Brownstone Blog

Monthly Archives: April 2011

30 Photographs in 30 Days!

Following on from our hugely successful and eclectic range from 30 Drawings in 30 Days, Brownstone are now embarking on 30 photographs in 30 days – send us your vision. Here’s the latest posting:

Today we tend to get so caught up by digital advertising we forget the place photography as in our communications and how photographers have produced some defining and ground breaking images. Who can forget Annie’s Leibovitz‘s photo of Whoopi Goldberg in a bath of milk?

Helmut Newton‘s signature style has influenced everything from fashion, graphic design, film and music.

And having defined the sixties, David Bailey continues to produce ground-breaking images including the Nokia experiment where he produced this shot of Joss Cantius using the camera on a Nokia N86.

For up to the minute advertising photography – check out the galleries on

We especially love the Fed Ex campaign. Why not send us a link to your favourite or better yet – send us your own photographs – we’ll post the best on our blog and our Facebook page.


WIN The Full Don Draper Experience – and we don’t mean his suit!

“Clients don’t understand their success is reliant on standing out, not fitting in.” – Don Draper.

We wonder what Don would have to say about our outstanding 10th anniversary giveaway of £3,500.00 worth of awesome Brownstone branding and web design to one lucky entrepreneur! To leverage the self aggrandisement and self-publicity aspects of the promotion, we’re going to get our social media network to help us find a winner. So – how can you win this fabulous prize? Simply visit our Facebook page and in a few well-chosen words tell us why your business – or a friend’s, should be awarded this fabulous prize.

If Don were judging – and looking at awarding the prize to one of Sterling Cooper Draper Price’s clients – who would he choose? And most importantly – what would his advice and execution be?

“No. Everybody else’s tobacco is poisonous. Lucky Strikes…. is toasted.”

Mad Men not only represents the social mores of America in the 1960’s, but also state of the advertising industry itself. Back then, there was no embargo on cigarette advertising and smoking was socially acceptable. The public were only just becoming aware of the health issues linked to smoking. At the start of the first season of Mad Men, management from Lucky Strikes come to Sterling Cooper seeking a ‘damage control’ campaign following a report in Reader’s Digest that smoking has been linked to lung cancer. Bad news for Lucky Strikes in particular and the tobacco industry in general but good news for Sterling Cooper. We can only imagine the Twitter campaign Don would have been running for Lucky Strikes had the internet been available to him as a tool back then.

In today’s world Sterling Cooper Draper Price would probably be Sterling Cooper Draper Price Harris, with Joan most likely in a Senior Account Director position as opposed to just running the secretarial pool and Peggy Olsen could well have replaced Don as Creative Director. The agencies and their clients may have changed for the better; and the media and tools we have at our disposal may have undergone a revolution, but the discipline – what makes a campaign or communications piece work remains the same now as it was back in the days when Don Draper look-alikes donned suits sharp enough to cut dollar bills and looked out across Mad Ave.

“Jacqueline Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe. Women have feelings about these women because men do. Because we want both, they want to be both. It’s about how they want to be seen by us, their husbands, their boyfriends, their friend’s husbands. Here’s the idea, very simply. The bra is called ‘The Harlequin’. In fit and form, it should be your very best. It comes in black. And white. Jackie. Marilyn. Same incredible fit, two different women. And the beauty of it is, it’s the same woman. Same model.”

This classic Draper quote has been used as an example of how the character has spent a great deal of time observing women. But it’s more than that. It reveals how much time the character has spent observing consumers. Don knows which buttons to push which is of course, what makes him so good at his job and his character so very believable. Don’s character was actually based on Draper Daniels, the former real-life Creative Director of Leo Burnett in the 1950’s and the man credited with creating the iconic Marlboro Man campaign. In a case of art imitating life, it is Don the fictional character, who has been named as one of the most influential men, rather than the real-life man who inspired his creation.

Today we have more tools than Don – but we still apply the same principles of understanding what engages your target market. We’ll be bringing that expertise to bear for the lucky recipient of our £3,500 giveaway so don’t forget to tell us which business should benefit and why – and yes, it can be your own.

In return – you’ll receive the full Draper experience. To quote Bobbie Barrett from the series: ‘Give me the full Don Draper treatment. I wanted it and I got it and it was even better than they said.’

Join the Social Media Party!

This truly excellent viral for Toyota Yaris not only does it’s job superbly but also manages to satirise many agencies approach to social media perfectly.

Nice job!

Why success of your site depends on attracting killer spiders

Killer website design is only half the story when creating a successful digital presence. Think of your website like an iceberg. This is the 1/10th of your digital presence that the visitor or customer sees and interacts with. And like an iceberg, it’s what lies beneath the surface – that hidden 9/10th, that makes up your digital presence and will drive those visitors to your site.

What we’re talking about is Search Engine Optimisation. That over-used term and little understood tool that can make all the difference between merely having a presence on the web and attracting repeat visitors, enquiries and sales. This is the reason why companies should take their SEO seriously – having a great looking site counts for nothing if people don’t know you’re there.

So, how does SEO work? Here’s where it all gets like a bit like something from The Matrix. Search engines constantly send out ‘spiders’ – these ‘spiders’ look at millions of web pages each day for the words and phrases that have been typed into the search engine. Pages that contain these words are then recorded by the spiders and recorded on their database of links. It’s this database as opposed to the web as a whole, that the search engine refers to each time someone starts a search. Links within the database are ranked according to their relevance to the specific words of the search.

So when the spiders are scurrying around your site they need to be able to easily find the kind of key words people would type into the search engine when looking for your product or service. The more words the spiders can find, the higher your site will rank in search results.

Now most people think that merely by making sure the spiders can find plenty of key words, this is all they need do when it comes to Search Engine Optimisation. Unfortunately, there’s a lot more to it than fly words. Kicking up at the top of a search requires constant monitoring of the algorithms search engines use. These parameters change constantly which is why you need a dedicated SEO specialist whose job it is to stay abreast of these changes. This is one of the key differences between website design and SEO specialisation  and this often causes confusion and lack of understanding amongst clients.

At Brownstone we employ specialist web designers and SEO professionals and we understand the difference each area of expertise makes with regards to site traffic.