Great to see two of our distinctive creative campaigns receiving 'Highly Commended' at The Financial Services Forum Awards for Marketing Effectiveness 2022.
M&G Investments: Big Bond Questions – Most Effective Use of a Small Budget.
At a time of uncertainty, we took an innovative approach for M&G and connected professional investors directly to the M&G Fixed Income Team to have their questions answered. With a new creative approach, we moved away from the noisy ‘product focused’ market and into the, much more emotive, real world lives of our audience. See more here.
Vontobel Asset Management: Unfix Your Thinking – Most Effective Global Campaign and Most Effective Integrated Campaign (B2B).
With the Fixed Income landscape changing, strategies that worked in the past soon became unfit for the market. We helped investors to ‘unfix’ their thinking and see things from a different perspective. The campaign has been applied globally across everything Vontobel does for Fixed Income, cutting through category conventions and presenting Vontobel as leaders in Fixed Income. See more here.
With 9 years working on re-brand and identity projects, Emma brings her unique eye and bucketloads of enthusiasm to everything she does. Her love of design has led her to some inspiring clients. And it’s Arthur’s own range of exciting clients that drew her to us, like a top talent moth to a creative communications flame. Well, lucky us.
Emma arrives at Arthur with a wealth of experience. In her previous roles, she has helped develop Save the Children’s rebrand and Christmas campaigns. She’s spearheaded a new brand for Swiss NGO, Initiatives of Change. And she’s led a three-year brand campaign for the International Council of Nurses. If it’s a great cause or brand that needs great design, chances are Emma is up for the challenge!
In making sure Arthur’s creative department has the best talent, we’re building a truly international team. Originally from Argentina, Emma now lives in Frankfurt. However, despite being the Carmen Sandiego of design, you’ll often find Emma at Arthur HQ in London where she comes for client meetings, co-working and teambuilding. And, of course, to indulge her love of musicals with a West End show!
Emma starts every morning with her trusty ‘Mate’. No, she’s not just being friendly. Mate is a tea infusion from her home country of Argentina. Now, it reminds her of home. And at the end of the day, when she’s not perfecting her designs into the night, she loves nothing more than curling up with a good book (Austen, the Brontës or Heyer, thank you very much) or a sumptuous period drama.
With Emma’s knowledge of print and digital design, advertising, lettering, typography, illustration, and social media, we are delighted to have Emma on board. In fact, you’ll probably have already seen her amazing work in your Inbox or on your doormat. Fuelled by ambition, creativity, pure talent, and Mate.
There’s no doubt about it, when it comes to Account Management, Sally has what it takes. A history of strong client relationships, the tenacity to find her way through any tricky project and all with sound strategic, creative knowledge and a smile. Could we ask for more? Yes we could. Because managing the projects, building excellent working relationships and achieving record-breaking results for clients just isn’t enough for Sally – she’s known for diving right into them, literally...
For WWF’s first mass-owned participation event, in support of saving the melting icecaps in the Arctic, Sally dived into Hampstead Ponds to ‘Brave the Chill’ - in the middle of January.
Earlier this year Sally was asked to present alongside her client, National Trust Scotland, at the Scottish Institute for Fundraising Conference, truly showing the levels of trust and collaboration Sally builds with her clients.
Then in 2018, Sally really took the plunge and moved to the Philippines to volunteer as a marine conservationist for Marine Conservation Philippines, so she could better understand for herself the harsh reality of plastic pollution and how it’s effecting not only our beautiful oceans, but the people in developing countries who depend on them. If you ever want a chat about Sea Cucumbers of Nudibranchs then she’s your gal!
On dry land, Sally learnt her stars and stripes starting out on commercial clients such as Coca-Cola and Philip Morris, before moving onto charity accounts. And it was this blend of commercial and cause led work that drew Sally to Arthur.
“Arthur really caught my eye. I absolutely love working for causes and brands that make an impact, and Arthur is the perfect place to do this. I want to work on campaigns that drive real change in the world. I’ve also always wanted to get under the skin of brands to better understand their identity and positioning in the market. Every bit of creative should be based on strategy, and Arthur allows me to dive into strategy from a branding perspective.”
We are delighted to have Sally on board at Arthur and in classic style, she’s already leapt in at the deep end with her clients and is already making waves. But if sea life, scuba diving and NGO’s aren’t your thing, then ask Sally about her hometown of Devon, where she can be found walking the coastline, kayaking the canal, or watching the Exeter Chiefs with a pint of cider in hand, whenever she can escape her busy London life.
We're proud to have been appointed by Worldline to support them with strategy and creative activation.
Behind every great agency is a brilliant Creative Services Manager. So we’re delighted to introduce Rachel Sharp, the powerhouse who has stepped into this crucial role.
When you first meet Rachel, she instantly exudes a calm capability. She started her career in TV production, working on the memorable show ‘Embarrassing Bodies’ before migrating to agency life to manage websites and digital campaigns for the likes of Sky Mobile and iCandy.
We’re thrilled Rachel’s bringing her eclectic experience in digital and film production to Arthur. She’s already adding real value to every project she oversees and seems completely unflappable. Staying one step ahead is easy when you’re as organised and energetic as Rachel.
And we’re not the only ones benefitting from Rachel’s endless energy – she’s also recently become a mum. We know our industry has a real issue of brilliant women disappearing because their roles are incompatible with motherhood. So we hope Arthur’s flexible and hybrid working model will go some way to keeping the talent of people like Rachel here in the industry, where it belongs.
Rachel reflects: ‘The role has allowed me to progress in the industry after starting a family, something I didn’t think was possible'. If anyone can navigate the traffic on the nursery run and the agency traffic, we think Rachel can.
Thinking about her future here at Arthur, Rachel is looking forward to making a difference by working on more cause-led campaigns, as well as having a positive impact on the agency’s growth and talent.
Outside of work, Rachel can be spotted strolling through the countryside with her daughter and Cocker Spaniel at her side. And when she can find the time, Rachel loves baking a batch of irresistible chocolate chip cookies – what can’t she do?
We're proud to announce that we're working with NatWest in partnership with Marcus Rashford and his representatives at Thelma Gwen to co-create a community- lead financial confidence programme, that will be piloted in youth clubs in Manchester and London this Easter.
Designed by a team of experts, including strategists Natasha Delliston, Ozlem Tuskan and Kelly Hogarth, award-winning finance educator Darren Collins, and the National Youth Association, using behavioural science, this programme aims to inspire and give young people the hands-on learning they need to unlock their confidence and to take ownership of their financial future.
Right now, animal cruelty is happening in England and Wales on a massive scale. Each year, it reaches its terrible annual peak in the summer months – when an animal is beaten on average every hour of every day.
Cancel Out Cruelty is Arthur’s latest campaign for RSPCA. A new annual summer appeal it focuses on raising the issue and mobilising animal lovers to support RSPCA’s vital work preventing intentional animal cruelty. It is based on the simple truth that if enough of us come together, we can – and will – cancel out cruelty to animals. The appeal is asking everyone who can’t bear to think of any animal suffering at the hands of humans to take action and get involved.
This campaign is part of Arthur’s wider work supporting RSPCA with both its short- and long-term engagement strategy so it can sustainably grow its fundraising income.
Private Equity is thriving – But firms’ brands are undifferentiated – Messaging and content is inward-looking and unengaging - Presents opportunities for firms willing to invest in their brand – Arthur offer free brand consultation
The global Private Equity industry is the real deal. Values, volumes and fundraising have hit record levels. Investor demand is continuing to rise this year, particularly from institutions.
Add to that the sustainability story. Less than a third of global emissions come from publicly-listed assets. P.E. investments are seen as a powerful way to make a positive difference to climate change, as they can create change, quickly.
But with increased demand becomes increased competition – for investors, for companies to invest, and for the talent that will win the right deals and secure funds.
The strength of your brand is key. Supported by a clear positioning and a compelling value proposition. And brought to life by impactful creative, a distinctive tone of voice and engaging messages.
Unfit for purpose
We recently carried out a brand audit for the P.E. sector. Our discoveries raised issues, but also some real and substantial opportunities.
We found that:
- Most P.E. brands are undifferentiated and confined to a logo, colours and generic imagery
- Most try to talk to multiple audiences at the same time
- All focus on their ‘expertise’, ‘experience’, ‘scale’ ‘partnership’, and ‘investing for growth’
- Yet there are few ‘reasons to believe’ communicated through advertising and content
- Content lacks a clear purpose and is long-form rather than bite-size
- ESG is served up as a side dish rather than part of the brand narrative
The benefits of brand
So there’s plenty to fix. But there’s also an undeniable opportunity for P.E. firms willing to invest in their brand. Because the benefits are compelling:
- Positioning the firm as desirable to do business with
- Attracting acquisition targets
- Giving an advantage in deal negotiations
- Resonating with investors as a firm of choice within an area of expertise
- Attracting talent who buy into what the business stands for
A powerfully simple solution
At Arthur, we build powerfully simple brands, with a clear point of difference in their sector and a single-minded narrative firmly evidenced across all touchpoints.
We’re offering Private Equity firms a free 30-minute debrief on the health of their brand, including a brand audit, competitor analysis and a bespoke presentation. No fee, no commitment.
To find out more, email our managing partner, Darren Lassiter at
- Asset manager brands preoccupied with sustainability
- Net zero isn’t a quick fix
- Some companies backing out of sustainable pledges
- EU devising new sustainable labelling system
- Brands must rediscover their real purpose
Remember COP26 and the Glasgow Climate Pact? Or even Earth Day last Friday? Such is the pace and sheer volume of news we're bombarded with from every corner of the globe, you'd be forgiven for forgetting the finer details of last year's climate change shebang. Or this year’s Earth Day theme (Invest in Our Planet).
Asset management brands certainly won’t let us forget how they’re planning on saving the world. Let’s create a sustainable future now. Responsibility works. Now is the time to power change. Zero-hour. If you believe the advertising (as an ad agency, we’d never suggest otherwise), we’re going to get a cleaner planet faster than you can say ‘triple bottom line’.
But sustainability is serious. Something that will affect the lives of billions of people and not everyone equally. Something that will take decades to achieve. Yet something that’s being delivered (for now) with more words than actions.
Investors left high and dry
For investors, it matters. Adverse climate change could have a devastating effect on the global economy. We know there’s a huge appetite for funds that have sustainability (sometimes literally) written all over them. But the proliferation of ESG rating formulae and a history of investment greenwashing have left clients confused as to what the new and improved, whiter-than-white investment landscape means for their money and their long-term futures.
Rising energy prices have brought the problem into sharp focus. Apart from being told by energy companies to conserve heat by hugging a pet and performing star jumps, investors are being informed that many companies are thinking of rowing back on their clean energy commitments. Sustainability, for some, is proving too expensive.
Added to that is the lingering suspicion that investing responsibly means compromising on performance. It’s no wonder that polluting (but profitable) investments are often held privately.
What do EU stand for?
So, what’s the solution? We believe asset managers need to remember their purpose (by that we mean their true reason for existing and why they matter to people). Not their press-friendly purpose of being the sustainable superheroes that will sort the environment at the flick of a switch. But their true purpose of investing (securing and, hopefully increasing) their clients’ money in an expert, considered and responsible manner. And, more often than not, that will mean investing in solid business models that recognise that sustainability is the only way forward. Profits and planet hand-in-hand.
The EU is trying to help with a new labelling system that identifies industries and services it deems environmentally sustainable. The hope is that asset managers will use it to tell investors, in a consistent way, how much of their investments can be considered green.
What’s interesting is that this isn’t greenwashing. The EU’s system aims to be pragmatic, recognising the longer-term potential of sectors such as nuclear energy to help reduce carbon emissions, as well as transition fuels such as natural gas. But could it go further?
Arguably, getting polluting companies to change their dirty habits is as important to net zero as investing sustainably. And that’s where asset managers can have real influence. It’s also one of the principles of successful investing – owning unfashionable companies, sparking positive change and making them popular again.
So, we say to asset manager brands: remember where your loyalty lies; don’t forget the investment story; be clear and true to your intentions; and recognise that you are an enabler, not the answer, to delivering a better future for everyone.
How to achieve sustainable fundraising growth
In a world of finite resources, we’re finally realising that our old system of take, make, waste and start again cannot be sustained. As we mobilise to protect our planet from the worst ravages of consumerism, the concept of sustainability has become ubiquitous in our culture. It’s a word that has taken on many meanings in all of our lives.
The principles of sustainability can also be applied to fundraising. In this case, sustainability means the ability for growth to be maintained in the long-term without the need to continually re-start the effort put behind it. But curiously, considering the popularity of the word, it’s a principal that - for many reasons - few charities have put into practice.
As the sector emerges from one of its most financially devastating years ever, most charities have considerable shortfalls in income to make-up. But with fundraisers facing the double whammy of tight budgets and a shrinking audience (over a fifth of the UK population are now financially worse off), there’s unlikely to be a quick fix. The time to take a sustainable approach to fundraising is now.
So, how is sustainable fundraising achieved? In my view it has four essential cornerstones. Each is substantial, none are new-news but all, to some degree, are often side-stepped because they can be challenging to tackle. But get them right and the path to sustainable fundraising growth opens up.
Knowing your targets for the medium and long term.
One year planning is tactical, and it is the enemy of sustainability. To quote the late Peter Drucker: “long-term results cannot be achieved by piling short-term results on short-term results”.
It may sound obvious but it’s essential to have a three or five year fundraising target in order for it to be achieved. The breakeven on business-as-usual (BAU) can be up to two years for new acquisition. For step change growth it can be even longer. If these are not being worked on in year one, then we cannot reasonably expect them to be achieved in year three. In order to give them the best chance to succeed, growth targets and budgets should be separated out from BAU and given their own KPIs.
Being audience centric
Charities have by and large led with their beliefs and picked up an audience of people who happen to share these in their wake. This approach often misses out on large segments of potential supporters who would considering giving to the charity if only the cause was framed in a way that was more relevant to their worldview. Consumer brands are innately customer-centric. They know exactly what their customers need from them and their marketing is a laser-sharp reflection of that. In a tougher market, charities are increasingly competing with consumer brands, and so must learn from them. This means spending longer getting to know their audiences and then being much more consciously focused on being relevant to them.
Recognising the importance of brand
Brand is essential for achieving sustainable growth – not as a stand-alone end-in-itself, but as part of an integrated marketing strategy. Supporting a charity is not a moment in time or a transaction - it is a journey. Brand is what takes people on that journey. Brand creates belief in a cause and the desire to support it, and continue supporting it. It needs to be focused on hard targets. It needs to be audience-centric. For growth, it is essential to invest in brand confidently and consistently. A single integrated long-term campaign run over a year or more is much better for long-term growth than a series of short-term ones. Long-term campaigns will deliver in the short term, but the reverse is not true.
The fundraiser’s competitive advantage is creativity. Great creative connects people to causes at a personal, emotional and sometimes visceral level. When we support, we support from the heart not just from the head. It is creativity that touches the heart. The best creative ideas are sustainable in that they are enduring and build familiarity and trust. It is vital that they are invested in too.
Nowhere is great creativity more important than in the digital space where the sector is relying on step-change growth but where engagement is always only ever a thumb-swipe away from being lost. Creativity alone is what gives a cause its split-second chance for success.
To quote the great Bill Bernbach:
“An idea can turn to dust or magic, depending on the talent that rubs against it.”
Sustainable growth begins now
Human resources are scarce and BAU needs to keep running. That takes time, commitment and energy. Because of this, it can be hard to find the time to step back and tackle the bigger challenge of sustainable growth. But without doing so, it will remain elusive. Find the people and time to do so and your programme is guaranteed to find a new strength and momentum.
At Arthur we’re lucky to be working with some incredible clients that are on the journey to sustainable fundraising growth, including the RSPCA and Centrepoint. If you’d like to chat with us about how we’re doing it, feel free to get in touch!