Satellite Creative

Agency speak. Direct.

Cards of Christmas past

by Satellite Creative on 26th October 2015

Have you been tasked with solving the annual festive conundrum – creating a Christmas card design for your company’s festive greetings?

It’s that time of year when the Satellite elves ask themselves; “What are we going to send our clients this Christmas?”

With the job number raised, we ponder and reflect. Let’s see what we did last year. And the year before, and the year – OK you get the picture. Having got everything out, we thought let’s share our card designs with you and see if any of them can spark your imagination. Take a trip down memory lane with us and see if any of our cards from Christmas past get you thinking.

You may have even received some of them. Which ones do you remember – was it only those that had chocolate or cookies that rang a bell? Do you still use your coaster for your morning coffee or has it all been recycled or condemned to the bin?

Take a trip down memory lane with us and see if any of our cards from Christmas past get you thinking.

2014 Animated gif advent calendar

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Satellite CreativeCards of Christmas past

The Merits of a Bacon Roll

by Satellite Creative on 16th June 2015

We at Satellite have recently become accustomed to a bacon roll on a Friday morning. How it came about was sort of an accident, an accumulation of spontaneity, humour, chance and a brief sprinkling of director generosity. Chaos theory aside we were riddled with debate on our new found guilty-pleasure. But not for long.

The classic bacon roll

It all began one Friday morning some three weeks ago. With half of our troupe out seeing clients, Dylan – in fetching new camo attire – joyfully perks up, “Does anyone fancy a bacon roll?”. With three replies in the affirmative, he yanks a tenner from his (thin) wallet and Lee duly strolls up Church Walk to the Tring Market, now more conveniently located in the middle of the town. Very nice they were too.

Fast forward a week to a cool Friday morning and we find Dylan stepping over a very hairy moth (an ex-moth – it had ceased to be) on the staircase and quipped “Must have come from Andy’s wallet”. Robert adds “It’s market day. How about a round of bacon rolls then?”. Suitably peer-pressured, the relenting creative director pulls out a tenner and off one strolls with a post-it note of names and corresponding dressings – K, HP or None.

Arriving at a two by two white trailer box, I pass the post-it to the fella at the curiously named Timo’s Potatoes (not a spud in sight I might add). Since the kettle was boiling and multitasking out of the question, we were offered a delivery service and within 15 minutes, along came Timo’s gopher with a bag wafting something awesome. Two (5mm) slices of prime bacon in a buttered crusty roll, individually bagged, named, appropriate condiments applied, the goodies were distributed.

Everything stopped for ten minutes. The office chatterbox went quiet,  the phones stopped ringing and even the printer went into a temporary slumber. Big grins, nodding heads, wiping fingers and smiles all round, if one could picture a scene of mass satisfaction for ten quid, this was it. There was something quite primeval going on. Nom nom.

Here’s the thing. We are armed with a single-sided A5 colour flier and a promise of a delivery any time we wanted – so long as it was a Friday – so we could enjoy this ten minutes of bliss once a week. But is this healthy?

It’s good for you. Its bad for you.

This week it was reported that a small amount of chocolate reduces the risk of dying a painful death (we looked to see if the report was sponsored by a confectionery maker) and earlier this year, studies in South Korea revealed that people drinking moderate amounts of coffee had cleaner arteries!

So it comes as no surprise that we are left wondering what is or isn’t good for us. If we believe everything we read/hear, it is a big fat no for bacon. Everything is bad for you it seems.

So we did a little poking around and found some interesting facts.

Some facts

Bacon basically contains protein, carbohydrates, some fat and a bit of sodium. And we also get Choline which helps increase intelligence and memory while (as University studies show), it helps fight off the effects of Alzheimer’s disease and other chronic mental impairments. Bonus!

From bacon, we receive: 65% of our RDA of Thiamin (Vitamin B1) as well as 47% of our Niacin (Vitamin B3), 38% of our Vitamin B12, 36% of our Zinc, 24% of our Vitamin B6, 22% of our Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), 22% of our Phosphorus, 10% of our Pantothenate, 10% of our Magnesium, 9% of our Iron and the Protein to fat balance in bacon is actually 4 to 1, which is one of the highest protein to fat balances found in any meat, fish or fowl found on Earth.

Boss HogBacon Today

Interesting indeed. Weekly roll justified?

Green Bacon?

Our chief brainiac Andy adds, “Did you know, of the meats we consume, pork has the lowest carbon footprint of the lot – other than chicken?” Another bonus! Maybe adding this to our Corporate Responsibility page might be a roll too far. It was also sourced locally, delivered on foot and it produced no washing up.

Business value

We also did some fine work thereafter so the business value was immense. We each overcame some of the tougher challenges that are often presented to creatives. And we have one more reason to like working here. Can one put a value on that?

Conclusions

First, let us say that we cannot possibly recommend eating a bacon sandwich every day. That wouldn’t be healthy if only because it isn’t healthy to have too much of a good thing. Everything in moderation. Are we…

  • Riddled with guilt? Er, no.
  • Worried that each bacon sandwich is a health time bomb that will knock a half an hour off one’s life? No.
  • Having a bacon roll this friday? Yes.

Will the boss pay for it? Unknown.

We could not conclude was which is better on a bacon roll – Ketchup, HP or none. I’m adding an egg next time!

If you’re planning on visiting us any time soon, roll up on a Friday morning!

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Satellite CreativeThe Merits of a Bacon Roll

When to choose TV Advertising as part of your marketing mix?

by Satellite Creative on 12th May 2014

This is a question we are often asked and like all businesses it all depends on who you want to reach, what you want to say and how big your marketing budget is. Recently our client BMI Healthcare decided to explore TV as part of their marketing mix to promote their Self Pay service.

Before jumping in with both feet we worked with BMI to explore the potential of this media. Like most businesses BMI were faced with the choice between spending their limited advertising budgets on print ads, on line marketing and /or television ads. While print advertising often comes with a lower cost price than TV advertising, newspaper and magazine circulation continue to decline. On line marketing can be cost effective but on its own can get lost when you are launching a new service and brand awareness is relatively low. However TV watching remains strong, and TV advertising offers some distinct advantages over print and on-line marketing, equally it opens your brand up to the YouTube market.

Reach
Virtually every home has a TV and, unlike print publications, viewers can watch a range of networks and view advertising with local targeted stations (check out Sky Adsmart options), reaching thousands or even millions of potential customers every time the advertisement plays. While print ads reach only those consumers who buy the newspaper or magazine, which often excludes consumers seeking to limit household costs.

Diversity
Television advertising also allows the business to appeal to a wide cross-section of the population. TV viewers include members from every demographic category, due to the widespread use of the technology itself. Print publications tend to attract a following among a specific subset of the population, such as political liberals or sports enthusiasts. That specific following can provide benefits of its own, but it also means print ads do not find potential customers outside of the demographic that follow the publication.

Multi-sensory
Television engages sight and sound while displaying motion. The connection of information with multiple senses aid in both learning and recall. Teachers often use audio/visual aids in the classroom to reinforce new information. TV advertising capitalises on the audio/visual learning strategy by tying product or service information to interesting audio/visual information. Print advertising must restrict itself to static visual input, such as text or a single image, which limits the reinforcement potential. On line banners allow for more creativity than print but has design and copy restrictions, equally it is hard to make an emotional connection from a banner advert.

Speed
Commercials deliver advertising messages quickly. On average, a television commercial spot runs 30 seconds (our BMI advert is a 30 second one). In the space of 30 seconds, an effective TV spot delivers a brand image, informational content, emotional content and action content.

In our BMI advert we were able to show case all of these by showing a logo, introducing the BMI branding, bringing together their brand assets in a creative memorable way, communicating a call to action through an interactive phone visual, and gaining an emotional connection with the brand through choosing the right voice and music.

Print and on line banner advertising cannot achieve all those elements in less than 30 seconds, as it requires more text to convey informational and emotional content than with an audio/visual medium.

If you are thinking of TV as part of your marketing mix, then speak to us, we are ready to discuss in more detail the pro’s and con’s of TV being part of your marketing mix.

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Satellite CreativeWhen to choose TV Advertising as part of your marketing mix?

Creative winning tender documents

by Satellite Creative on 12th May 2014

It’s all about winning business and for a number of our clients we have been creating winning tender documents. Commissioning a design agency to create your tender document may be something you haven’t thought about before, but the benefits of our creative input can quickly outweigh your investment.

Preparation is key:
Treat every tender as a first, give yourself enough time to prepare your content, remember there is always a competitor who will go that extra mile.

Looming deadline?:
Don’t rush your tender document, it will show, work with us to help you meet your deadline and provide the checklist you need to ensure your document doesn’t look like a rushed one.

Envoplan dixons proposalCompetitive research:
How do you think your competitors will look? How will you differentiate yourself from them? Can you use their information to your advantage?

Be creative:
Use creative and good layout to compete with the big boys. Strive to present your tender document better than your competitors not as good as your competitors, and last but not least, commission a good design agency to help you with the following:

  • Branding
  • Personalisation
  • Page layout
  • Contents and Numbering
  • Sections
  • Colour
  • Typography
  • Imagery
  • Copywriting
  • Templates
  • Printing and collating
  • Delivery – on time

A professionally designed and produced tender document can help deliver the result you and your business need. Your first impression WILL count and it WILL last.

So next time you want to produce a winning tender document speak to us, we love helping our clients win new business.

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Satellite CreativeCreative winning tender documents

Thinking of creating an app?

by Satellite Creative on 12th May 2014

At Satellite Creative we are seeing more and more clients enquire about the possibility of having an app created for their company. So what is the process?

mad maths appYou have a vision, some inspiration and maybe even a name that you know will be perfect. So… now what?

First step is to design the structure, flow and features that will combine to form your finished mobile app. However this may sound simple but performing these tasks isn’t easy — there are tons of moving parts and project management aspects to keep in mind during development. Developing a functioning and enjoyable mobile app requires discipline and practicality.

1. Begin with a flow map, which can quickly be adapted into wireframes or designs
Even simple applications should have a well-considered flowmap in place to help ensure a logical and reasonable navigational structure.

2. Make sure you have a development budget
Everything a designer creates will have to go through a developer in order to bring those designs to life. Sometimes very simple design changes can make the difference between a feature that takes a few hours to build and one that takes a few days. So be aware of over-defining functionality in the design.

In other words, the design should not dictate the functionality. For example, an app might have been planned to have a search box, one that the designer envisions with a type-ahead search that generates live results as the user types. But this can be a significant developmental undertaking to properly implement, so deciding which key features are important and easy to implement is critical.

3. Start with high resolutions images and graphics
You need to always design for retina, high-res, pixel-dense screens first, then scale down. This means that we need to have access to high res images and graphics, this may seem obvious but always worth being aware of.

4. Ensure the hit area is not undersized
Remember that most users’ index fingers are 1.6 to 2 cm wide. Take into account the width of a finger, plus the fact that users are moving quickly and aren’t able to reliably tap a tiny area of the screen. It’s all too easy to pack lots of buttons and functionality into a screen, but you need to be sure buttons are big enough — and spaced enough — to be easily tapped by users.

5. We all love animations but not at the expense of going slow
Those fun little animations when an app first opens can be really nice, but it’s important not to go overboard with them. Too many clever animations can actually delay the user from accessing the app. If you’re going to use one, make it quick, subtle and appealing enough to be worth the extra second or so that the user has to wait.

As an app loads, a still image should display, which then transitions into an animation. Our job is to make sure the transition is seamless, if your designer is not good at implementing, this can result in having a jump or glitch as the app transitions from the still loading image to the intro animation.

6. Make sure you don’t leave users hanging
Leaving the user out of the loop when the app is loading or processing could cause users to think the app is malfunctioning. It’s also just a poor experience.

We make sure that the apps we design don’t keep your users waiting on a blank screen while the app is loading content from the web, by using loading indicators and animations to give users a heads up that the app is working, but it’s just waiting on the phone or the network.

7. We don’t overstuff pixel-dense screens which lead to clutter
When designing for high PPI (pixel per inch) displays, there can be a temptation to fit more into an interface because you have more pixels to play with. This is especially true if you review your design on an 27-inch high-res display, where even the most busy interfaces will have plenty of room to breathe.

Overstuffing an interface can result in an app that’s cluttered and difficult to navigate. In the worst cases, critical parts of the interface may be impossible to see.

8. Don’t assume everyone will use your app the same way you do
Usability testing is a must, no matter how good you think your app looks. We make sure that we test your app with a small group of trusted people (including a few experienced designers), update the interface and communicate back to you before releasing the app to the public.

Equally it is worth targeting students who would be willing to come in and play around with a pre-release app in exchange for a £’s.

Conclusion
If there’s a single unifying element to great apps it’s that the best designs are carefully considered. Really think through what your users are trying to achieve and let that inform your designs and approach. We encourage our clients not to cut corners, we don’t skip testing and we don’t create designs that you wouldn’t be proud of and are a success for your business.

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Satellite CreativeThinking of creating an app?