'Bouncing Back' takes Talking
In our last newsletter, we pondered a return to the Roaring 20s of a century ago, which seems somewhat ironic, given we face 'rationed' petrol and HGV drivers - not to mention soaring energy prices. As The Sunday Times Rich List proves, it's largely the tech giants who've been 'roaring' in the 2020s after benefiting from the pandemic like nobody's business. (Which of us didn't switch to Amazon and Zoom to fulfil our daily needs?) Yet, it's worth remembering that even the most genius technological innovation would fail to take off if nobody got to hear about it. In the words of our hero, Alice in Wonderland, 'What is the use of a book... without pictures or conversation?' So, despite the challenges Lockdown dealt to our clients and our team, we're proud to have secured a media audience of >3.6 billion for our clients so far this year. Keep up the communication, we say!
Back to Life for a Legendary Marque
BLOOMBERG shows French pop star Johnny Hallyday
with a Bizzarrini 5300 GT c.1960 Photo: Getty Images
Speaking of 'roaring,' last year witnessed the rebirth of the legendary Italian motorsport marque, Bizzarrini, for a new generation of collectors. One of the most storied and iconic names in automotive history, Bizzarrini's physical legacy is scarce, save for a few well-known, incalculably valuable cars. Giotto Bizzarrini, now aged 95 and living in Livorno, was an engineer noted for his contribution to 1960s motorsport history. As is fabled designer, Giugiaro Giorgetto, 83, who is involved in the design of the marque's forthcoming Revival Series, of which 24 cars are being built uniquely for discerning afficionados. Since the 2020 rebirth, we've helped communicate for the eponymous brand, resulting in outstanding coverage in global, national and specialist press, including Bloomberg News, LaRepubblica, Autocar, Jalopnik, Automotive News Europe, and Road and Track.
In January, we announced further details about the Revival Series which were covered by luxury and automotive publications, such as The Robb Report USA, Wallpaper Magazine, Salon Privé, La Gazzetta dello Sport and NZZ. We also secured an interview on BBC World News for Bizzarrini CMO, Janette Green, who spoke to a live audience of over 100 million about the significance of the rebirth: "Bizzarrini is very much about celebrating the history of Bizzarrini [which] lay dormant for 50 years... The reason we are recreating 24 cars is the fact we wanted to celebrate probably the most famous of the Bizzarrini models, the 5300 GT, which won in its class at Le Mans in 1965. The Bizzarrini team are very keen and passionate about recreating authentic genuine cars." This Spring, we were thrilled to help produce this short film directed by Richard Blanshard, a veteran of all things 'Hollywood Glamour’, which we filmed at a secret location in the UK. Love the sound of a 1965 Le Mans class-winning V8?
Our team was also delighted to accompany Bizzarrini to the London Concours in the priceless green space of The Honourable Artillery Company in The City. The post-Lockdown atmosphere was one of ecstasy, and it was a delight to meet key editors in the sector, surrounded by collectors and enthusiasts. Likewise we joined Bizzarrini at the Concours of Elegance Hampton Court Palace in August. It's a genuine thrill to delve into 1960s culture as part of managing social media for the brand. If you’re a fan of this era, follow on Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn. We look forward to further announcements.
Back to the Big Screen - from On High
2020 and early 2021 were super-tough for the world of Film Production, but things took off again earlier this year - as detailed on BBC News in March by our client, Jeremy Braben, the world-renowned Aerial Director of Photography, who is CEO of Helicopter Film Services.
Finally, in August, we got to watch a taste of HFS's work on female-centric movie, Black Widow, seated in a beautiful new indie cinema, no less. Win-win! After so many postponed releases, it seemed like an aeon ago that we'd written about how the film's aerial sequences had been captured between 2018-2020. Thank you to journalists and editors for your patience in publishing the technical details of how directors' and VFX supervisors' dreams are made reality, with the help of Jeremy and his crew. Well worth the wait to read about in American Cinematographer, Definition, British Cinematographer and YM Cinema.
They say 'never work with animals or children', and perhaps the list should include fast-moving objects! Yet, Ortis Deeley, presenter on The Gadget Show, was set the challenge of re-creating a 'Fast & Furious' style car chase - from road and air - for this episode which aired on Channel 5, as reported by METRO. What a thrill to go on-location to see the HFS and Gadget Show crews at work. So, did Ortis win his aerial wings? Watch him attempt to film two new Porsche cars using £1m of HFS's kit: helicopter, drones, gimbals, cameras & lenses. Not something to mess up whilst moving at speed!
CHALLENGING ORTIS: Jeremy Braben, Aerial DoP | Giles Dumper, Pilot | Ortis Deeley, Presenter | North One Television cast & crew |Curious PR Jess Purdie & Hannah Kapff
Moving The Needle on Gender Equality in Music
2021 continues to see diversity and gender equality grow in focus. We chose International Women’s Day to launch new educational support group, Moving The Needle, and to highlight serious issues women face in the music industry. MTN was founded by influential women who’ve reached the top in this industry and have come together to help address the major gender and diversity imbalances in this vibrant and valuable sector worth £5.2Bn. The UK Music Diversity Report 2020 found only a third of senior management roles held by women (of which, only 2% by black women - classed as African or Afro-Caribbean). Moreover it found women earn just 73% men's pay, and that they leaving in droves after age 45. What a waste of knowledge and experience! Support for MTN flooded in from influential music bodies and individuals wanting to see positive change.
MTN BOARD: Karen Emanuel, Silvia Montello, Jenni Cochrane, Mary Rose, Siofra McComb, Julie Weir, Louise Clare Marshall, Nikki McNeill, Victoria Davies, Eve Horne, Gill Massey
The launch was publicised by global news platforms, including BBC World News via an interview with Karen Emanuel, CEO of Key Production and Co-founder of MTN. She explained the challenges women face in the industry, and what needs to change. BBC World Service Radio also interviewed Karen, and the news appeared in important trade press titles: Music Week, CMU, Music Ally, Record Of The Day, TPI, Attack Magazine, Tileyard, Goldman Sachs and The Successful Founder. Since then, we have organised numerous activities as part of MTN's mission to change things for the better, especially for young women wanting to work in music, who may not know about the plethora of roles on offer. Also, to help women needing advice and support to progress their career. Thank you to REED In Partnership, Sound City, Aspire Higher, Tileyard Education, Soundskool's Masterclass Mondays, Speakers4Schools and Getahead Festival for being involved. Interested in knowing more? Then see MTN website, Gigwise Magazine's MTN column, or follow @MovingTheNeedleUK.
Back to the Future for Birdsong?
Speaking of 'music', Britain is a nation of birds and birdsong. We spend >£250k a year on bird food, yet a staggering 50% of songbirds have disappeared in just 50 years! We continue to raise awareness of such issues for the independent charity, SongBird Survival, which funds top quality scientific research into the many ways we can reverse this alarming decline. The role of good science to inform complex policy decisions was underlined by friend of SongBird Survival, Jake Fiennes, Head of Conservation at Norfolk's Holkham Estate, via a podcast we organised for bird-loving broadcaster, Jeremy Paxman: The Lock Inn. Have a listen.
Recognising how much The Public noticed and valued the sound of birdsong when traffic and flight paths fell silent in Lockdown, we launched a campaign to get people learning about their region's at-risk birds. The What3Birds Campaign involved collaboration with geolocation platform, what3words: People can find which 3 species in their region are going missing fastest, and spread the word about how to help. Media and social media coverage appeared in the likes of Country Life, The Daily Record and The WI. The charity's CEO, Susan Morgan, gave inspiring radio interviews on BBC Wales, BBC York and BBC Radio Solent to shine a spotlight on threatened species. Thank you to all involved in building web pages, infographics, Q&As and other assets in record time to give wings to an impassioned campaign! Watch this YouTube clip our team produced, and help keep the dawn chorus alive!
Knowing the power of cultural collaboration to spread the word, we also teamed up with author, Charlie Corbett, and Penguin Random House, to publicise the launch of his heart-wrenching book, 12 Birds to Save Your Life. Charlie was inspired to write it after hearing nightingales for the first time in years - their inimitable sounds acting as a tonic for his anxiety around the early death of his mother from cancer. In an interview for BBC Radio Wiltshire, he explained the mental health benefits of watching birds and nature: "It reminds us to ‘live in the moment', to watch - not just see - and to listen - not just hear." We all have a role to promote biodiversity, as you can hear in content we produced for the charity. (See above.)
OUR FILM CREW: Henry Harte, Producer | Fergus Martin, Sound Engineer | Chris Platt, VCF | Hannah | Jess | Georgina Bradley, Manager, SongBird Survival | Libby Adam | Charlie Corbett, Author | Susan Morgan, CEO, SongBird Survival
We also launched the what3birds? Photography Competition to get nature lovers of all ages picking up a camera to snap local birds. Extra points went to photos of species going missing: yellowhammer, house sparrow, willow tit etc. Huge thanks to the competition judges: Nick Shoolingin-Jordan, Heather Fyfe, Tom Streeter, Alan Hewitt and Tony Putman - for no easy task! Also to FUJIFILM UK for donating the star prize: an X-310 camera & lens to winner, Maciej Wontorowski, for his stunning kingfisher shot. Beautifully captured.
How to hold the World in your Hands? Dig a bit
Did you know a handful of soil contains more organisms than people on Earth? Or that the past 150 years have seen half the world's most productive soil disappear? These were just two things we learned by working with the Sustainable Soils Alliance. No doubt, during the COP15 (Biodiversity) and COP26 (Climate) conferences, we'll hear more about the value of soil - and rightly so!
It was a privilege to help strategise about how to convey facts such as these around key moments, including World Soil Day, in preparation to launch UKsoils.org, the community hub for 'all things soils'. UKsoils facilitates collaboration between experts, soil scientists and relevant organisations determined to see soils move up the agenda of people making decisions on how we grow our food, feed our expanding population, and maintain a diverse and healthy ecosystem. As with any complex, multi-factorial issue, a lot will boil down to communication...
In May, Hannah Kapff took part in a well-attended Soils Talk for UKSoils alongside Joshua Toussant-Saint, film-maker for The Guardian and Louisa Ziane, COO of Toast Ale. The subject: Getting The Public Excited About Soils available here. The trio discussed how to make this subject more 'appetising' to multiple audiences amid a competitive market for headlines, where certain issues, such as single use plastics still steal the show. So, do we need more controversial headlines such as 'There are only 60 harvests left'? (Scientific American) We believe high quality, soil-focussed culture such as Woody Harrelson's Kiss The Ground and multi-award winning The Great Green Wall is needed. Maybe a Disney Pixar film featuring cute vs scary microorganisms is needed: 'Finding Nemotode' anyone?! After all, how prophetic the 2006 WALL-E animation is proving to be. Scary indeed. Watch this messy, but beautiful space.
T is for 'Together', 'Team', 'Taste'...
Besides generating an impact for our clients, post lockdown (intra-lockdown?) we've been savouring the priceless, low-tech power of being together in the same room. Not only for the creativity it fuels, but because nothing on earth can replace the 3 ‘T’s: Togetherness, Team and Tasting things together. What fun to share afternoon tea at Fortnum & Mason after the Emin & Munch at The Royal Academy. Likewise to see the V&A Museum's artfully-curated show, Inside The Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser. It was tough to wind our way back up the rabbit hole!
CURIOUS ABOUT TOWN: The Royal Academy | Fortnum & Mason | The V&A Museum
... And for 'Thank you'
One final 'T'. Thank you to our clients for trusting our strategies despite turbulent times, to helpful collaborators without whom campaigns wouldn't be the same: Miriam at what3words, Andreas and Marc at FUJIFILM, Ella & Sophie at Penguin Random House, Chris at Vauxhall City Farm. And last but not least, to our team for helping to raise awareness, educate, engage and entertain new audiences - despite the challenges! Special thanks to Kate, Jess, Katie, Millie, Ezra, Lottie, Abi, Phoebe, Libby, Marta, Christabel, and to Loona, the most Curious of all, with a Cheshire Cat grin that keeps us all calm and collected.
Hannah & The Curious PR team