The Best of You

by Andy Walmsley

When you run a creative studio like ours creativity is your currency and when it’s your only currency, you have to work very hard. You have to make every job count, as that’s how you are measured and that is how you are judged. ‘You’re only as good as your last job in this game’. So to pick up the ‘Lancashire Creative Business 2016’ award was a really nice accolade early this year. And to be nominated a Finalist into the BIBAs for Creative Agency of the year 2016 is also something we are really proud of. Especially with both award ceremonies celebrating all things Lancashire.

But being based in Lancashire is so often a double edged sword.

It most certainly feels like a harder sell for agencies of our make-up. Yes we are surrounded by some of the country's most beautiful rural landscapes and have fantastic network links to just about anywhere in Europe, but it’s still very much perceived as a parochial backwater in many sectors. The creative sector being one of them.

We often haemorrhage good talent from the area due to the big city pull of Manchester, Liverpool and London. Many companies and organisations somehow feel more at ease with a big city agency as they are perceived more culturally switched on. But I do often feel that many miss out on some left field thinking that would add so much to their valued content and brand building activity.

However, luckily for us, Hyundai UK have recognised this in us and whilst they have some great agencies on their books, we now sit at the Hyundai table and are looked upon for our enthusiastic left of field thinking. So far so good.

It was back in November 2015 when Hyundai actually invited Wash into pitch for a project after seeing our Jaguar work we had undertaken. And of course – as always – we threw everything at it. No more day dreaming of working with top global brands from up here in Lancashire, it’s now a reality for us. And we are loving it!

We’ve gone from flying out to the Czech Republic to film the amazing and huge Hyundai factory, to creating some beautiful animations with our friends in Holland, Patswek alongside animator Stephen Swarbrick.

So, that was a great start to the year and a big step up in our creative growth as a business.

Come Alive

But let's not forget to mention our local clients too. Especially Lunar Caravans who continue to build their brand equity year on year by pushing themselves with their marketing and us with our filming. This year especially with working with 'Bradley' our star pet! You need to see the video to know what I mean. 

Working with animals, children and the British weather up in the Lake District, we must have been mad. But it worked for us... just!

Next Year

Wash have also now become ‘Creative Suppliers’ to Lancaster University after an extremely vigorous tender process. We are now on the University roster and most recently won the Undergraduate Campaign for 2017/18.

With a great team to work with and always a challenging sector, it’s another notch up in our educational work that we have been growing in over the last decade. A sector where many expect the predictable and often never challenge the status quo. However, we’ve found most of our educational work has always worked best when the organisations we engaged with want to progress. It’s not just order taking we do here!

Come Back

I'm showing may age now, but many years ago in a distant life whilst working for previous agencies, I use to produce work with what was then called Tidy Britain. That then became ENCAMS and is now Keep Britain Tidy once again. Back to their iconic status. Or at least in my house it was iconic! My sister was a huge David Cassidy fan and had her wall plastered. But the poster I remember was the KEEP BRITAIN TIDY poster, with David wearing the T-shirt. I've never had my hair cut since. Anyway, the Wash team are over the moon to be working with them now and me too once again! I think we should re-stage the Cassidy poster!

A great cause to get behind and proud to be part of it... Keep Britain Tidy!

One by One

Throughout the year we've also had the privilege of creating some lovely little brands for businesses with big ambitions and businesses that understand the value of design. We've been creating many new identities and new directions.

And whilst we are on the subject of privileges, we were lucky enough to be invited as guests to the wonderful Mercury Music prize, courtesy of Hyundai. A great night had by all and a great event. A wonderful eclectic mix of creativity. Always a good thing we think.

So there you go.... the story so far and this is where Wash find ourselves right now. We are a small creative studio that can be very reactive and responsive yet also proactive in our approach. We are not looking to turn into a giant. We work well as a team internally, we work well as a team on a roster. We want to surround ourselves with good people and keep with the changes by finding the right partners to work with. 

We work hard so we play hard. The whole award band wagon this year is not really us... it isn't really our gig, but it's a damn good night out and a pat on the back we feel that is well deserved... and well earned. Win or no win. We have to recognise creativity in all its guises. As without it, the world will be a dull place that's for sure! So maybe we'll aim for a few more from now on. Cheers.