Monthly Archives

January 2018

Keko London’s Journey.

By Ben Whattam.

Managing Partner.


Time certainly flies when you’re having fun. This month, Keko London turns five (just writing it makes us feel old!) In the last half decade, we’ve grown up and grown bigger, adding brains to our headcount and brands to our client list faster than we ever expected. Among the jobs we’re most proud of, you’ll find a defining brand idea for a 99 year old brand, Bentley Motors creating their Be Extraordinary campaign. A campaign capturing the Spirit ’59 for Triumph Motorcyles. You’ll find comedy content for Top Gear, the launch of Yorkshire’s only single malt whisky and social stories for British sparkling wine.  We also have an inspiring campaign for Forevermark the De Beers Brand for the Exceptional Diamonds in development.

Today, we create campaigns for global brands and local start-ups in categories as diverse as fashion, automotive, jewellery and premium drinks. We’ve had three homes in Soho to accommodate our continuing expansion and in 2017 alone, we completed a dizzying 829 projects. Our work spans everything from PR to CRM, including social media, display advertising, paid-social, website content, experiential concepts and data propensity modelling for direct marketing. We also have a film production and motion graphics unit– and we execute our campaigns across five continents. Our in-house team includes native speakers of seven languages and collectively, and we travelled more than 200,000 miles on business in the last year.

We’re very proud of the culture we’ve created. A lot of agencies say they are fun places to work, but few really live up to that claim. Keko London does – and between us, we’ve got enough experience of life in our competitors’ offices to know. We’re a tight team founded on mutual respect and genuine care for each other. It makes a big difference.

In the last five years, we’ve also learned an awful lot about the affluent consumers in which we specialise: about their buying behaviour, their social habits and what, in essence, makes them tick. But most of all, we’ve learned that you can’t stand still in this business. Five years isn’t a long time really, yet we’ve had to adapt and evolve since day one. We’ve learned to thrive on constant change – so much so that we’re already looking forward to the next five years and all the opportunities they’ll bring.

One thing we’re sure of is the blending of traditional advertising craft with the contemporary disciplines of customer experience planning and social-science is the platform for the most exciting and hardest working creative campaigns in today’s world.

So thank you to everyone who has helped us stay nimble – clients, colleagues and friends of the agency alike. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Print vs. digital – it’s time for a truce.

By Andrew Hudson.

Head of Design.


It was the year 2000, and I’d just taken my first job as an art director in a small agency in Sydney with a mixture of print and digital clients. It was the age of the ‘splash page’ – a trend for businesses to use an animated homepage takeover as an introduction to their website, built entirely in Flash, despite dial-up connections that took forever to load. This was the future – print was the past.

We remodelled the agency and invested in Flash in a big way. Pretty soon I was a fully trained Flash programmer, building high-end animations and flash-based websites, ready for the imminent death of print. It was a gamble that in the end didn’t pay off and that agency is no longer with us, yet print is still around. How?

Splash pages fell out of favour due to the emerging ‘8 second rule’, and print hung on until January 2010 when Steve Jobs took to the stage and announced something that would surely mark the end of print: the iPad.

The initial impact was big. Many magazines and newspapers moved their press publications to the Apple platform, complete with skeuomorphic page-turning animations that made it feel like reading a book. It seemed as if this time, print really was going to suffer. But here we are in 2018 and it’s showing no sign of disappearing. Maybe that’s because we have a better idea of print’s place in a world of mobile apps and touchscreens.

There’s no doubt that the digital revolution continues to stick the knife into traditional print advertising in newspapers and magazines.

However, there is an area of print that’s alive and well, one that complements social and digital media rather than competing with them. It’s just further down the customer journey.

Social and digital platforms are fantastic at drawing customers in, but the tactile feedback that comes with a high-end print piece is a great way of getting them across the line – or rewarding them for choosing you.

Take premium smartphone packaging. Laminates, special inks, chrome foiling, embossing and spot UVs – it’s got it all. And yet the customers have already paid, so why bother? It’s all about creating a memorable experience that taps into both ‘smell memory’ and ‘feel memory’ – a reward that will keep you coming back for more. You won’t find an instruction manual in one of these print masterpieces. You’ll have to go online for that.

Another good example is automotive. Digital is definitely the more popular space for getting your attention, drawing you in with social media and leading you to their website to configure your chosen car. It’s not until you arrive at a dealership that you receive your first piece of print: a brochure. And it might just make all the difference. If you buy a luxury car, you’ll also receive a lavish ‘thank you’ print piece as a reward for choosing that particular marque.

We’re finally starting to understand that print and digital are not at war. Actually, they work well together – and moving from one format to another along the customer journey can be a seamless and rewarding experience.

In a world that is increasingly virtual, print still offers a physical experience your Facebook or Twitter feed can’t give you. Until that changes, print is here to stay.