Supplier: Reflex International
FM Forum spoke to Lester Wolstenholme who heads promotional products and branded clothing supplier, Reflex International 1. What services does Reflex currently provide to the FMBE sector? Reflex supplies many of the leading agencies with uniform for experiential staff and promotional giveaways for campaigns. From a few tee shirts to projects requiring literally millions of products. We have enjoyed a great deal of success with the products we have supplied for large below the line campaigns, as well as producing our own products we are able to source globally. 2. What are the challenges of the FMBE sector?
Yes it does. For the larger projects, when time allows, we can switch production of all our UK stocked products and also offer completely bespoke solutions from our partner factories in the Far East. Our Ningbo office coordinates closely with the London office to ensure factories meet the exacting social and ethical standards, products meet all EU regulations and they obtain the most competitive rates. They also oversee sampling and production from start to finish and ensure quality control is carried out efficiently. 4. Can you help with campaigns that require a quick turn around? We can, many of our products can be supplied on express 48 hour turn arounds. 5. What are you looking forward to in 2017?
We are looking to extend our portfolio of agency clients. We To provide high quality merchandise are confident that we have with accurate branding and a honed our procedures and discreet service, on time! We processes to a point where we work with many customers in the are unparalleled in our customer background solving supply issues service, price and quality. We to leave them to concentrate on pride ourselves on ensuring keeping the client happy. all our customers are satisfied 3. Does your office in Ningbo help and that their campaigns are a FMBE agencies/brands? roaring success.
Visiting six locations throughout the UK, The Future of Play Tour featured a series of experiential PlayStation4 events offering gamers the opportunity to experience the immersive world of PlayStation VR. The Future of Play Tour headed to EGX at Birmingham’s NEC, followed by two pop up experiences in Buchanan Galleries in Glasgow and Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield. The tour has been designed to allow the maximum number of visitors to be able to trial – with 20 playable stations available for both pre-booked appointments and walk in trials.
Laduma, like most of the other demos in the event, focused on 3D virtual reality. Their demo was a virtual reality experience in the form of a music video, taking advantage of a 360° chair. The video was a compilation of juxtaposed visuals including up close action during sports games through to calming African
Tom Whitaker, group marketing manager at Sony Interactive Entertainment UK said: “PlayStation VR changes the way we play games and trying it is fundamental to understand that. We wanted to let as many people as possible experience The Future of Play Tour, to showcase what PlayStation has in store this year.”
Outside of the PlayStation VR
Review: The New Normal On the 3rd of November, I had the privilege of attending PromaxBDA’s ‘The New Normal’ conference event. The event showcased talks focusing on technology in the near future and what that means for brands and how they will connect with their audience, all of which were delivered from industry experts from brand giants including Amazon, Facebook, to smaller companies like Picasso Labs and Mimo Brands. Not only did the event boast insightful talks, but other brands, Samsung, Laduma, Universal and Google were all keen to showcase their latest endeavours with hands on demos.
area, gamers are also able to see the latest cutting-edge technology from Sony up close, with the PlayStation 4 Pro on display before its official launch on November 10th.
They also transformed the East London events space Kachette into an immersive venue where fans could experience a range of PlayStation VR titles.
Technofield FMBE’s tech reporter Will Murray went to PromaxBDA’s technology and marketing showcase conference held at Here East by the London Olympic Park
PlayStation’s nationwide tour
sunsets. The work Laduma had put into this video, much like the result was very impressive; the video was absent from obvious seams – where segments had been editing together to build a 360 video, and the shots must have been hard to accomplish – a solitary African elephant intimately walking passed the viewers face. Google’s demo also focused on virtual reality, but tackled the subject of how we can interact with a 3D virtual environment. They were showcasing their new Tilt Brush – a project in which you can harness the advantage of depth to paint in 3D around you. The user would be given two handheld controllers in addition to the headset, one of these controllers would be used as a paint brush whilst the other served as a menu to change parameters, select different tools etc. The last demo that particularly stood out to me was Universal’s demo which was extremely unique and demonstrated ‘hypnogogic’ effects. The demo used audio and a flashing white light to induce these effects. The result
was that of the user experiencing vivid patterns of colour that evolved over time with the music. The team there did not say if this is something Universal is looking at, or just a demo in order to gain attention at the event, but the rest of the booth had information about how Universal is working with music in their productions. These demos were inspiring; however, the main feature of the event was without a doubt the talks – with a very high profile line up of experts. There was something there for everyone. I found that ‘Data saves the video star’, delivered by Anastasia Leng Founder and CEO of New York business Picasso Labs, was deeply interesting (Leng is also a founder and CEO of designer marketplace Hatch.co). The talk shed light onto advertising digitally and how user data is used to create more customer appeal in media. Leng talked of how companies analyse which media performs best to certain groups of people. The detail to which this is done was surprising e.g. how many faces in a picture, where each element is placed, and how different ads effect people at different times of day. The talk continued into using some examples from Netflix and their acclaimed series such as Orange is the New Black and House of Cards. Leng revealed how both shows had been tailor-made using data
2016 FM & BE Awards 50
about the most watched shows, actors, type of script and scenes etc. and yielded predictable results. I also enjoyed ‘you can’t do that’ from Giles Thomas, Mimo Brands, which looked at innovation and how language is changing industry areas when it comes to ideas and technology. More talks were based on changes in advertising as social media grows to be even more central in our lives, and how close we are to seeing virtual reality become a commercial and common feature of daily lives, through education, tourism and movies. The New Normal closed with inspiration from Paralympian basketball player and TV presenter Ade Adepitan MBE, discussing his life and how to overcome his own and more broadly our collective and varied challenges. Editor’s Note I was also able to swing by The New Normal and in time to see Jenny Biggam, who heads media agency the7stars discussing the role of people in the tech-driven fight for attention and Ben Smith from Laduma who discussed VR and the way in which different members of his family react to it. Both presenters were focussed on the current impact of tech engagement and the new social norms, and it is a theme that FMBE will be covering regularly in 2017.