Posts in Life / Work Balance

Remote Working from a laptop overlooking a pool in California USA

Do More Work, Don’t Go Into the Office. Our Take On Remote Working.

December 10th, 2018 Posted by Life / Work Balance, Social Media 0 thoughts on “Do More Work, Don’t Go Into the Office. Our Take On Remote Working.”

“Remote working” – one of the buzz phrases of our decade. Some see it as the lazy millennial’s way to avoid “real” work, others see it as an innovative way to be more productive, efficient and deliver better quality work as a whole. Either way, as I write this article I’m remote working from the Royal Festival Hall on London’s Southbank, overlooking the River Thames glistening in the morning sunlight. It’s a gorgeous day, I’m enjoying a great coffee and I’m surrounded by nervous-excited graduates, dressed up being admired by their proud families. It. Is. Buzzing. I am inspired.

Why am I here and not in an office like most other agencies? Because I chose to be. Why did I choose to be here?  So I could get more work done.

I just don’t work nearly as well in an office as I do elsewhere, on my own terms. When I need to knuckle down and get shit done, this is what I do. I get out of the office, away from actual distractions and into an environment like this. Remote working works for me.

I once said to a former employer: “Hey, what if we gave everyone in the company the option to work remotely once a month?” and was shut down completely without any real rationale or reason. When I suggested the same to another employer I was told “we can’t trust them to actually do any work” this surprised me entirely.  

I felt that if that was really the case then why did you hire these people? I wondered if the team would actually respect the employer more, and thus do more work, if they were given this option. Both times I had suggested the idea of remote working from a point of view to IMPROVE productivity for the business, not hinder it.

Sitting here now, I look around and see young people proudly taking selfies with their degrees and throwing their hats in the air for the perfect Boomerang (the social app, not the Aboriginal hunting implement) and thinking… how do these people want to work for their future employers? What do they demand for their lifestyle? How can I build my business to inspire them to deliver our clients more than the average agency?

There must be good reason why Shoreditch House looks more like a work space than a members club during the week, why WeWork, Spacious and Workshop Cafe are booming all over the world. Additionally, co-working spaces like Campfire have proven (to us at least) to go out of their way to help businesses like ours, with teams that you could go for a beer with after work.

We were one of the first companies to sign up for Spacious in Brooklyn, we’ve both witnessed it growing from strength to strength. There is a huge market for a flexible, affordable place to work, to share ideas and to drink coffee. Shouldn’t have to cost the equivalent of your rent in order to get this experience.

Even Slack the MSN style comms tool is so integral to companies around the world now – and both our Carluccio’s and Regal Rogue clients have rolled out Slack across their businesses thanks in part to our advice. Many businesses can struggle with closed minded perceptions of how things are done. But why can’t we go against the grain if the end result is better?

So far, YesMore Agency is only 13 months old (at the time of writing this). We helped grow results for 13 clients and we’ve had 10 staff work at YesMore – all without ever being in the same room. We’ve had our team working as they would in an office but on their own terms from London, New York, Ireland, California, Brighton, Hawaii, Scotland, Philadelphia, Amsterdam, Spain, Poland and more.

Dan, my business partner, lives in Brooklyn New York whilst I live in East London – we speak every day (and collaborate seamlessly) whilst only actually having worked in the same room for 9 working days so far in the business. We just don’t need to. In fact, we’re more productive when we don’t.

Not sure about you but this doesn’t inspire much in us

We’ve hired people with a work ethic like ours, we trust everyone to deliver on the promises they make and we all communicate instinctively. And when people don’t pull their weight you actually notice it more in the drop on deliverables, whilst in an office you can whittle hours away hiding hungover behind your screen.

As a result, all of our clients are happy. I believe that’s down to us and our team being allowed (encouraged even) to work in more productive environments. Above all else enabling us to continue being passionate and dedicated to both our work and our lives.

Dan and I are discussing how this will manifest itself in the future. We’ve got a good idea of our direction but will always have questions… Will we always allow our teams to work remotely? What problems could we encounter? What do our clients think? Do we tell our clients? Will people’s perceptions hold us back? What is the future of the service agency? Do people want to commute to an uninspiring environment? Can our team work from our client’s spaces for added creativity?

“Great ideas start out as polarising, they either really tug on someone’s emotions or they really perturb them in some way” – Joe Gebbia, Airbnb

When we talk about this way of working it’s already becoming very clear that some people LOVE it. At the same time some people think we’re idiots. Exciting. So re-listening to the How I Built This podcast interview with Joe Gebbia, founder of Airbnb, this morning I’m inspired to see what YOU think too.

What’s your point of view on building an agency around flexible and remote working?

Be brutal if you want, we’re thick skinned and love the challenge of both criticism and belief.

Thanks to Southbank Centre for the wifi and view of the river Thames. I’m now going downstairs for a quick skate and a sandwich in the sun before getting back onto work after lunch refreshed.

Hope you enjoyed the read. For more opinion, interviews and news from the wonderful world of alcohol marketing sign up to our monthly ‘Top 5 Alcohol Marketing Stories‘ email, takes just 25 second read each month and arms you with fascinating stories.

If working with us sounds fun, email Jobs@Yesmore.co.uk Or if you’d like to hire our excellent team just say hello – hello@Yesmore.co.uk

Image of homeless person sleeping under street art that reads "you are going to be fine"

Drink Responsibly & Mindfully: Joining The Boos Aimed At The Booze Companies

November 6th, 2018 Posted by Alcohol Marketing, Life / Work Balance 0 thoughts on “Drink Responsibly & Mindfully: Joining The Boos Aimed At The Booze Companies”

 

This article was originally written and published in the November 2018 issue of River Tribe magazine. Read it in their online edition here.

 

I  have worked in the advertising industry for many years now going back to the early eighties.

I have worked for drink companies to help them promote their products and yes, letting the good times roll was usually the overarching theme.

With beer, we would always have to include a male bonding scene in a commercial to show that camaraderie drinking together invokes. The great Guinness ‘Surfer’ commercial depicted it as the surfers, having ridden the wave of white horses, celebrating with a joyful roll around on the beach.

Guinness - Surfer (1999, UK)

Guinness – Surfer (1999, UK)

Spirits were a step up in terms of maturing tastes and discernment. Tradition and craft crept in to show you as a person of style and impeccable taste.

Forgotten was the image of Gin Lane, where Londoners got so rat-arsed they dropped their babies whilst breastfeeding. Gin became the height of sophistication, as advertised to a track by The Human League that accompanied a film of cascading bubbles, bouncing cubes of ice and lemons being sliced in a surreal limbo setting. I have those images and that tune seared into my memory from seeing it multiple times at the cinema.

A proliferation of drinks from around the world brought exotic concoctions into our public houses, our globe shaped cocktail cabinets at home and PVC leather studded bars that appeared in the corners of our living rooms.

I chuckle when I think how Cinzano was advertised with the late, great Leonard Rossiter and Joan Collins. I cringed as a cool muscle bound black dude backed up a timid punter who entered a bar asking for a Babycham bringing the music and bar ambience to an abrupt halt. ‘I’ll have a Babycham’ boomed the cool dude in his deep baritone voice, creating an ‘I’m Spartacus’ moment. Everybody followed his lead and the party was back on.

Babycham – I’d Love A Babycham – (1986) UK Advert

The drinks companies wanted that bar-call in their advertising leading to brand names entering the lexicon of abbreviated requests, hence the term JD & Coke.

Even though rules and regulations on alcohol marketing have become very restricting, drinks companies have become savvy about getting around these codes of conduct to keep their massive profits rolling in.

We live in a culture that has always embraced alcohol as a way to enhance our leisure time, consolidate our victories and toast our triumphs. That has been drummed into us by clever marketeers. Being puritanical and condemning the evils of the demon drink has been proved to backfire dramatically in the past. 

We only have to see what happened during prohibition in the States to understand that banning drinking only drives it underground to be exploited by the black market.

So education and information was the only way forward which is why the government created the COI to keep us all on the straight and narrow with some sage advice.

I was in charge of the ‘Think!’ anti drink drive campaign amongst others, trying to deter young men from getting behind the wheel of their cars, even after as few as two pints.

This was put out on TV, radio and online to the audience who were most likely to offend at Christmas and the summer months, but were also the easiest to influence before the habit of drink driving became ingrained.

Think! Anti Drink Driving

Even drinks companies have run their own drink drive messages as part of their CSR (corporate social responsibility).

Drink Responsibly also comes direct from the booze companies, but only goes as far as to warn about number of units and not ruining an evening by having one too many.

What has never been on the agenda, is offering practical help and effective coping mechanisms for people suffering from mental health conditions.

Solus drinking is never something the drinks companies have proffered up, as it’s not an attractive image. It is however a stark reality for many people dealing with stress, loneliness and mental trauma.

Are drink companies pumping any of their vast profits into curtailing that side of things? Oh no, as that would entail taking responsibility and that they can never hold their hands up to any culpability in that regard.

However, it seems millennials are beginning to wake up and smell the alcohol and rejecting the lifestyle booze companies have been showing us through their rose tinted glasses. 

Recent statistics show over a third of under 25’s don’t drink and a third of 16- to 24-year-olds have experienced a mental health issue in the past 12 months. This increase in mental health issues is driving a different attitude towards drinking within the young and taking the allure off believing drinking equals a good time for all.

Frequent drinking among young adults 2005 – 2013 from the Office For National Statistics

One such millennial is Tom Harvey, a local entrepreneur who grew up in Twickenham. Tom has co-founded a company called YesMore, which is an alcohol marketing agency that assists brands to promote themselves and grow their businesses, but in a fully responsible way.

He does this with a clear conscience as his business aims to reduce alcohol abuse with better marketing, where the dangers drink poses to mental health sufferers aren’t swept under the sticky pub carpet.

Tom doesn’t see alcohol as the enemy, but within his remit at YesMore, wants to recognise that poor mental health can lead to alcohol abuse and vice versa.

‘We need to ensure vulnerable people are aware of the downside of alcohol when suffering from mental conditions. Using it to alleviate anxiety, block out unwelcome thoughts and to numb painful memories or regrets can have the polar opposite effect of what drinkers are hoping to achieve’

Tom Harvey – YesMore Ltd.

As one of the original ‘Mad Men’ of advertising with that archaic view of believing drinking was glamorous and aspirational. I now think it’s time for us to all examine our relationship with booze in a fully sober and sane way.

 

Hope you enjoyed the article. For more good reads, interviews and news from the wonderful world of alcohol, you can sign up to our monthly ‘Top 5 Alcohol Marketing Stories‘ newsletter or follow YesMore Agency on Linkedin.

If you’d like to hire our excellent team contact hello@Yesmore.co.uk (for both US & UK work) or if working with us sounds fun (it is) email Jobs@Yesmore.co.uk 

If you want to get back to the main site just click this way.

 

Pint of lager on the bar at a pub

Why Young Teetotallers Could Be Great For Pub Culture

October 25th, 2018 Posted by Alcohol Marketing, Life / Work Balance 1 thought on “Why Young Teetotallers Could Be Great For Pub Culture”

A national institution is in crisis. We teeter on the precipice of a watershed moment in the UK’s national identity so calamitous, and with such all-encompassing consequences at every level of society and the national consciousness, that it threatens to rift apart the very fabric of our collective psyche and our ideas of what it means to be British.

I am, of course, referring to the grand British tradition of binge drinking.

Just in case you’d missed the earth-shattering news that young people are drinking less: young people are drinking less. I’ll preface our conclusions on this by making it clear that I think the marketing world’s persistent obsession with generational demographics is basically the plastic straw in the nostril of the adland turtle. But I concede that once in a while, a catch-all generational insight can be revealing.

IT’S LIKE, COS THEY’RE SO SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS

The persistent trope paints Generation Z (ugh) as variously ‘value-driven’, ‘socially conscious’, into ‘retro’ aesthetics and, basically, smarter, savvier, kinder, healthier and in every conceivable way better than, apparently, any generation that’s gone before them.

In other words, while these young, razor-sharp, hyper-ethical do-gooders are swigging their kombucha (in between soup kitchen volunteering shifts and hours developing million-selling apps that somehow or other fight climate change from their bedrooms), we’re all drinking the Kool Aid.

There are doubtless a few kernels of truth in this. But, like everything the Strauss–Howe obsessives declare in their desperate, swivel-eyed pursuit of clicks, it’s laughably reductive.

The idea that 20-year-olds are homogeneously liberal, socially aware and more switched-on than older counterparts is obviously ridiculous. But what the misinterpreted research does indicate are some consistent trends: a generally increased awareness of social issues (notably mental health) and a penchant for the ‘retro’ (read: shell suits and Britpop).

Here’s a picture of some healthy Gen-Z’ers (probably) cheersing juices!

OH. MAYBE THEY ACTUALLY ARE

While some of this research paints teenagers as culturally backward-looking, where the cohort before them displayed an obsession with modernity, it’s probably more just an obvious consequence of youth’s rebellion – eschew the trends that immediately precede you. And backward-looking ideals are always just that – idealistic.

Whenever we revive the ideas and aesthetics of the past, we invariably cherry-pick. ‘Vintage’ festivals embrace the quiffs and leather jackets, leaving out the stereotyped gender roles, keenness on flick-knives and spam-based cuisine. Steampunk embraces clockwork and fun goggles without the typhoid, child labour and general heinousness of Victorian society.

And so the current ‘retro’ 90s vibe embraces Britpop without the misogynist swagger and obligatory binge-drinking.

While part of this generation’s mentality is probably to do with that cherry-picking, there might also be something to their apparently greater predilection to question the negative norms of previous generations.

And that suggests that they might be shunning not alcohol per se, but rather a particular attitude towards alcohol. Namely, the excessive drinking culture of youth that’s come to be associated with machismo, destruction and destabilisation (just take the briefest of looks at the language of drunkenness in English); all things that the yoot are supposedly increasingly sceptical about.

Frequent drinking among young adults 2005 – 2013 from the Office For National Statistics

THE MOVE TO QUALITY OVER QUANTITY

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that those of us who grew up during Peak Booze are increasingly shifting our drink habits towards craft at the same time that the next cohort of would-be drinkers are likelier to reject booze altogether.

But the decline of vertical drinking isn’t necessarily going to equate to a wholesale reduction in alcohol consumption. Instead, the optimist in me wants to believe that we could see a new, considered, healthier approach to alcohol begin to take hold of the UK’s national psyche.

Now, I admit that’s a big leap. But with the drinks industry already behind the idea, some kind of change is inevitable – Diageo, for example, set out its stall at the start of 2018, embracing the mantra of quality over quantity that’s gradually gathered momentum over the year.

WHAT IT’S ALL GOT TO DO WITH THE PUB

Of course, to reduce a wholesale change in a nation’s mindset to the role of big industry players, ignoring the other socioeconomic factors at play is oversimplifying it (or bang on the money, depending on where you rate on the conspiracy-theorometer). But there are all kinds of potential consequences to get excited about. Product, yes. But a new attitude towards drinking means a new attitude not just to the things we drink, but the places we drink them in. That’s where the retro aesthetic comes back in.

The traditional concept of the pub is just an objectively lovely one. It’s the reason country pubs are the go-to happy place of misty-eyed Middle England. Before that starts to sound like a prime bit of retro cherry-picking (lest we forget the UKIP campaign on the subject), the point is this: conditions are right for a revival of a more community-focused type of drinking venue, where the goal isn’t to get as pissed as possible while still being allowed in before leaving in a shower of blue vomit. I’ll save the Orwell tribute for another time, but you get the idea. Our pubs are still facing an uncertain future, and it’ll still take a raft of measures to secure them. But while it might seem counterintuitive, a less booze-minded generation doesn’t have to be a bad thing for pub culture. It could be a great one.

Cheers,

Rich

Hope you enjoyed the article. For more good reads, interviews and news from the wonderful world of alcohol, you can sign up to our monthly ‘Top 5 Alcohol Marketing Stories‘ newsletter or follow YesMore Agency on Linkedin.

If you’d like to hire our excellent team contact hello@Yesmore.co.uk (for both US & UK work) or if working with us sounds fun (it is) email Jobs@Yesmore.co.uk 

If you want to get back to the main site just click this way.

 

Event at WeWork Holborn in London about Mental Health in the workplace hosted by Poppy Jamie

How to improve mental health in the workplace

October 10th, 2018 Posted by Life / Work Balance 0 thoughts on “How to improve mental health in the workplace”

Right now as I write this post, these are the top 5 trending topics on Twitter:

#WorldMentalHealthDay #MentalHealthDay2018 #MentalHealthAwarenessDay #WMHD18 #PMQs

It’s clear that, finally, people are talking about mental health in the workplace. And that today, finally, the government is hosting the first ever global mental health summit with 50 countries around the world attending. And that today, finally, the prime minister is announcing that she will appoint a Suicide Minister to kerb what has become an epidemic in the UK – particularly amongst men.

I, like many men, don’t really express my emotions. My wife jokes that I’m a robot and pauses The Bodyguard to say “you can cry you know, if you want to of course” and whilst I know that I CAN express my emotions if I want to, I just… well… don’t. I don’t really know if it’s because I’m suppressing them, or if it’s because I just don’t need to express them visually. I don’t know.

What I DO know, or at least believe, is that we can explore this whole area of emotion and mental health in the workplace by doing two things:

  1. Proactively seek knowledge, insight, information and general learning.
  2. Proactively talk about it, share what I learn, share how I feel and be more open.

So to proactively address point one, I went this morning to a discussion about Wellness + Mental Health in the Workplace hosted at WeWork by a truly inspiring and highly motivating woman, Poppy Jamie – founder of an app I’ve just downloaded: Happy Not Perfect. She is practicing, and influencing, a change in cultural perception and behaviour towards mental health and how it should be treated with as much (or more) attention as we treat our physical health.

She was joined by Suzy Ashworth, a wonderfully charismatic and relatable mentor for mindfulness in business, Anisa Kurti of Hatch Analytics, and Geraldine Calpin, CMO of WeWork for Europe and Australia.

And to proactively address point two, I’m now going to tell you about it by sharing some of the most poignant quotes before sharing some of the key learnings that resonated with me.

 

“Right the way through education and careers we are taught to perform and achieve, rather than to be and enjoy just being” – Suzy Ashworth

 

Don’t get me started on this – our schooling, higher education and work environment are not geared for happy joyful lives. We put so much pressure on ourselves and compare ourselves to people on completely different journeys to us. Read The Book Of Joy which I found really helped keep me focussed on my OWN goals and avoid distraction from others – it’s based on conversations between the Dalai Lama and the Archbishop Desmond Tutu… it. will. transform. your. life. So. GOOD.

 

“When I was growing up there was just one screen with four TV channels and we all looked at it together. It was just one thing to process” – Geraldine Calpin

 

She went on to talk about how now we have an infinite number of things to bombard our brains to process and that we’re not built as humans for this. It got me thinking about how a phone screen is singular and solo for that one person to consume whatever it is they’re engrossed in, whereas a TV (or cinema) screen might still be a screen, but it’s for consuming together. It’s a shared experience.

 

“There’s a fear of being yourself in the corporate world. And that needs to change.” – Anisa Kurti

 

I have stubbornly battled against this for some time. We have an innate desire to fit in. We want to be liked, and we’ll sacrifice who we are deep inside to show that we are like those around us. Whilst most of my peers go to the gym after work, I go skateboarding with my mate Danny B, and many times at past jobs I brought my skateboard into work – BUT I’d have to battle against demotivating comments like “hey sk8r boi” or “where’s Avril Lavigne” or “lol, you STILL skate” or everyone’s favourite “do a kickflip” as if I would put up with the same commentary holding a 5-a-side football kit. Fortunately now I run my own business I’m in a position to allow myself to be myself when confronted with the corporate world.

 

“There needs to be a shift in what metrics we consider to be success” – Suzy Ashworth

 

“How do I feel right now? And how do I want to feel? If you’re feeling a 5/10, what’s the one thing you can do today to push it to a 6/10. You don’t have to live everyday at a 10/10 and you can accept that” – Suzy Ashworth

 

“Success for me is about self acceptance” – Poppy Jamie

 

Similarly to Life/Work Balance (purposefully not ordered as Work/Life Balance) this was touching on that perpetual feeling of treading water with your goals, achievements and even our never-ending to do lists and instead trying to reconfigure what you measure as success and how to accept that you are who you are and other’s achievements don’t reflect upon yours.

 

“When asking ‘How are you?’ to a colleague or friend and they reply with ‘Fine’ remember this acronym to show what they really mean: Fuckedup, Insecure, Neurotic & Emotional” – Anisa Kurti

 

This got me thinking about a lovely post on Linkedin from George Bell of Sanctus.io about giving someone the space to answer ‘How are you?’ as genuinely, openly and honestly as they wish to help them get things off their chest and help you look out for those around you – or reciprocate.

 

By this point, if you’ve got this far (well done, leave a comment below or share this so I know people actually read my ramblings), you might also be asking:

Why is an Alcohol Marketing agency blogging about Mental Health?

Good question. With a good answer: Because they go hand in hand.

Alcohol abuse is rife in our country. But alcohol is not necessarily the enemy. In fact at YesMore we believe it’s about us all stepping up to treat the CAUSE of alcohol abuse (poor or neglected mental health), rather than just the EFFECT (drinking away problems, etc) and work together to reduce stress, anxiety, pressure and closed-mindedness. And that’s why we’re an entirely flexible and remote working business, so our teams can work from where and when they are most happy to deliver their very best work for our clients. We do A LOT more than this in our mission to reduce alcohol abuse, but that’s a whole other blog post and you can read (a little) more about this in our post: Why Alcohol Marketing Is Our Niche.

Event at WeWork Holborn in London about Mental Health in the workplace hosted by Poppy Jamie

So finally I urge you, yes you reading this, to:

  1. Proactively seek knowledge, education, insight and learnings about mental health
  2. Proactively talk about it, share this post if you wish, tell a friend, open up

Hopefully if we all do this we’ll be able to improve mental health in the workplace… and cry watching series two of The Bodyguard.

 

Thanks to all the panelists, and WeWork, for today’s session and in particular thanks to both Poppy Jamie (download the Happy Not Perfect app here) and also to Lisa Graydon, a fellow spectator and voice over artist who I really enjoyed debating mental health with afterwards. Follow me on Linkedin here or get in touch with us on jobs@yesmore.co.uk if you’d like to work with us or hello@yesmore.co.uk if your brand/bar/service/event/organisation in the drinks industry needs marketing advice.

YesMore Turns 1 Year Old!

August 1st, 2018 Posted by Alcohol Marketing, Life / Work Balance 0 thoughts on “YesMore Turns 1 Year Old!”

YesMore is one whole year old! So we just wanted to share a few highlights, amusing stories and an overview of what we’ve done in our first year of what most people call business. We call it a rollercoaster ride of ups, downs, receipts (literally everywhere), meeting cool people, doing great work and occasionally screaming ourselves to sleep at night.

 

WHY “YESMORE” THEN??

It all kicked off at the perfect time… mid-way through Tom’s honeymoon, when we got a design brief on the table and needed to decide if we were ready to pitch for it. We didn’t have a logo, website or even a name for the company yet but we had the shared belief of saying YES and continually pushing ourselves MORE so we went for it.

We named the company according to our core beliefs in life and Dan set to work on designing us a logo whilst Tom risked his new marriage for late nights labouring over a pitch deck.

We pitched over Skype, with Dan in Brooklyn, Tom in Biarritz and the client in London. We lost. Then they came back to ask if we’d come onboard as their social media agency of record. To which we, of course (regardless of our philosophy and company name), said Yes. So, thanks to Sophie and her belief in us, Be At One became YesMore agency’s first client.

YesMore became a thing, and we’ve not lost a pitch since!

 

Be At One Christmas Bauble with Cocktail

 

The following months were spent (aside from enjoying a honeymoon) working hard on developing our brand, our business plan, our 5 year road map, our website, our service offering and our new business plans. We’d been talking about this agency idea since being advertising creative partners at university 10 years before so we already had a rough skeleton plan in our heads and knew this business would cover some key passions for us: ALCOHOL

Here’s three reasons why this niche was a no-brainer for us:

 

WHY ALCOHOL MARKETING?

PASSION

We’d each been brewing beer and making hippy wine with our dad’s since about 15 years old – long before we met in our early twenties. Dan’s had his beer tasted and approved by some of Britain’s best sommeliers, and Tom’s road-tripped the wine country of Bordeaux, France and the Duoro valley in Portugal as well as much of Spain. We knew we’d be passionate and knowledgeable enough to deliver great work even in our most demotivated of moments.

EXPERTISE

Our passion in our teens and twenties led to our professional marketing experience naturally having a focus on the food and drink sectors. We already knew the alcohol market inside out and this only developed into genuine expertise throughout our careers in marketing. Not only that but we also knew a lot of the key people in the drink sector, enabling us to connect people together and to deliver better work for our clients. Added to that, specialists produce better results than generalists.

DRIVE

Yeah, yeah, we admit it’s hilarious to make jokes about how driven we are about alcohol but we had a bigger mission in mind when it came to the core of our business. We each know (and you will too) people very close to us who suffer from alcohol abuse. We’ve been on the front line of it, but we each believe that alcohol is not actually the enemy. Poor mental health is. You, me and everyone we know each has a vice of some sort – from comfort eating, social media addiction or driving fast cars, to sniffing too much coke, being sex-obsessed or using alcohol to suppress certain feelings. There’s no shame in it, but they’re each the effect of different states in mental health – not the cause of it.

Red neon sign in bar reading "Craft Beer For The People"

📷: Karolina Szczur

So this leads us to our main mission as a company…

THE YESMORE MISSION

YesMore will become an entirely negative-stress and anxiety free workplace within the first 5 years and will lead the industry in influencing a reduction in alcohol abuse through smart expertise-led marketing.

HOW ARE WE DOING THIS?

We knew from the start when we developed our mission that we didn’t necessarily need to know exactly HOW this was going to happen, but within only a few weeks we had a good idea and 1 year on we’ve already made great steps towards it.

FLEXIBLE WORKING AS STANDARD

To this day, I have no idea why any employer ever paid me past about 4pm in the afternoon. Complete waste of money. My most productive hours are between 7am and 3pm and we recognised that each person we’e ever worked with, and ever will in the future, is different. Some people are more productive in the afternoon or evening, so why force them to waste productivity working at times when they’re not at their best? How many Friday mornings have we gone into the office hungover – only to stare blankly at our screen until we can go smash a burrito? Just don’t work then – as long as it doesn’t affect a client deadline or others in the team, work when you’re productive, not when you’re not. Stay at home parent? Great, work when kiddo is sleeping, it’s cool with us. Every person that we hire is encouraged to find their sweet spot of productivity and capitalise on that for our clients – all leading towards greater happiness for both you, your team and your clients.

REMOTE WORKING AS STANDARD

Again, people work better in different environments. I happen to be an interior design snob, so I despise working in badly lit, ikea-furnished office spaces. I also work much better at home, or in a busy cafe full of the hum of indistinguishable background chatter – not in an office with politics, gossip, banter and continual disruptions. We asked ourselves, what if we don’t have an office? What if we come together when we need to collaborate? What if we delegate times and meet ups to banter, catching up on the weekends and being genuinely sociable with each other? We like the idea of re-directing the cost of an owned office space into covering our teams costs for home broadband, co-working desk space, shoreditch house membership or more regular social meet ups on us. In fact the two company directors, Tom & Dan, have only worked in the same room for 9 working days so far – the mentality of needing to be in the same place is outdated. For the last year YesMore and our team have earned a living without one single rush hour commute cramped under sweaty armpits and angry commuters – instead we got on with our work remotely and we’ve been happier and more productive for it.

CHALLENGE EVERYTHING

As well as the (small) steps with things like flexible and remote working, we want to open up communication and help people see our mental health like we see our physical health. We have a really big challenge in bringing our teams together and communicating more effectively when we’re a remote and flexible working business. To tackle work-placed stress, anxiety and even loneliness is tough and we don’t yet have all the answers, but little things like separating work chat to Slack and personal chat to Whatsapp means we have focussed on each without blurring the lines. We also have a strict rule of embracing failure. Mistakes are not bad if we learn and develop from them. Honesty is a big one too – both with each other in the team and with all our clients.

We’re trying to challenge preconceived conceptions of alcohol marketing, too. Will a ‘Drink Responsibly’ logo slapped on the end of your ad make people do just that? Probably not. Will a brand-owned microsite filled with stats and advice ACTUALLY help a vulnerable alcoholic? Doubt it. Will an Instagram bio with three different bitly links to long legally worded content guidelines really stop someone underage from following that account? Come on, now. We believe the alcohol industry needs to shift their focus onto the causes of alcohol abuse, not just the substance itself.

YesMore Agency working remotely from a poolside in California

OUR CLIENTS

Whilst developing our proposition and business plans we pitched and won 11 new clients in our first 12 months, such as:

Be At One Cocktail Bars

We launched their new cocktail menu with a hugely successful influencer event, much like a pub quiz but with cocktails and reckless competition between influencer teams. We got Be At One trending on Twitter by re-thinking the way brands see influencers and getting 400+ staff to lead a digital flashmob. We helped drive record sales in December and a Dry January like no other – with a huge ROI for Pernod Ricard spirits.

Crumbs Brewing

We grew their Instagram account organically and consulted on the marketing of their crowdfunding campaign (which smashed their original target) to make beer from left over bread.

Carluccio’s Restaurants

We develop all of their social strategy in collaboration with James, Connie and Jessy in their marketing team. When they were stuck trying to hire someone quickly we stepped in to manage all of their social channels and did such a good job that we’re still delivering industry best social media. And we’ve launched their first influencer engagement plan, which we’re implementing throughout each month.

“YesMore are forward-thinking, creative and hard-working. I have complete trust in everything they do for us. We have definitely seen a positive ‘YesMore effect’ in our stats since we started working together”

– James Backhouse, Director of Marketing, Carluccio’s

 

Renegade London Winery

We developed a marketing plan for community-led label design with a twist – driving custom into their winery in East London.

Grey Goose Vodka

We turned around keystone pillars of video content for Grey Goose for their special BAFTA season cocktails. In just two days, we shot video with Richard Woods, The Cocktail Guy, in Duck & Waffle – an open bar on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower. We shot with world-famous bartender, Erik Lorincz in The American Bar at The Savoy London. And we filmed Chris Moore at his newly opened exclusive bar, Coupette London.

Ales Tales

We produced a killer strategy for using social media content, social media ads and social community engagement to drive ticket sales for Ales Tales’ Belgian beer festival.

“Having YesMore on the ticketing strategy for our festival was a huge success, this team clearly have a passion for Belgian beer and know how to bring it to the masses”

– Nicolas Tondeur, Festival Director, Ales Tales

 

DeskBeers

We developed a plan for DeskBeers to help them sell more beer and deliver it to more desks, with advice and consultancy moving forward to ensure consistent success.

“Our new brand direction from YesMore was clear and easily actionable, a fantastically creative and visual answer to the problem we were facing”

– Adam Rogers, CEO, DeskBeers

 

Wanderlust Wine

Wanderlust needed to sell more subscriptions to wine club memberships. We developed a series of smart sales-led social ads to mirror a sales pipeline – raising awareness, engagement, consideration and ultimately conversion.

Regal Rogue Vermouth

We brought on Regal Rogue as our most recent client, developing everything from Social Media Strategy, Social Media Ads, Content, Influencer Engagement, Ticket Sales, Hashtag and even an Emoji Strategy. We’re proud to be part of the vermouth revolution in the USA, UK and Australia!

Lastly, we want to rap this post up with a number of personal thank you’s:

YesMore Agency logo overlaying Dan Hooper looking at Street Art saying "YES" in Brooklyn, New York

CHEERS!

We’ve been fortunate enough for YesMore to go from strength to strength, completely organically without investment (other than our own blood, sweat and tears) but great thanks to these great people and many more…

  • Cheers to Sophie and Andrew for bringing us on to help Be At One rip up the marketing rule book and smash KPIs as a team together
  • Cheers to Alison for putting Carluccio’s faith in YesMore, and cheers to James, Connie and Jessy for continuing to be genuinely great clients – embracing innovation at every corner
  • Cheers to Mark for your drive, ambition and belief in YesMore to help take Regal Rogue to the next level with you.
  • Cheers to Myles, Jason and Amy for being such a great group to work with on a last minute BAFTA shoot for Grey Goose in The Savoy, Duck & Waffle and Coupette London.
  • Cheers to Adria, Morgan, Adam Warwick, Josh, Nicolas, and Richard for being great at what you do – enabling us to be great at what we do.
  • Cheers to Iasha, Martina, Emma, Ed, Pronati, Toby, Josh, Jason, Simon, Jas, Kimber, Lord Malcolm, Chris, Graham and more amazing staff, freelancers and advisors for your hard work, thoughts and ideas on everything from social to SEO and web dev!
  • Cheers to Claire for getting our original research on spirits brands on social into The Grocer, Campaign Magazine, The Drinks Business, PR Week, Food And Beverage, Just Drinks, Big Hospitality and loads, loads more press.
  • Cheers to Nathan for long-distance Skype calls, advice, support and validation that this is a good idea – and also to other advice from other business owners such as Mark, Mark, Tom and Ellie too.
  • Cheers to our accountant, Rob, for answering our dumbest of dumb questions about tax, especially when we broke through the VAT threshold earlier in the year!
  • Cheers to our lawyer, John, for advising us and working with us to develop new ways to make working agreements better for our clients.
  • Cheers to Rhona for introducing Tom to Sophie, who invited us to a wine event in the Australian embassy, where we met David and Julie, who’ve each introduced us to countless prospective clients – cheers to all of you!
  • Cheers to Sarah, Garret, Max, Jason and more for the introductions to new clients.
  • Cheers to Miles & Andy for your support, advice and introductions to people like John and more.
  • Cheers to our friends who’ve listed to us drone on about booze in the pub, to our family who’ve liked and shared all our posts despite not really knowing what the hell we do and to our linkedin connections for sharing their newsfeed with our regular posts
  • And finally CHEERS to Yaz and Dana for consistently putting up with all our shit.

So there it is! 

For more news from the biz you can sign up to our newsletter in the right hand column of this article. Just to see an overall glance of who we are and what we’re about check out our home page.

If working with us sounds fun why not email Jobs@Yesmore.co.uk? If you’d like to bring our excellent team onto a project just say hello – hello@Yesmore.co.uk  

Love to you all,
Tom

YesMore Agency - Alcohol marketing from grain to glass

Our latest venture… YesMore Agency – alcohol marketing from grain to glass

September 14th, 2017 Posted by Alcohol Marketing, Life / Work Balance 0 thoughts on “Our latest venture… YesMore Agency – alcohol marketing from grain to glass”

Wow, it’s finally happened. We’ve been talking about this since we met at university, throughout working together in bars in our earlier years, whilst working together for some of the world’s’ biggest alcohol brands and now I’m very proud to announce that I’ve gone into business with my best mate Dan Hooper.

Introducing our latest venture, YesMore – an alcohol marketing agency ‘from grain to glass’ throughout the industry. We’ll be serving everyone from hop farmers and vineyards, through equipment suppliers, regulatory bodies, brand owners & producers, distributors and ultimately vendors.

Although we’ve also worked for brands like BBC, Nike, Marmite, Sky, Booking.com, Eurostar and Betway, we’ve decided to give focus to the world of alcohol marketing for two reasons:

 

1.We love it. Hoops (Dan Hooper) has been brewing beer with his family since being a teenager, whilst I grew up gathering elderberries, nettles, dandelions and many other odd ingredients for my dad’s hippy wine concoctions. We each take great pride in the entire process, from grain to glass, and our shared passion has taken us around the world to learn, taste and appreciate some truly incredible drinks. Recently we started the @BrewWithAView account on Instagram just for fun in our spare time. We love it… responsibly of course.

 

2. We know it. We’ve been fortunate enough to have worked for huge alcohol brands at various past agencies, from doing social for Absolut and events for Jameson to launching new cocktail menus for TGI Fridays. One shared client we often refer back to as one of our favourite projects was running the social side of things for Britain’s Beer Alliance on their 5+ year There’s A Beer For That campaign to revive beer consumption in the UK. These experiences have taught us a lot, we’ve gained basic sommelier qualifications and now know the ASA guidelines inherently.

 

I mentioned at the beginning of this post that we’ve been talking about this for years. We’ve been biding our time, learning, gathering information, expanding our knowledge and distilling (pun intended, sorry, there’s more coming) our thoughts into a completely solid plan for the business.

We’ve been fortunate enough to learn from some of the great minds at We Are Social, Telegraph Hill, Joan Creative, Ingenuity and many agencies we’ve worked along side too but now it’s time for us to go it alone. So if we’ve ever worked together in the past, we’d massively appreciate your help in spreading the word of YesMore by sharing this post.

There’ll be more coming soon about why we’re called YesMore, and why we’re focussing on alcohol marketing, but for now check out our brand spanking new site www.yesmore.co.ukand sign up to the newsletter, it’s going to be a monthly (no more than that) snappy top line overview of only the most interesting, insightful and innovative headlines from the world of alcohol and drinks marketing.

 

 

We’re currently hiring (!) talented project managers and social media managers for a project we’re working on already so get in touch with jobs@yesmore.co.uk now with your CV as we’re getting started very soon.

From now on we’ll always be looking to meet companies working within the the alcohol sector ‘from grain to glass’ throughout the industry, so put us in touch with anyone relevant you speak to by introducing them to tom@yesmore.co.uk – we’ll share a finders fee commission with you to say thanks once we’ve started work for them. We might even buy you a drink too.

Feel free to follow our progress on the YesMore Agency Linkedin Page too.

Cheers! Love ya x