Archive for the ‘Breakfast news’ Category

Feeling social?

December 8, 2017 Leave a comment

Social media isn’t necessarily right for all brands. Certainly, as my old mate* the Ad Contrarian has loudly proclaimed, many of the claims made on behalf of Facebook and its fellow data thieves a few years ago have turned out to be rather empty.

It transpires that social is a little more like old media than many people once thought. Maybe that’s why it’s taken this long for Breakfast to produce its first (a brief dalliance with the Phone Co-Op aside) fully-formed social campaign, for our favourite vodka, Moskovskaya.

In partnership with hungry upstarts Studio Appetite, we have been producing some ads (there’s no more appropriate term) for two or three months now, and having some fun while doing so.

(You’ll need to follow the brand on Facebook, Instagram or twitter to see the animated bits, links and accompanying text. Sorry.)

Having avoided being too vocal on the merits or otherwise of social media for building brands, I have now progressed from interested observer into an advocate of treating these channels as opportunities. They offer brands without big budgets (or even medium-sized budgets) the chance to reach a potentially massive audience with a relatively small spend.

We’re not mistaking our ‘likes’ for customers, or expecting our audience to become evangelists (the world has more than enough of those at the moment). But we are (we think) producing good work for a genuinely distinctive, strong vodka brand. It might take us a while to conquer the world, and we might not achieve domination via social alone.

But we’re in the game. And enjoying it.

*He’s not a mate: I’ve never met him. But I’m pretty sure we’d get on.


A Breakfast tale: How to rebrand your business in two months

April 3, 2017 1 comment

When successful online marketplace services provider Torque Omni-Channel approached us a couple of months ago about rebranding their business, they weren’t interested in a superficial cosmetic refresh (not that we do those anyway).

Their brief was straightforward and concise: they wanted a new name and accompanying brand identity. And they wanted it quickly.

Fortunately, that’s the kind of brief the Breakfast team likes.

The start of the process to the launch of the new brand (which went live on the last day of March) took a little under two months. In that time, we presented a longer-than-usual shortlist of nine potential new names, and then developed four distinct, fully-realised brand identity ideas to bring the chosen name to life.

Here is the winner.

As with any creative process, we believe the work is only as good as the brief and decision-making allow it to be. In this case, both of those were excellent. You can make up your own mind about the result… BZAR-strapline-zigzag

Dry January?

January 27, 2017 Leave a comment

It’s been all quiet on the blog front for the past few weeks. Sorry.

None of the Breakfast team has, as far as I am aware, sworn off alcohol during January, but with a number of projects on the go it’s been all work and no play for the most part, save for the enthusiastic business-related consumption of several exotic Latvian alcopops (Chris). Blogging has had to take a back seat.

In December we turned around a video for medical equipment giants Omron, completed a large research product for our good friends at AutoRestore and embarked on two pitches (one down, one to go). A social media project for Moskovskaya kept us busy over Christmas and this year we’ve already conceived, written and produced an email campaign for Energy Scanner (see below).


We’ve had the go ahead on jobs for four new clients and are pushing ahead on another exciting AutoRestore task, as well as beginning the next stage of our campaign for the National Museum of the Royal Navy.

In fact, 2017 has started so well that it’s tempting to think the only thing between Breakfast and world domination is the implosion of western democracy in the hands of an incompetent American President and a subsequent nuclear apocalypse.


Where’s the join?

December 1, 2016 Leave a comment

Since those heady days in 2009 when we formed Breakfast, one question has stumped us more than any other. (Apart from “Why is James Corden popular?” I really can’t help with that.)

“What kind of agency are you?” is difficult to answer. We’re not an advertising agency – although we often create ads. We’re not a branding agency – although we invent, define and develop brands. And ‘marketing agency’ is just too general.

We settled on the description ‘brand agency’, because in one form or another all of our clients are, or possess, brands. But the nuance of brand/ branding has confused as many people as it has informed, and it feels a little general and vague.

So it was with some interest I read this article. If you don’t have the time or inclination to read it, I’ll summarise: it’s entitled ‘Is advertising redundant?’. Apparently only 5% of 18-35 year olds think it’s worth brands investing in advertising, because consumers want and admire brands with “a clear value-provision mindset”.

The theory is that we – the consumer – can find out all we wish to know about brands on the internet, where one can find “impartial information”.

A couple of points. First, no one has ever produced a survey (I can’t prove this but do your worst) where the actual, real-world influence of advertising has been acknowledged. (“Yes – I genuinely believe that Coca Cola taught the world to sing”, was probably never uttered.) We rarely admit to being influenced by ads but that doesn’t mean brands shouldn’t bother advertising.

Secondly, the idea that the information we find on the internet is ‘impartial’ disappeared among my peers about five years ago. Anyone paying the slightest attention to the current shitstorm surrounding fake news knows that ‘impartiality’ is hard to establish.

So far, so obvious. But the real point here is that brands don’t have to be ‘admired’, or ‘liked’. Brands that are neither aren’t ‘pointless’, they’re possibly fulfilling a function. A function that doesn’t necessitate them being mentioned in a list of most-admired brands…

Everything agencies like ours create for clients, whether it’s advertising, branding or some hard-to-define hybrid, is communicating on a brand’s behalf; whether it’s some copy on Google or a 48 sheet poster. If, somewhere on the internet, there’s a forum where a few consumers are saying Moskovskaya is the greatest vodka they’ve ever tasted (there is), then great. But I can’t know beyond all doubt that those reviews aren’t paid for. Similarly, we all, I think, realise that people generally only share exceptional or awful information about brands online. The truth – and the vast majority of brand interactions – are somewhere in between. What consumers can do is notice and trust the advertising and branding produced by the brand, and then make up their own minds whether to purchase. In other words, much the same as it ever was.

Are Ryanair liked or admired? Can I read thousands of positive words about them online? Are they a highly profitable and successful business? Erm…yes.

So it’s all very well that a non-advertising brand like Lush is so well thought of, but they have clearly placed significant attention and care into their brand. And, I suspect, the first time someone suffocates in one of their bubble baths they might need some paid-for communication to help them recover…

In summary, the article concludes by suggesting that the definition of advertising has changed or needs to. And that’s a conclusion the Breakfast team reached some time ago.

So what type of agency are we? We’re an agency that solves problems for brands by having good ideas. It’s not catchy, but it’s the best I can do…





If David Beckham drank whisky…

November 8, 2016 Leave a comment

David Beckham does drink whisky: Haig Club whisky. We now know this thanks to an entertaining and enthusiastic talk from Helen Bass, Diageo’s Consumer Planning Director.

Helen spoke at the latest of our series of Sundowner Socials, held, as always, at the Brand Exchange. Helen began by talking about the role of innovation at Diageo, and the challenges in expanding long-established and cherished brands such as Guinness.

Taking us through some of their historical failed attempts (Enigma, anyone?), Helen introduced Hop House 13, the new craft lager from Guinness. We weren’t able to sample the product but by all accounts it’s a very creditable brew (although as Helen acknowledged, whether a product from a major brewer can actually be labelled as craft lager is something of a moot point).

After a brief Q and A session, expertly marshalled as ever by Breakfast’s very own Ed Will, Helen proceeded to talk effusively about Haig Club whisky, a collaboration with David Beckham.

I’ll confess that despite Becks’ journey from helium-voiced Chingford dead-ball expert to fully-fledged national treasure and statesman, I didn’t really have him down as a credible whisky drinker, let alone spokesman. But in fact, it makes complete sense that he would have migrated from lager, to wine, to whisky as many men of his age will have done. (With a brief detour to aftershave somewhere in the middle.)

The accompanying Clubman from Haig Club commercial which Helen proudly played struck all the right notes for the target audience; stylish and beautifully shot, it didn’t pretend that Haig Club is a whisky for connoisseurs or red nosed Chesterfield-bound soaks, but instead trumpeted the brand’s suitability to be enjoyed with Coke and in the company of friends. All with just the merest hint of rebellion. Handled badly, the whole Becks does whisky thing could have gone horribly wrong, but this has been artfully done and I suspect the target audience will lap it up. And apparently David genuinely does like the drink, which he buys whenever Ribena is not available.*

Helen and her colleague Alice thoughtfully provided some tall, ice cold Haig and Coke for us in the bar, and, like Jamie Vardy in the penalty area, it slipped down all too easily.

The sixty or so guests who attended had another very enjoyable evening. If you’re interested in attending any of our future events, please get in touch with us and we’ll try and squeeze you in…

*This comment is not evidence-based. Don’t get too excited, Ribena.

He bangs The Drum

We were delighted to be included on The Drum’s list of new creative work here.

If you’re a fan of voting, please feel free to let the world know what you think of our campaign for Moskovskaya vodka. We promise not to resign if we win.


Categories: Breakfast news

Mosko next time

Last Monday (July 4th), we held the fourth of our irregular Sundowner Socials at Brand Exchange.


After whisky, beer and gin, it was vodka’s turn in the spotlight, as we welcomed Amber Beverage Group (ABG) CEO Seymour Ferreira to town.

The more eagle-eyed of you may have spotted that Amber are our latest client, as we are launching/ relaunching Moskovskaya vodka across various parts of the globe.

The team

The A team (Mr T sent his apologies)

After Brand Exchange owner David Haigh set the scene with some crisp analysis of the changing face of the global drinks market, Seymour’s entertaining talk began with an insight into the Baltic nations, three very different countries united by a shared history as part of the USSR. Amber are the dominant drinks company in the region and are looking to expand overseas, with Moskovskaya leading the charge.


Seymour makes his point

As well as vodka (Stolichnaya and Riga Black amongst others), ABG’s best known product is Riga Black Balsam, the national drink of Latvia. This distinctive concoction of 24 grasses, roots, berries and buds is revered in its home country and still credited with any number of healing and restorative properties. Our audience were treated to free shots and a variety of beguiling cocktails, accompanied as is the custom by bread, cheese and cured meats.

Seymour’s speech hardly needed artificial stimulus, but the positive reaction to his company’s flagship product ensured his breezy and informative presentation received a very positive reaction from the packed house.

After a brief diversion during which I shared our launch campaign for Moskovskaya, Seymour wrapped up by explaining his plans to grow ABG’s market share outside of the Baltics. Hopefully ads like this will help:


The sixty-strong audience then retired downstairs to neck shots of Moskovskaya and pose for selfies with Ed.


Ed with an admirer or two

We enjoyed the evening immensely and have had some very positive feedback from guests.

If you’d like to know more about our work for Moskovskaya or are interested in attending any future sessions please get in touch with

Categories: Breakfast news