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A bunch of Ideas, provocation, irreverence and news. Edition 2.


In this issue‌

meLbournE meGaphonE The inaugural elmwood Hoo-ha

No, we’re not being rude about our people; we mean that all our new starters get their own personalised mugs, decorated with a self-portrait. And with new starters spanning our global lime green network – our dishwashers are nearly full! This issue we’re welcoming some major additions – including a new CEO – and celebrating one of our most well-loved and longest-serving team members.

Shaun Cunningham Designer, Singapore Hirsute

Adam Gent Senior Production Artist, Melbourne Shy Nerd

Samantha Jung Senior Account Manager, New York Boozy Baker

Jamie Campbell Brand Provocator, London Surprisingly Handsome

Canna Cheng Office Manager, Singapore Bubble Tea Lover

Lachlan McDougall Senior Designer, Melbourne Monster Hunter

Stephanie Dove Account Coordinator, London Hockey Player

Samantha Barbagiovanni Designer, New York Crazed Antiquer

iv e tomot the au he n i e c n as t ex perie i, and cer ta in ly ea rs of Lot us, Aud y id 0 v 1 a r –D ith ov e With , work ing w sign Europe e ry indust of Nissan D d w ith or t c e . r s worke i r d a D c n a t , u s r es abo a majo c t i v en k nows gn effe he authored novation i s e d n he r e y ur u i for in l s o a g n C o u nc i l w u s e d e s i g n i n t h e e ne r g He’s a g s i s e s r s e a s f ’s D 0 ye s i ne l , El the UK n helping bu is, he spent 1 x xon Mobi E o h s t a w e r rev ie s uc h Befo br a nd s ow t h . and gr w ith globa l t i me o. ss i s f re e busine e and Texac h s d y ou n in r i ng – id spe Aquita t, Dav onnet, resto lo i p ic b erobat e r t he lified a uds or und a u q A clo i n t he a r s. either it – classic c d e s s e gu

ice for Virgin oduct and Serv Pr of r to ec ir entire customer Formerly D onsible for the sp re 's as w ee D , ost of the airline Atlantic years she led m g, 16 in r W ve O ss la e. C nc er ex perie ing the Upp ud cl in s, se ee es D in. innovative succ pper Class Cab d the famous U cs as a pi m ly O 12 Clubhouses an 20 for London d ke or w h points ly uc nt also rece l spectator to , improv ing al rt pe the best ex as r' w to it ta 'spec ing to ensure lp he d an es across the Gam . ex perience ever

t ex pertise to assis her consultanc y ng gi . in ps br hi is ns io lle Roche global relat r developing our w ith strategies fo s and design es sin bu ns in ar t, obal design With qualificatio has 17 years of gl lle he oc R t, en managem in London, – having worked e nc n rie pe ex ry indust s set up two desig elbourne. She ha M d d an an rk rs Yo te at ew N siness m ults on design bu s street businesses, cons helle also collect oc R s. ie sit er iv un at s eat re gr tu e nd in th guest lec and fooling arou ng ki or g! tw in ne go s is ve ar t, lo the surfing n't ask her how do st Ju . rs oo td ou

From some new starters to a seasoned Elmwood veteran; Greg has been with us for 25 years! Time to give the mic to him for a few pithy words… A wise person recently told me, no matter how rich you are, you still have only 86,400 seconds in a day – so don’t waste them. So far I’ve had 788,40 0,000 seconds at Elmwood and boy, has it been a blast. From 80s hedonism with big hair, even bigger shoulder pads and one studio in West Yorkshire, to no hair, big glasses and five studios around the world. The journey hasn’t been straightforwa rd but as they say, ‘luck is an attitude’. Some lucky moments changed our fortunes – such as meeting John Sorrell at Leeds Design Week in 1988, which led to our involvement in the Design Business Awards – and seeing Jack Black at the 1995 Marketing Societ y annual conference that inspired us to believe anything is possible. The clock is still ticking and I still really love doing the do. And after all as Mavis Leyrer said, ‘The object of life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely, in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out shouting holy shit, what a ride!’

Matt, one of our new est team m prov ides st embers at rategic dir Elmwood ection and throughou , consumer t the bran in d sight d from initia esign deve l insight ri lopment p ght throu rocess – prior to pre gh to desi -launch va gn screen lidation. ing He comes w ith a we a lth of inte ex perience rnationa l hav ing cu insight t his teeth resea rch a in globa l q t F laming ua litative o before m in 20 09 to ov ing to P head up th R S Intern eir Europ ation ean qua lita tive div isio a l O ver the n. last 4 yea rs , he h a s w ex plore ov orked w it er 1,0 0 0 p h consum ac k insights fo ers to r globa l cli aging designs, prov iding v ita e n Philips – ts su c h l a s Unilever, enabling th Nest le an em to pro work . d duce 'best in class' d esign A dedicate d 'design thinker', h reg u la rly e’s a lso a w contribute riter, and s to indust Pack aging ry publica News. tions such as

We’ve recently completed our annual audit of seasonal retail trends and, as always, it’s thrown up some significant food for thought no matter which sector or industry circle your brand or business moves in. Why is Christmas relevant? Because it’s a truly global event and one that sees brand expressions and retail communications reflect the current moods, trends and general vibe of the various corners of the planet.

M ar k s a nd S p e n c er, U K

The following is a quick snapshot of some interesting insights we’ve gleaned and things we’ve spotted from Christmas, Thanksgiving and Chinese New Year. A copy of the full report is available at but, in the meantime, enjoy this little snippet of yuletide provocation… who knows, it might just jingle some bells that you can weave into your next project, campaign or comms initiative.

The Make Do Christmas At a time when up-cycling, repurposing and DIY craft is all the rage, The Make Do Christmas was a prevalent theme for many retailers. Rejecting glossy, blinged up displays and visual merchandising, the push this year was to create cool, eyecatching new things out of disused, unusual or everyday items. , USA M ak en zie C hild

Carphone Warehouse, UK

Why Wait for Sales? With global retail being knocked about by online competition and economic confidence in the doldrums for most, pre-Christmas sales were running right, left and centre. Normally the domain of Boxing Day, this new and surprising sale may well become a Christmas tradition for the foreseeable future.

Snap Happy!

e, S ingapore Depar tm en t stor

E v ia n

With the likes of Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram now part of our daily routine, everybody likes a fun or interesting pic they can tag and share with their friends and followers. Themed photo opportunities popped up everywhere this year, giving people a chance to interact with the brands they love in more intimate, relevant and sharable ways.

'A ng el

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It’s safe to say that Chinese New Year is the most definitive and anticipated holiday on the Asian calendar. As precious to the East as Christmas is to the West, this holiday boasts 15 days of merrymaking, festivity, and most importantly, family. So why should brands and businesses, both locally and globally, take note? It all comes down to one powerful word: tradition. The importance of tradition in Asian society isn’t just highly regarded - it’s something that’s engrained in everyday life, and still very much alive in today’s business world. Why is it, for instance, that Mandarin oranges and plum blossoms are abundant in offices and retail outlets throughout Asia? For the very same reason that red envelopes (Ang Pows) are proudly exchanged amongst associates in meticulous quantities of 8... to pass on the age-old virtues of luck and good fortune. With every changing zodiac, tradition is arguably the force steering the rise of Asia’s booming tiger economies, year after lunar year. Deemed the biggest single shopping season across Asia, it’s no surprise then that retailers and brands are quick to follow suit – or snakeskin suit, in this year’s case – with continued growth and spending. But the real success stories go beyond mere 'campaign' to embrace the real history and beliefs of Chinese New Year. Rolls Royce, for example, produced its extravagant Year of the Dragon ‘Phantom’ car in 2012, which was valued at over $1.3 million and sold out within (would you believe it) just eight lucky weeks. McDonalds also had success with its ‘McGreeting’ app last year, allowing the whole of Hong Kong to personalise and share heartfelt blessings, whilst resulting in its highest-ever number of Chinese New Year customers.

And as we continue to delve further into the Year of the Snake, an animal signifying infinite wisdom and business knowledge, it's no wonder that brands like Converse are paying tribute to the zodiac with its limited edition range of red serpent sneakers. However, with the intuitive, introspective, collected and refined characteristics of the snake in mind, we can only begin to imagine how brands will start to reflect and bring these time-honoured traditions to life in their own worlds…

Limited Edition Year of the Snake trainers by Converse

Rolls Royce's $1.3m Year of the Dragon Phantom Bryn Berry Account Manager, Signapore

McDonalds 'McGreeting' app

Lyndal Kearney Managing Partner, Melbourne


What’s your idea of a ‘Hoo-ha’? Ours is a new membersonly event where FMCG brands and retailers get together to creatively come up with their next big innovative ideas, using design.





Our inaugural Hoo-ha was in early June in London, and it was a blast. Custom designed to poke, stoke and provoke, we took 35 top-notch FMCG and retail clients, entrepreneurial guest speakers and global Elmwood staff on a 48-hr ride of non-stop stimulation, freewheeling observation and crunchy ideation. 11.


Intrigued by the new age of austerity in many areas of the world, and the opportunities it presents for brands, our theme was ‘Optimism’. To help us get into a positive mindset, digital research agency Tuned-In kindly rounded up a bubbly group of everyday folks who always see their glass half-full to come along for the ride and share their insights and impressions. We called them the ‘Optimistas’.

Starting in the quintessentially ‘rurban’ surrounds of Dalston’s FARM:Shop, day one was all about immersion, getting out there and being inspired. First, a bounty of ‘optimistic’ food for thought from Hiut Denim founder Dave Hieatt, Brainjuicer’s Peter Harrison and our Optimistas.



Hoo-ha teams then boarded a fleet of mini-vans, hit the streets of London and motored through a magical mystery tour of some of the city’s most interesting, theatrical, inspiring and downright curious spaces, shops and venues. 21.

Stops along the way included the eclectic likes of Burberry Live, the Aubin & Wills Cinema, Dirty Burger, Mary’s Living & Giving Shop and the uber-clandestine ‘by appointment-only’ Late Night Chameleon Café.


Winding up at Hoxton’s Monikers by early evening, Hoo-ha’s first day drew to a close with some tasty dinnertime stoking from PipsDish founder Philip Dundas, Shutl’s Tim Williams, e-commerce wunderkind Hal Watts and Whisky Blender’s Drew Nicholson. 26.


Brimming with stimulus and buzzing with ideas, day two was all about collaboratively sharing insights and observations, spotting trends and synthesising sticky, creative concepts that could be the next big thing in the worlds of FMCG and retail. It all culminated in the development of three compelling innovation platforms and a stunning swag of big, bold new ideas… the results were Hoo-ha-tastic!

01. Greg kicking off Hoo-ha 02. Chameleon branding by Topman 03. A hearty start on day 1 04. Charity in Primrose Hill 05. Technical childs-play 06. En route on safari 07. A very Dirty Burger 08. Street art of East London 09. What was your ‘Aha’ moment? 10. Gourmet food on the street 11. Harley Augustine, our Brand Provocation Director, Asia 12. Innovation platform development 13. Fish at Farm Shop 14. In-the-know location 15. Low-fi gourmet junk 16. Selling through stories


















Do you fancy The Hoo-ha? Give us a shout and let’s talk who-ha, where-ha and when-ha: 17. Mary’s Living & Giving Shop 18. A hopeful message from Mary 19. Late Night Chameleon Cafe 20. A word without packaging at Unpackaged 21. The next big thing in retail 22. Our optimistas introduction to Hoo-ha 23. LN-CC club culture 24. During workshop 25. Into another world at LN-CC 26. The age of retail editorial 27. Retail theatre at its best 28. A rather refreshed end to day 1 29. Aquaponics and inner-city farming

Jessops, camera store UK

Borders, book store, UK

For the past few years I have been in equal measures alarmed and fascinated by the phenomenon we have been witnessing in the world of retail. Shops as we know have become showrooms for consumers who, having made their choice, go online to find the best deal for their purchase. It was only when the most discerning consumer I know, my wife, asked me “what happens when all the showrooms have gone?” that I stopped to think about where all this might lead, and in fact, I think it could be all rather exciting. The narrow minded might believe that the future is simple and one dimensionally digital, with the next generation shunning the high street almost completely. But I disagree. The fundamental truth is, as human beings, we need to ‘belong’. We crave to be part of a tribe. If the virtual world was truly a utopian panacea then nobody would ever go and pay to watch a football game in a stadium when it can be cheaper and more convenient watching live in your own home. And herein lies the clue to the future of traditional retail. It has to become more experiential, more atmospheric, more entertaining and offer a kind of value that you can’t get online. And it will, it absolutely will. Ask yourself, is Disneyland a theme park or a retailer? Does anyone come out of Disneyland having not spent money beyond their entry fee?! I think not. Could retailers charge an entry fee? If they make the experience so exciting, so compelling they can and some are starting to do just that.

In stores personal shoppers, celebrity signings, cooking demonstrations, educational classes, and beauticians are already used to drive footfall. One US toy store I recently saw offered hair styling and birthday parties for your child’s doll. These are just a few examples of where retailers are starting to drive revenue from the retail experience and service as opposed to the like for like product.

Poble Espanyol de Montjuic, museum, Barcelona, Spain

Retailers now need to move from being rational purveyors of product to emotional purveyors of experience, and in doing so, keeping that experience fresh to keep customers coming back. Th is could lead to different kinds of retail relationships with different brands perhaps even co-sharing their space rather than taking a hit on retail rents when their brand is naturally out of season. If a theatre can change its space during a curtain surely a retailer can change almost overnight. Stranger things have happened in the 30 years I have been in this industry, but one thing is certain: retailers will survive and the future promises to be more experiential, and as a result, very exciting. American Girl, toy store, USA

Jonathan Sands OBE Chairman

Disneyland, theme park, California, USA

One example is Poble Espanyol de Montjuic in Barcelona, where you pay an entrance fee for a mix of retail, education, entertainment and art.

Nespresso, boutique coffee machine store, Manchester, UK

Alex Nelson, our digital guru and self-confessed tech geek has noticed some new cool things that brands are doing in the digital space…


2. 3.

Meat Pack Hijack Meat Pack is the trendiest shoe store in Guatemala with an edgy, irreverent style it’s become an icon within the sneakerhead subculture. Their clever app called Hijack uses GPS to literally create a sales stampede. It knows when you’re in a rival store, and triggers a promotion that gives you a big Meat Pack discount, but you have to be quick – it starts at 99% and reduces 1% each second that passes! We love it - it’s cool, viral, competitive and absolutely in line with the brand – there’s more on our blog


Yahoo! Weather Who says checking your weather app has to be routine? Th is new app from Yahoo! shows you gorgeous images pulled from Flickr, along with accurate details about the forecast. Instead of reading the weather, you can SEE the weather. Interestingly, Apple have just unveiled iOS 7 for the iPhone 5 and their weather app takes a lot a few cues from the Yahoo! app. Always a good sign of success and the highest form of flattery! Flickr have made a nice fi lm about the Yahoo! app here


McDonalds TrackMyMacca's Australia McDonalds has launched an app which shows where your meal has been sourced. ‘Trackmymaccas’ seamlessly pulls together data from various sources to display a story of the ingredients in the meal you’re actually eating, all done using augmented reality to overlay the cute 3D graphics on your dining table. It’s fun, engaging and McDonalds are really showing how a brand can tell an essential story in an accessible way, blending the offl ine and online experience

Alex Nelson Digital Director

London The Doodle Bar Nestled in Battersea lies TESTBED1, an ever-changing hub for ideas, innovation and (probably slightly tipsy) experimentation. The jewel in its crown is The Doodle Bar, a haven for the more artistically inclined cocktail drinker. The bar has an aesthetic that sits right on the border between derelict and achingly hip: repurposed workbenches, exposed brickwork and metal stools. But it’s the bar’s floor to ceiling chalkboard covering a generous portion of the walls that, combined with a bucket full of chalk, makes for some entertaining beer and cocktail fuelled doodle sessions. Oliver Mason Designer, London

Hong Kong Museum of Tea Ware

Singapore The Coastal Settlement

Got time for a cuppa? Inside Hong Kong Park lives the wonderful Museum of Tea Ware, where you can sit and enjoy a delicious drop of Chinese tea, from Puer to Oolong. The museum, which opened in 1984, has a little bit of British history hidden behind its doors, too. Originally Flagstaff House, it served as the office and residence of the Commander of British Forces during colonial times. Sitting alongside exhibitions and ceramic tea ware, this quaint setting is the perfect spot to pass the time, sipping tea and soaking up the history.

Hidden away behind Hendon Camp in the middle of quiet, green jungle, you’ll find the Coastal Settlement: the perfect chilled out dining and drinking experience. Its vintage industrial interior features steel columns and shelves softened by exposed brick walls, plus an eclectic mix of furniture, plush cushions and kick-knacks from yesteryear. Known mostly amongst locals, this place is so homely yet cool, and with huge tables everywhere, it’s made for groups of all sizes. Dining in the jungle is not to be missed, if only for a drink at the bar, complete with blue Eiffel Beer Tower...

Rhian James Managing Director, Asia

Shaun Cunningham Designer, Singapore

For more thought-provoking finds, check our Daily Pokes. These bring you some of the best creative ideas from around the world. Browse through our Poke archive and sign up at: A lot of the images in this publication are sourced from the internet. We've used them in good faith, we hope you don't mind — we just really like them!

Elmwood Newspaper – Edition 2  

June 2013

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