Monthly Archives: September 2006


Digital media is impacting our lives as consumers, and more importantly to me, as marketeers like never before. That’s why I find myself in Paris, attending a digital marketing conference, with some of the world’s leading advertising agencies represented. And to be honest, the ad agencies look a bit worried.

The dotcom crash of 2000/2001 didn’t kill digital at all – as we all know. Although the hype helped its downfall at that point, the underlying trends kept on growing, just as all the predictions had indicated. Internet usage has grown year on year, broadband is exploding and on-line shopping is taking a major share of the retail market. And for our business, High Involvement Brand Communications, digital is critical.

We all know our world is much more complex than it’s ever been. Back in the old days branding was really a one way process. Similar in some respects to saturation bombing. You’d employ a fleet of heavy bombers, to bomb your consumer or customer with information about your brand from 30,000 feet. Expensive, not always well targeted, but you knew you were hitting some of the target – some of the time. And it was an extremely one way process.

That world has changed. Consumers today demand a two way relationship – and increasingly they are driving that relationship. Today’s ‘consumer’ and maybe that’s the wrong term because they no longer passively consume, has the power of information at his finger tips and the communication has to be two ways. The future of business is about building relationships. The driver is the internet and importantly the spread of broadband.

Customers not only expect you to have a website, but want to understand what your company is all about, does and stands for within moments of arriving at your site. That’s why we make so many digital films for our clients. They will also seek information about companies and products in a multitude of ways – increasingly search engine and community driven.That’s why media meshing – the integration of on and offline media – will be key.

And so digital is critical to us. So, welcome to Mighty//Mouse, the Digital Media arm of Dowell//Stubbs. Check out our capabilities on the link above, and let me know what you think.

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On dreams, Carlsberg and the USA

Ever been woken up in the middle of an intense dream? There I was, for some reason sitting in my bedroom, with the marketing director of Carlsberg Beer (‘Probably The Best Beer in My Bedroom). He was asking me if we would consider taking on a major branding project for Carlsberg, and I was pointing out ‘we didn’t do beer’ even if it was probably the best in the world…we do complex stuff, biotechnology, telecoms, place marketing, industrial – all High Involvement. Beer is ,well, just beer. I then woke up. Aside from that this week has been full on. Trips to the UK and Copenhagen (it was probably this that inspired my Carlsberg moment…) and we are working on some really exciting projects. Added to this we have just won two really exciting new assignments; the first for a major management and IT consulting company, and the second for a major international biotech company. We also have some pretty major news: Dowell//Stubbs has set up a new office in Princeton New Jersey. My dear partner Eric Dowell, genius art director and Dick van Dyke impersonator, has moved back to the US to set-up Dowell//Stubbs LLC. We open our doors for business in about a week, but we are already working on client projects at this moment. Anyway, I’ll cover Dowell//Stubbs USA in a later blog, when I have some pics to post of the new office. What are our goals in the US? Well, ‘probably to become the best brand communications consultancy in America’… Buy Windows 7 Ultimate Buy Windows 7 Ultimate Discount Windows 7 Ultimate Cheap Adobe Creative Suite 6 Master Collection Adobe Creative Suite 6 Master Collection Cheap Adobe Creative Suite 6 Master Collection Buy Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Plus Discount Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Plus Cheap Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Plus

Seventeen years on and still different

6th September 1989. Maggie Thatcher, the iron lady, was supreme ruler of Britain. The Soviet Union was still a super power, and the UK was gripped by a savage recession. And we decided to set up our very own below the line advertising agency. We called it Mighty Mouse Communications.

At the start there were just the three of us, occupying a small, cramped office near Victoria station in central London. Aside from a modicum of marketing ability, we had a number of things going for us. For starters we were using Apple computers for producing material – making us one of the first agencies in London to do so at that time. This gave us an edge in terms of speed and keeping costs down. We decided from the outset that we wanted the agency to live up to its name – to be small but produce powerful work for clients. Within a year we’d won a substantial amount of business from large ‘dinosaur’ advertising agencies, and we were working for clients such as Beefeater Gin, HMV Record Stores and Carpetland – the UKs largest carpet retailer with over 80 stores. We also moved into above the line work, creating print and radio advertising as well. We were on our way…

A few weeks after we first set up, I got a call from an old friend who lived in Sweden and worked for a large biotech company. He asked if we’d consider producing a few posters and some other material for a trade show. ‘Of course’, we said, and this led over the next few months to us eventually managing all of their advertising and print material work. I was the one flying back and forth between London and Stockholm every month, and so I suggested we rent a small office for me to work out of whilst I was there. This we did and within a year, our small office in Sweden had grown to 10 full time employees and I had moved there permanently. The unique thing about us in Sweden at that time was, the majority of employees in the Swedish office were non-Swedes.

Seventeen years later and what’s different? Well, for starters we’re now called Dowell//Stubbs – the name changed back in 2000. Oh, and we’ve grown a bit – we’re now a team of 25 people – all special and all talented. But we still have the same international mix and focus – in fact we always joke that the only language you don’t need to speak at Dowell//Stubbs is Swedish!

As for Mighty Mouse, well I’m happy to say that’s still around as well. It’s the name we’ve adopted for our new company – Mighty Mouse Digital Media.

Happy Birthday to us.

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