Ideas Group delivers successful launch event for new flagship bathroom brand.

On 6 May British and Irish bathroom retailers, international customers, partner-distributors and the media gathered at Brocket Hall to see the future plans of Bathroom Brands, said to be the fastest growing bathroom business in the country.

Arcade DSC_0448 BIdeas Group were commissioned by Bathroom Brands to help them realise the event at which they were to announce a £20 million investment, and unveil a total rebranding and new flagship brand – Arcade.

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A demanding and evolving brief required Ideas Group to design and deliver an exclusive launch event to showcase a range of innovative bathroom products to over 250 UK retailers, distributors and international clients over 2 days at Brocket Hall, Hertfordshire.

Plans & Elevations Arcade-BurlingtonThe project involved the creation and installation of 16 individual room set displays, promoting four clear brand identities that would inspire and benefit high-end independent retailers and their customers. The design challenge was not only to create stunning looking displays, but also to achieve optimum space planning and build quality in the confines of a period country house, and ultimately uplift everything without leaving a trace!Britton DSC_0442 B

As well as presenting Bathroom Brands as a market leader in innovation and quality, the overarching design needed to showcase their unique range of styles designed to enhance either traditional or contemporary interiors. Each set design needed to reflect the distinctive and individual styles of each range. For example the Arcade range, styled with a distinctly Belle Epoque air of pre first world war Paris, combines fascinating period detail with the latest manufacturing technology.

Clearwater from EntranceBathroom Brands director Roger Cooper was overwhelmed with the success of the event commenting, “Ideas worked for us on our rebrand and effectively the relaunch of our Company. From start to finish they did a fantastic job of guiding us and helping us develop the event into a truly memorable moment in the history of our Company. I have worked in this industry for over 40 years and by working with Ideas this became the best launch event I have ever experienced.”

Clearwater DSC_0439The project certainly required our considerable event design experience and flair, coupled with project management skills to ensure a compelling and successful result for our client. The event, and in particular the display designs, received immediate acclaim and demand from leading retailers for specific showroom displays.Clearwater DSC_0441 B

Timeline – 50 Years of Information

The University of York is currently celebrating its 50th Anniversary with a whole host of events throughout the year of 2013. Winning a 3 way presentation pitch,  Ideas Group were commissioned by the University of York’s Information Directorate to design and produce a display depicting the supporting roles of the Library, Archives and IT Departments, over the past 50 years.

50th Timeline Display 01

Having previously created the visual identity for the Information Directorate (which you can see here), we applied the creative rationale to the display design to identify the individual contributions from each of the three departments.
50th Timeline Display 02a

50th Timeline Display 02b

One of the key objectives was to ensure the display was clearly identifiable and visually impactful from the mezzanine floor above its corridor location. The graphics are printed to a combination of acrylic and PVC panels, which are spaced off the wall in a simple grid which provided a structured yet flexible means to display a variety of images and stories. This approach creates an eye catching display which integrates well with the recently refurbished and contemporary interior of the Library.

50th Timeline Display 03

50th Timeline Display 06

50th Timeline Display 04

50th Timeline Display 05

Exhibition campaign success for Bestobell @ Gastech 2012

As part of our ongoing marketing support for Bestobell, the global leader in Cryogenic valve manufacture, Ideas Group were commissioned to create a new exhibition stand design and build up campaign for Gastech 2012, 8-11 October at ExCel London. The design was to reflect the Bestobell identity that we had refreshed in August 2011 together with an overhaul of their web presentation.

Although a regular exhibitor at Gastech, Bestobell were wanting to make an impact and engage with their customers with a more personal approach this year. We developed and designed a build up campaign including monthly advertising in the 2 leading sector publications and regular e-communications with targeted messaging over the 4 months leading up to the exhibition.

Keeping the approach ‘on brand’, we designed the stand to have a minimal but bold approach, incorporating large format imagery to form the backdrop. With the exception of the concealed storage and small catering area, the the stand space was kept open to allow for ease of customer engagement and hospitality, encouraging visitors onto the stand.

As well as a prize draw incentive of an iPad for all the customers who booked a consultation on the stand, a range of branded promotional items was also proposed from which the client selected three to give away to stand visitors.

Mark Henley, MD of Bestobell said; “Our exhibition build up strategy was effective, the stand design worked well and we were very pleased with the input from Ideas Group. A successful campaign and a ROI for Bestobell.”

The Design & Innovation behind York’s Grand Tour

York Science & Innovation Grand Tour, the brainchild of Professor Tony Robards, was to be a unique presentation of York’s phenomenal achievements in science, technology and innovation. Inspired by the highly successful National Gallery’s Grand Tour of 2008, which displayed ‘Old Masters’ around the streets of York, Prof. Robards recognised the opportunity to showcase science and technology based imagery and stories in a similar way.

Ideas Group were commissioned as creative and event marketing consultants and involved at the very early stages of the project development helping present the concept to gain the support of key city organisations – York City Council, the two universities, Science City York, Visit York and York Museums Trust.

A challenging prospect which was to promote entrepreneurial enterprise, engage York residents and visitors, and inspire the next generation of scientists, the project would require all aspects of Ideas Group expertise, including marketing and communications strategy, exhibition and museum design, online and digital media, identity and graphics, event coordination and project management.

To convey the notion of astonishing stories and compelling images we developed a brand concept around ‘Did you know’! together with a distinct graphic identity for the build up campaign and the actual event. Working closely with each of over 50 individual exhibit sponsors we then helped extract ultimately 60 fascinating ‘Did you know’ stories, as well as being instrumental in acquiring Aviva as lead event sponsor.


To prepare the exhibits and match to appropriate locations we surveyed approximately one hundred sites around York city centre. From this process we created a master plan and route for the tour, which would lead the visitor through the city’s historic streets and attractions.

The website was one of the first pieces of marketing to be designed and implemented as we needed to initially promote and detail the concept to potential sponsors. The website subsequently evolved to be integrated with social media to market the event prior to launch, and latterly an interactive guide of the exhibits and their locations during the event itself. Working in conjunction with Snapshot Media who provided technical development and implementation of the website, we also designed and developed iPhone and Android apps to further engage visitors to interact with the exhibits through social media and unique QR codes.

Developing and managing large scale projects such as this requires organisational skills and attention to detail as well as a structured approach to the marketing and communication strategy. It also requires passion and a sense of ownership to deliver such an intense, broad based and unique project. A fantastic project in which to be involved and one which generated a rewarding sense of achievement in all the Ideas Group team.

During the run up to the launch, we were approached by the University of York, a partner organisation and key contributor of exhibits, to create a fully immersive 360º video presentation of all 60 exhibits. The premier screening was at the evening event of the launch day celebrations. You can read more about the production of this in our earlier blog post, A 360º view of York’s Science & Innovation.

Each of the 60 exhibits on the grand tour has been photographed during the three month event, and uploaded to the York Grand Tour Flickr photo stream.

York Sport Village – Interior Brand Expression

As brand creators and marketing and creative consultants for York Sport, we successfully integrated the brand identity into the new York Sport Village building. The process involved identifying and highlighting the key activity areas of the facility and creating visual expressions of the brand. All external and internal signage were coordinated into one cohesive solution.

With the secondary palette of colours defined as part of the brand identity, we created a simple graphic treatment to key areas, applying specific colours in a consistent graphic style to each function of front of house, café, gym, pool and fitness studios. This achieved a vibrant yet subtle enhancement to the interior that was echoed in all items of furniture and the staff uniforms.

York Sport Staff apparel / uniforms and sportswear

Visual concepts were developed in detail and virtual ‘walkthroughs’ were created for display on the website prior to interior fit out.

Working closely with the York Sport team, together with their equipment suppliers Technogym, we also designed a unique ‘Wellness’ feature into the Fitness suite. Created to evoke a calming backdrop to a circle of exercise bikes, that includes colour changing ‘bubble tube’ water features.

As with the branding and marketing for York Sport (see our separate post Pre-opening membership sales target exceeded!), Ideas Group’s approach throughout the project was thorough and well considered both in creativity and delivery. From concept, through technical design and implementation we worked closely with client and contractors to manage the process and ensure a top quality result to reflect the first class facility.

Pre-opening membership sales target exceeded!

Following a credentials pitch, York Sports Village LLP, the partnership company of the University of York, City of York Council and Sport England set up to operate the new £9m community sports facility, set us the task of achieving 1200 members before opening on 31 August. We achieved 1600.

After customer and competitor research, which identified a diverse target audience, we developed and implemented a marketing strategy to deliver against the primary objective. We then structured a thorough approach to defining a clear and confident proposition with sufficient clarity to introduce a brand new player into a competitive market. Working with YMSL, sales management specialists, we jointly developed a specific sales strategy to achieve the target membership.

York Sport Website on presented on Macbook and iPhone

A programme of tactical communications activities was then designed and implemented ensuring a consistent approach across all channels and messages.

York Sport Village full page magazine advert

Ideas Group provided a comprehensive and coordinated approach to marketing strategy, brand development, visual identity creation and developed a full range of marketing activities and material including website, digital and printed media, signage, display material and press and radio advertising.

York Sport 3x3m Pop-up display with podium

York Sport Village Quill Zoom Lite Gym Entrance Banners

We produced 3D virtual tours of key areas of the yet to be completed facilities including the 120 station Fitness Suite, Fitness Studios, Swimming Pool, Reception and Café and presented them on the website.

Recognising the importance of integrating the identity into the new building our client commissioned us to enhance the interior design and apply the brand to staff uniform. See our separate post Interior Brand Expression.

York Sport Staff apparel / uniforms and sportswear

An intense programme of strategic and creative work resulted in a rewarding project for the Ideas Group team but, crucially, it met the client’s objectives. Director of Commercial Services Jon Greenwood was more than delighted with the result, commenting; “The team at Ideas Group have been integral in the success of our pre-opening programme. From developing the initial strategy and planning, through to the design of all the creative elements, they have managed the marketing expertly, and helped us to deliver a world-class sports facility with over 1600 members on day one.”
York Sport Village Prices and Information Leaflet

York Sport Village Ad Van and Rear of Bus Advert

A 360º view of York’s Science & Innovation

The York Science & Innovation Grand Tour 2012 has been a very exciting project to have been involved with, allowing all of us at Ideas Group to implement our experience and wide range of skills in the creative field, to make the outdoor exhibition a complete success. Towards the latter stages of the project, we were approached by the University of York, one of the larger contributors of exhibits and partner organisations, to create a 360º video presentation to be viewed in the university’s state of the art 3Sixty cinema in the Ron Cooke Hub.

Guests in the 3Sixty cinema at the University of York’s Ron Cooke Hub, immersed in stories of York’s Scientific and Innovative achievements and discoveries.

Our main objective was to reveal all sixty exhibits to the audience utilising the 360º canvas as creatively as possible, and then expand on the stories of 14 specific exhibits chosen by the client. After creating a static storyboard concept, we produced a skeletal framework from which the concept could evolve and be optimised for the 3Sixty presentation. It was important to demonstrate to the client how we aimed to immerse the audience in the experience from the beginning.

Early stages of production in the Apple Motion editing suite.

We have undertaken many video and motion graphics projects for clients in the past, but this was the first time working to a 360º video canvas. Production was processed in Apple Motion, which is capable of handling the huge 4x HD resolution of 7680 x 1200 pixels as one file.

The 360º canvas compared to video production at standard resolutions.

Making an early start on the framework before final images had been approved, allowed us to see what worked and what didn’t work when viewing footage around 360º, this helped set some clear goals during the development of the concept. As soon as the actual Grand Tour exhibits started to be finalised, the placeholders in the editing suite where replaced with the high resolution exhibit files. The subsequent application of a sound track then really brought the whole video to life.

You can experience the 360º presentation here with our unique virtual representation of the 3Sixty Cinema, which we created as the very final stage prior to the live showing on 30 May. Enjoy!

All sixty exhibits used in the production of this video can still be seen on The York Science & Innovation Grand Tour, on display in the streets of York until the end of August.