Christmassy treats in the TLC office

Our graphic designer Caroline gifted us all these beautiful homemade biscuits – a lovely Christmassy surprise on a Monday morning!

Happy #ChristmasJumperDay

We’re celebrating #ChristmasJumperDay in the TLC office today! Which one is your favourite?

Brussel sprouts invade the office

Things are getting sprout of control this afternoon at TLC headquarters!

#MarketingTitbits – Aldi’s Christmas Campaign, Marketing Moments, Periscope For Business

aldi-marketing-periscope1. Aldi’s ‘agile’ Christmas campaign wins first round of Christmas ad battle
With just 3 weeks to go until Christmas, Aldi has definitely run the most effective festive campaign of 2015, adopting an agile approach and social engagement to defeat their rival retailers. Aldi’s ‘man on the moon’ ad compared two telescopes – one John Lewis and the other Aldi which included Jean the infamous star of Aldi’s previous ads.

Aldi has managed to top a list of 13 retailers; scoring 154 compared to John Lewis’ lower score of 142. WE’s head of digital and insights, Gareth Davies, says “ If there’s one thing that the Aldi advert has shown us it’s that being agile and creating on-the-fly content can be a hugely successful strategy”.

Would you like to see the top 13 Christmas ads of 2015? Click here.

2. The top 10 marketing moments of 2015

With 2015 now coming to an end, us marketers have seen some of the most controversial, ground-breaking and, at times, baffling campaigns of the year. As we recap to some of the top marketing campaigns, Nicola Kemp unveils this year’s biggest marketing stories – enjoy!

There are no surprises here as Google have reached the #1 spot with their rewritten structure of Alphabet – their new holding company! Closely following Google was Apple and their new ‘Apple Watch’, as well as and their ‘Epic strut’ campaign which featured Sharon Osbourne.

Click here to view the top 10 marketing moments of 2015.

3. What is Periscope and how can you use it for business video streaming?

2016 is approaching and businesses are looking for the next tool to experiment with to advance their business strategy in the new year. For many, the next tool at the top of the list is Periscope – a video streaming/broadcasting service from Twitter which allows businesses to have video conversations through their network!

Anyone who follows your broadcast will be able to see your live video, like it, comment on it and even share it to other followers on Twitter. From a business perspective, Periscope is an excellent way to gain visibility. It’s important for businesses to be active on the platform to create a community with their target audiences – the more interactive, the better.

Want to learn more about Periscope? Click here.

#MarketingTitbits – #ManOnTheMoon Launch, Retro Christmas Ads, Google+ Social Publishing

johnlewis-retro-google1. John Lewis sees a significant sales uplift following ‘Man on the Moon’ launch
The latest John Lewis Christmas ad, #ManOnTheMoon, appears to have generated an increase in the most important metric for any marketing campaign – sales. After its first week of release, the department store reported its first weekly sales total to surpass £100m this season – an increase of 1.5% from the previous year.

The much hyped Christmas ad received 22 million views in its first week – a total which makes it on track to become “even more popular” than last year’s ‘Monty the Penguin’. This Christmas, John Lewis teamed up with Age UK to raise awareness of the 1 million elderly people that go for over a month without speaking to anybody over the holiday period and beyond.

To read more on the success of #ManOnTheMoon, click here.

2. Are these the best retro Christmas ads of all time?

According to Anne Carpen, creative director of 18 Feet & Rising, some of the best Christmas ads are from a bygone era. The most challenging part for brands preparing their Christmas ad isn’t wading through numerous clichés, but instead finding the festive cheer during the summer season, when the campaign has to be prepared to get them ready to implement in the run up to Christmas.

One brand that didn’t fail to entertain their audience was OfficeMax with their ElfYourself campaign, and is still extremely popular today. DirecTV also managed to bring out the pleasant side of characters like Darth Vader, Chucky and Hannibal during the festive season with their Silent Night Christmas ad – even this would put a smile on any Scrooges face at Christmas.

Click here for the best retro Christmas ads of all time.

3. The new Google+ seeks the middle ground in social publishing

Many marketers are still confused as to what Google+ actually is; however, a major revamp has occurred in yet another effort to convince its most loyal users to log on. From the new change, Google+ is seeking a middle ground between Twitter and Medium, a place which revolves around an individual’s interests and a desire for micro-blogging.

Collections have been available to users for five months, but are now at the centre of focus on the revised network. The Collections will allow users to group posts together, encouraging users to create and share further content. In much the same was as Medium, Google+ have reinforced Communities on the network to inspire users to get involved through popular groups.

To view other Google+ changes, click here.

#MarketingTitbits – customer reviews, domains, John Lewis

reviews-domains-johnlewis-smaller1. What to do when customer reviews turn ugly?
Customer reviews are typically seen as a positive thing for businesses, generating an additional 40% increase in revenue per year if used effectively. And although 83% of reviews written are positive, what happens if they you get a negative one?

Some firms have been known to go as far as hiring freelancers to write either glowing reviews for themselves, or to actually post fake negative reviews about competitors and their products, hoping that this will bring consumers to their door. However, a good way to avoid this can be to use a verification system that can often deter any fake reviews. It is also common for customers to blackmail businesses with dreadful reviews in an attempt to be given discounts and incentives. So, what if this happens to you?

The main things to remember if reviews turn ugly are to stay calm, avoid over-reacting, put the review in context and remember that the good often outweighs the bad.

If you’d like to read more, click here.

2. 5 points to consider when choosing a domain name for your business

Domains are extremely important in determining the presence that your business has on the web. So what should you keep in mind?

Do you go for keywords or your business name – or both? Do you also purchase a series of similar domain names so that even with as spelling mistakes, consumers are still be directed to you?

To find out what else to consider, click here.

3. John Lewis 2014 Christmas ad smashes record for most shared

If you haven’t been living under a rock for the last week or so, you’ll know that John Lewis have released their Christmas ad offering. The clip is set to be the most shared Christmas ad in John Lewis’s history, overtaking previous favourites, such as ’The Bear and the Hare’. In the unlikely event that you have yet to see it, visit Marketing Magazine.

In its first 24 hours, the ad was shared 202,953 times, up 2% on 2013’s edition. People are now starting to believe that launching on a Thursday is the key to success for adverts, due to nearly half of shares taking place between Wednesdays and Fridays.

The campaign, named ‘Monty the Penguin’, has also incorporated in-store experiential marketing with the introduction of ‘Monty’s Den’, allowing customers to buy their own Monty and to see the characters brought to life.

Click here to read more about the campaign’s success.

A Digital Christmas

We know Christmas is upon us when the Monday morning office discussion is based around Mariah Carey vs. The Pogues or Buble vs. Bieber, like it or not, Christmas is a matter of days away.  Whilst many B2B businesses look at the lead up to Christmas as an opportunity to get their house in order, for many B2Cs this is the most important time of year. With shoppers keeping tighter hold of their purse strings this Christmas, it is important for marketers, whether in the B2B or B2C sectors, to think creatively about how to use the wealth of marketing channels out there.  Here is how some more well known brands have been using social media and mobile marketing to engage with consumers this Christmas.
Mobile marketing – Santa’s little helper

Christmas is just around the corner and recent surveys have predicted a significant growth in the use of mobile this Christmas. With almost half of the UK population now owning a Smartphone, more people are turning to their mobiles for shopping research and purchasing decisions. has found that the UK alone is to spend as much on Christmas via mobile phone as the rest of Europe. The growth of mobile commerce continues to show that consumers are becoming more confident in using their mobile phones for shopping and purchasing items on the go.

The NSPCC are a great example for those thinking about mobile marketing in the lead up to Christmas. The NSPCC is once again running a seasonal campaign that will send the child (or big kid!) a ‘Letter from Santa’. The latest campaign from the NSPCC will be promoted and delivered via mobile marketing, with the charity looking to capitalise on the growth of the mobile internet in order to raise more funds in this festive period.  This year, the NCPCC have taken their traditional letter campaign a step further, a special microsite has been established, where parents will be able to order a letter from Santa for their children simply via their smartphones.

Mobile is becoming a key component in marketing and mobile advertising spend is expected to ramp up this Christmas as advertisers focus their efforts on reaching a growing, and increasingly engaged, mobile audience.

Social media this Christmas – Spread a little festive cheer

 Companies are finding new ways to talk to their consumers this Christmas. Stephen Haines, UK commercial director, Facebook, said: “Retailers are seeing more and more value from joining conversations on Facebook as a great way to hear directly from fans about what they want and what’s interesting.

“This Christmas, we’re seeing a lot of brands taking advantage of those conversations to reach not only fans but also their friends in fun, creative ways – including wish lists, gifting apps, exclusive deals and special Facebook offers. “

Facebook gives companies the forum to interact directly with their customers and for a real conversation to take place about the brand. This year Nivea launched a new Facebook campaign for Christmas, the Facebook page is designed to fit in with the skincare brand’s ‘Feel Closer’ positioning. Consumers can use the app to buy and send a friend a Nivea gift set, which will be wrapped in personalised wrapping paper featuring photos they have both been tagged in on Facebook. 

It hopes to target women aged 30-54 by encouraging the use of Facebook to share “moments of closeness” by uploading photos and liking, sharing and commenting on other people’s pictures.

Mobile service provider O2 has launched its festive social media marketing campaign, which will provide customers with a personal message from Santa. Using the social media platform, Twitter, consumers can send their messages to the O2 Santa.  O2 will then create a personal video message for the sender, which can be shared amongst friends.

This Christmas campaign has been designed to spread a little festive joy. Consumers can participate by tweeting the official O2 Twitter account, @O2 with the hashtag #O2santa. All of the video messages created will be hosted on YouTube, enabling customers to watch them again and again.

Head of social media at O2, Alex Pearmain, commented on this latest social media marketing initiative.

“Our social channels seemed the ideal platform to cheer customers up and we hope this campaign will help to cut through some of the current consumer gloom and spread some festive cheer.”

For any business owner, developing a strategy to encourage new business or shoppers back into stores for the crucial Christmas period is increasingly difficult; however, Christmas is a great time to get creative and build customer interaction, ready for the New Year. Last year, we reflected on the increase in online shopping. This year, online marketing has gone social.  So what will next year bring? Will Santa be teleporting his gifts down the chimney? We are looking forward to finding out!

#MarketingTitbits – John Lewis, squats, Google

JL-Squats-Google-smaller1. John Lewis’ Christmas advert set to break its own records!

John Lewis have been gracing our screens with captivating Christmas adverts since 2007. The first one, in 2007, “Shadows”, showed a range of different Christmas gifts set up so that when a light was shined on them they created a shadow shaped like a woman with her dog. However, it wasn’t until 2011 that John Lewis made history.“The Long Wait” showed a little boy impatiently waiting for Christmas day and when it finally came he ran straight past the presents piled up at the end of his bed to give his mum and dad a present, the caption was “For gifts you can’t wait to give”.

The following year we saw “The Journey”, which illustrated a snowman travelling far, through woods and over rivers and mountains to get his Snowlady a scarf, hat and gloves, the caption was “Give a little more love this Christmas”.

And so to 2013 and “The Bear and the Hare” – a story about a hare whose best friend, the bear, hibernates every Christmas. After much deliberation the hare comes up with the perfect gift for his friend, an alarm clock to wake him up on Christmas day. The caption this year reads “Give someone a Christmas they’ll never forget”.

Despite huge popularity around John Lewis’ Christmas adverts over the past 3 years, this year’s ad is set to break its own records – in social media terms anyway. Within the first 24 hours after it was launched “The Bear and the Hare” was mentioned in 49,152 tweets which is more than double the 21,027 it got last year.

To read the full article, click here.

2. 30 squats = 1 train ticket (if you live in Moscow)

The price of train tickets have been rising for many years and are now at an all-time high. Unless you live in Moscow…

Forget the ruble, a Russian train station in Moscow now accepts 30 squats as payment for a train ticket. The exercise is a gimmick to promote the Sochi Winter Olympics, which are coming up in 2014. We think this is a great idea to promote exercise and at the same time getting a free train ticket!

3. The hidden features of Google

Roald Dahl once said “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.” And here is one of those unlikely places. They may not be the best kept secrets but Google have created some secret features that we’d like to share with you. To have a look at the hidden features of Google, click here.


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from TLC Business

We would all like to wish you and your business a very Merry Christmas and a fantastic New Year.

2013 has been a great year for TLC Business. We have welcomed Connie and Ben to the team, had the pleasure to work with brilliant people and businesses and even managed to find the time to fit in a team trip to Thorpe Park on the wettest day of the year.

This year, our Christmas do involved renewing our acquaintance with Laser Quest to find the sharpest TLC shooter, followed by a wonderfully festive meal at The Chesil Rectory in Winchester. Here’s a snap of the team pre-meal – hope you enjoy the garish Christmas sweaters!

Finally, we would like to thank you for all your support and look forward to working with you in 2014.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

From all the TLC Business team


Office hours:

The TLC Business office will be closing Friday 20th at 5pm and will reopen Thursday 2nd January at 9am.