Free isn’t futile

Contrary to seemingly popular opinion, free creative does not equal poor creative.  AJ continues to show the quality and quantity of creative is not compromised by offering it free of charge.

For AJ’s clients, a free creative model is the most cost effective approach.  Our clients can test a range of creative, sizes and titles without incurring unnecessary creative costs.  This way, we help to secure the most value from their media budgets, saving on average 30% and keeping cost per lead as low as possible.

Direct response ads also have to enhance brand perception.  Message, tone of voice and a consistent look all contribute to maximising the credibility of a brand and value of a product.  AJ’s creative team covers both disciplines.

New creative on a regular basis also keeps a campaign fresh; even the best creative can fatigue.  As we’ve said before, if it’s broke, fix it.  AJ takes this approach a step further.  New creative is presented to the client not only with the changes highlighted but, more importantly, the reasons why.  We make clear what the work is aiming to achieve – to be better, stronger, more effective and to grow business.

Lower CPE, increased sales and heightened brand awareness – all proof the right creative can make a difference to advertising performance whatever the price.

Case study: Reading light specialist, Serious Readers, needed more from press.  Its range of reading lights is world-renowned, using expensive technology, reflected in the product price.  Creative for these products therefore has to provide a convincing reason to buy based on brand perception – product credibility, a sense of quality and portraying Serious Readers as the voice of authority in reading lights.  AJ’s creative team centres key messages around performance relevant to the target market, creating empathy with the potential purchaser.  The visual focus uses a consistent and distinctive look based on the product’s central attributes, keeping the look simple.  In all aspects of the ad’s structure, consideration is given to the reader’s eyesight.  Within a year the press response target has been achieved using this approach, resulting in an increase in activity from being seasonal over four months to a full 10-month plan.

To learn more about how we can produce the right creative for you, contact Ann Gardiner on 01225 758222 or email

New pound coin bang on trend

Is the silver-coloured centre of the new pound coin an ingenious nod to those most likely to spend it?

According to an Institute of Customer Service report, the so-called ‘silver pound’ economy is estimated to be worth £43 billion in annual spending.  Echoed by the Government’s latest Family Spending bulletin, Baby Boomers are not afraid to spend money making them a lucrative market, particularly if you’re in the business of travel, home improvements, cars or alcohol.   Spending by the over 65s on household goods and services, for example, has increased 57% in the last five years, compared to just 12% by 30-49 year olds.

As CS Lewis said “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” Baby Boomers are living testament to this, prepared and able to spend more on themselves as they realise their post mid-life goals and dreams.  Spending growth in this group is predicted to continue rising at twice the rate of younger shoppers.  While Millennials show a surprisingly high level of brand loyalty, Baby Boomers more importantly “show me the money”.

All the signs point towards the over 50s becoming an increasingly important sector of the consumer market both in number and average spend.  Millennials are predicted to be the first generation to earn less than their parents, feeling the effects of the financial crisis for longer through the likes of lower pay rises, increasingly insecure and precarious employment and zero-hours contracts.

Despite this, many businesses continue to focus on the Millennial market, investing in a potential long-term customer loyalty. By
doing so, and not capitalising on the spending capacity of Baby Boomers, it’s believed UK businesses are losing out on up to £27 billion of revenue.

Some feel intergenerational inequalities are swinging back too far in favour of Baby Boomers.  But for those with the goods and services this group desires, use those shiny new pound coins with their silver centres as a reminder of where your advertising budget might be best spent.

It’s all about the people

Creative director and industry commentator Dave Trott couldn’t agree more.  “When you choose an agency, you’re not guaranteed a better result because they’ve got more technology and more data.  Your best bet is always people with brains and experience.  It’s never about technology and data, it’s always about people.”

Attinger Jack is not only a leading direct response agency, but also an excellent team of individuals, reflected in the feedback we receive from clients.  “It has been a pleasure working with you over the past 3 years – you are all amazing people.” Sydney Smith, Thomas Sanderson.

Leading the team at AJ are three key people in three key roles.  Media and Managing Director, Alice Buttling is now recognised as one of the best media buyers in the business and an expert at gaining the most for a client with whatever budget is available.  As Client Services Director, Ann Gardiner brought an impressive background running major accounts within established London agencies when she joined Attinger Jack in 2005.  She oversees all account handling and client management.  Tim Blackshaw provides the creative genius to Attinger Jack, leading the artworkers and designers and driving the best direct response creative in the business.

They are also acutely aware their most valuable asset is the team around them and treasure it.  They understand a happy, well-nourished team leads to outstanding work, satisfied clients and business growth.

The Team at AJ is driven to achieve the very best for its clients; whatever it takes is done.  Everybody understands how the AJ business model works and what’s needed to succeed as individuals.

Nurturing talent is an important part of the agency’s culture – a critical factor in building success according to Paul Frampton, chief executive of Havas Media Group, UK & Ireland. “Talent, chemistry and creativity are the lifeblood of success in any agency.  Businesses that genuinely engage and empower their talent have been proven to grow faster.”

If you’d like to work with this committed and talented team of professionals, please call Lesley Bowman on 01225 758222 or

Quarter one results start the year well

Attinger Jack’s first quarter figures make encouraging reading, giving the agency confidence its results-driven approach is the right one for its clients.

December is traditionally a hard month for DR agencies but AJ has seen increased profit for the second year in a row.  The agency puts this down to valid Christmas offers producing an increased ROI for many clients.  The resulting client confidence has produced increased spend and enabled AJ to do what it does best – grow existing clients’ business.

Large clients continue to be Aquability, Nationwide Mobility, Harrington & Byrne and Serious Readers, with new 2016 client, Cashmere Centre, entering this quarter’s top 10.

A developing area of activity for AJ is inserts.  AJ is working smarter in this area and exploring a variety of related substitutes when it suits the right clients, e.g. wrap throughs and backing boards/carrier sheets.  With a desire to continually test and review, this channel is opening up to offer a wider range of opportunities beyond the traditional.

Solus emails are also being used successfully with clients such as Eden Verandas.  AJ prefers to use publisher-distributed emails, buying a targeted database and supplying creative.  With integrated tracking methodology, click throughs, brochure requests and conversion rates are all monitored closely.  For some clients, this has a marketing percentage of just 5%.

The strength of AJ’s relationship with media owners continues to be an important factor in securing the best media deals, particularly late space offers, an AJ speciality.  The latest example is the new Interiors feature in the Telegraph’s Saturday, launched last week, in which AJ secured three of the nine spaces, including the hero image.

A growing AJ skill is to attract previous clients back to the agency, and as 2017 continues we hope to report back on how and why accounts have returned to us.  This is one of the most satisfying endorsements of a job well done; repeat business.

To find out more about how AJ can grow your business, contact Lesley Bowman on 01225 758222 or