In May 2011, the EU passed a new privacy law requiring websites to ask users for consent to use web cookies – tiny data files commonly used to recognise and keep track of website visitors. After an initial grace period of one year, all website operators using cookies are now obliged to comply.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published guidelines for website operators to ensure that sites meet the specified regulations. The law makes an exception for cookies that are deemed ‘strictly necessary’, such as those used for login details or online shopping baskets.
We can help you to achieve cookie compliance swiftly and easily. to find out more.
Harleys teamed up with Bristol-based animation studio Aardman to produce a video with some rather specific requirements.
The studio is most renowned for its films made using stop-motion clay animation, and in particular for the characters Wallace and Gromit. In its 40 years of existence it has produced a vast array of successful films, shorts, TV episodes and ads.
We needed to execute a creative concept in intricate detail. We identified that the best approach was to use a highly specialised motion control rig with the ability to capture a variety of intricate camera movements. This prompted our decision to approach Aardman to use its famous Milo rig – also used on motion pictures like Chicken Run and The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, as well as commercials and music promos worldwide.
The Milo is the world’s best portable rig. With full 360° movement, there is almost no limit to what it can do. By programming in key focal points, we were able to ensure smooth and seamless movement throughout the process. Its architecture allowed us to film from above while avoiding obstruction from rigging.
At Harleys, we have a wide network of contacts we can partner with on projects. This allows us to fulfil any specialised requirements in a cost-effective way, while retaining control over content and creative concepts.
For our clients, this offers limitless possibilities. By combining cutting-edge digital delivery with our expert knowledge of their business and brand, our clients receive fresh, contemporary material which aligns with their corporate objectives.
Google has recently launched a fun new feature called the Search Stories Video Creator. The name pretty much speaks for itself. You can choose 5-7 search terms, testing out different search types to get the results you’re after. Then you select a backing track, and the tool creates a neat little video of your journey within a matter of seconds. It’s that simple.
Here’s our effort:
It’s more than just a bit of fun though. Search Stories can be used to tell countless tales about what individuals and businesses plan and do. In that way it demonstrates just how huge search has become. Our Search Story is about developing our identity, and optimising it online. Have a go yourself, and .
Bad spelling can be irritating and off-putting – but entrepreneur Charles Duncombe has claimed that it can have a dramatic effect on business revenue too. We assess his point.
The issue that Charles was raising concerned the credibility of his own e-commerce sites: “When there are underlying concerns about fraud and safety, then getting the basics right is essential,” he is reported as saying on the BBC. This is a valid point: people expect good businesses to be good at communicating. And the bigger and broader the business, the more this expectation holds.
The SEO world took its own angle on Charles’ story, claiming that if keywords are misspelt, customers are ‘unlikely to find you in the first place’. It sounds far-fetched – product name or service description errors are pretty major clangers. But consider that there are hoards of dedicated sites for misspelt eBay items that go cheap. These clangers do happen – and they do cost.
However, it’s Charles’ original argument that sticks the most: properly written content makes us feel comfortable with the site we’re visiting.
This is true for all sites, but easy to demonstrate with e-commerce. If a site has quality content, it’s more likely to be a quality company. It’s more likely to have good stock, and an accurate control system so we know they have the stock to send us. It’s more likely to have a robust card merchant system, so we feel happy about where our money is going – and it’s less likely to go bust next week, so we feel confident that our purchases will arrive.
Whether or not these things are true, it’s undeniable that we all feel like that, as consumers, when we are online. So if you want to look after your reputation and your revenue, make sure your content is written by professionals – and make sure your professionals are doing their job properly.
Today’s media bombards us with statistics. Their implications range from the truly insightful to the simply ridiculous.
Here are our picks from May:
“Britons now watch more than six billion minutes of online video each month.” (IAB)
“1 in 3 people use an app before they get out of bed.” (T3.com)
“LinkedIn value soars to more than 500 times earnings.” (Campaign)
“Only three percent of government projects finish on time.” (arabnews.com)
“350 football pitches worth of new British supermarkets by 2014.” (Channel 4 News)
“There’s more chance of winning the lottery than getting a 100 metre final Olympics ticket.” (Sportsbeat)
The first set from our favourites do provide a certain insight. They show our online obsession is growing, and becoming ever more a part of everyday life.
The bottom ones are just for fun – but they also show just how malleable statistics are. Football pitch dimensions vary greatly, meaning that the expressed area could range from 1,450 to 3,900 sq km.
Similarly, whereas the chances of winning the UK National Lottery jackpot are 1 in 14 million, the chances of bagging the lowest prize are just 1 in 57: and if we read further into the article, that’s the figure which is being compared.
Our conclusion? Statistics are a great way to make a point, but they’re open to misuse and misunderstanding. If you want to know the facts, look further than the figures.
The Olympic Games has a rich history, its origins steeped in myth and legend. According to heresay, the first event was in 776BCE. It was won by Coroebus, a cook from Elis who ran 192 metres, naked. Since then there have been various controversial moments in Olympic history. Few, however, have been around the branding – until now. Reaction to the bright, neon, abstract letters was staggering with the media and public alike declaring it as childlike in style and a waste of money.
So what do people think of the logo now, nearly four years on? When the subject was brought up in the Harleys office, it started a strong debate. Creative Copywriter Ti Singh wasn’t keen on the logo at all: “To me, the Olympics is an institution with an established look and feel – the five Olympic rings and all the sporting symbolism that goes with it. I thought it was trying to be edgy and different just for the sake of it. It seemed like it was going out of its way to be controversial and don’t get me started on the ridiculous GBP 40,000 price tag.”
Chris Taylor, Head of Digital at Harleys, was pleased that the Olympic decision-makers were bold enough to choose a design that stands out and will be remembered: “Creating an iconic design is more than just a logo that represents the event or organisation. If it’s to become iconic it must stick in your mind. I think this logo has done just that, creating a new identity rather than embracing the Olympic brand and this is why people still react to it years after it was created.”
Although the London logo doesn’t represent the event in the way that some of the previous designs have, it is bold, versatile and stands out from the crowd. Love it or hate it, it’s memorable and that’s why it works.
The weeks of itching, grooming and styling of facial hair are finally over. Harleys’ male staff have reached the end of their charity moustache growing for the month of November.
Here are some of the highlights:
Our favourite Mo, grown by Creative Copywriter Ben, had the attention-grabbing power of a tabloid headline. Also deserving a special mention is Creative Designer Nathaniel. Despite ending up with the least amount of hair, his masterpiece was kept beautifully-pruned from start to finish.
Movember has been full of hairy highs and lows. But the ultimate aim – raising money for the Prostate Cancer Charity – means it has all been worth it.
Thanks for your support and we look forward to the challenge next year.
Harleys’ male staff are taking on a new brief this November. The task is simple: see who can grow the biggest and best moustache.
And we’re not alone. The whole world will become hairier over the month, as people from all walks of life join Movember. The charity event uses the moustache as a catalyst to raise awareness and funds for men’s health.
The idea for Movember was sparked in 2003 in Melbourne, Australia. No money was raised that year, but the people behind the idea saw how it gave men the opportunity and the confidence to talk about their health. Inspired by the women around them and all they had done for breast cancer, the ‘Mo Bros’ set out to create a global movement.
Since then Movember has raised a total of GBP 26 million for The Prostate Cancer Charity. Prostate cancer is the second biggest killer of men and around a million are diagnosed with the disease every year.
Team Harleys will start Movember clean shaven and then grow, tweak, and trim their moustaches for the entire month. Can they bear the itches, the rashes and the attention? Who will grow the smallest, the biggest and the longest?
You can follow our progress and donate to the cause by visiting our team homepage.
The Harleys team enjoyed a day out together with a trip to the theatre followed by dinner at the Hard Rock cafe in Cardiff, Wales. Held at the impressive Millennium Centre in Cardiff, the show playing was the comedy musical Spamalot, based on Monty Python’s The Holy Grail.
Opened in 2004, the Millennium Centre is known for its arts and culture as well as its unique architecture. It also regularly features in the British sci-fi drama Doctor Who. Here the audience waits in anticipation for the actors to emerge from a forest scene.
Surrounded by platinum disks and rock memorabilia, the team sit down to enjoy their dinner in the Hard Rock Cafe, followed by a pint or two.