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The 2014 thoughts archive

Awards season!

It’s a period of celebration here at True North. First we won a Silver at the Design Effectiveness Awards for our Royal Mail Gold Medal Stamps campaign. The Gold Medal Stamps were also shortlisted last week, along with our Bugs campaign for Chester Zoo, at the Marketing Design Awards. We’ve been shortlisted for a Drum Marketing Award (again for Gold Medal Stamps) and our Football stamps are shortlisted in the Print Comms category at Design Week. To top it all, we’ve now been recognised for all of our hard work by reaching no.6 in The Drum’s list of Elite agencies. I think it’s true to say that we could all find easier jobs elsewhere, but to work in an environment that you love, constantly have new and interesting problems to solve, have great colleagues and clients to learn from, and then be awarded for it, more than makes it all worth while!

We're hiring - Head of Studio at TN

We’re growing fast, so we need someone to head up our fantastically busy studio.

Working closely with our Design Director and Head of Account Management to achieve the utmost efficiency, you’ll be a detail-obsessed, super-organised, super artworker rather than a would-be designer.

You’ll be responsible for ensuring perfectly crafted and honed artwork on global branding projects for clients including Wellcome Trust, British Council, University of Oxford and Sport England, not to mention highly crafted stamp designs for Royal Mail.

This is a rare opportunity to grab a big role in our agency. In fact, we don’t think we’ll ever offer a position like this again. So if you’ve got what it takes, tell us why at jobs@thisistruenorth.co.uk

Is Prince really so different from Persil?

So this week Prince is staging surprise, low key gigs in small London venues (Madame Tussauds tonight, rumour has it), and we are once again going crazy for him. A bit of fun for an artist who just loves playing live, or a canny business move to regain a connection with an audience that feels distanced from its global superstars? Is it really so different to the increasingly open relationships we're having with our favourite FMCG brands and will we ever see Madonna popping up the bar at Manchester's Band On The Wall? Is Prince really so different from Persil? (Cue obvious gag that 'dirt has always been good'.) Answers on a postcard people...

This year, we've got a rather large resolution

We are trying to help find ways to get England’s women fitter.

Last Summer we were appointed by Sport England to create a brand for a pilot scheme that is encouraging women and girls in Bury to get more active. Why Bury? Because it offers the most representative demographic sample in the country with which to test this new scheme. The goal is to attempt innovative new ways to try and change behaviour, measure and monitor in detail, in order to provide learnings that could be applied more widely.

Most women would like to get a bit more exercise but research shows that the reality is often anything but easy. Once work's over, the tea's been made and the kids have gone to bed, there's not always time to fit in a Zumba class as well. Even if there was, a lot of women feel intimidated trying something new on their own, or are put off by having not done anything for a while and the thought of being bottom of the class.

Our understanding of these and other barriers to women maintaining any kind of change in behaviours helped influence our ‘I Will If You Will’ concept.

I Will If You Will is all about supporting and encouraging women and girls to get a bit more active. By creating a friendly, conversational brand and tone of voice we could show them that we're all in this together, there's nothing to be afraid of and most of us feel exactly the same way.

There is a no-nonsense tone throughout the brand identity which is intended to feel fun and energetic without being overtly ‘female’ or preach-y. The style of photography is vital; featuring real women doing real activities. No 6 foot tall models, no make-up and no expensive designer kit. Working with photographer Tracey Gibbs, we captured the real women of Bury taking part in their regular exercise classes, leaving us with some great natural shots that prove exercise doesn’t have to be all sweat and tears. 

In early December we saw a visit from the Minister for Sport and Equalities, Helen Grant, to see how things were progressing. The local media were also present and the minister’s visit (along with our branding smartly adapted to form a tv infographic) was featured on BBC North West news. 

So far Sport England’s Active People six-monthly review has shown an increase above the national average for women, with 2,000 more women in Bury now participating in sport than six months ago and we hope to help keep improving this figure through a number of events and initiatives from January through to the end of the pilot in the summer. Watch this space!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHytzGflMSo&feature=share&list=UUyQoVQ2zT81Mo0r4t3DTiXw

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