It’s been an interesting year, to say the least. From political upheavel, a cost of living crisis marked by sky high energy prices, the death of Queen Elizabeth, and the Lionesses finally bringing it home – what a rollercoaster. Not to mention the Kim K / Pete Davidson break-up, or even the incredibly gripping Don’t Worry Darling saga…
In the midst of all of that drama, we’ve had a busy year here at Raw London too; from new clients, new team members and bigger and better campaigns. On a personal note, it’s also been a big change for me. In fact, after 6 years of leading the marketing strategy, I stepped into a new role as Managing Director.
So, to mark the year, I thought I’d share a snapshot of some of my personal highlights…
Before we jump in, I wanted to do something a little different and invite new members of our creative team to share their very own Christmas story. Inspired by the Polish Wigilia tradition, they created this stunning animation to encourage you to leave an empty seat at your dinner table, to welcome an unexpected visitor.
We hope you enjoy it! (Shout out to our Junior Artworker, Joanna, Junior Creative, Trey and Motion Graphics Artist, Arron).
The biggest change this year has been our team’s growth! Incredibly, we’ve almost doubled from 12 to 22 people. Laura Toy has recently taken over as Marketing Manager, as I’ve stepped into my new role as MD. Our already impressive production team now benefits from Matt Cooper, Gabi Adams and Alexandra Agoshkova. Arron Moyce joined as Motion Graphics Artist, Dani Wilmot as Senior Creative, as well as Laura Piccirillo as Junior Strategist. Finally, Ross More and Tarun Shah joined as our Account Managers.
Oh, and a few brand new baby faces too!!
On a personal level, though, I’m especially proud of the new additions to our Creative team. After an impressive start during her Kickstart placement, Joanna Zdunik joined full-time as Junior Artworker. Inspired by her success, we then signed up to the STEP Programme, a 12-month paid traineeship which brought Trey Kyeremeh on board as Junior Creative. Read more about his journey so far here.
DRTV has become a huge passion of ours in recent years – and this time is no different!
One stand-out moment for me is our recent ad for British Red Cross. Using a fascinating concept, the film challenges perceptions around underfunded conflicts, in order to increase fundraising in areas such as Yemen, Syria and Afghanistan. The result is amazing. In fact, Pally McAlley, Senior Strategist at British Red Cross said, “This was the best creative response to a DRTV brief I’ve ever seen.”.
As you may know, I started Relay just over 5 years ago, as a way to bring creative marketing and content creators together. Since then, we’ve hosted 25 events, 80 speakers and over 2,500 attendees from across the charity and B Corp sector.
This year, we welcomed some amazing speakers from Mind, Movember, Kellogg’s, Alzheimer’s Society, Age UK, JAA Media (to name a few!). Across 4 events, we were joined by 500 senior marketing, brand and fundraising managers – and 100% of them would recommend it!
You can watch all of the sessions on-demand for free here:
As you know, integration in charity marketing has massively evolved over the years. As audiences expect more seamless and personalised experiences, teams have become more collaborative – and the output more impressive. And I’m obsessed with it. In fact, this ever-evolving challenge is one of the reasons I’ve stayed in this role for so long – I love seeing the sector level up and continue to present us with new and exciting challenges.
This year, we proudly partnered with the brilliant team at Macmillan Cancer Support to deliver 3 integrated nationwide campaigns across brand, fundraising, digital, partnerships and more. I’m so proud of the results – take a look at the online brand activation below, or read more about the campaigns here.
One more highlight has to be this campaign for Guy’s Cancer Charity, which we created earlier this year.
Another theme that has stood out to me this year is co-production. This is something we’ve always tried to deliver, to ensure the best possible representation and authenticity is built into the core of our ideas – and delivered on throughout production. But this year we’ve taken that collaboration to a whole other level.
Samaritans Online Harms is a great example; a social-first campaign designed by young people, for young people. But perhaps my favourite example is our partnership with NHS and Islington Council’s Our Boys. The powerful hero film promotes their Young Black Men and Mental Health Programme, which aims to tackle mental health inequalities. Hear from our Producer, Blessing Alade, speaking about the project at Relay earlier this year.
As part of our B Corporation re-certification, we’ve been looking at ways to improve the sustainability of our work. Our production team took part in AdGreen’s sustainable production training, which provides helpful resources and guides for content producers setting their sights toward net zero. Check out our Exec. Producer’s article on this for some helpful tips on this; How to make your productions more sustainable.
In practice, this has taken many forms; from veggie sets to zero-waste art departments. The most impressive this year, though, has to be an upcoming project using virtual production techniques. It’s not live yet so I can’t say too much… but let’s just say this amazing technology has opened up opportunities for less travel and more creative concepts.
Major life goal complete! This year we’ve really pushed ourselves to be more accessible, ethical and insight-led. Our IPA membership was the culmination of a lot of internal work and review to make sure we were providing the best quality insights, research and testing to build your campaigns. The membership is also a key part of how we develop our amazing team through their award winning learning and development programme.
Ok, so I have to give a cheeky mention to the nominations, awards and recognition the team have added to our cabinet this year. In particular, our pro bono project for Whale and Dolphin Conservation was recognised in Environmental Cause categories at both The Drum Awards for Social Purpose and Cannes Corporate Media & TV Awards 2022.
My slightly more unexpected favourite, though, has to be the Cannes Corporate award for this stunning explainer film for International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), Find Your Answers. I just love the sensitivity and appreciation involved in sharing such complex but important work. See what you think…
To top off the year, we’re so excited to have made it through the final of the Creative Shootout 2023! I actually won the live creative competition at BAFTA back in 2018 (humble brag, evidence here). It’s still is one of the scariest and best things I’ve done in my career – and we won the brilliant opportunity to work with FareShare on a nationwide print and online campaign.
This year, I’ll be cheering on the team, and I can’t wait to see how they do. The Live Final will take place on 26th January at Picturehouse Piccadilly. In the meantime, check out our entry video below, featuring our brilliant creative team!
To sum up – thank you so much. The campaigns, the content and the creative work we do is obviously super important to me. But what I’d actually like to celebrate are the connections I’ve made with you all, the conversations I’ve had, and the learnings you’ve given me.