A Lidl Bit of Filming

From events, to social media, to PR, to filming – we’re not ones to brag, but is there anything AATI can’t do?

Our latest project involved three weeks of lights, camera and action for our favourite supermarket store, Lidl. With such huge international success and crazy, speedy growth, these guys can’t recruit fast enough! So what could be better than a super slick recruitment video from yours truly? Actually, make that three!

With Lidl stores all across Europe, we had slightly hoped that a trip to the head office in Germany was on the cards, but we said “Auf Wiedersehen“ to that and “Guten Morgen“ to Bingham in Nottinhamshire instead. Don’t be too quick to judge though, because Bingham is now home to one of the five swanky new Lidl stores in the UK – everything was so shiny!   So Bingham became our home for the next two weeks, where our mission was to create a Store Manager and Customer Assistant recruitment film that showed off all aspects of the job role. We had employees come from all over the country to take part in the film (admittedly most were unaware of what was actually in store for them).  Everybody did a fab job of repeating back script lines, while making sure their uniform was perfect, the store looked pristine and old Mrs Robinson didn’t knock over the ridiculously expensive camera kit as she reached for a loaf of granary – if that isn’t in the job description, it should be! Not ones to do things by halves, our camera crew came up with some exciting visuals and did a exemplary job of hiding their embarrassment as we wheeled the camera around in a trolley like a small child, time-lapsing like crazy and setting up shots in all corners of the store.

For our third and final week, we road tripped down to Northfleet in Kent, to film in the Regional Distribution Center, this time showcasing the Lidl warehouse role. Battling to be heard over the continuous beeping of the order pickers and pallet trucks, and amused at the fact that everybody seemed to be talking to imaginary people through their head sets, we set about to make our third and final film. Once again the Lidl talent was strong, reacting seamlessly to our directing demands, and sheepish requests of “great job, but could you just try that one more time”, after the 20th take!

All was going to plan until our big idea of sending the GoPro into the air on a reach truck backfired and it got stuck mid-ascent (note to self: definitely don’t send GoPro’s into the air on a reach truck). Luckily we were rescued by Aerial Republic the following day, who took over all sky high camera duties by using much better behaved equipment named ‘The Drone.’ After getting some seriously cool shots over the enormous warehouse roof, a quick trip into the freezer, and of course, a couple of trusty time lapses, we wrapped up and headed back to the office!

Good luck to the editing team who now have about 46,537,646 shots to cut down to a three minute long video and good luck to the rest of the crew losing the 7,456,553 pounds we put on stuffing our faces with the entirety of Lidl’s bakery for three weeks –  just too tasty to resist!

Remember to log on to www.lidlcareers.co.uk to check out the videos yourselves, and while you’re there, why not apply?

 

OUR PARTY (A.K.A. ‘WORK’) WITH TALBOT UNDERWRITING

Sipping on a jasmine tea mojito, looking out to the amazing panoramic views of the Thames and city skyline from The Leadenhall Building’s Landing Forty Two, it’s easy to forget this is what we call a day’s work at All About The Idea. But behind the scenes, months of hard work went into the planning and preparation for our latest client event… so a celebratory mojito is allowed, right?

Longstanding CEO of Talbot Underwriting LTD, Rupert Atkin, recently announced his retirement after 35 years of service, with Peter Bilsby named to take over the position. Our job was to throw a fabulous party for 285 of the company’s staff, including their board of execs, to celebrate Rupert’s many achievements over his years in the insurance industry.

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First on the list was choosing a venue and with our hearts set on a party in the sky, where better than London’s highest dedicated event space at the top of the famous Cheesegrater. Even after numerous site visits, our jaws still dropped every time we raced up the 42 flights in Europe’s fastest scenic lift – 28 seconds to the top! In hindsight this was probably not the best thing to boast about to our client whilst she nervously approached the lift lobby for the first time, whispering “have I ever told you I have a fear of heights?” – oops.

Someone not fazed by heights at all, was the man of the hour himself. Familiar with not only the Leadenhall Building, but also the Gherkin and Walkie Talkie, Rupert took it a step further last year by abseiling down all three buildings to complete the City 3 Peaks Challenge. Is there anything he can’t do?!

As with every situation in life, good food was extremely important for the event. We entrusted all responsibility of yumminess to Create Food and Party Design, who well and truly delivered. We had no doubt about the creative and professional service that Create would bring to the table (pun intended), but just to make sure, we spent a sunny morning down in Wimbledon (eating pants at the ready) sampling a whopping 17 canapes and 9 wine varietals. Oh, how we love our job!

On event day, we were joined by three wonderful musicians, provided by Grammy nominated composer Ella Spira, as well as the fantastic magician, Daniel Reed and hilarious caricature artist, Sheba Cassini.

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With good food, great entertainment and a stunning venue all taken care of, everything was set for a great evening.

The event ran seamlessly and guests enjoyed drinks and nibbles until the early hours, with the glistening lights of London shining below them.

Our hats are off to Rupert Atkin following a fantastic 35 years at the helm, and we wish the best of luck to Peter Bilsby, who’s stepping into some very big shoes!

Tom Tuke-Hastings on ‘It’s All About The Idea’

It’s not every day that business owners are willing to share the keys to their success, but that’s exactly what Tom Tuke-Hastings, Director of All About The Idea, has done with his latest project ‘It’s All About The Idea’ – an instructive book on the benefits of creative thinking in the work-space.

The book aims to help companies transform and improve their practices over the course of a year – a goal that I had the pleasure of  learning more about from the man himself.

So, why write the book?

This is not my first book, but the other three have been on cookery… I felt it was time to move into a more challenging market and wanted to write a book on marketing. Having always had a red thread of creativity through my career, a book on big ideas was a natural choice. Getting the book written and published was a tangible goal that I could move quickly on, to build some momentum, so I went for it.
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What is the book about?

At its heart, the book is about big ideas and how to come up with them. I am very conscious that business people lead very busy lives and often struggle to take business texts and put them into process. So the book is broken down into 52 bite sized pieces so you can try one out every week for a year. The aim being that it brings more creativity to your company over a year.

How should people use the book?

The first thing to do is obviously read it through. Due to its bite sized nature, it is a quick read. As you read through, you will hopefully find bits that call to you. Treat it as a menu, rather than a definitive guide. There will be areas that are more interesting and important to you, so select the bits you want to know more about, or feel would work for you.

Each section has a URL at the bottom that takes you to a worksheet, use these to help implement the section and evaluate how useful it is to you. Use as many or few sections as you feel relevant and don’t feel afraid to go over them repeatedly if it does not work for you first time.

Is it theory, or does it work in the real world?

I think it has a very pressing need in the real world of business.

As I heard in a talk from John A Bryant, CEO of Kellogg’s, large companies are finding it hard to innovate and keep up with the rapid changes out in the marketplace. Their systems are slower and less flexible than start-ups and challenger brands. This often includes the stifling of creativity. It is not that the big company people are less creative, it is just that they do not have occasion or the habit to use their creativity. In this case people need a big nudge to help kick start the process and get them coming up with ideas. The book is meant to be an aide to recreate the Corporate Creativity Workshops I carry out for clients, to let people do it for themselves.

Increasing creativity is not just about sitting on beanbags dreaming ideas up, you need the systems to support ideas and let the flourish. I am a great fan of planning and planning not to plan. By this I mean those moments that pop up and create a big opportunity. You need to be prepared for them even though you don’t know what they are yet. We worked with HTC to build the protocols to make this happen, a cache of handsets to give out, a small amount of discretionary budget and a streamlined approval process to give super-fast, streamlined sign off. This enabled them to react quickly to the type of opportunity that they had been missing. An early success was getting a rock band to film behind the scenes and on stage with Steel Panther at one of their big gigs.

A great example of a company doing this well is Oreos at the Super Bowl, when the lights went out they tweeted that you can still dunk in the dark. The content itself was not particularly exciting, but the timing was spot on. It went viral and was more talked about that the coveted advertising spots.

Can you always come up with ideas?

Ideas are not always there on tap, sometimes it is harder than others. There are also days where they just flow out and there is no end to them.

When it is hard, I like to change location and get somewhere I can concentrate and block everything else out. For me the biggest problem is too many distractions, so I cut out email and people disturbing me. Sometimes you are having an off day and whatever you do, you just can’t think of anything. That is fine, if you are always at your best, you are by definition mediocre. So the lows are as important as the highs. Use this time to do other tasks and come back re-energised to try again.

What was the hardest part of writing the book?

It has been said that the hardest part of writing a book is the first and last pages.  Like starting a business, it is easy to talk about doing things, but much harder to put things into practice. I find that telling people I am doing something helps. The idea is out there and I need to get going to make it happen. This tends to get me off the starting blocks and onto that first page.

The book started life as a wide selection of ideas across various subjects and deciding what the book was about and who it was for was a key decision.

Once you have started, finishing is also hard. A book has so many options off what can be added in or taken out and you want to endlessly polish it. Some authors delay for ever as they think it can still be a bit better. It probably can, but unless you ship something, you have nothing. I have found setting a hard deadline helps.

I decided to launch the book on the 29th of Feb. This was a once in every four years moment, a leap day. For the salaried is an additional day that companies get for free and I believe that companies should use it to think about themselves, their strategy and where they are going. So with that in the diary and various senior business people due to turn up, the book had to be there. This lead to some inevitable late nights, but the book was ready and it shipped.

If you want people to take one thing from the book what would it be?

I think it would have to be around positivity. I live by the mantra that “It’s going to be great!”

When you approach things like this, it normally is. Everyone is capable of creativity and you just need to believe in yourself and go for it.

Having published this book do you have plans for any more?

I have really enjoyed this book and being right in my core area of expertise has helped a lot. I am very interested in another aimed at entrepreneurs and helping them to find their gap using creative ideas as well as business strategy and modelling.

What advice do you have for anyone who want to write a book?

First off, I would say go for it. There has never been a better time to start writing, with endless ways that people can read and interact with your content. You can start small with a blog or work on a huge novel aimed at a multi-million book deal with film rights. Whatever your topic, think about your audience, who do you want to read your book? Define this and keep this in mind as you write to ensure it stays true to this. A common slip-up is to write with no audience in mind and the content becomes flabby and does not appeal to anyone in particular.

The other key thing to work out is; how do you want to get the content out there? You can get a publishing deal from an existing publisher (normally through an agent), self-publish on hard copy, print on demand or epublish. All have their pros and cons.

Lastly I would say, you need to do it for passion or promotion, as very few people make much money out of writing. With globalisation, there are fewer and fewer bestsellers. The flip side being if you can make it as one of these, the rewards are huge, but the chances are slim.

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Tom’s Book: It’s All About The Idea is available now from Amazon for Kindle, Amazon.co.uk for UK print and www.BritishBusiness.School for global print copies at £9.99 with free postage.

UK Event Awards 2015!

In a time of seasonal festivities, with London dripping in Christmas lights and staff Christmas parties now upon us, it’s hard to cast our minds back to the long days of summer. But surprisingly it was only 6 months ago – (when Christmas was an occasion far too far away to think about) – that All About the Idea activated their first of 12 roadshow events for Coca-Cola.

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The aim of the Rugby Ready Roadshow was to deliver an unforgettable experience to 12 locations up and down the country. The idea – to educate Coca-Cola employees in their workplace about the benefits of the company sponsoring the Rugby World Cup. From this, the experience was split into different sections including a shirt signing area that entered employees into a draw for world cup tickets, a skill based rugby inflatable game, a team talk in a rugby inspired changing room and a special Coca-Cola Haka performed by Maori coaches that teams learnt and performed together. In other words, just another day’s work for the All About the Idea team, as once again a big idea was bought to life.

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The event was a huge success! Not only were All About the Idea delighted with their delivery, Coca-Cola were thrilled with the impact it had on their employees and the overall feedback was fantastic. It seemed only fitting then that after our previous year’s win at the UK Event Awards with Lidl, Rugby Ready should be entered into the same category of ‘In-House Event of the Year’.

The UK Event Awards –in association with The Drum – recognise and reward the very best of Britain’s events industry. Ranging from event organisers, suppliers and marketers, 26 awards were up for grabs this year – ‘In-House Event of the Year’ unfortunately being one of the most competitive this time!

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After a quick transformation at the office on a chilly December evening, we arrived at the London Marriott Grosvenor Square dressed to impress. If we were going to lose out to the extremely high competition our category faced, then it may as well have been in style! A couple of ‘swizzles’ and ‘shnibbly bits’ later (that’s cocktails and nibbles in regular talk) we took our seats ready for an evening of entertainment – champagne firmly in hand.

After working our way through 3 lovely courses (the duck was delicious, thanks guys!) and experiencing some ‘ooohs’ and ‘aaaahs’ from an impressive centre piece of oranges and dry ice, comedian Mark Watson took to the stage to do what he does best!

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Finally, it came to awards time, and with both the AATI and Coca-Cola team on the edge of their seats, it seemed like an age until our category was up. The expert panel that judged all entries, awarded an extra commendation to our category due to the extremely tough competition. With no mention of Rugby Ready at this point, the team were ready to top up the wine glasses and cheers to at least being nominated. For that reason, it was even more brilliant when Coca Cola were named the 2015 winners for an event that judges said was extremely unique and implemented brilliantly within budget.

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High fives, champagne toasts and table selfies took up the majority of the rest of our evening, and the smiles could not be wiped away from our faces. Winning an award highlights to the industry all the hard work and dedication that has been put in throughout the year and for that, we are extremely proud of our achievements.

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Congratulations to all the other nominees and winners on the night! UK Event Awards – you’ve been fab. See you again in 2016?

Table Rugby

The Rugby World Cup 2015 is nearly upon us as today starts the week of the opening ceremony. If I’m honest, rugby isn’t the one for me. The sheer amount of technical rules and constant stop start of the game is enough to confuse even the brainiest of brains. And to top it off, aren’t they using the wrong shaped ball?

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Truth be told, as you might be able to tell, I’m much more of a football fan and have grown up watching the game with my Dad. But… that doesn’t mean I haven’t allowed the joys of rugby to flow through my football loving mind once or twice. My first rugby experience – and I won’t be offended for you thinking this was highly underserved – was the 2014 Six Nations match between Wales and Australia. Despite not particularly understanding the rules (Okay… I didn’t even know that ‘goals’ weren’t a thing in this game) and having to ask questions every time the whistle was blown, I did actually find that I was surprisingly enjoying myself!

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The atmosphere was the main difference that I noticed, with Rugby fans acting far more civilised than the beer-bellied, foul-mouthed pitch-invading HOOLIGANS I like to call – my fellow West Ham fans… I remember phoning my dad after leaving the Millennium Stadium and saying ‘Dad, we sat in the same stand as the opposition and had a joke with them without a fight breaking out – what’s all that about?!’ That and the absence of football match scenarios such as a thousand claret and blue shirted men pointing towards a rather large girl who, regrettably, did bare an unfortunate resemblance to Matt Lucas whilst chanting ‘There’s only 1 Vicky Pollard!’ No… Rugby is far more sophisticated and even whilst competition is high, and cheers are loud, the rugby fan base have got it right!

Fans aside for a moment, hats off to the rugby players themselves who battle through an 80 minute game with injuries I would be bed bound for months with! Like the saying goes ‘Footballers use tape to strap their shin pads on… rugby players use tape to strap their ears on!’ That’s why, when the opportunity arose at All About the Idea to support UKSCF – a charity known for their work in helping the lives of rugby players who’ve suffered from traumatic injuries – it was a no brainer that this was a charity that deserved our fabulously creative help. And with that came the gem that is… Table Rugby!

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Some of you may have fond memories of this from back in your school days, where the thrill of pushing a coin from one end of the table to another, aiming to get half the coin hanging off the edge of the table, was the highlight of 1st period Religious Education with Mr McSweaty (not his real name of course, but when you’re called something similar and sweat a lot you can understand the reasoning!)

In case you were one of the hardworking pupils at the front of the class, blissfully unaware there was anything else going on in class besides the actual lesson, the best call of action would be to visit the official website where everything is explained to you and you will be a pro in no time.

What’s so brilliant about table rugby is that anyone, anywhere can play. All you need is a table and a coin. Whilst it’s important to remember that there are official WTRA playing coins (subtle hint into directing you towards our merchandise) a 2p coin will suffice if not. The rules are so simple, even my anti-rugby-rules mind can cope with them – especially since I now know a conversion is worth…. Wait, is it 3 points or 5?

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The World Table Rugby Association are encouraging people all over the country to take part in their own tournaments to fundraise for a good cause. £1 from your lovely selves to take part is all we’re asking and there’s no excuse because even I can manage that – a student, paying extortionate London rent with a new found love for Froyo. Even better, if your tournament manages to raise over £50 the winner gets to go through to the Championships on the 1st November where you could be crowned, the one, the only, Table Rugby World Champion.

Whether it be in the office at lunch time, or the pub on a Saturday night, Table Rugby is a fun, simple way to fundraise for a fantastic cause. Go on, get a team together and give it a try (pun most definitely intended!)

Table rugby needs you

Rachel

7 Weeks In, 45 to Go…

London

Whilst on the phone to my phone provider recently – because of course, only I could move into somewhere in the middle of London with absolutely no signal coverage – the voice of a cheery Irish man wooed at how lucky I was to be living in London at my age and what a brilliant opportunity it would be. Fair play to him – he isn’t the only one to have pointed this out (although, how he reckons that’s possible in this day and age with no signal or internet is beyond me!) An internship at a top creative London Company like All About the Idea is exactly what I wanted for my university placement year and with 7 weeks having already whizzed by in a flash, I have no doubt that this year will go by ridiculously quickly. Quicker I’d say, than a box of biscuits last on the AATI desk!

So far, I’m loving my time here, but the contrast from university life to the working world is something no one seemed to gently warn me of before I started! I’ve always heard the grown-up working world saying that they ‘live for the weekend’ but I’ve never really understood this. Sure, weekends are great, but at uni every night can feel like a Saturday night so what’s the big deal? Suddenly, 7 weeks in and my routine is all, dinner at 7, bed by 11 and ‘no sorry I can’t, I have to wash my hair tonight so I can have an extra 15 minute lay in tomorrow!’ What has my 20 year-old self become?!

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Something else that no one warned me of, is the dreaded London commute in rush hour. The tube – or to make things even worse, the central line (queue the sympathetic groans) – at 5:30pm is most definitely not my favourite place to be! With barely any room to move and suited up sweaty strangers being far too much in my personal space, I’ve complained to far too many people how much I dislike it already. Normally this is answered with a grimacing nod and low mutter of ‘I know, commuting is terrible’ before I tell them I only actually have to survive it for a mere 4 stops and for some reason, suddenly no one is as sympathetic anymore!

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Needless to say however, the Events world is brilliant! Who could say that one day at work they’re sourcing dog piñatas and the next, getting the office involved in Table Rugby by taking everyone to the pub to have a game? From emailing the Extreme Ironing club, to booking Fire Eaters and iPad Magicians to even rowing down the Thames and stopping off for a 3 course meal – I don’t see what everyone’s complaining about? Work life is great!

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The office is a world that I’m gradually adapting to as well! Once I return home, the absence of constant phones ringing and the tapping of keyboards now makes me feel a little uneasy! Silence, I’ve realised, is not something that occurs often in London! Despite a few embarrassing phone call mistakes and the occasional ‘reply to all’ email blunder, office life is quite chilled. That’s if you don’t count the crazy surge of people manically rushing towards the kitchen at 5pm on Friday. Because we all know that can only mean one thing… The drinks trolley has arrived!

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It’s safe to say I’m really looking forward to what the rest of the year can bring and if it’s anything like the past 7 weeks – I’m sure in for a fun ride! Thanks for having me so far, All About the Idea, and with 7 weeks down, here’s to the next 45!

Rachel

Tom’s going back to uni…in Harvard!

We don’t want to blow our own trumpet or anything, but we’re kind of a big deal. Want to know why?

Well, our very own director of All about the Idea Mr. Tom Tuke-Hastings has been awarded the new and prestigious Marketors’ Harvard Business School Bursary, an exceptional opportunity with a place on the Advanced Management Programme at the much esteemed Harvard Business School.

Tom was formally awarded the bursary at a special event to mark The Marketors’ 40th anniversary, which took place on 23rd April at Stationers’ Hall in the City of London.

This bursary is newly launched by the Marketors’ Trust and is worth around a whopping great £50,000 per entrant.

While originally there was to be just one bursary awarded, Tom managed to impress Marketors’ Master Andrew Marsden to such a degree that Andrew decided to award it to two people, both Tom and Lesley Wilson, Head of Marketing Profession at BT.

As such, from September Tom will spend 8 weeks completing this course in the leafy grounds of Harvard University, located in Boston, Massachusetts.

So it’s safe to say that Tom is pretty jammy, but his being awarded this prestigious bursary was not without its merit. All entrants took part in a rigorous application process, in which they were required to present their case in the most creative way possible. Tom presented his application in the form of a ‘pop-up’ presentation, a move which so impressed the judges that it is now being used by the admissions team as an example of best creative practice – OH YEAH.

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What is also exceptional about Tom’s winning this bursary is that most people enrolled on the course are aged around 50, so he is likely to be the youngest participant by a significant margin.

The intensive eight week course will see Tom explore leadership in customer and product markets, changing geopolitical influences, and current capital markets, and the course promises to “return candidates to their organisations with the skills, insights, and confidence to lead change, drive innovation, and sustain a competitive advantage.”

Good luck Tom, and bring us back some Hershey’s Bars (and obviously the wealth of management acumen you’ll have acquired) – but mainly the Hershey’s Bars.

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