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Suzuki Take Saturday Nights up a Gear with ITV and Take That

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Suzuki have become synonymous with Saturday nights on ITV; famed for their family friendly antics, previously fronted by Ant & Dec. This long term strategy has just been taken to a new level with the introduction of Take That in 2019.  The campaign sees the UK’s favourite boyband travel across the UK in a Suzuki Vitara SUV to surprise fans with a journey they will Never Forget – and enjoy an in-car karaoke session with their idols on the way.

Suzuki will shine even brighter on Saturday nights with the Take That ad spots placed in ITV’s very best entertainment programming, starting with The Voice.  Content will be brought to life further with extensive paid social, consumer competitions, dealer activations and a few new surprises that are yet to come…    

Take That content will be refreshed throughout the year, maintaining the sense of mischievous fun that has helped to cement Suzuki at the very heart of family entertainment.

We are delighted to have been named Best Research Team at the Media Research Awards

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23rd November 2018 marked the bi-annual Media Research Group (MRG) awards, held in Bratislava after the 3-day annual conference.

the7stars were privileged enough to be shortlisted in three categories: Best Research Team – Media Agency, Rising Star, and Best Collaboration – for our whitepaper co-authored with Sign Salad on the topic of Diversity in Advertising.

 The competition was fierce, but we managed to bring home two trophies – beating Mediacom and OMD to the title of Best Research Team, in what the judges said was a unanimous decision, and our own Michelle Milner taking home Rising Star alongside her friend Jess Percival of Twitter.

 One of the only opportunities to celebrate media research at its finest, and after our success at the other ceremony of note in our industry – Mediatel Research Awards – back in February, we were delighted to have ‘done the double’!

The Return of All Star Driving School

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Following on from the success of series one in 2017, All Star Driving School is back with a new batch of famous faces who have yet to pass their driving test. These celebs will join a specially-created intensive driving school run by three fully-qualified instructors where they will take part in a series of core driving skills and challenges, all in the Suzuki Swift.

The famous faces getting behind the wheel of the Suzuki Swift will be TOWIE star James ‘Arg’ Argent, Coronation Street actor Mikey North, The Vamps’ Tristan Evans, (N.B this is week 1 talent so probs most relevant) pop songstress Vanessa White, Made in Chelsea’s Victoria Baker-Harber, Comedian Mark Watson, singer Tallia Storm, Hollyoaks actress Ruby O’Donnell and Famalam actor Tom Moutchi. Driving instructors Maxine, Ricky and Pells will also be returning for the second series to put our learners through their paces.

Lightbox Loves

Lightbox Loves: A Growing Concern

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The public’s shown a growing concern with advertising’s impact on lifestyle choices – and this is turn has led to increased regulation, like the recent bans on junk food and body-shaming. While these rules have posed limitations for some brands, they hardly compare to the obstacles faced by cannabis growers in Canada (no, really!), after the public sale of cannabis was legalised last June.

Following public consultations, Health Canada established strict rules regulating the advertisement of cannabis products. They have banned broadcast campaigns, sponsorships, celebrity endorsements, animals and animated characters – anything that attracts kids or teens. They have also stipulated that cannabis ads cannot convey glamour, recreation, risk or excitement in any way. Infringement of any of the rules could lead not only to millions in fines – but even jailtime.

Budding cannabis brands have had to find creative ways to reach their potential new market. Some have generated hype in the lead-up to legalisation by debuting cannabis-flavoured or inspired products first, like MedReleaf’s beer or AltaVie’s toffee. Others, like Royal Canadian, have created tongue-in-cheek imagery for social media that covertly conveys their message. Branded experiential events that don’t feature the actual product, like MedReleaf’s mindfulness sessions, have also helped brands toe the line.

Media and tech agencies are proactively looking for solutions too. Future Farm Technologies sees an opportunity for innovation in augmented reality, developing AR-enhanced packaging that transforms under a smart phone. Marketing agency Snipp Interactive has signed up producers to its promotions and loyalty campaigns, including Corona maker Constellation Brands.

Although talks of legalisation are still in the incubation stage in the UK, our own growing public health concerns beg the question of how far brands should push the limit of what is deemed ‘decent’ to get their product noticed. For example, YouGov has reported that 61% of Brits support a junk food advertising ban. To keep these consumers onside, advertisers should do more than cleverly sidestep red tape. Instead, they should ask how they can genuinely bring advertising in line with the ‘public good’?

Representing? – A Whitepaper by the7stars & Sign Salad

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We are delighted to announce that we have written a whitepaper around the visual representation of Diversity in advertising, proudly partnering with cultural semiotics agency, Sign Salad.

With 40 million Brits currently feeling under-represented by modern advertising, the whitepaper explores how advertisers can ensure they showcase minority individuals with authenticity, so as to satisfy consumer needs, as opposed to simply jumping on a bandwagon. Alluding to a wide-ranging collection of examples where brands have celebrated diversity successfully (and not so successfully) we have come up with three key recommendations that advertisers can use to stay ahead of the game and avoid public backlash:
1. Avoiding tokenism
2. Showcasing minorities often unseen or ignored
3. Resolving vs reinforcing social division

The whitepaper will officially launch on Wednesday 18th July through a client event. If you are a client of the7stars or Sign Salad and would like to come along, then please email Michelle Milner – michelle.milner@the7stars.co.uk

The7stars x Twitter #JOBSWAP

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In May, Sam Carr and Jess Percival from the7stars and Twitter’s insight teams respectively, swapped jobs for a day to have a peek at how the other half live.

First up was Sam and his visit to Twitter’s office over in Piccadilly Circus. Arriving to a very warm welcome, and an even warmer breakfast buffet, Sam took the majority of the day to get over how plush Twitter’s offices are. Sitting in awe of the space didn’t last long as the packed-out agenda kicked off with a 1:1 with Twitter’s strategists.

Catching up with @matthewgerrard, Brand Planner at Twitter UK, Sam learned about the Brand Strategy department – the creative engine at Twitter. He was exposed to how they develop bespoke creative solutions for key brand partners, often tasked with increasing engagement in a way that fits in-line with relevant campaign objectives. One brilliant example is their work with the British Heart Foundation in using the <3 like button to drive education on the benefits of CPR. Case study link here; and here’s the video link: https://vimeo.com/200990613

After catch ups with the econometricians and commercial insight team, Sam got his hands dirty in helping to design a quantitative survey to understand the gaming habits of Twitter users, via their online community panel of ‘Twitter Insiders’; utilizing his gaming knowledge and contributing ideas for key industry trends.

Jess was eased into a day in the life at the7stars with a relaxed breakfast out of the office. But that was just a light precursor to the wonderful world of Brand Tracking, with Iceland’s Christmas campaign as the case study. The quant fun didn’t stop there, with Michelle taking Jess through our best segmentation work from the initial design of the study right through to the glossy magazine output.

After lunch in the park and a quick sunbathe, Jess had an afternoon lined up to learn all about non-digital channels, sitting down with Adele & Emma to hear about the lives of TV, OOH and Print planner/buyers.

It was an incredibly rewarding day for both Sam & Jess, finding out the differences and similarities in insight work between a media agency and a media owner, and how we can best work together in the future and take learnings for our own teams.