6:40PM December 16 2014

Our highlights in 2014

As we draw the curtains and switch off the lights of 2014, here’s a quick look back on what has been another cracking year for Five by Five.

This was the year in which Harry Styles was the UK’s most re-tweeted person, the Scottish independence referendum fired the nation’s political interest, Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 mysteriously disappeared, England won the world cup (women’s rugby!), and the comedy world sadly said goodbye to Rivers, Robin and Rik.

But how will Five by Five remember 2014?

Well, we were chuffed to be ranked the number five agency in the UK for client satisfaction in The Drum’s advertising census.

And we’ve appeared seven times in creativebrief’s monthly ‘Agency Top 30’ for our work – our highest ranking being fourth.

We also came in at number 31 in The Drum’s Top 100 Agencies Outside London – beating our ranking last year of 36.

Our Creative Director, Martin Flavin, went down a storm at the Figaro conference in July, when he gave his 21s presentation (21 slides, 21 seconds per slide) on ‘How to become an unstoppable launch machine’, which was one of several subjects we’ve written about in The Guardian this year.

Our series of Breakfast Briefings also continued and we welcomed lots of familiar and new faces to the sessions in Southampton and London. This year’s subjects were:

Martin Flavin’s ‘Protecting the idea’:

Pete Edwards’ ‘Has marketing forgotten about the customer?’.

And Gareth Evans’ ‘10 things we’ve learnt about launches’. Thank you to Sabilah Eboo, who wrote this blog piece about it.

We’ve worked on some pretty high profile launch campaigns this year; global game launches for Activision including Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Destiny and Skylanders Trap Team; Borderlands for 2K Games and the UK integrated relaunch of adidas bodycare for COTY. Chuck into that mix the launch of Katy Perry’s Royal Revolution fragrance, CooperVision’s MyDay daily contact lenses and a number of seasonal ranges for New Look.

We’ve also being doing more and more brand launch and relaunch work this year, with IBMi, Hyde Housing, and Pfaudler, the world’s leading manufacturer of glass lined reactor systems (the machinery used to make everything from antibiotics to cornflakes!)

We’ve been adding new strings to our retail bow too, through new work with B&Q and Festival Place.

So, all in all, it’s been a busy and varied year. We’re looking forward to a well earned rest over Christmas, but we’ll be back in the new year, bright eyed and bushy tailed, looking to rack up even more highlights in 2015. See you on the other side….

2:56PM September 26 2014


We recently worked with Coty to launch their new fragrance, Katy Perry – Killer Queen’s Royal Revolution.

Have a little look below at some of the work, and then have a listen to this to get yourself in the mood for the weekend!


2:57PM September 18 2014

What’s the point of the Apple Watch?

Apple are the masters of product launches, we all know that. Every few years they redefine or even create a new category. But last week, something weird happened to me when they launched the Apple Watch. I really didn’t see the point of it. Now, I’m about as big an Apple fanboy as you can get. But, there was something about the Apple Watch that left me cold. So I went back and looked at other Apple product launches to see if I could identify an anomaly, and I did. And yes, there is a big charisma vacuum that used to be occupied by Steve Jobs, but it’s not just that. When you look back at how Apple has launched big products in the past, they always gave you a strong, compelling reason for the thing to exist. Whether that’s solving a problem we’ve all just put up with or dramatically enhancing our experience, or both. Here’s a whistle stop tour:

iPod – Why put up with your crappy discman when you can have 1,000 songs in your pocket?

iPhone – The smartest and easiest to use phone in the world. No fiddly buttons, just power at your fingertips.

iPad – Better than a phone or a laptop for browsing and looking at content.

Apple Watch – The most personal device we’ve ever invented.

Er, the most personal device we’ve ever invented? What does that mean? Then you get the usual Jony Ive narrated gadget porn video. But listening to him talk about the watch’s accuracy like they’ve split the bloody atom is hilarious. We cracked accurate time-keeping a long time ago Jony. But for me, the fatal flaw is that Apple have fallen in love with their own genius. It’s all about the tech and how clever they are but I have no idea why I’d want one. And there are probably some brilliant reasons why I should want one; the health sensors seem pretty cool and I can see how having something that can actually monitor my wellbeing would be handy. But other than that, it doesn’t do anything better than my phone. And I actually need my phone with me for the thing to work. And as for the watch bit of it, well I love watches and have a few. They’re a personal statement of taste. The Apple Watch isn’t striking or beautiful enough to compete with a traditional watch as a statement.

So, it’s not better than a phone for apps and it’s not better than a watch at being a watch.

For me, Apple haven’t communicated the reason this device should live in my world. They haven’t told me what problem it solves or how it’s dramatically better than something else, which they’ve always done before. I don’t know if this is a flaw in the product or the launch. And I’m pretty sure they’ll sell shedloads, at the beginning, and when I get my mitts on one my very next decision will be which kidney to sell to afford it. But, right now, I don’t want one because I don’t know what it’s for.

Martin Flavin
Creative Director


Image Source – Wikimedia – bit.ly/1tnn62J