Our work to place products into the media relies on great pictures so carrying on from our blog ‘They say a picture paints a thousand words’ we look at some tips for producing your own product photography.
Richard Jackson from Forever Creative Photography & Design explains, from his experience in product placement photography, some of the essentials worth considering.
As a product placement PR agency we rely on clients having good images to promote their products. Be it a lifestyle product or a beauty product a great image sells.
Your products may be great but does your photography reflect their quality? As many as 67% of consumers consider image quality to be ‘very important’ and when it comes to product placement PR, journalists are looking for eye-catching and engaging images to grab the attention of their readers.
High-quality product photography is important, whether you’re looking to improve sales from your website or heighten engagement in your business, products and brand through a PR campaign.
Many PR campaigns fail due to poor photography - unclear images, poor lighting and backgrounds and a lack of imagination lead to many journalists skipping over your press release and on to the next.
Paint has come a long way since Stone Age man first discovered the colorful potential of pigments created from crushed rocks and earth. From using egg as a binder to oil paints and then the mass production process during the Industrial Revolution and the advent of acrylics in the 1940s paint has continued to develop.
Now with the application of modern technological innovations there are paints for a whole host of uses that you may not even have thought of - you can even paint your tarmac if the notion takes you!
One of the major developments in recent years is 'safe paint' with one manufacturer claiming 'Baby-Safe even if chewed & eaten' - quite amazing considering the combination of potentially hazardous chemicals that make up most paints.
Colour now plays a major part in the marketing of paint with many manufacturers declaring their 'colour of the season' each year. The trend reports from the London and New York catwalks for spring/summer 2018 show we're set to see a season of saturated colour! Bold & bright will not only be taking centre stage in everyone's wardrobe but making an impact in the home too with paint companies tempting us with a host of intense hot-house hues!
Product placement in a nutshell
Many people outside the world of PR may be unfamiliar with the term ‘product placement’ so in a nutshell it is the appearance of a particular product usually including pricing details and your brand/company details in the pages of a media publication, online title, blog and TV etc.
In this magazine our client NHP haircare features in a 'Hot List' of new season's products.
In the 'business' section you can find business related news from Howling Moon as well as blogs about PR, marketing, branding etc.
Coming soon !!
In 'more' you uncover our passion for days out discovering coffee and cake so be prepared to put on some weight!
We have worked with a variety of interesting gift and homeware companies that produce both functional and often quirky ceramics, their designs sometimes telling a simple story, portraying a character or even expressing a feeling. Cats, sheep, 'Batman' and bats can all be found on contemporary ceramics and from Sweden, subtle patterns and colours that give that 'hygge' feeling to your eating experience.
With ever increasing energy costs and concerns over the impact on the environment from fossil fuels and nuclear power, solar power generation has increased massively and its uses are amazing - from automatically opening a farm gate to providing power for an entire island.
Friday 26th May 2017 proved to be a landmark day for the UK as a record amount of solar power was generated. As Britain basked in sunshine and temperatures of up to 28C, 8.7 gigawatts (GW) of electricity had been generated by lunchtime, representing 24.3% of total generation across the UK, the level tops the previous record of 8.48GW set on May 10th.
The amount of solar power added worldwide increased by some 50% last year because of increased capacity added largely by the US and China. New solar photovoltaic capacity installed in 2016 reached more than 76 gigawatts, a dramatic increase on the 50GW installed the year before. China and the US led the surge, with both countries almost doubling the amount of solar they added in 2015, according to data compiled by Europe’s solar power trade body.
Globally there is now 305GW of solar power capacity, up from around 50GW in 2010 and virtually nothing at the turn of the millennium.
Health & beauty tips for happy feet! Summer brings our hard-working feet out from under cover – but are they in good shape and looking their best? Holistic skincare specialist Emma Colman and the College of Podiatry offer some helpful tips to treat your feet to some much needed TLC to keep them in top working order.
Norfolk is certainly open for business - from a new caramel vodka to a jewellery business owned by two Norwich sisters and a graphic design-led lifestyle brand there's a wealth of creative talent launching innovative products that are putting the county well and truly on the design map!
In recent weeks we've been looking around at the latest colour trends in interiors and one of the biggest most definitely can't ignore is bright green. It may not be everyone's choice so the important thing to remember is no matter what the experts may say is 'on trend' if your own personal 'taste' sensors say 'no' then the trend is not going to work for you - so have a look at some of the other options and find one that does appeal and look at how you can incorporate it into your home.
If you do decide to 'go green' then pick a shade you really love - and enjoy!
If you're looking to try a variety of beauty products, make your own toiletries or want to try a beauty treatment without visiting a spa then your wish could come true in a box!
Almost every business has a trading name, from the smallest market trader to the largest multi-national corporation.
However, only a minority of those businesses have what could be classed as a ‘brand’ or a ‘brand name’.
Branding is a word commonly referred to by advertisers and marketing people, but what does it actually mean? and most importantly; how will it benefit your business?
Everyone is aware of branding...
There are many different definitions of a brand, the most effective description is that a brand is a name or symbol that is commonly known to identify a company or its products and separate them from the competition.
A well-known brand is generally regarded as one that people will recognise, often even if they don't really know all about the company and its products/services. These are usually the business name or the name of a product, although it can also include the name of a feature or style of a product.
The overall ‘branding’ of a company or product can also stretch to a logo, symbol, or even design features (e.g. regularly used colours or layouts, such as red and white for Coca Cola) that easily identify the company or its products/services.
The Nike brand name is known throughout the world, people can identify the name and logo even if they have never bought any of their products. Not only is the company name a brand, but the logo (the ‘tick’ symbol) is also a strong piece of branding in its own right. The majority of people that are aware of the company can also identify it (or its products) from this symbol alone.
The clothing and running shoe company Adidas is well known for using three stripes on its range of products. This design feature branding allows people to identify their products, even if the Adidas brand name and logo is not present.
Closer to home, Herdy have built their business from their strong and instantly recognisable motif. Based on the iconic Herdwick sheep which are synonymous with the Lake District, the Herdy logo has formed the starting point for all their product design as well as their marketing.
Lasers - gone are the days of the surgeon’s knife or waxing that unwanted hair.
Whether you’re looking to remove unwanted hair, reduce wrinkles, zap sun damage or simply tone skin, you can now treat a range of skin problems and conditions the hi-tech way using laser beauty treatments.
One of the biggest recent advancements in skin treatment lies in the field of laser technology. Once harsh and invasive, modern lasers are now able to treat skin complaints ranging from wrinkles & fine lines through to thread veins, hyperpigmentation and reduced skin colour, with minimal pain and short recovery periods. Hair removal is also made easier and is often permanent.
Everyone is talking about ‘hygge’ (pronounced hue-gah) – the Danish word for taking time out and making simple things feel special and it looks as though the once redundant piece of retro furniture - the drinks trolley - is poised to make a comeback.
Your floor is one of the most important areas to consider in your interior so there is a lot to consider when choosing your carpet or rug. There are some amazing designs to choose from and prices vary greatly and you may be surprised to find it is possible to get bespoke rugs made within a reasonable budget. You should watch out for the Goodweave scheme to ensure your rug or carpet has been made under fair trade principles.
Here are some things to consider that may help you find the perfect carpet or rug.
Wool dates back to before history was recorded, when humans discovered that sheepskin would keep them warm when the weather was cold and cool when it was hot and t would absorb moisture without feeling wet. It would be difficult to duplicate a fibre with the qualities but man can and has refined and improved wool. He has done so by selective breeding of sheep and by incorporating in wool fabrics such qualities as shrink resistance, durable creasing and pleating, moth-proofing, shower-proofing and stain-proofing.
Autumn is fast approaching and with October 30th just around the corner (when we turn the clocks back an hour!), it’s a good time to be thinking about lighting.
How we light our houses has changed immensely in recent years and the drive to be more energy efficient has brought a wealth of new products to the world of lighting.
Incandescent bulbs have been phased out in stages in the UK since 2009 but the old-fashioned light bulb could make a comeback thanks to a technological breakthrough that means they use less energy. Many people preferred the warmer glow given by the incandescent bulbs, but 95% of the energy that goes into them gets turned into heat rather than light. Their replacements – LED and fluorescent bulbs - whilst far more energy-efficient have proved unpopular because they give off a cold, unnatural light compared to their predecessors. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US believe they have devised a method for incandescent bulbs to save energy - making them vastly more efficient. The new models are expected to reach 40% efficiency compared to 5& efficiency for the original incandescent bulbs. So watch out - your be-loved light bulbs could be back!
For some in Australia Christmas really does come in July!
No one seems to know for sure where the concept of 'Christmas in July' came from, but it's rumoured to have originated with a small group of people celebrating with Christmas-like celebrations in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney.
It can be hot and humid during December, which is in the middle of summer in Australia, so Christmas is celebrated differently by some compared to the northern hemisphere, where it's the middle of winter. It's more likely the Australia’s will have a beer on the beach, rather than mulled wine and the food eaten will often also be lighter, with seafood or a barbie a popular choice.
The phrase 'Christmas in July' is also found in other countries in the southern hemisphere like New Zealand and South Africa. There was a Hollywood movie called Christmas in July (1940). However, the film is not believed to be the origin of the phrase's use in Australia, which seems to date from around the late 1970s to the early 1980s.
It’s the time of year for the Natural & Organic Products Europe show which has got us thinking about the significance of this expanding market.
Having worked in natural beauty PR and bodycare product PR for some years I’ve seen both sides of the argument. I must admit I’d not given it much thought until we were discussing working with a natural skincare and haircare brand and I was introduced to the world of phthalates and parabens!
Many skincare products on the market today include an astonishing amount of synthetic chemicals (which means they can be produced cheaply) – many of which are derived from the processing of mineral oil.
There are arguments from both sides of the natural/organic argument on what is safe and what isn’t - I always think back to my high school physics tutor in cases like this – he always said “you can prove anything if you want to” – and went on with some clever maths to prove that 1=2!
A strong point made by one of the natural brands I’ve worked with is that our bodies have evolved over thousands of years and are able to process natural products – those that we can’t are either poisonous or have an adverse effect on us making us ill. So it follows that it makes sense to put natural products onto your skin as well as into your body when you’re eating.
All ingredients have undergone stringent testing and so have been declared safe to use – however the question is are they safe when all used together? And also as everyone is different then what is safe for one person may not be for another. It’s interesting to see that the really big companies are all getting in on the natural and organic bandwagon with their own ranges (and even buying up companies to add to their portfolio) – so they must see that there’s something to be said for the natural movement.
From parabens (chemicals linked to cancer) to formaldehyde to petroleum waxes, an ordinary lotion can contain quite the toxic mixture. Natural and organic skincare products cleanse, tone, exfoliate and moisturize your skin without using any of these potentially noxious artificial chemicals or additives. What goes on your skin eventually goes in your body skin and absorbed into your body. That means common artificial chemicals, like phthalates, parabens, petroleum waxes and others, go straight into your body. Many of the chemicals in non-organic beauty products have never been tested, so any potential health problems they can cause are virtually unknown.
Those of you who follow Twitter may be aware of hash tag #wallpaperwednesday.
Wallpapers these days can make quite a statement, gone are the days of boring woodchip painted magnolia. There's now a huge variety of papers to choose from an we find ourselves doing a lot more wallpaper PR.
The use of wallpaper goes back a long way - the earliest papers are often called ‘black-and-white’ papers because they were printed in carbon ink and one of the popular uses wasto line the inside of wooden boxes, or chests. A fragmentary design that includes the arms of England surrounded by Tudor roses, masks and vases of flowers has been found at Besford Court in Worcestershire; c.1550-70 in date. The Wallpaper History Society founded in 1986 provides a unique forum for wallcoverings professionals and enthusiasts.
"A fabulous wallpaper design evoking a graphic, contemporary take on a classic Burlesque theme, while maintaining an essence of style and sophistication. Melissa's wallpaper design is a combination of hand painting and digital illustration resulting in an effective and distinctive outcome. Inspired by subculture, Burlesque and Pop Art, Showgirls is a unique wallpaper design suited to making a strong, colourful statement while providing the perfect accompaniment to a sumptuous and glamourous interior."
Roy, the PR man of Howling Moon has been around the world with his work in natural bodycare PR - from Brixton working with Hairy Jayne Handmade Haircare to Australia with skincare brand A'kin. There is certainly no shortage of choice when it comes to beauty products from small local makers in the UK to an American small batch perfumery.
Which trade fair to visit with your gift and craft products?
We spend a lot of time visiting trade fairs up and down the country seeing and supporting clients who are showing at them and talking to potential new gift and craft PR clients.
Looking forward to 2016 - Since Roy started Howling Moon PR he has met some very interesting clients with amazing products.
Our PR agency offering affordable PR to small businesses has proved to be very popular and we have engaged Beauty PR, Homes and Interiors PR and Lifestyle PR clients. We think the new year is going to be very exciting with new clients coming on board from London, Norfolk and even Sweden.
Thankfully the shortest day of winter has passed and the days are starting to get a little bit longer - albeit slowly but surely - so we can start to look forward to the new year ahead.
Spring has already sprung in the form of bulbs flowering way ahead of their usual schedule and our clients have a whole host of new products planned for launch in the months ahead.....
There’s been so much happening through 2015 – we’ve started working with some lovely new clients and their fab brands and we’ve achieved lots of exciting and valuable editorial coverage both in print and online.
Throughout the year we try and get to as many trade (and sometimes consumer) shows as possible – many of our clients exhibit at them so it’s a great way to catch up with them and to see any new products they are introducing “in the flesh”. It’s also good to keep in touch with other contacts in the industry and to see what else is going on.
As well as the London events we’ve also been to Harrogate for Home & Gift, Birmingham for Spring Fair and Autumn Fair, Bovey Tracey in Devon for the Contemporary Craft Fair (one of our favourites) and we ventured “sous La Manche” to Paris to discover the delights of Maison & Objet.
First on the list for 2016 is the Living & Giving show in Exeter – maybe not quite as glamorous as Paris but we’re sure it will prove worthwhile!