Get to know our new members - April 2020

A Q&A with some of the newest members of the IPA community.

Acne, Anything is Possible, Armadillo, Billion Dollar Boy, Hitch, Storycatchers, and Vivid all joined IPA membership recently. Here, we get to know some of our new members.

Anything is Possible

Quickly describe your agency in no more than five words?

Our brand: Anything is Possible.

Which piece of work are you most proud of?

We’ve already won a clutch of awards in our short time as an agency, which we’re very proud of.

But the work we have done with Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew has been most rewarding in lots of ways (aside from winning gold at the DMAs). First of all, bringing new visitors to Kew to enjoy the gorgeous surroundings and hear the stories they have to tell about nature and ecology is a straightforward Good Thing. Secondly, they were a great team to work with who trusted us to use our skills on something a little bit new and exciting to help reach their bold ambitions.

But finally, it’s just a great example of how we like to work smart and share what we learn along the way. The unique processes we built out for the project have fed the development of a new tool we’re launching for the charitable and non-profit sector, helping them unlock thousands in unused funding for their Search advertising. These virtuous value cycles are always sitting there hidden in a project - you just need the right perspective to uncover them and a commitment to make them work.

What does the future of advertising look like to you?

We have a new report on this coming out in April.

When you’re thinking about the future you need to keep aware of both technology and culture, and then how they influence and feed into each other. We are seeing some really interesting intersections between targeting platforms and existing content channels. It’s opening up possibilities like inserting new ads and messaging into existing content to let brands work on that huge longtail audience.

Some platforms, TikTok and Twitch are probably the most important in the near- to medium-term, are building broad audiences and getting ready to break video formats out into a new era of ad supremacy. We also know that podcasts and newsletters have become immensely important channels for credible, specialist brands to reach engaged, cohesive, high-value audiences.

But on the tech side, the really big story is coming out of what we can’t do, rather than what we can. Audiences are getting wise to fake news. They really care about their personal privacy. GDPR and CCPA are just two responses to misconduct by the advertising industry through the abuse of surveillance & targeting technology. It’s having a real effect on how we think.

From our perspective, that can only be good news. Advertising got lazy in the last few years, emphasising tech and targeting over creativity and connection. We got used to reducing people to numbers and categories in the name of efficiency, and the industry suffered for it.

True efficiency and effectiveness comes from the creative. Creativity has always been advertising’s killer app: finding new perspectives on peoples’ lives and needs, and sharing them through storytelling. It’s also the point where culture comes in, because culture is built out of the stories we tell ourselves. When we fold the technology piece back into that, and think about AI and 5G normalising individual-level profiling and processing, then things become really interesting.

So we’re going to see a resurgence in both technical innovation and cultural creativity from the industry, and that’s something we’re really excited about.

Advertising can… 

... do a lot better. That was our underlying belief when we founded the agency, and the starting point for everything we do. This means better value for the client and better experiences for the consumer, sure. But we embrace the triple bottom line, and by setting an example we want to prove how to thrive and have a positive impact for the industry, for society and for the environment all at once. It’s on us as an industry of storytellers to step up and use our skills to make the world we all want to live in.

What does IPA membership mean to you?

A lot. Anything is Possible are not a traditional agency. Our commitment to transparency (via blockchain tech) and putting the client’s needs ahead of our own (we don’t make money unless our clients do) is a challenge to a lot of vested interests in the industry. That’s why it’s great that the IPA have recognised the value of the work we do. We are really excited to be working with them to raise the bar and make all our peers realise that it’s time to do better.

Why have you joined the IPA?

You can’t make real change by sniping from the sidelines. We want to lead from the front and do what we need to have a voice at the table and offer our work and our thinking to positively influence our peers.

It’s also a mark of our commitment to our colleagues. We are an agency of Possiblists, people who will always try to do something that hasn’t been done before. But when you have people like that around, you need to be serious about how you support them. We know that the training and opportunities for experience they can open up through IPA membership will empower them in their learning and professional development - which makes even more possible.


Quickly describe your agency in no more than five words?

Unearthing profitable connections through CRM.

Which piece of work are you most proud of?

We’ve been working with McDonald’s for almost ten years, developing their CRM offering from scratch and growing their CRM database to 5 million contactable members in the UK, 75% of whom are actively engaged with the programme. We are able to leverage our database of loyal customers to deliver new and incremental restaurant visits, driving adoption of digital channels through the MyMcDonald’s App and McDelivery, and personalising journeys through first-party data.

MONOPOLY at McDonald’s is one of the biggest and arguably most well-known promotional campaigns in the country. It’s fun, it’s engaging, and it’s played by almost everyone you know. We’ve worked on the MONOPOLY at McDonald’s campaign for the past 9 years, with every year proving more successful than the last. Achieving better results year on year may seem daunting to some. But with each campaign, we gained a larger, richer pot of data and a more comprehensive list of learnings. This ‘long view’ of our audience gave us the detail we needed to create a responsive, engaging campaign that led to a Gold DMA Award for ‘Best Use of Email’.

What’s the most important thing to your agency?

Keeping sight of our company’s purpose and core values, and ensuring every employee understands the part they have to play in driving the business forward whilst remaining true to the values.

What does the future of advertising look like to you?

In the current climate, the world is changing at pace, so the future of advertising will likely change between me answering this question and it getting published. Budgets are taking a hit, and some brands are going to find it hard, or impossible, to return. Brands obviously need to adapt their marketing strategies, but it’s important not to stop completely as it will be much harder to pick back up and create momentum when this is all over.

What industry issue is keeping you up at night?

As with the vast majority of businesses around the world, the current COVID-19 pandemic is having a major impact on our business and that of our clients. Doing the right thing for our clients has taken a new focus. It’s about speed, agility and also support. Doing everything we can under the circumstances. We know there will be work postponed, major campaigns on pause, teams pivoting. We’re all being flexible. We’re all being proactive.

Advertising is…

... more than a billboard or TV ad. Once the preserve of a select type of agency, the term advertising is wide-reaching today and reflects great work that resonates and has an impact on its audience.

What does IPA membership mean to you?

We’re extremely pleased to be joining an organisation that supports and celebrates the best in the industry and are keen to aid and enable our team to develop themselves professionally and personally through our membership with the IPA.

Where will the IPA help you most?

We’re seeking to support staff development with the industry-recognised CPD and training available through the IPA, therefore enabling our 45-strong team to develop their skills and progress in their careers, whatever their level.

Why have you joined the IPA?

With 25 years of industry experience, our IPA membership acts as a further indicator of our standing within the marketing and advertising space and demonstrates our commitment and professionalism within the sector.

Billion Dollar Boy

Quickly describe your agency in no more than five words?

The Creative Agency for the Influencer Age. (Sorry, that was seven!).

Which piece of work are you most proud of?

From January 2019, under the PepsiCo #TasteUsLoveUs umbrella we sought to change consumer perception of Walkers Oven Baked, Sunbites, and Snack a Jacks - that they are tasty and have a nutritional benefit not provided by traditional snacks. Such a large objective required authentic creative, scale, and frequency. Our large scale sampling campaign focussed on video with simple creative guardrails, try them, love them, recommend them.

We identified and engaged 82 social media influencers, creators and celebrities of all sizes working with them to produce video advertisements published on their social media accounts; gifted 75 more; and produced a suite of assets used across influencer and brand accounts. Delivering 427 pieces of content and 60mm impressions. Audiences were hit on average four times each.

Effectiveness of this nascent media form is important to the team at Billion Dollar Boy so we partnered with Nielsen to measure our success both through a consumer perception study, and through PepsiCo / Nielsen’s econometric modelling team.

The results showed we seriously shifted consumer perception (+16%), purchase intent (+15%), and outperformed Nielsen creative video benchmarks (avg. +20%). Not only that but the return on ad spend blew the clients out of the water performing in line with its strongest media channels.

The campaign was nominated in the Mediatel Research Awards 2020. 

What does the future of advertising look like to you?

The future of advertising is personalised - designed for its audience, offering utility and entertainment. But personalised advertising requires personalised creative - an expensive task using traditional means.

Influencers are a ready made solution, offering high quality creative output, and a sample audience with which to road test. Through automatic triggers this cost-effective infinite content engine will start to seamlessly integrate into personalised media journeys.

The possibilities now are vast, but with the constantly evolving digital media landscape (social media; voice; AR; DOOH and beyond) they grow day by day. It’s an exciting industry to be in.

What industry issue is keeping you up at night?

The pace at which the effects of COVID-19 is affecting day to day business. It has been a very challenging period for a lot of businesses.

We are however fortunate that our area of focus is digital and our client roster diverse. The steep increase in social media use and the desire from consumers to see uplifting and entertaining content has instilled passion and vigour in our team and clients.

Advertising is…

... a way to affect real cultural change.

What does IPA membership mean to you?

An incredible opportunity to invest in our staff and be involved in shaping the industry’s future.

Why have you joined the IPA?

The IPA is a hugely respected institution that Billion Dollar Boy is proud to be part of. We are keen to offer our team the great learning opportunities the IPA offers and apply our in-depth specialist knowledge in our emerging industry, influencer marketing, to the IPA's working groups - as well as take part in events and awards; utilise the IPA's expert advice; and source new talent.


Describe your agency in a photo

A very short short video for you. A slight tweak to our team page 'Open for social change, but right now with added precautions.'

Quickly describe your agency in no more than five words?

Here’s three options to choose from:
a) Integrated - Insight driven, behaviour changed
b) Marketing with a social conscience
c) Open for social change…still

Which piece of work are you most proud of?

This was a tough one to answer. Our four top contenders were:
a) The six-year stint scaling and normalising Dry January.
b) Our marketing, branding, campaign and insight work with Arriva on the Northern franchise.
c) Creative strategy and branding for the Making Smoking History You Can campaign, now in its second year.
d) Co-designing a social marketing programme for the Red Cross on refugee anti-stigma across the UK

Dry January narrowly won.
It was the campaign that turned Hitch from a back-bedroom operation into a full integrated one. It involved creating a localised - and national - evidence base and helping to scale it through localised campaigns in towns and cities throughout England, contributing to the social norms movement it is today. We were invited to showcase the work at international social marketing conferences to share learning and empower others to develop their own social behaviour change campaign efforts. 

What does the future of advertising look like to you?

Digital. Personalised. Augmented.

What industry issue is keeping you up at night?

Covid-19 and what next.

What does IPA membership mean to you?

We are so proud to be accepted as a member of the IPA. For us it reaffirms what we do. It tells us and our stakeholders we have reached the gold standard, can be trusted and are robust.

Most important of all, it means we can better serve our clients.

Where will the IPA help you most?

We’ve already accessed the insight team and we are very impressed with the quality. So, I’m sure we’ll be accessing the premium service regularly. The specialist legal team will no doubt provide invaluable input at the right times. And the CPD…this will no doubt be of most use, to equip us in the ever changing world of advertising.


Describe your agency in a photo:

We definitely need a montage for this one, whether in the office or on location, we work hard, have fun and are never afraid to try new things – we have our secret weapon and very own mascot Viv who never fails to brighten our day!

vivid collage.png

Quickly describe your agency in no more than five words?

Shaping Vision, Creating Ideas, Measuring Victories (plus whilst pushing boundaries as that’s six not 5 words).

Which piece of work are you most proud of?

Our passion for place established itself through our work with the Northwest Development Agency Tourism Campaign “Stuart’s Stories for Short Breaks” proving that branding, content and storytelling were at the heart of advertising, before these became buzz words. We created a DBA Design for Excellence award winning and 110:1 ROI campaign called ‘Stuart Stories for Short Breaks’ uniting five disparate regions – Lancashire, Manchester, Cheshire, Cumbria, Merseyside each with their own raison d’etre and tale to tell.  We allowed each of their USP’s to shine whilst unifying them through a common storyteller – appointing Stuart Maconie BBC radio presenter and travel writer to be our ambassador (before influencer marketing was a thing) and put his name to our stories / itineraries, which led us to working with many of the region's tourist boards, enabling us to showcase the works of Lakes Alive, Colours exhibition at Tate and Manchester International Festival (MIF), negotiating the use of designed long copy advertorial with media, creating a physical and virtual book plus podcasts ensured success.

What’s been the most challenging/interesting campaign you have worked on?

They’re all interesting and challenging and the current COVID crisis is likely to be the post challenging yet!

Our highlights for 2019 were:

Islands of Guernsey

How do you promote a collection of small islands that is neither home or abroad, that has no landmark of recognition, has no co-funded low cost airline/hotel campaigns, whilst quirk and quaint has to compete against its larger Bailiwick of Jersey with a more recognisable product and bigger budget? You challenge them to be brave, to go against traditional marketing, to work together as ‘The Islands of Guernsey’ and to promote their best quality – their sense of humour. We created a Millennial Free Zone and asked our educated, affluent, older audience - ‘Why would you holiday here?’ At launch the video had 80k views, 3.6x higher than average views, reached 135,990 people, gained 4,993 Reactions, comments and shares. 

Isle of Man Tourism 

Adopting a new interest-led approach to our marketing enabled us to be strategic and move away from the more traditional form of targeting, based on age. Our campaign was more than just living like a local, instead we curated a new era of personalised, life-enhancing experiences. This meant focussing on the fantastic variety of attractions and experiences on offer and distilling this down into six unique groups or Clans. These could be used to target different interests within our audience groups and highlight that the island has something for everyone to enjoy. The simplicity of the idea meant everyone from residents to businesses could get involved. 

We were also proud to pioneer an industry-first, launching the BETA version of ‘InstaTourism’ - virtual tour of the island on Instagram in the style of an adventure-novel, where users could create their own story, becoming an islander and discovering all six Clans.

Overall, we’ve achieved an average CTR of 2.35%+ in our digital campaigns with industry averages usually circa 0.7%. 

Visit Greenwich

As the whole world’s timekeeper. A place from where, the start of every day is measured, and every single moment is counted – where else in the world can own time? Playing on what people around the world know Greenwich for, we created a simple to use and playful headline device that can be easily adapted to focus on any of the Borough’s key offerings. Greenwich Means Time, #GM_T is a fully integrated partnership campaign, highlighting ‘what makes people tick’ that launched at the end of BST when the clocks went back, and everyone gained that extra hour!  

Lake District National Park Foundation

With over tourism, reduced budgets and climate change all affecting the much-loved Lake District National Park, the Lake District Foundation, who have been protecting and caring for the landscapes for over 23years needed help. Through clever and thought-provoking headlines, we reminded visitors who enjoy the lakes and traverse the mountains that the Foundation’s pockets aren’t as deep as the water and maintenance bills were continually climbing. It was an overt way to drive donations, giving context to the importance of the work they did. 

What’s the most important thing to your agency?

Definitely the people and the culture.

What does the future of advertising look like to you?

Technology focussed, more immersive & connected through VR & AI, also personalisation will become the norm!

Data led – allowing for greater consumer engagement, targeting & retargeting.

What industry issue is keeping you up at night?

Using Technology for good in Advertising. 

Advertising is…

... the art of selling.

Advertising can…

Influence society, change the world and people’s behaviour.

What does IPA membership mean to you?

It means we can access knowledge and data from the industry, apply solid training and support for our staff and ourselves as business owners. IPA membership means being able to stand side by side with leading agencies and to cement our reputation within the industry 

What does the IPA mean to you?

Credibility, Support, Collaboration.

Where will the IPA help you most?

Developing our the business and team through collaboration, insights and training.

Why have you joined the IPA?

Because of all our answers above.

Last updated 01 May 2024