Focus on Leeds

By The Drum, Administrator

February 1, 2006 | 15 min read

In recent years, the city of Leeds has won accolades for being ‘The best place in Britain to live’, ‘Visitor city of the year’ and ‘The best university destination’, not to mention ‘The UK’s sexiest city’. It’s little wonder then that this success has also been matched by it’s marketing services.

In the last two years, at the very least, Leeds has been home to some of the industry’s most prolific agencies across a multitude of disciplines, grabbing and holding the attention of the marketing industry across the country.

Big brands, regardless of location, have opted to feed significant projects and accounts into the mouths of Leeds’ finest marketing services agencies. Meanwhile, the way of life offered by the city has attracted talented individuals to uproot from London, or even across the Pennines in Manchester, to ply their trade in the West Yorkshire city.

In this special Focus on Leeds, Adline has spoken with some of the clients that have invested their belief (not to mention marketing budgets) into some of the best agencies that Leeds has to offer. Here, clients reveal just why their agency is their perfect match.

An Agency Called England

\"Over the past year we have been working very closely with England on the \"Leeds, Live it, Love it’ brand. They originated research and developed the brand, which included film, website, creative and marketing collateral that accompanied this. The agency also conceived and executed the star-studded launch event, which was co-hosted by Chris Moyles and Gabby Logan.

\"Throughout this project England has continually gone above and beyond the role of what might be expected from a marketing agency to deliver the very best results possible. It’s been a real pleasure working with the team, as they are just as passionate about their home city as we are, and have been on hand literally any time of the day and night.\"

Kevin Johnson, CEO, Marketing Leeds

EuroDirect

\"EuroDirect have been instrumental in supporting our evolving customer proposition for over seven years now. It has a particularly good understanding of the sub-prime retail market, and its software and data assets have helped us immensely with a variety of DM and network planning strategies. EuroDirect’s customer support is second to none\"

Mike Cooper, Marketing & Merchandise Director, BrightHouse

Lucre

\"We appointed Lucre last year, not long after they set up. We’d short-listed four agencies, including the incumbent Weber Shandwick, from an initial trawl of more than 50 PR companies from across the UK.

\"Back then Lucre was one of the smallest agencies we looked at – it has more than doubled in size since – but it had an experienced, senior team who have proved to be extremely proactive with opportunities. Crucially, they understood our brand – all of our 300-plus hotels are independently owned and therefore unique. That was important. From a creative and ideas perspective it came up with interesting campaign themes that were realistic in terms of executing.

\"Those ideas are now generating great coverage. The most recent, the Christmas ‘Give Mum A Break’ campaign, was adopted and used across all our Christmas marketing activity.

\"The PR has generated more than 30 pieces of coverage including the likes of Bella, Chat, the Daily Mirror and Daily Star. We are now working on two exciting promotions – a two-for-one campaign with National Rail and giving away diamond rings in selected hotels over the Valentine week!\"

Janine Teasdale, PR & Communications Manager, Best Western Hotels GB

The Black Hole

\"We have just completed two days of brand and proposition development with The Black Hole. This kind of work is essential. We want to offer our customers a better experience rather than just a holiday, so firstly we want to attract people to the Crystal brand. Therefore it’s important to be able to work very closely with your agency. And if your agency works with you rather than just for you, distance isn’t an issue.\"

Michelle Amor, Head of Marketing, TUI UK

Elmwood

\"We wanted a sole partner who could work closely with our core brand team and network of agency partners in other disciplines, in order for them to get closer to us and understand our needs better. We feel it makes more sense to rely on one group as a partner and think it will help us to achieve greater value, both intellectually and financially.

\"Elmwood has consistently demonstrated a superb combination of consumer insight, strategic awareness, creative excellence and a great sense of fun throughout our working relationship. We regard the team as a strategic annex to our business that can add significant value to the McCain brand. The only downside to working with them is Jonathan’s (Sands) inability to accept defeat on the golf course graciously!\"

Simon Eyles, Associate Director:

Brand Communications, McCain Foods GB Ltd

Principles Agency

\"We have worked with Principles Agency for several years now and have every confidence in its ability to deliver the results that it promises. The team at Principles Agency always takes an innovative, enthusiastic approach to its work for Ronseal. In the future, we are looking forward to working with them to widen the appeal of Ronseal beyond our traditionally male target audience by adopting a new tone across our advertising and promotional literature.\"

James Smith, Marketing Director, Ronseal

Clarke McKay Walpole North

\"We have a great relationship with the team at CMW North. They have demonstrated a very clear understanding of our brands and translated these successfully delivering us great results\".

Veerle Lauwers, GBS Consumer Solutions Manager, Procter and Gamble (Geneva)

WWAV Rapp Collins Leeds

\"I have worked with WWAV Leeds for a number of years now. Above everything else I highly value the strategic thinking, constructive challenge and support it provides.

\"As you would expect its creative work is rooted in good, solid direct response principles, delivering hard working, direct marketing campaigns. Importantly its creative solutions are always totally empathetic and integrated with our strong brand values and principles, an excellent example is all the TV work it has produced which has delivered many highly successful campaigns.

\"Finally, the quality of the people and service delivery is second to none.\"

Sarah Howe, Chief Marketing Officer, Bupa

Gratterpalm

\"Gratterpalm have proved themselves to be one of our most valued partners who can be relied upon to provide creative, innovative and value for money campaigns that effectively deliver our marketing plan across in-store communications and local and national marketing.

\"Over the past 18 years Gratterpalm has regularly reviewed and improved its level of service to us, growing and evolving with ASDA to ensure that our business needs have been consistently met.

\"We very much appreciate the company’s ‘hands on’ approach, in particular the relationships the team has built with our store managers and traders, and consider Gratterpalm to be very much an extension of the ASDA marketing team.\"

Richard Woodhall, Head of Local Marketing, ASDA

Ptarmigan

\"We’ve had a relationship with Ptarmigan on Yorkshire Bank’s retail side for the past ten years and are now also working with the consultancy on our community and arts sponsorship, involving Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera North.

\"We chose to work with Ptarmigan as, historically, the agency has always responded successfully with creative and commercial ideas. I’m looking forward to seeing our planned creative projects carried out in 2006 and am certain we’ll see some great media coverage.\"

Janet Myers, Head of Brand and Sponsorship,

Yorkshire Bank

EHS Brann

\"I evaluate agencies against a fairly strict selection criteria; don\'t we all? The obvious of commercial soundness and competence aside – are they likely to be around in a year\'s time, for example – a lot of these boil down to the personalities involved and their commitment, focus and enthusiasm.

\"Do they make you feel that they give a damn whether you succeed or fail? Do they think of things you haven\'t considered? Does creative excellence come as standard or hand in hand with a prima donna attitude? And, above all, are they fun to work with?

\"It became obvious very quickly that EHS Brann Leeds ticked all these boxes.

\"In my view, the real test of an agency\'s quality is whether, as a client, you can put hand on heart and say, after a year of working together, that you made the right decision. EHS Brann Leeds is firmly in that camp.\"

Paul Purdy, Head of Development, Provident Insurance

Home

\"We were looking for a proactive agency that could rise to the challenge of repositioning the Stoves brand and appointed Home to develop new press creatives and TV advertisements for our recent debut on Channel 4.

\"One of the main benefits of working with a regional agency, has been the ability to meet regularly to discuss projects face to face, instead of having to rely on e-mail and the telephone.

\"As a result, Home has quickly become an extension of our marketing team and if you’ve ever worked in a busy marketing department, you’ll know how invaluable this kind of support is\".

Jane Rylands, Marketing Services Manager,

Glen Dimplex Home Appliances

Thompson

\"We bid for the Olympics with a powerful message – we wanted to host thrilling and extraordinary Games that would inspire young people across the world and leave a lasting legacy.

\"As the person heading up the vision for arts, culture and education I needed to create a look and feel that would communicate the amazing creativity of the UK and the sense of power and purpose that would help us win. I also wanted to show that UK design is one of our great assets.

\"I asked Thompson Design to do a unique brochure – The Wedding of Sport and Art. At short notice and with very high stakes it produced work that exceeded all my high expectations, wowed the Olympic partners and contributed to us winning.

\"Ian Thompson is a top creative mind and Phil Dean delivers a great business relationship. They’ve become ‘honorary Olympians’ in my book!\"

Jude Kelly OBE, Chair of Culture,

Ceremonies and Education, LOCOG

Lowd+Klea

\"Harrison Goddard Foote have found Lowd+Klea to be the perfect agency partner in our recent re-branding project. It got to grips with the complex structure and culture of our organisation and understood our restricted budgets. Despite these constraints Lowd+Klea still produced a great piece of work.

\"As a team they are fun and inspirational to work with, they have made us feel like an important client, regardless of our marketing spend.

\"Since appointing them for one re-branding exercise in September 2005, we have since briefed on a range of other brand projects for 2006, which are currently in development.

\"Lowd+Klea have provided clear understanding and direction of Harrison Goddard Foote’s business objectives and have continued to combine fantastic creative with considered business strategy.\"

Jacqui Weston, Business Development Director, Harrison Goddard Foote.

The Thinking Agency

\"Last April, an Image and Branding working group was set up to assess how the University had been communicating its brand over the last five years and to recommend the way forward for the next five.

\"In November, following a three-way pitch, we appointed The Thinking Agency to take the University’s image and brand forward over the next three years.

\"The Thinking Agency inspired the panel with its vision of how the University can best communicate its brand to our various stakeholders. Its approach was innovative and bold and we look forward to seeing the ideas in practice.\"

Alison Darnborough,

Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications,

University of Bradford

Prego

\"We originally started working with Prego because, being local to us in Leeds, it could give us the high level of service we demand in a fast-paced, growing sector like online gaming. Even with advances in technology, you can’t beat being able to meet regularly face to face – seeing the work as it develops, thrashing out ideas.

\"In the past, lots of clients would have migrated to an agency in London – especially when it comes to media opportunities like TV and branded content – but we’ve found that there’s really no need to. There are some great agencies in the North, and particularly here in Leeds.

\"Prego has excelled in the quality of their strategic thinking and creative work, and have pushed the brand forward by running challenging, impactful work. So now we take the view, why travel miles for it when it’s on your doorstep?\"

Dan Taylor, E-gaming Director, William Hill

Brilliant

\"In the world of a private equity business, results are all that matter. We needed a leading media agency that could get to grips with our pace, would love the detail and really understand our business. Brilliant have a unique culture and demonstrable track record of getting the job done that makes it a great partner for Hillarys.\"

Ben Hitchcock, Marketing Manager, Hillarys Blinds

JDA

\"We choose to work with JDA for many reasons, in particular because of the pro-activity it demonstrates in strategic planning and in the day-to-day management of our account. Furthermore, it is the innovative creative solutions it offers and the multi-disciplinary campaigns it can deliver that makes JDA stand out from the rest.

\"JDA Interactive has been instrumental in taking us online and launched our consumer-facing site at the beginning of the year, which is not something we would have expected from a DM agency. The new website has proven core to our business and incorporates exciting new interactive functionalities, tailoring the page and menu content of the site according to individual requirements.

\"We are delighted with the work JDA has done. The solutions it has built for us will complement our industry-leading customer service and provide us with the tools to assist us every day.\"

Andy Richards, Head of Marketing,

British Energy Direct

Propaganda

\"FMG Support has enjoyed the benefits of working with Propaganda for over two years. During this time, Propaganda has consistently delivered tangible results and has been instrumental in shaping both our business and marketing strategy.

\"The planning, creative and public relations teams work with us closely to ensure that their work is truly integrated and co-ordinated with our business strategy. We have relationships at all levels, ensuring that we all feel engaged and embrace the ideas with enthusiasm and passion.

\"One clear differentiator is the detailed research that Propaganda invests in, making sure that our decision-making stems from real insight and understanding.

\"Propaganda demonstrates a real aptitude for translating the insights unearthed into strategic, creative and innovative communications that really resonate with our stakeholders and shape the direction of our marketplace.

\"Our investment with Propaganda is significant but the returns are indisputable. We are delighted with the services that we receive and really do consider Propaganda as an integral extension of our team.\"

Ian McKenzie, Group Business

Development Director, FMG Support

Brahm

\"A deep understanding of our market was what first attracted us to Brahm. It has great experience and exceptional market insight, which meant we felt confident that the team knew our customers and could anticipate our needs.

\"Over the last 18 months, we’ve worked closely with the Brahm team, building up a great relationship. The account team is vibrant, fun and has fantastic industry contacts and creative ideas – perhaps because they are all pet-mad! Their enthusiasm shines through and, importantly, they also take time to listen to our ideas, feedback and requirements.

\"The proof of Brahm’s insight is shown in the fantastic results we’ve enjoyed. For the last two Christmas’ we have experienced record sales in new product lines.\"

Linda Whiting, PR Manager,

Pets at Home

The Union

\"I’ve been working with The Union for four years and have always found the work highly creative and very effective, whatever the medium – whether an advertising campaign or design work, whether consumer or business-to-business – there is no doubt that it has certainly helped our business to grow.

\"Its service is excellent – everything is done very efficiently and the team are very helpful – and I get very good brand/strategy advice.

\"With our budgets, value-for-money is also vital and I’ve never had any complaints about The Union on that measure either – we’re a big company with small budgets, but The Union helps us stand out and compete very well with much bigger-spending competition.\"

Ebru Ural, Sales & Marketing Manager (UK/Central & Northern Europe), Advansa/Dacron Fibres

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