In many ways 2016 was a pretty unremarkable year. Said no-one ever! It’s hard to believe it’s this time of year already. Of course, now that Santa’s sleigh bell is threatening to ring, it is only natural that we at Fleet Street Communications take a little time to reflect on the previous 12 months, and to consider the year ahead, writes Mark Stretton.
It has been a genuinely fantastic, whirlwind year for us – a period that has gone by in a flash of new clients, a burgeoning and ever-growing team of consultants, some award-winning media campaigns, plenty of hard work and much fun along the way too.
If you’ll excuse the indulgence, it’s extremely gratifying for us to quietly contemplate the companies we are able to call out as clients of Fleet Street Communications – names such as Carlsberg, Casual Dining Group, Diageo, Expedia, Enterprise Inns, Fourth – and many more. Hopefully, the quality of the companies that work with us says much about our business.
In addition to some of the stellar names above, many of which are long-term clients, 2016 was the year a number of other firms selected us as their agency partner, with Be At One, Benugo, NewRiver, Thai Leisure Group, Pub 17 and Twickenham Fine Ales joining the Fleet Street Communications fold.
From the small beginnings of life as a business start-up in early 2011, our team now comprises 18 consultants split across two business centres, in London and Birmingham, including our (relatively) new Head of Content Mike Berry, who joined us in October from the Morning Advertiser, where he was Managing Editor. Mike’s appointment reflects the increasingly important role that great content, insight and research plays in creating stand-out, highly relevant campaigns, certainly in the B2B arena and in light of this ever more social / digital marketing and communications world.
In terms of the 2016 campaigns that really stand-out, there are too many to mention but if I had to pick just three (I’ve been told I have to pick just three), they would be the work with Carlsberg on both Rebrew and the relaunch of Carlsberg Export. Rebrew was a fantastic, classic piece of storytelling that demonstrated Carlsberg’s central role in the history of beer and beer science – it’s a heritage that few brewers can rival.
The relaunch of Carlsberg Export was bold, brave and highly credible, with a strong new identity for a beer that in blind taste tests tends to beat off all of its rivals. The campaign is backed by a strong category message and is in direct response to the need for lager brands to connect with millennial consumers in a more meaningful way. Watch this space for more activity in 2017.
Staying with beer, Vianet and Cask Marque’s Beer Quality Report shone a light on a subject that the on-trade beer market needs to embrace. For all the excitement and innovation in the beer category right now, quality remains an issue and the market does not perhaps get it right often enough at the moment of truth – when the customer’s lips hit the glass. Quality is the biggest threat to this wonderful resurgence of beer.
We have also been engaged with Fourth in helping them to push their market insights out to key media, in a series of hard-hitting news campaigns. Examples include highlighting the impact of the National Living Wage on hospitality and leisure businesses, and also how reliant such companies are on overseas workers, both highly relevant and live issues, right now, and ones which drove blanket coverage for Fourth.
There were also crowd-fundings, press trips, report and product launches, and awards plus an afternoon tea consumer campaign at the V&A Museum. Oh, and there was also that press event with one David Beckham for the launch of Haig Club’s Clubman. There was a long queue of FSC volunteers for that one, and yours truly was left behind to man the office. I know my place.
So there it is – a whistle-stop tour of the year that was at Fleet Street Communications. As I seem to have written far too much, look out for my blog in early January about the year ahead.
For now, it remains for me to wish clients, pre-clients, friends and colleagues a happy and peaceful Christmas, and to say here’s to a fantastic 2017.