Guy & Co started five years ago on the 9th October 2013. I could tell you my memories of making do with dodgy desks and shonky IT, of being so proud when we developed our quirky office graphics, bought our first irreverent piece of agency furniture and partied like it was 1999 after every new win. But everyone does that. And we’re different.
Even back then we knew we wanted to be agile but didn’t really know why. Roll on five years and that part of our DNA manifested itself into understanding our strength as an agency in bringing creative and research together under one proposition to help clients make braver decisions through consumer-validated ideas.
We love to stand behind the glory of client successes, delivering real commercial impact with great ideas that fuse strong creativity with the right blend of consumer pull. So I’ve looked back at five years of agency work and pulled out IMHO the greatest commercial piece of work for each of those years. An interesting snapshot into the ever-evolving world of brand and marketing communications. And interesting to see that great ideas take time to develop, (years as opposed to months), but if they are the right ones then the commercial benefit can be reaped for years to come.
SCOTTY BRAND | ‘GOOD FOOD’S BEST FRIEND’ BRAND DEVELOPMENT
With our ‘Good Food’s Best Friend’ campaign we set out to target ‘Guilty Carers’ – busy mums wanting to serve kids healthy fruit and veg with provenance. We developed a brand shortcut through the Scotty dog mascot – a cheeky but faithful farm dog who seeks out the best Scottish produce. Scotty Brand became the fastest growing Scottish food brand in 2014 and gained national listings.
SCOTTISH FINE SOAPS | MEN’S GROOMING RANGE
We did craft before craft went mainstream. Creating a men’s grooming range full of hipster attitude and a fragrance that intrigued with its twist on Scottish provenance – Thistle & Black Pepper. This range has grown massively for the business, now its biggest-seller with new SKUs added every year and the original 2014 design at its core.
BORDER BISCUITIERS CAMPAIGN
We needed to find a way to communicate all the great things that go into a Border biscuit: the quality ingredients, classic recipes beautifully made, and passion of the people who make them. And do it in a way which adds a sense of charm and nostalgia for the target consumer. We created the Border Biscuitiers; a small team of biscuit craftspeople with big biscuit ideas. They came to stand for baking better biscuits, helping to raise the bar in the sweet treat category. And it’s paid off. A confident and integrated campaign helped drive national listings beyond the brand’s Scottish hinter land. Continued commercial success into 2018 saw Border named Business and Brand Success of the Year by Scotland Food & Drink.
ACTIPH WATER | BRANDING & LAUNCH
When a guy full of energy bursts into your office and tells his incredible story of rowing the Pacific and finding en route new ways to hydrate to a higher level – you know you have a brand founder with passion and authenticity who is going to challenge a category. A pitch later and multiple rounds of consumer research and testing of creative ways-in, Actiph Water was born. A 9.0+ pH, alkaline ionised water, it helps hydrate and balance against life’s trials. The eureka moment was using a waterfall background on pack – a powerful metaphor for hydration. Roll forward two years to the official UK launch, 2018 has seen 45% month-on-month sales growth and national listings secured in Tesco, WH Smith and, just last month, M&S. We’re charged up about this work.
ROYAL LONDON | HELPING HAND CAMPAIGN
We love working with Royal London, a forward-thinking mutual financial services business full of lovely clients. Their Protection team challenged us with communicating what their added-value service, Helping Hand, offered clients on their insurance products. This project was a full bhuna version of Guy & Co-creation®, using adviser and consumer insight to hone the proposition and creative messaging of rational and emotional benefits, in what could often be sensitive subject areas. We took the validated campaign proposition, ‘personal support whenever you need it’ and overlaid Royal London’s quirky brand personality, applied to multiple touchpoints including DM, sales aids, digital advertising and animations. The results – over half of advisers recalled the campaign, leading to a greater uptake of the Helping Hand service and a 2018 gold award for their first Marketing Society entry, beating RBS and Barclays. Result.
SMOKEHEAD WHISKY | BRAND DEVELOPMENT & GLOBAL ACTIVATION
This is one we are especially proud of, developing a big, bold brand attitude for a very untraditional Islay Single Malt. Smokehead is ‘not for everyone’ and as such lets us do cool things in an industry steeped in tradition. The Smokehead Feast experiential market launches have been billed as the most exciting event in whisky in 2018, and we’ve developed a full arsenal of trade support, social content, brand assets and new pack development – Sherry Bomb comes out this month (an incredible smoky whisky finished in sherry casks to bring a fruity, spicy angle to the portfolio). We’re looking forward to Greatest Hits Volume II on this one and seeing where the global case sales are going… stratospheric will be acceptable.
Managing Director, Guy & Co