LNER: The challenge of change on the East Coast line

LNER has now replaced Virgin East Coast, National Express and GNER, to run the arterial line that is the East Coast line. And the second of the ‘big four’, created by the Eric Geddes’ ‘Grouping’ Act of 1921, is being re-birthed. The Department of Transport through an ‘Operator of Last Resort’ has picked up the keys and will now drive … Read More

‘Odeon’ & cinema branding

Take the origin of the name ‘odeon’ literally and you start to imagine a radically different way of marketing cinemas. Small Greek theatres in which dramatic artists submitted their works to the public for approval. The idea of cinemas as theatres is a simple but directive one.  Theatres and cinemas share so much but differ so widely. They are both … Read More

Brand Provocation

Knowing yourself is a gift. For businesses it is an essential asset. Self-awareness allows a company to connect with the truth of who they are, what they do & more fundamentally why they do it. There is no substitute for the process of gaining self-awareness in the definition of its brand. Look inward first, to be able to look outward … Read More

Virgin trains thinks ahead

Virgin knows a thing or two about acting heroically. Revolution this, up against the established that, VFM, customer service etc. etc. Here, in a campaign for Trains is an idea of the consumer acting  heroically, with traveling pitched as a date with destiny and the chance for ‘Glory’. It is classic Virgin territory. Bold, emotive, maverick. And if those aren’t … Read More

Singer donates her eyes

There is a very simple but powerful new campaign for the RNIB ( Royal National Institute for the Blind). Dame Shirley Bassey lends her eyes to the work. She appears with her characteristically diamond-sparkler eyes, shut. And is motionless until her eyes open wide and she once again becomes animated. Its a study in empathy and an insight into how … Read More

Cancer Research brand strategy

For a long time now, Cancer Research has employed a simple but effective strategy to gain attention, time and money for the cause of fighting cancer. They have taken the ‘fight’ literally, turning it into a proper battle between protagonist/ antagonist, good vs ill. This allows people to firmly take sides, feel more engaged in the crusade against the disease … Read More


  Leith walk ‘graffiti’? Is this Graffiti?    

Whyte & Mackay

A striking poster from Whyte & Mackay, somewhere near Leith. However, whats the idea for this well known blend from Glasgow? Smoothness. A result no doubt from the Triple Distillation favoured a little further west than Glasgow in Ireland. However the most interesting point is the headline ‘Surprisingly Smooth’, suggesting that most of us would have thought it pretty rough? Either … Read More

Train Heresy

To block a view from a train window. Especially when travelling along the East Coast of Scotland, north of Berwick. Like flying over the Andes with your eyes shut.    

The return of the Great Western Railway. GWR

  The Great Western Railway franchise came into operation on the weekend. Re-defining a company with unique credentials from the past to lead a new purpose into the future. Much work has already been done to prepare for the re-appearance those 3  powerful letters. A passion within the railway has been re-kindled. A pride within the people is being remembered. … Read More