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 –

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:

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.

Week of the Stars

We’re changing our name. Introducing #the9stars ???

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Today, and for one day only, in honour of the #CampaignSchoolReport, we’re changing our name. Introducing #the9stars ???

We are delighted to have been awarded 9/9 in the annual Campaign School Report – the only media agency to be awarded the top mark


Week of the Stars

Google Chrome to Highlight Unsecured Webpages

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You may have seen this tweet from the official 7Stars account yesterday:

As we expected, Google has now officially announced a deadline of July 2018 for when its web browser, Chrome, will begin highlighting unsecured domains to users. From July, Chrome users will be displayed a prominent warning upon reaching non-secure (http rather than https) web pages.
How exactly this will look is unconfirmed, but I imagine it will look something like these examples:

50% of web users around the globe use Google Chrome. This is a huge deal.

How will Google Chrome affect non-secure http domains?

This change will have a significant impact on brands that have not switched to a secure protocol (hint: it doesn’t take long to find examples in the fashion industry). Google has previously stated unsecured domains receive less prominence within its search results, thus many have already experienced decreases in traffic and overall visibility.
However, the negative impact of running unsecured webpages will now carry through to on-site performance metrics too, impacting performance across all channels & activity that drives users to the website.
Some areas brands can expect to feel the pain are:

  • Significantly increased bounce rates on unsecured pages
  • Decreased conversion rates
  • Reduction in advertising impressions & affiliate clicks
  • Reduction in overall digital sales
  • Possible reduction in brand loyalty and consumer confidence

How do I get a Secure SSL Certificate for my Website?

These days, securing your web content is easier and cheaper than many people expect. There are now numerous solutions of varied complexity that can ensure you provide a secure environment online for your site users.
SSL is it’s simple to set up, and once it’s implemented, all you or your developers need to do is direct people to use HTTPS instead of HTTP. It’s as simple as that. There really is no excuse anymore for not running a secure domain.
To get an SSL certificate, follow these 5 simple steps:

  1. Host with a dedicated IP address
  2. Buy a SSL certificate here for less than £50
  3. Activate the SSL certificate – or ask your web host to do it for you
  4. Install the certificate
  5. Update your site to use HTTPS

All brands should be moving to HTTPS as a matter of urgency if they haven’t already. Remember July 2018 is the deadline. We advise you not to miss it.

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Our News

A Day with Supernova, by Rachel Courtney

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Each morning usually begins by catching up on my emails with a strong coffee, I’m an early riser so take advantage of a nice quiet office at 8am. Working in team Supernova means each day is different as projects develop and new briefs come in, so I start the day making sure everything from the day before has been covered off and understanding what the key tasks for the day ahead are.

I will usually sit down with the partnerships team to discuss our live projects. A big part of what we do is project management; with so many moving parts in any partnership, from licensing deals to talent to media delivery, it’s really important that we catch up as a team regularly so we can ensure every project runs as smoothly as possible for our clients! One of our big projects at the moment is working on an AFP (ad-funded programme), so after we catch up we will sit down and review the latest rough cut of an episode, feeding back our notes to the client and the production team- the project is starting to feel very real now!

Most mornings involve a status meeting with clients, either face to face or by conference call. Status meetings are a must with so much going on, they give us the opportunity to discuss live projects and keep our clients completely in the loop. We pride ourselves on working transparently and collaboratively with our clients, so keeping them up to date with each element of a partnership project is really key, even if they are tricky conversations around talent demands!

After we’ve caught up with clients, the afternoon typically consists of meetings with media owners to discuss any projects we have with them, but also on any briefs we have, both from clients and also proactively discussing anything exciting or client relevant in the market. We have great relationships with media owners which means we are able to work closely to create some great plans for clients. As a team, we work across all media so meeting with media owners gives a great arsenal of opportunities for clients, and allows us to challenge briefs with cross-media partnerships.

If we have a brief deadline, we will sit down as a team and go through each response. We create score cards based on the client’s key objectives for the campaign, and go through each response scoring the idea against the criteria. This process allows us to assess if the idea will work for the client, where the weak spots may be, and to give clear feedback to both media owners and clients as to our recommendation.

Towards the end of the day I am usually making sure all the actions outlined for the day have been covered off. This can range from ensuring a contract has gone over to clients or making sure talent has posted the right image to Instagram! I live by my to do list so the last part of the day is devoted to making sure everything for the day has been ticked off, and proactively starting my list for the following day.

Rachel Courtney