Twitter celebrated its 9th birthday at the weekend and the social media platform shows no sign of slowing down as this week they announced a partnership with Foursquare. The partnership will allow users to tag a specific location within their Tweets, powered by Foursquare.

Twitter Periscope
There has been a lot of buzz recently around Meerkat, the video-streaming app that uses your Twitter API to stream video directly to your followers. As soon as it was announced however Twitter looked to block access to Meerkat, leaving its future in doubt. 

Whilst many may question why, the answer appears clear - Twitter has launched their own video-streaming app. Welcome to the world of Twitter Periscope! The micro-blogging social media giant bought Periscope just weeks ago, mere days before Meerkat went from unknown to the app everyone from Jimmy Fallon to Al Roker is using. Check out Mashable’s full review of Periscope here

Facebook product announcements
Facebook also had several announcements this week. The No.1 social media platform has launched three new tools aimed at marketeers; Blueprint, Learn How, Ad Copy Cheat Sheet. 

The most interesting of these is Blueprint. The tool is available to all Facebook users via desktop and mobile and is aimed at helping agencies, partners and marketeers craft ad campaigns on the social network that drive business results. 

Facebook also launched ‘On This Day’.  The tool takes anything from birthdays to wedding anniversaries logged on the site and notifies you of the special moments on a dedicated page on the site, through your News Feed or via mobile app.

Instagram launches ‘Layout’  
Hot on the heels of Hyperlapse, Instagram has launched a dedicated app to create collages of your favourite images. No doubt this will prove popular amongst the fashionista bloggers out there! 

The free app is iPhone only for now, though the company says an Android version is coming in the next few months.

And finally…
Remember, everything in life is better with Lego, even The Matrix. Animators Snooperking recreated the films iconic ending with everyone’s favourite building blocks.

Written by James Mulrennan, Digital Account Director 

Taking stock of Mumstock 2015

Always wanting to put best advice forward, Clarion keeps its eyes and ears open for the latest insight and trends when it comes to integrated marketing, comms and targeting tricky/specific sectors.  So it will come as no surprise that we were all signed-up and ready to take notes at this year’s Mumstock marketing conference, hosted by the leading parenting network Mumsnet.

Aimed at demystifying the generic ‘target mums’ instruction that so often appears on PR briefs, this full day conference brought together a bunch of the great and the good from senior UK marketeers to inform and enlighten us eager delegates.

Opening with proprietary research; we were instructed that ‘mum’ is a woman and not a role and that motherhood is not a job.  Taking a look back at historic PR and ad campaigns which have targeted mum it becomes quite clear how they’ve potentially missed the sweet-spot by making it seem hard-work.  Not a great thing, when you are trying to get those all-important 18 million UK mummy consumers to buy-in to the brand.
The research showed that being a mum (the person) meant cherishing the relationships that she adopts with her children and, this falls into eight emotional roles that she seeks out to achieve this. These are; Carer, Coach, Hero, Safehouse, Fan, Friend, Rule Breaker and Partner in Crime, the first four of these are the expected and serious states, whilst the others are often underestimated by brands.

What followed were a series of discussions and case studies that highlighted key campaigns that have started to embrace this model, from the likes of; Lego, McDonalds, Tesco, O2, British Gas, Matalan, Mama&Papas, Ella’s Kitchen, Co-Op and Kerry Foods.  Graeme Pitkethly, executive chairman at Unilever also spoke passionately about understanding the brand audience before briefing a campaign and stressed the importance of this insight.  As a case in point, the recent Dove Legacy video was hailed as a great example of demonstrating the ‘hero’ emotional role identified earlier, which now gives Dove the right to play in this space:

Overall there was a lot to be learnt, with some really interesting stats and some considered strategic insight from the top marketeers appearing on the day.  Now, all we have to do is take these learnings and weave them into future campaigns and help us keep an edge on what’s connecting with our ‘target mum’.

For more details visit Mumstock.

By John Mayne, Associate Director

Clarion launches the Valspar 3D House to celebrate the arrival of Valspar paint in the UK and Ireland

How do you inspire people to paint their homes with colour, when, as a nation, we’re so wedded to magnolia (78 per cent of UK homeowners choose to paint their homes in cream, white or neutral)?  Responding to the brief from Valspar, a US-based paint company launching in UK and Ireland, Clarion knew we needed to create something extreme if we were going to attract attention from consumers and media…

To make a bold and colourful statement we approached colour aficionado Will Taylor (of Bright Bazaar blog and book fame) to help us inspire the nation with a family home interior, designed using his trademark colour palette. To bring his interior design to life, we then tracked down a specialist, trompe l’oeil artist to create a piece of Illusionary, 3D art from Will’s designs, to be painted on the side of a three-storey residential house in London.  

160 hours of painting (not to mention numerous logistics!) later, we unveiled the 1,352 square ft. ‘house’ to media and social channels.  With the impression that the side of the building had been knocked through to reveal a family home (complete with its family members in situ), the illusion literally brings the colourful interior, outside, and shows just how amazing our homes can look with the injection of some colour – and a bit of bravery! 

Apple Watch: what the arrival means to brands

If you haven’t heard that the Apple Watch launched this week, then you must have been under one huge rock! As the media circus starts to die down, what will the impact for this new technology venture mean to brands?

Wearable technology is not new with several brands currently fighting for market supremacy. Most notably is Samsung, who have invested heavily into their Gear range. That said, a recent study by Global Web Index shows only one in ten of 16-24 year olds currently own a smart watch -  a figure that drops to 9% when looking at a wider age demographic – these figures might suggest there isn’t much hunger but the same could have once been said for online and on-mobile shopping. The question is, is there a hunger for this technology and how will it impact our clients, and more specifically, their content marketing?

The short answer is an obvious one. As with any new technology, if it solves a problem and works, it will win consumer backing no matter what its costs. When the Walkman launched, it was an instant hit, so too was a certain iPhone. Whilst early adoption may be slow, as costs go down and competition increases, so too will consumers access to purchase. Wearable technology is here to stay and no doubt Samsung and Apple will be at the forefront.

So how can your brand get involved and who is already knocking on Apple’s door? Unsurprisingly major news outlets and brands are already developing their own programmes for Apple Watch. These include social: you can check your Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest in a watch-optimized format using the system. You'll also be able to find your car using a BMW app, check out the news with the Guardian app, and even control the temperature in your home with a Honeywell app. If you'd rather fly, there's an American Airlines app that works by touch.

Apple also wants to develop with partners in different areas including entertainment, media, and especially health. Nike is an early adopter with health, allowing users who are heading out on a run to tell their friends and record their progress with the Nike app.
There are other great opportunities for brands, for example if a cinema chain could ping its fans with the latest film releases and cinema offers, not to mention remind them when their film is about to start! A food brand could supply its fans with cookery suggestions around key shopping periods e.g. the ‘post work quick shop’ or the ‘weekend big family shop’. Such technology could also forward more detailed menu suggestions to your phone or to your online food ordering service. 

The options for brands to get involved are extensive but for it to be popular, it has to work and to solve a problem that simply taking their phone out of their pocket won’t do. Apple Watch is another cog on the wheel of Internet of Things and highlights the public’s hunger to be evermore connected.  For brands to succeed, they have to supply relevant content.

This article was written by James Mulrennan, Digital Account Director.  If you would like to discuss your content marketing requirements for 2015, please contact Debbie Jackson on 0207 343 3110 or email

Clarion win PRmoment Award

Clarion attended the prestigious PRmoment Awards last night, having been nominated in two categories. Clarion beat off the competition and won the award for Low Budget Campaign of the Year for the fantastic ‘Chicken vs beef in the battle of the batter’ campaign for Aunt Bessie’s.

The judges were particularly impressed with this clever campaign commenting that it was executed with a good sense of humour which appealed to the media with tangible and effective results. Not only was this a low budget campaign, but it was highly creative and led to an increase in sales of Yorkshire Puddings. The team were delighted to head up to the stage to accept the award and there are plenty of smiles in the office this morning!