make the entire football world sit up and take notice. What has captured the hearts of football fans up and down the country however… their goal GIFs. Every time The Robins score they tweet a GIF of the goalscorer’s pre-recorded celebration. These started off fairly generic with fist pumps and the occasional silly dance, but have evolved into short clips of hilarity. More creative efforts have seen the scorer’s: ironing their own shirt, spraying a fire extinguisher, downing two glasses of milk, and pretending to DJ with plates (held up by someone off camera). Not only have these simple but effective clips become a hit with their own fans, but now whenever a City goal goes in, fans all over the country are jumping onto twitter to see what daft antics the latest GIF will contain. The best part is that there must be a catalogue of efforts from players who’ve yet to register a goal this season which are yet to see the light of day!
The growing trend
The run up to Christmas 2017 has seen record levels of this type of content being produced by teams at all levels of the game. Blackburn Rovers treated their followers throughout December with a ‘Bradvent calendar’ which featured new content starring talisman Bradley Dack singing, dancing or doing what he does best every day in the run up to Christmas. Blackburn’s East Lancashire rivals Burnley also created a series of festive-themed social content, including videos featuring their players taking part in a ‘bad joke challenge’. Crystal Palace even parodied the Queen’s annual Christmas Speech with a video of their manager Roy Hodgson giving his own ‘Gaffer’s Speech’ on Christmas Day.
Social media content is of ever increasing importance to football clubs as more and more start to realise the endless opportunities to connect with fans in a variety of creative ways. At Pleece & Co we have plenty of experience in creating campaigns that include social media marketing and working with sports teams at various levels to increase their social following. Get in touch with us to find out how we can help your team engage with their fans by emailing email@example.com. In the meantime we’re off to have some spaghetti, hope it’s very nice and we enjoy it.
It’s an exciting time for our client Cin Cin. After a successful first year at their location in Vine Street, Brighton, they are opening a second, larger restaurant in Western Road, Hove.
The Italian Bar & Kitchen in Vine Street has already established itself as a leading restaurant in the area. In its inaugural year Cin Cin made it into the Good Food Guide and achieved the highest new entry at the Brighton’s Best Restaurant Awards when they were named 6th best restaurant in Brighton.
We went along to interview their founder, David Toscano, about his success and the exciting year ahead.
It’s been an exciting first year for Cin Cin and we hear that 2018 is about to get even better?! Tell us about the new restaurant opening in January?
We really have had an amazing first year at Vine St but it’s time to spread our wings and raise the bar a little so we’ll be opening in Hove next month! We are building it now and every day I go in there, I get a little more excited for what we are about to bring to the food scene of our great city.
What’s the same and what’s different about the new place?
It will be a larger restaurant, it really couldn’t be any smaller than Vine St could it?! That said we have worked really hard to come up with a design that will be instantly recognisable as a Cin Cin restaurant so it will still be casual Italian dining on stools around a u-shaped bar with an open kitchen. But we will also have a private dining room for parties and events so we can bring the joy of Italian feasting to groups of our fantastic customers.
Will your head chef, Jamie Halsall, be based at Western Road or Vine Street?
Jamie is very excited about the new restaurant, sometimes I feel like I’m only designing it to make him happy! But seriously, we are very conscious that people love Vine St and of course we do too, so one thing that is very important to our whole team is that we do not leave Vine St behind or let our standards drop there. So for that reason Jamie will be working across both sites with his expanded team of chefs so we can maintain and hopefully raise the standard of Italian cooking that Brighton has come to expect from Cin Cin.
Tell us about the menu ideas you have for Western Road?
Well we don’t want to give it all away but one big improvement will be that we will have a charcoal robata style grill which will mean we can put our Italian spin on great meat, fish and vegetable produce. Look out for dishes like Sussex lamb rump on Castelluccio lentils, celeriac & salsa verde. We’ll also have a prep kitchen downstairs at Western Road that will service both sites which means the types and quality of pasta we will be making is going to get better and better.
Anything else we should look out for?
The private dining room is give us a lot of opportunities to host events with our suppliers – wines & vermouth, meats & cheeses etc. – and long term, we’d like to be able to sell take home packs of our handmade pasta shapes. Watch this space!
When is launch planned?
The restaurant should be built by end of December, with soft openings second week of January and press nights the following week before we open the doors to the public.
Plans for the future?
Right now we want to get this right and give Hove a real Italian that it can be proud of. But we love what we do so we want to keep taking it to as many people as we can so we’ll look for more opportunities in the next few years.
You don’t have to wait until January to sample the delights of Cin Cin. Book your place at their Vine Street Italian Bar & Kitchen by calling 01273 698 813. And be sure to keep up with all the exciting news about their new restaurant by signing up to their newsletter and following them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
As the temperature drops and the leaves turn brown, Pleece & Co have experienced our very own Autumnal shift with a brand-new home and two new members of staff!
At the beginning of October, we left our underground bunker in Hove for a modern Spaces office near Brighton Station. With a cocktail bar on the roof terrace, a café and deli on the ground floor, and meeting rooms equipped with the latest tech, it’s safe to say that it’s been far from difficult to settle in to our new home.
We’re delighted to introduce our two new marketers, Mark & Alex. Our very own office token-Northerner, Lancashire lad Mark ventured south to Brighton over a year ago and joins us with a diverse wealth of in-house marketing experience from brands such as JD Sports, Millets and Technetix. The long-suffering Blackburn Rovers fan said: “After years of in-house I’m excited to join the diverse world of agency marketing at Pleece & Co”.
Alex has come to us more recently after defecting from London to take up the great Brightonian way of living. Fresh from his travels in South America and carrying a variety of marketing experience on his shoulders, Alex knows his industry. With experience in marketing brands like ASOS & Santander UK, the new Brightonian & coffee lover is a diverse digital creative. “It’s great to get to work with clients again,” said Alex, over his 4th cup of Columbian drip, “the diversity of an agency environment really motivates me. Plus, with Pleece & Co we can create a unique, bespoke offering that I’m already proud to be a part of.”
Our two new Content Marketing Executives will be working across the whole Pleece & Co roster, utilising their experience and expertise to deliver fresh new ideas and help our partners grow.
One of our favourite clients, English’s have had a wonderful time celebrating National Seafood Week. We put together an interesting social and content campaign, making sure English’s voice was heard during this key time in their calendar. We also had a great time photographing their festive menu. It’s all looking absolutely delicious and we can’t wait to get the photos done, we’re feeling Christmassy already!
And lastly, in this month’s edition of What’s Your Story? we spoke to Jack Cregan, co-owner of Bison Beer. This fantastic independent Brighton based craft beer shop stocks a wide range of bottles, cans and home brew kits.
August was hot (sometimes) and hectic here in the P & C Bunker: there are plenty of stories to be told and some that we can’t share with you just yet [well, we could, but then we’d have to… you know how these things go].
We certainly can tell you that we’ve welcomed Disruptive HR to the roster. We’re very excited to be working with the team on their international events – much more to come on this in the next few months.
It’s always nice to see good work reaping rewards, so it was fantastic to see that Cin Cin made the list for the Good Food Guide. We’re delighted for the whole team and its ample reward for food that is certainly more than ‘good’.
August’s edition of What’s Your Story? featured Bosie Vincent, a filmmaker who’s spent the last 20 years travelling the world directing and filming factual TV and documentaries, covering art, science, architecture, wildlife and adventure. As you might imagine, his story packs more in than most and is well worth 10 minutes of your time with a cuppa. The response to the What’s Your Story? series has been fantastic and we’d like to thank everyone we’ve worked with so far and everyone who’s stopped to read. We’re already excited to share September’s edition.
Yes, we want you to join our team in central Brighton. We work across strategy, design and content and produce award-winning, creative campaigns with a purpose; results driven activity that not only looks and sounds good, but improves the bottom line.
We work with small and large charities, businesses, restaurants and professional sports clubs. We work with businesses and social causes that we believe in and use our knowledge and creativity to help them grow – and we want you to help us.
As a key player in the business, you would help to devise content strategies, produce compelling content, manage social media accounts and produce and present cross platform analytics reports, using Google Analytics, Hootsuite and other fun tools.
You will report into the Director of Marketing.
A positive, can-do attitude
Passionate and driven
An excellent writer
Not afraid to put the hours in
Loves coffee (tea at a push)
A team player
What you’ll need:
An understanding of SEO, how it relates to content and how to implement it
An understand of how to track and analyse performance of inbound and direct marketing
An understanding of Google Analytics and provide insight and recommendations to clients
What you’ll be doing:
Building and managing digital marketing campaigns
Producing content for social media accounts and handling community management
Writing compelling blog, web and email content
Ensuring you stay up-to-date with marketing trends
Reporting on marketing activity and presenting reports to clients
Communicating with clients and managing their expectations
What’s Your Story? is a monthly series in which we find and talk to interesting people in our local community, whether they run a business, have an interesting job or do something else that we think is worthy of wider attention.
Stoney Point is an independent coffee shop tucked away in central Brighton, selling speciality coffee and delicious homemade food . We spoke to Jess Davies, co-owner of Stoney Point, to find out more about him and the business.
How did Stoney Point come about?
It was a matter of good timing really. Mr Wolfe, the previous owner, was looking to move on so for us it was a chance to start up our own coffee shop in a location that was already accustomed to good coffee in the hope we would live up to its previous reputation.
Where does the name come from?
The name comes from an old folk song from the Appalachian Mountains. We love Old Time music and have dabbled with learning the banjo and fiddle in the past so we thought why not pick a name from one of the tunes we have learned. Totally coffee unrelated, but a good talking point.
How did you choose what produce to stock and sell?
When taking over the shop we decided to stick with Monmouth Coffee, as it tastes great, is reliable and not widely available in Brighton. For other items on our menu it’s really an on-going process, we are always open to new produce and it feels like we are steadily trying out new things here and there.
Taste definitely comes first; second is whether we can produce what we want ourselves, so for example, we make our own chilli jam for our sandwiches as it just tastes better than anything we have found so far. We like to produce as much of our produce ourselves as we are able, so we make all our own cakes as well. Third is supporting other small local businesses who can supply us with really good quality and interesting items.
What do you look for when visiting a coffee shop as a customer?
Down-to-earth staff. Good coffee.
Favourite thing about the job?
Working on the small details that might not be noticed at first glance but add to the overall experience in the shop; it’s not just about coffee but about coming to drink coffee somewhere that has had some love and thought put into it.
What’s your favourite music to listen to in the coffee shop?
It’s totally different every day so that is a hard one to answer. Nothing too ambient or moody; yesterday I was playing Joni Mitchell and today some Eek-A- Mouse. It really depends what’s going on in the shop that day.
Our connections with Brighton go back over twenty years now so it seemed like a good place to start and a place where independent coffee shops can thrive.
What are your future plans for Stoney Point?
We have no big surprise plans, as we have only been open as Stoney Point just over a year. We are finding that developing the shop and our ideas is quite an organic process so we will see where it takes us in the future, but for now it is important for us to stay small and independent as part of what we enjoy is being able to be fully involved in all the details of creating a pleasurable experience for our customers.
Bunnies. Eggs. New life. April is the month where everything starts again, most notably diets after everyone’s conducted the usual chocolate binge to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection/a Luthren hare/pseudo-Paganism (delete as appropriate).
New life came in the form of new partnership with the lovely folks at Human Workspace. We first worked with Mark and the team last year and we’re delighted to be working with them on an on-going basis.
The April edition of What’s Your Story? featured Family Store, a gem of a retail outlet selling clothes, pins, patches, records and more in Brighton’s Kensington Gardens. A big thanks to Andrew at Family Store and everyone we’ve worked with so far. We’re already excited to share May’s edition next week.
The PM decided to throw out an ad hoc General Election and the Conservative Party are playing the age old marketing game of recycling popular ads and campaign slogans from their past to stir the nostalgia of the electorate, which should resonate well with certain voter groups whose worldview appears permanently stuck in the past.
What’s Your Story? is a monthly series in which we find and talk to interesting people in our local community, whether they run a business, have an interesting job or do something else that we think is worthy of wider attention.
Family Store is an independent shop located in Brighton’s Kensington Gardens selling clothing, pins, patches, records, small press and other illustrated goods. We spoke to Andrew Garnett, Family Store’s founder and owner, to find out more about him and the business.
How was Family Store started?
It was a natural progression of sorts. I’ve had a tee brand (The Illustrated Mind) for five or six years now where I commission illustrators to design tees. Then in the past couple of years I started running the Brighton Illustration Fair (BIF); we’re planning to announce the dates for this year’s very soon [UPDATE: This year’s BIF will take place on 21st and 22nd October – see Facebook for more details].
With the BIF and others I’d attended like Safari Festival and ELCAF there’s all this great stuff that you can only pick up if you go to the events. That paired with the tee brand and noticing the growth of the pin and patch scene over the past few years sowed the seed for Family Store.
I also knew that the emergence of concept stores throughout the country was an important thing to form into the model. Independent shops with a real individual personality and spirit, I think, are the funnest places to visit if you have money to burn. I wanted all of that to be reflected in the shop.
I started off testing some of the products at a small stall I ran for three or four months; the location was bullshit but stuff was selling so I just bit the bullet and opened up the shop in Kensington Gardens. Family Store was born.
What did you set out to do when putting the shop together?
It had to have things people wanted to buy.
It had to have things I wanted to buy.
It had to have a representation of product that broadly went under the umbrella of ‘illustration’.
It had to have a reasonably constant presence of products that people had never seen before.
I’ve got an incredibly short attention span and I like to move from one project to the other. That sense of constant evolution is super-important to the on-going success of the business. Keep moving, like a fucking shark. It keeps it interesting for people coming through the doors.
It was also incredibly important to try to build up the idea of Family Store having a sense of community, so I try to work with local illustrators and creatives as much as I can. An example of that recently being the opening of Family Gallery upstairs; we have plans for that bad-boy.
How do you select what you stock in store?
I’ve been in retail forever and it’s a giant cliché but it totally fucking works.
You have just celebrated your first birthday, what have been some of the highlights from the first year of the shop?
Here’s a few:
Working with the lovely man that is David Shrigley.
Becoming a bookseller.
Selling records (my first job in Brighton was in a record shop, years ago). It’s very, very difficult being so near to Resident but it’s a key ingredient to the feel of the shop.
Customers saying nice things – that’s honestly the best bit. If nothing else it tells you you’re doing something right, especially when they compare it to other shops around the world that you really respect.
Surviving a year of trade with money in the bank.
Who looks after your branding and signage?
We try to do all of this in-house. Keep it in the family and all that. Everyone who works here has some creative bone in their body somewhere. I mostly draw a shitty picture and say ‘I want it like that’ and we go from there. I like to think if nothing else I ‘have an eye’
Moved here. Also, I think it’s an ideal place to put a business such as Family Store.
What’s your favourite music to listen to in the shop?
Jeez. Like the product I endeavour to keep it fairly varied but from memory I can guess a list of the staff’s recent favourites and mine: