Great flavour and brilliant content – best cooked slow

If time waits for no one, where does that leave the slow-roasted lamb shank or the stickiest of steamed puddings?

We live in a world that values the instant hit over the labour of love. When every plate has to be Instagrammable, what do you do with the good old casserole? Its picture may not earn many shares, but this slow-cooked comfort dish is many times more tasty.

The fate of slow foods set me wondering whether the effect of all this here-and-now consumption be a reduction in our levels of gratification?

When I recently watched The Bookshop with my kids, for example, I noticed how disengaged they were: no patience to watch the story unfold or the characters develop. It’s a shame because the rewards of patience are so much greater: a heart-warming casserole, a film of depth and subtlety, a proposition that adds longer-term brand value.

None of us is immune to the pressure of time. At Wildhorse we work at a constant gallup because clients have their own tight schedules to meet, and because experience shows that we’re good at it.

But I’m well aware that we do even better work when time is on our side and we can let our thoughts marinade. A little extra slack gives us a chance to develop a comprehensive strategy for clients – one that covers everything from answering today’s immediate challenge as well as having to future-proof campaigns for tomorrow’s competitors. Each individual campaign is stronger when it is part of a well-considered unifying whole.

At the very least, time generates better content. The creation of content that outlasts a five-second Instagram hit requires research, data, and testing. The bonus is that in these moments of calm, curiosity flourishes. Who knows what you might discover as you idle in the backwaters or paddle the tributaries of the great meandering river of ideas. Somewhere in those hypnotic swirling eddies is an idea that will last – an unexpected and potentially disruptive concept that adds depth and longevity to a brand.

For flavour that lasts, I recommend the slow-cooked option every time.

The magic of Christmas is in the imagination, not an algorithm.

Christmas is a nervous time for marketers. Like kids who fear they may have been more naughty that nice, they’re never sure what Santa will bring – or if he’ll visit at all. The rule – for those who want full stockings and fat sales charts – is to weave a web of unexpected magic, and to do it like no one else.

I saw this first-hand a couple of weeks ago when I popped into Le Bon Marché in Paris. With surprises at every turn, it was an exquisite shopping experience – an example of how imagination can create a far more exciting retail adventure than the predictability of algorithm-driven purchase prompts. Captivating displays and unexpected gift ideas, packaged for maximum desirability, teased from every shelf. I easily spent a couple of hours in festive heaven, buying gifts that I stumbled on by accident. Since I didn’t know they existed there’s no way I could have dropped them into the search box of my favourite online stores. The experience surprised me as surely as my discoveries will surprise my family.

What sounds like a sales pitch for Le Bon Marché is really a sales pitch for Christmas magic. Every brand has to generate its own adrenalin rush of festive excitement, whether it trades on the high street or online – or both. How do you spark the child within us all? How do you turn Christmas shopping from an annual chore into a glittering adventure?

With just two weeks to go, there’s not a lot you can do to spice up this year’s sales. But just imagine how wonderful Christmas 2019 would be if you could make it glitter like never before.

How immersive and multi-layered is your hospitality experience? If you’re still stuck in the rut of flavour and service, the release of tickets for Secret Cinema’s latest multi-sensory 007 experience should be a wake-up call.

Events like this remind us how hard the competition is working to win a new generation of sensory-seeking drinkers and diners. This is the audience who want their big night out to be surprising, spontaneous and multi-faceted. The hospitality brands that understand them are looking way beyond the twice-yearly menu cycle. They offer a continuously evolving range of ‘sensory bites’ that keep this innovation-hungry audience coming back for its next taste sensation. So how do you reinvent your own staid night out? How do you inject flair, excitement and theatricality without breaching those oh-so-sensitive price points? The answer – if Secret Cinema’s success and pricey tickets are anything to go by – is that quality and inventiveness will still drive footfall.

20 Years of Seeing Brands from Every Angle

In a fast-paced and ever-changing business environment, we’re proud to have been meeting clients’ needs for twenty years. As it’s our anniversary, we’re just going to come right out with it: We’re really good at what we do!

So, what about the next twenty years? How will Brexit play out for brands? What will the communications landscape look like? How will we cut through the clutter and the noise in every aspect of our lives?

We believe that for every audience and every channel there’s a different angle – a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it idea that spins the world around. It’s those hidden connections that spur us on at Wildhorse. And It’s the exciting journey of getting to grips with the business challenges and crafting a brand plan for each design project that I love.

Despite the complexities of today’s market-place, we could never make any sense of it without brand clarity. Without rock-solid positioning and a coherent strategy that gives you stand-out. What I do today at Wildhorse is what I’ve been doing for the past 20 years: helping clients to articulate their positioning and develop a meaningful tone-of-voice and brand marketing strategy.

It’s the fundamentals that motivate me. Once we’ve nailed the brand, its unique personality and its direction, anything is possible. We can adapt to whatever cultural or technological shifts come our way.

Brands need a compelling call-to-action in an ever-more fractured media space. We see the likes of Twitter, Alexa and Siri drive our responses, searches and business enablers. But it is still the art of content strategy and the emotional connection that win hearts and minds, wherever the touchpoint is.

So today we celebrate twenty years of consistently getting it right. In a couple of years’ time, the challenges will be different. And exactly the same. If you know what your brand’s about, the rest slips into place. That’s how I’ve helped my clients flourish over the past two decades. I thank them for their faith in me and for their willingness to let me see their brands from every angle.

From sea to plate, to print

The Wright Brothers have a sea-to-plate mantra which has shaped the way Londoners consume and appreciate seafood. We were asked to create a piece that would celebrate their values, commercial success, and rollout strategy in order to woo potential landlords. Our solution was a beautifully printed narrative. We developed a strong, clear brand voice, supported by carefully curated, evocative imagery, to bring their unique brand positioning and potential to life.

There’s more to our creativity than meets the eye

What is creativity? Fancy typography and a witty turn of phrase? A smooth animation or snazzy website? At Wildhorse, we think it’s none (and all) of the above. That’s because we see creativity as an approach, not a result.

To us, creativity is ingrained in the strategy – so we think from fresh perspectives. It’s there in the planning, spotting opportunities to make your budget go further. And it’s in every inch (or pixel) of the finished piece, so your comms look as good as they work.

A glimpse into the world of Flypay – the latest smartphone payment app to take London by storm. We’re delighted to unveil our campaign platform tailor-made to leverage their partnership with Fuller’s. Enjoy the marriage of creative insight, strategic planning and swift mobile payment at a Fuller’s pub near you.