Playgroup Brand & Communication Case Studies


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Playgroup is an independent, creatively focussed, design agency based in Farringdon, London.

Creativity lies at the heart of everything we do, it is our lifeblood. As individuals we are naturally inquisitive, imaginative and collaborative and we use these characteristics to really understand the challenges that we’re presented with. Combining these playful traits with insightful thinking and a professional, can-do attitude enables us to craft effective and often surprising creative solutions, both offline and online.

We think that we’re a pretty nice bunch of people to work with.

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Playgroup Brand & Communication Case Studies

  1. 1. An introduction to PlaygroupPlaygroup / 12 Greenhill Rents London EC1M 6BN / +44 (0) 20 7251 8096 / / © Copyright Playgroup 2012
  2. 2. Hello therePlaygroup is an independent, creatively focussed, design agencybased in Farringdon, London.Creativity lies at the heart of everything we do, it is our lifeblood.As individuals we are naturally inquisitive, imaginative andcollaborative and we use these characteristics to really understandthe challenges that we’re presented with. Combining these playfultraits with insightful thinking and a professional, can-do attitudeenables us to craft effective and often surprising creative solutions,both offline and online.We think that we’re a pretty nice bunch of people to work with.Playgroup / 12 Greenhill Rents London EC1M 6BN / +44 (0) 20 7251 8096 / / © Copyright Playgroup 2012
  3. 3. ExpertiseWe understand brand. We can help get a new brand off the ground, breathe lifeinto an existing brand, or make that all important message really resonate withyour internal audience. We can express your brand through carefully craftedwords and stunning visuals; on paper, online or in the built environment.Brand Print Digital EnvironmentBrand strategy Corporate literature Website design Destination brandingBrand positioning Marketing literature Interaction design Branded workplacesBrand identity Advertising Online strategy Branded environmentsBrand books Annual reports Online campaigns Interior designBrand guidelines Event collateral Mobile apps SignageComms planning E-newsletters WayfindingInternal campaigns E-mailers Exhibition design Animation VideoPlaygroup / 12 Greenhill Rents London EC1M 6BN / +44 (0) 20 7251 8096 / / © Copyright Playgroup 2012
  4. 4. ClientsPlaygroup / 12 Greenhill Rents London EC1M 6BN / +44 (0) 20 7251 8096 / / © Copyright Playgroup 2012
  5. 5. Client: UnileverProject: Brand ExpressionExpertise: Strategy, Brand Identity, Brand Expression, Internal Comms, Event DesignBringing a brand to lifeWith a new identity, a core strategyaround sustainable living, and a boldambition to double the size of the businesswhilst halving environmental impact,Unilever approached us with the task ofbringing their brand to life through anextensive range of corporate and brandcommunications.We developed an all-encompassingcreative platform for both internal andexternal communications that formedthe basis of a set of brand guidelines,delivered through a dedicated BrandCentre. These guidelines incorporateall aspects of print and digital mediaand include sections on packaging,branded environments and employeecommunications, amongst others.The new brand epitomises a moreconnected world, where individuals cometogether to form communities that createpositive change everywhere and wherethe small actions of everyone in thebusiness can combine to make abig difference.Playful characters, a bold use of colourand shape and genuine storytellingcombine to give a more human face to theUnilever brand.Playgroup / 12 Greenhill Rents London EC1M 6BN / +44 (0) 20 7251 8096 / / © Copyright Playgroup 2012
  6. 6. Client: Mercedes-BenzProject: Mercedes-Benz Driving AcademyExpertise: Brand Identity, Brand Launch, Print Design, Website Design, Social MediaDriving ambitionThe Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy is anew kind of driving school where driversstart earlier and continue their educationbeyond the driving test. Workingalongside the Mercedes-Benz team andapplying extensive consumer research,we were able to define the brand; creatinga visual expression and messaging thatwould appeal to both youngsters andparents alike. The Academy was launchedto huge acclaim with a spectacular eventat Mercedes-Benz World hosted by brandambassador Lewis Hamilton.Going forward, we helped develop across-media campaign with a strongsocial media bias that included emailmarketing, exhibitions, and print material.An innovative website allows students toaccess their lesson progress via a graphicvisualiser linked to in-car cameras andinstructor PDAs. The pilot launch hasexceeded targets and is now being rolledout in Germany, Holland and the o date the Mercedes-Benz Driving T Academy has well over 5,000 members in the UK with a 77% pass rate.Playgroup / 12 Greenhill Rents London EC1M 6BN / +44 (0) 20 7251 8096 / / © Copyright Playgroup 2012
  7. 7. Client: BT BusinessProject: Employee EngagementExpertise: Comms Planning, Internal Comms, Video, Viral Marketing, Corporate LiteratureEnergising employeesTo support the above-the-line ‘Do WhatYou Do Best’ campaigns featuringGordon Ramsay and subsequently,Peter Jones with the Gremlins wewere tasked with informing, educatingand engergising a somewhat scepticalinternal audience so that they could liveup to, and deliver the campaign promise.We used ‘entertainment’ as the key hookon the path to advocacy and began acarefully planned cross-media campaignwith some provocative viral videos,stunts and office branding. E-mails,competitions and a ‘Making of the ad’film helped engender a sense of prideand inclusion in the workforce, prior tothe TV commercials being shown. With92% of respondents indicating that theywere clear on the messaging and nearly80% saying that the campaign stood outfrom other internal comms and had apositive impact on enthusiasm.Winner DBA Design Effectiveness Awardfor Internal CommuniationsPlaygroup / 12 Greenhill Rents London EC1M 6BN / +44 (0) 20 7251 8096 / / © Copyright Playgroup 2012
  8. 8. Client: Adnams Project: Website Expertise: Strategy, Website Design, Social Media The taste of Southwold The spirit of the Adnams brand lies in it’s Southwold provenance. Bringing that spirit to life online, away from the Suffolk coastline, was our challenge. In response, we created a lifestyle site, driven by stories, blogs, podcasts and videos that presents a clear definition between the different parts of the business; beer, wine, spirits, hotels and retail. This socially connected site (built in Wordpress) allows Adnams to speak directly to a growing consumer fan base and effectively manage stories, content and promotions in-house. As well as providing the perfect platform for expressing the personality of the brand, Adnams have seen a significant up-turn in online sales across all product categories.“ Since the launch of the new site on the we have seen a massive uplift in online sales as a direct result. For the first quarter of 2011 Adnams online sales are up 167% on the same period last year. With traffic from the new site into the e-commerce store up 115% and accounting for 38% for the overall sales, a 72% increase YOY.” Sean Clark Head of Web, Adnams plc Playgroup / 12 Greenhill Rents London EC1M 6BN / +44 (0) 20 7251 8096 / / © Copyright Playgroup 2012
  9. 9. Client: ArgentProjects: King’s Cross Estate ServicesExpertise: Brand Identity, Brand Expression, Identity Guidelines, Branded Environments, Wayfinding Signage, UniformsKing’s Cross Estate ServicesThe regeneration of King’s Cross isarguably the most significant in centralLondon since John Nash was plying histrade in the early 19th century. Thedevelopment will deliver some 8 millionsq ft of new and refurbished buildings overthe coming decade. With its extraordinarytransport links, public spaces and mix ofuses, it will be one of the best places tolive, work and shop in the capital. At it’sheart is the new University of the Arts,London that houses the famous CentralSaint Martins School of Art and Designwhich opened in September 2011.With the opening of the public spacescame the need for high quality estatemanagement, public services andlegibility. Working with the Argentdelivery team, Playgroup were taskedwith bringing to life the estatemanagement function at King’s Crossto deliver an exciting, urban environmentwith a friendly welcome to everyone whocomes to N1C. This included articulatingthe brand across all online and offlinecommunications as well as in thephysical environment.www.kingscrosscentral.comPlaygroup / 12 Greenhill Rents London EC1M 6BN / +44 (0) 20 7251 8096 / / © Copyright Playgroup 2012
  10. 10. Client: BBCProject: WebsitesExpertise: Brand Identity, Website Design, Print Design, Digital GuidelinesEntertaining and educatingWe’ve designed and managed the buildof a number of microsites to support theBBC’s online remit and help extend therange of their broadcast services. We’vegiven a visual expression and createda range of templates and guidelines foressential GCSE study resource Bitesize,created a distinctive ‘socially connected’site to support the BBC3 show Lily Allenand Friends and developed multi award-winning online gaming experiences toaccompany the Robin Hood TV series.GI Jonny, an interactive campaignaimed at informing teenagers andyoung adults about HIV was particularlysuccessful, achieving 3 million pageimpressions in the first two weeks. Thesite allowed users to create their veryown customised action hero which couldbe shared through Facebook. The onlinecampaign was supported by a suiteof above-the-line materials includingcondom packaging, flyers, stickers,t-shirts, banner stands and posters.We even beamed GI Jonny onto variousLondon landmarks the night beforeNational Aids / 12 Greenhill Rents London EC1M 6BN / +44 (0) 20 7251 8096 / / © Copyright Playgroup 2012
  11. 11. Client: Kings PlaceProjects: Event WebsiteExpertise: Website Design, User Experience, StrategyKings Place Events WebsiteKings Place is an award winning eventsdestination in the heart of Londonincorporating two art galleries, the RotundaBar Restaurant, Green Fortune Caféand a fantastic selection of event spaceswith spectacular views over Regent’s Canal.We worked closely with the events team atKings Place to craft a premium B2B websitethat reflects the high-tech and high-endnature of this modern conference, musicand visual arts venue.The site is aimed primarily at organisationslooking to host their conferences orevents, but also companies or individualslooking for a waterside venue for theirspecial occasions, and tells the Kings Placestory through vertical parallax scrollingwhich highlights the key features of thebuilding. The website also acts as a tool forconference organisers to plan their event,with an interactive map that shows eachroom in the context of breakout spacesand food places. The website is built onWordPress, allowing the Kings Place Eventsteam to quickly update or add contentthrough an intuitive content managementsystem and was delivered in collaborationwith our good friends at We Are / 12 Greenhill Rents London EC1M 6BN / +44 (0) 20 7251 8096 / / © Copyright Playgroup 2012
  12. 12. Client: Lakeside Theatre, ColchesterProject: Brand IdentityExpertise: Brand Identity, Brand Launch, Brochure Design, Website Design, Signage, Poster DesignTake a bow…At Lakeside Theatre all are welcomeand all who enter will discover a worldof creativity, theatre, dance, music andcomedy. This creative retreat encouragesall to be curious, to be adventurousand to seek fulfilment. Situated bythe lake at the University of Essex,Lakeside Theatre strives to be a home forbrilliant contemporary performance andinnovative well made plays.To reflect a sense of wonder, energyand adventure and to cultivate bothalternative and mainstream appeal,Playgroup have developed a new visualidentity, working alongside the ArtisticDirector and his team at LakesideTheatre. The new logo reflects thebold and distinctive building in whichthe theatre resides, with a bright,optimistic graphic language aimedat raising the profile of the theatreamongst the student body and the widercommunity. Application to a broad rangeof collateral including a new website,brochure, posters and signage has seen asuccessful launch of this exciting / 12 Greenhill Rents London EC1M 6BN / +44 (0) 20 7251 8096 / / © Copyright Playgroup 2012
  13. 13. Client: Mountain FjordProject: Brand IdentityExpertise: Brand Identity, Brand Expression, Print Design, CopywritingMountainfjord: Crafting a brandMountainfjord offer amazing experiencesthrough a collection of historic hotelsset around the majestic Sognefjorden inNorway. With glacier covered mountainsand the tranquil fjord as the backdrop,Mountainfjord give their guests anunrivaled opportunity to experiencethe region on their terms, whether it’sadrenaline-fueled off-piste skiing or arelaxing, cultural break.The brand identity was designed to reflectthe natural environment, the peaks ofthe mountains, the depths of the fjordand the fantastic range of experiencesavailable. The mark references thehandcrafted Norwegian folk tradition,but with a contemporary twist. We havecreated a range of printed materials andworked alongside our digital partnersWe Are Human, who have delivered anonline strategy centred around / 12 Greenhill Rents London EC1M 6BN / +44 (0) 20 7251 8096 / / © Copyright Playgroup 2012
  14. 14. Client: Teachers TV Project: Online Campaign Expertise: Strategy, Brand Expression, Banner Advertising, Animation, Email Marketing Attracting teachers When Teachers TV migrated their content from a broadcast to wholly online service, there was a genuine need to inform teachers and education professionals about the considerable benefits of the content that they provide. Our approach was to develop an overall creative concept that highlights the sheer wealth of resources on Teachers TV through an explosion of colour, image and words. This was tailored to a number of different campaigns, promoting everything from individual lesson plans to behaviour tools. A range of formats were used across a broad media schedule. Playgroup did a brilliant job on this“ campaign. They took the time to understand the market and delivered an insightful, creative campaign that performed very well. They were also an absolute pleasure to work with. Highly recommended.” Nathan Gaw Head of Marketing, Teachers TV Playgroup / 12 Greenhill Rents London EC1M 6BN / +44 (0) 20 7251 8096 / / © Copyright Playgroup 2012
  15. 15. Client: UnileverProject: Leatherhead HQExpertise: Branded Environments, Interior Design, Signage, Wayfinding, Print DesignPassion for brandsPlaygroup were appointed to bringUnilever’s brand values to life in their UKheadquarters in Leatherhead. The briefwas to engage customers (retailers) andconsumers; and create an environmentthat staff would enjoy and could beproud of. Above all the building neededto express the real pride and passionthat Unilever have in their brands, andneeded to feel down to earth, real,energetic and vibrant.The overall look and feel of the buildingis a neutral/fresh back drop with softwhite desking brought to life withsplashes of colour and timber cladding.Colour, vibrancy and buzz is brought intothe space through an overt expressionof Unilever’s brands, customers,consumers and heritage. Giant imagesof bouncing babies, huge jars of Marmiteand towering deodorant sticks combinewith energising copylines to give a richtapestry of life at Unilever.Playgroup / 12 Greenhill Rents London EC1M 6BN / +44 (0) 20 7251 8096 / / © Copyright Playgroup 2012
  16. 16. Client: UnileverProject: Unilever SingaporeExpertise: Branded Environments, Interior Design, Signage, Print DesignBranding the workplaceThe new Unilever Singapore office, a hubfor the South-East Asia region, bringstogether all of the categories, functionsand brands under one contemporary roof.Collaborating with both architect andclient, Playgroup developed a creativeproposal for branding the workplacethat, as well as being sympathetic to themodern spaces available, also providesa platform to deliver messages in abeautiful and consistent way.The overall scheme reflects the regionalculture and vision whilst demonstratinga real sense of pride in Unilever’s globaland regional brands, and contains a Ben Jerry’s bar, Ponds Institute, hair salon,theatre kitchen and dedicated teamareas for each category or corporatefunction. The branding reinforcesUnilever’s sustainable growth strategywith a strong emphasis placed on agileworking methods.We managed all aspects, from definingthe creative vision through to productionand installation of each piece of artworkand signage.Playgroup / 12 Greenhill Rents London EC1M 6BN / +44 (0) 20 7251 8096 / / © Copyright Playgroup 2012
  17. 17. Client: We Are HumanProject: BrandingExpertise: Brand Identity, Brand Expression, Print DesignWe Are HumanWe Are Human are passionate aboutcreating innovative solutions thatfocus on the moments of engagementbetween brands and people through newtechnologies. They came to Playgroupwith a brief to define a brand identitythat echoes their creative, imaginativeand down-to-earth personality.The typographic logo and touchy-feelycreative expression reflects a digitalcompany very much in tune with thereal world.Playgroup / 12 Greenhill Rents London EC1M 6BN / +44 (0) 20 7251 8096 / / © Copyright Playgroup 2012
  18. 18. Client: WSPAProject: Pawprint Campaign for Rio+20Expertise: Strategy, Website Design, Social Media, Facebook App, Viral Video, Offline ActivityKinder, clever farming:WSPA PawprintThe World Society for the Protection ofAnimals approached us about raisingawareness of the plight of farm animalsin the run up to the G20 Summit in Riothis June. We developed a campaign thatleverages social media to mobilise publicopinion around the issues, with a Facebookapp that measures an individualsimpact on farm animals based on theirconsumption – their ‘Pawprint’. Well over100,000 people have taken the action tosign the Pawprint petition. The campaignis supported by a three minute animatedvideo which, through an entertainingnarrative, demonstrates the positive andsurprising impact of kinder farming on thewider society. The video has a truly globalfeel and has been dubbed into a numberof languages.With over 500,000 brilliant WSPAsupporters from across the world, ananimal samba dance troupe and Braziliansuperstar actress Alice Braga behindthem, farm animals really were the talkof the town in Rio!View the Pawprint launch video the WSPA Animal Samba Squadin action at / 12 Greenhill Rents London EC1M 6BN / +44 (0) 20 7251 8096 / / © Copyright Playgroup 2012
  19. 19. Client: WWF InternationalProject: Face the G8 CampaignExpertise: Strategy, Website Design, Social MediaWWF Face the G8We worked with WWF International onan online game and social media-basedpetition aimed at mobilising public opinionaround environmental issues ahead of theG8 summit in Rome. Alongside a websitewith gameplay elements we also producedsimple stop-frame animations and atongue-in-cheek viral teaser.The teaser features the heads of the G8 ina humorous animation that challenged theviewer to see if they could deliver a betterfuture on a range of sustainability issues.An interactive game allowed users tomake their very own policy decisions andto see the effects of those decisions inthe year 2059. As part of the campaignsupporters were encouraged to add theirname, and their face to an online petition.Users were able to upload their veryown, personalised campaign poster to adedicated Flickr stream, which created ahighly visual and impressive format forthe petition.View highlights of the campaign at: / 12 Greenhill Rents London EC1M 6BN / +44 (0) 20 7251 8096 / / © Copyright Playgroup 2012
  20. 20. Play PeopleMike Gowar Steve Cluett Gemma Monk-Hartley Linda Skoda Ben PhilpClient Services Director Creative Director Account Director Senior Designer Senior DesignerMike’s list of responsibilities includes Steve brings a wealth of creative experience to Gem has all the attributes of a great Account Linda simply lives for design. She can find Ben is our resident typophile, with a genuineeverything from running the business Playgroup, having worked in the industry for 20 Director. She works closely with clients, taking beauty in the most unlikely places and is enthusiasm for the craft of the graphicto buying the Krispy Kremes. He’s years. Despite remembering when a Mac was a a strategic overview and proactively advising always one step ahead of current trends. A designer and an eagerness to deliver fantasticparticularly focussed on business raincoat, he has managed to keep bang up-to- where appropriate, she is supremely well skilled designer and illustrator, Linda also creative, both on paper and online. Perfectlydevelopment, with a gregarious character that date with the ever changing communications organised and she’s got a really big notebook. has a passion for cutting-edge architecture, qualified with a degree in Graphic Design andensures we have a long list of ‘happy clients’. landscape. A reluctant runner, Steve has, Gem loves spending time trotting down the beautiful interiors and brilliantly simple a 50m breast stroke badge, he likes to unwindMike takes responsibility for the overall nevertheless, completed two marathons and bridleways of Hertfordshire on her trusty horse objects. A passion that borders on fetishism with a fishing rod in one hand and a cold beerrelationship with the client and would happily run to Wembley if his beloved Fiero when it comes to chairs. in the other.ensures that you receive the appropriate level Wolves ever reached the Cup Final. ben@playgroup.comof service at all stages of the project. steve@playgroup.commike@playgroup.comDan Sly Jenny Sanderson-Byrne Alistair York Ben Sillitoe Alan HynesDesigner Designer Project Manager Business Development Finance DirectorDan joined Playgroup after a successful Jenny is the most recent addition to the studio, As a project manager Alistair acts as the Ben is that most unusual of creatures, a new Alan brings considerable experience andinternship having been spotted at the DAD bringing with her a keen creative eye and conduit between client and studio, always biz guy from a creative background. Having invaluable strategic support to all aspectsNew Blood show. Dan is a super-talented design skills that compliment the rest of the with one eye on the brief and the other on the studied Graphic Design and Illustration at of our finances. His geeky obsession withdesigner – he lists his interests as: reading, team. Jenny’s interests include cooking, going budget. He shares a common passion for good, NUCA, he’s now using his illustrative skills facts and figures extends to an over zealousart, design, digital, science, technology, to the cinema, badminton and netball - let’s simple design and spends weekends enjoying to draw up a list of potential new business knowledge of Northern Irish football. Didhistory, space and the universe. just hope she doesn’t get the nets mixed up. his obscure music collection or a foreign movie targets. A lifelong rugby player, Ben’s now an you know that George Best played forThat just about covers everything, hopefully – très cultured. experienced member of the Playgroup squad. Bournemouth five times?.he’ll find time to do a little designing. Dan alan@playgroup.combrings a youthful exuberance and real ‘can-do’attitude to the creative Playgroup / 12 Greenhill Rents London EC1M 6BN / +44 (0) 20 7251 8096 / / © Copyright Playgroup 2012
  21. 21. ContactThank you! Playgroup 12 Greenhill Rents London EC1M 6BN +44 (0) 20 7251 8096 Please contact: mike@playgroup.comPlaygroup / 12 Greenhill Rents London EC1M 6BN / +44 (0) 20 7251 8096 / / © Copyright Playgroup 2012