The THEA Pics – Tom and Simon get glamorous

As promised, here are the pictures of Tom and Simon from BeWILDerwood in their finest finery collecting the THEA Award in the Disney hotel in Los Angeles.

Pictured during the speech and then looking very relieved afterwards, Tom was rather excited to get the chance to address the whole group with a very weepy acceptance speech, just like they do at the real Oscars.” I have to thank my Mum, my Dad, my Wife, Son and daughter for making me the man that I am……….

Anyway, a good night was had by all and it is one hell of an honour to speak to EVERYONE in the industry.

Enjoy the pics that are shown in order.

1. The nervous speaker
2. Looking more relaxed
3. Very relieved pair of Simon and Tom
4. Proud wives Lesley (Tom’s wife) and Alex (Simon’s wife)

The tarnished Sword of Excellence

Many years ago, one of our biggest clients was Thomas Cork SML, later to become Cork International. They supplied merchandised ranges and latterly books to all of the major retailers.

In their reception area was a huge mission statement stating they were working towards and living excellence in everything they did. It was joined by the remarkable sword of excellence that took pride of place behind the receptionist’s desk.

We always wondered whether anyone in the organisation knew these values, understood these values or ever ‘lived’ them. Having asked most of the team, we became pretty convinced that no-one did.

They quietly went out of business in 2004 due to ‘financial difficulties’.

You can see in this historic article that they were already through a Total Quality Management (TQM) programme.

But what this proves is that its all very well having values and even writing them in huge letters in your reception.

But the key to any brand, to any organisational culture is to embed and live those values in everything you do.

Thomas Cork, never did and they disappeared. The tarnished sword of excellence lives on however and it is a great reminder to all of us to walk the walk as well as talk about it.

Purple Circle and BeWILDerwood win an ‘Oscar’

Hot on the heels of Kate Winslet and Slumdog Millionaire’s success in Hollywood, the Brits have done it again. Purple Circle, the Nottingham-based branding and graphic design studio has just returned from Los Angeles with the themed entertainment world’s equivalent of the Oscars – a THEA.

THEA is an annual award ceremony for the Californian-based Themed Entertainment Association (TEA), celebrating the very best of themed entertainment throughout the world. The award is for Purple Circle’s work with BeWILDerwood – the children’s woodland adventure park in Hoveton, Norfolk. A truly worldwide organisation, all of the big players and many famous names in theme parks and live entertainment are members of TEA – Disney and Universal Studios to name but two.

This year’s award ceremony took place on 7th March at the Disneyland Hotel in Los Angeles, California. Purple Circle’s BeWILDerwood entry was the only British theme park receiving an accolade, and was one of only two European attractions recognised. Other winners for 2009 included the teams behind the opening ceremony for the Beijing Olympics and The Simpsons Ride at Universal Studios Hollywood.

John Lyle, Director of Purple Circle, was very excited about the award; “We have known about the award for a few weeks now, but competition is fierce and the winners have to remain a closely guarded secret until the official announcement. To see our little adventure park rubbing shoulders with the likes of Disney is amazing; we believe in the BeWILDerwood brand heart and soul – of course – but it is still incredible that we have achieved such status in such a short time.”

Purple Circle has worked with BeWILDerwood since the park’s inception, creating not only the branding but also the theming and the tone for the entire attraction. The park has been a runaway success since it first opened its gates in May 2007; in 2008 it attracted over 140,000 visitors, a figure more than double the number projected.

Purple Circle operates as an integral part of the BeWILDerwood team, partnering them in all of their creative efforts, including the design of much of the merchandise that is sold through the park and online. This includes the popular children’s books ‘A Boggle at BeWILDerwood’ and ‘BeWILDerbats’ by Tom Bofled, the founder of BeWILDerwood.

John continued “Branding is far more than simply sticking logos on things; rather, it is about an organisation – however big or small – setting a tone for its entire communications and ensuring that the core values of the company pervade every aspect of the business. If you can do this, it doesn’t matter whether you are speaking to your team or to your customers, you can create a brilliant brand – even with a swamp to work with.

This award shows what compelling branding can do when you consider that BeWILDerwood, created on swamp and woodland on the edge of a small Norfolk village, captures the imagination of a worldwide organisation such as TEA, as well as those of British families. Our entry consisted of an eight-minute video letting the kids do the talking – showing them enjoying BeWILDerwood to the max – and we think this is what swung it for us (every pun intended!)”

You can see release on Pressbox by clicking here

Helping our clients business fly – or is it the other way around?

We ask our clients to put a lot of trust in our advice when they go through a rebrand, but its not often that the favour is so completely repaid.

Well it was today – In some style.

The client, Ed Lennox from Feefo is a very keen pilot and as we were meeting at Wellesbourne Airfield in Warwickshire where he is a member of the flying club, he offered to take me for a few spins around the airfield.

Never having been in a four seater plane before, I was obviously scared off my head, but having just read ‘Yes Man‘ by Danny Wallace (A great book and well worth a read), I was forced to say yes, even though I’m a bit scared of heights!

Anyway, the following pictures prove we went up in 30 mile an hour gusts and flew out over Stratford on Avon.

Brilliant Fun and I’m not scared anymore.

If you fancy joining yourself, this is the link to the Flying Club.

Saving the Rainforest one glass of Orange Juice at a time

I was reading the Freakonomics blog via the New York Times today and noticed a brilliant article that seemed to back up our thought about adding value.

On some Tropicana orange juice packs in the US you can go to their website and type in a code and they will set you aside 10 square feet of rainforest.


That’s sounds like a lot and a really generous offer by a huge multinational. But my favourite economists have calculated it’s only worth about US11 cents – The key though is that it has a MUCH higher perceived value – and that’s where adding value really comes into its own.

So to stress again, don’t discount, find a way of adding value. What can you give your customers that doesn’t cost you much, is really wanted or valued by your customers and reinforces the values of your brands?

If you can find it and deliver it, your brand will grow, recession or no recession.

If you want to read the full article, then click here