AJ clients impress

AJ’s clients short listed in the inaugural Express Home and Living Awards have reason to celebrate.

All AJ’s client finalists shape up well against their opposition, according to the judging panel comprising some of the UK’s most respected journalists and designers in property and interior design.

‘Technically brilliant’ is how the judges describe Kinetico’s Premier Compact water softener.  Noting its ‘neat and pleasing design saves money and has a positive environmental impact’ illustrates why it’s on the Best Money-saving Product short list.

In the Best Retirement Living Solution category, Nationwide Mobility’s inflatable bath lift, The Bathmate, is deemed a ‘great idea for people no longer able to climb in the bath’.  Its simple design makes it a highly popular mobility product.

Outdoors, two clients are vying for the ‘Best Outdoor Building Supplier’ award. ‘Uber-stylish and contemporary’ is how one judge describes Eden’s glass verandas, with David Salisbury’s orangeries and garden rooms noted as being ‘top quality, thermally efficient and designed to fit around customers’ lifestyles’.

Bridging outdoor and in, Out & Out Original’s ‘upmarket range of outdoor lounge furniture’ is ‘durable enough to withstand sun and rain outdoors and stylish enough to be kept inside in a conservatory or garden room’.  The company’s impressive environmental credentials also set it apart.

Short-listed in two categories, Best Kitchen Supplier and Best Money-Saving Product, is AJ’s newest client, Dream Doors.  We’re excited to be working with a company described as making the ‘updating of tired kitchens look easy’ using the latest computer design software.

Congratulations to all our short-listed clients.  We wish them every success at the Awards on 26th October.

Still coming up trumps for Donald………Russell

The honeymoon period could have been over, but not so as Donald Russell’s results keep on improving. Here’s how the story of their impressive results continues to unfold.

Like losing weight, it’s easier at the beginning.  When an agency takes over an account, clients often see an upturn in results from fresh ads and innovative ideas breathing new life into a tired campaign.  But just as weight plateaus, so too do results.  It’s hard to keep coming up trumps month after month.  But at AJ, we’ve done just that for meat specialists, Donald Russell.  Five months in and we’re about to celebrate our best month ever, generating new customers well below the target cost, and smashing all our goals.  How have we done it?

Creative sweet spot: we’ve maximised the control copy through a series of enhancements and introduced new magazine creative, carefully balancing the offer and brand messages.

Specialist media buying: AJ is a specialist late space buyer, capturing considerable value through our expert planning and clever last-minute buying.  We’ve also secured a number of key positions, which as we’ve discussed before (What’s your favourite position), can impact results significantly.

Another phase: in line with our ‘never give up’ mentality, we never stand still.  To keep up this great momentum, the next phase of the campaign is to test a number new titles, particularly magazines.  Freemasonry Today is the early superstar, hitting targets within days of hitting the doormat.

To find out how AJ can improve your results, contact Lesley Bowman on 01225 758222 or lesley@aja.co.uk


City’s famous daughter epitomises region’s creativity

This weekend sees the conclusion of the annual Jane Austen Festival here in Bath, and a big week for the city’s famous daughter.

This year’s Festival marks the bicentennial anniversary of the writer’s death in 1817, with 10 days of celebratory events including the creation of a local beer in her honour.

Possibly of more note (literally) to all of us, though, was yesterday’s launch into circulation of the new £10 bank note, featuring a picture of Ms Austen on the reverse side.

For a woman who only lived a little over 40 years, publishing just a handful of novels, the scale of her influence in Britain some 200 years later is all the more remarkable.

And it seems she started something of a trend; the South West continues to punch well above its weight creatively.

For 75 years, the locally-based BBC Natural History Unit has been producing quality television, made famous through its work with David Attenborough, and still generates 25% of the world’s natural history programming.  And who doesn’t know award-winning Wallace and Gromit were born in Bristol?  Bath also lays claim to those with more culinary-flavoured creative talents, namely the nation’s favourite baking doyenne, Mary Berry.

The region’s more recent growth as a modern tech hub reflects the national trend for creative industries being the fastest growing industry sector.  Popular with workers wishing to move away from London, Bath and Bristol are attractive to those wanting a better quality of life, while remaining within easy reach of the capital.

We’re growing talent here too with excellent universities across the two cities offering courses supporting the industry; two of AJ’s own talented studio team graduated from Bath Spa University.

Jane Austen’s legacy is set to continue for another 200 years.

AJ clients on track for Express Home and Living Awards

Five of AJ’s clients have been short-listed in the inaugural Express Home and Living Awards, celebrating the UK’s best household products, services and retailers.

When the Express first announced its new awards celebrating the best of British home and living solutions, AJ was quick to encourage its clients to enter.  The awards comprise 15 categories, judged on design innovation, ease of use, sustainable sourcing, customer service and value for money.

AJ’s finalist clients are featuring in the following categories:

  • Best Money-Saving Product              Kinetico Water Systems
  • Best Outdoor Living Furniture          Out & Out Original
  • Best Outdoor Building Supplier         David Salisbury
  • Best Outdoor Building Supplier         Eden Verandas
  • Best Retirement Living Solution       Nationwide Mobility

Here’s a taster from the entries we submitted on behalf of our clients, highlighting how each company and its products fit the attributes being judged.

Best Money-Saving Product: Premier Compact Water Softener, Kinetico Water Systems

Kinetico’s Premier Compact Water Softener is powered by water – not electricity – making it both economic and environmentally sound.  Its patented technology removes damaging minerals from hard water as it enters the home, eradicating limescale and its associated problems.

The increased efficiency of appliances using softened water can save a family of four up to 12% on energy bills and £400 per year on groceries.

The Premier Compact’s reliability and performance, together with Kinetico’s excellent customer service, led to it being chosen by the National Health Service for their ‘Home Kidney Dialysis’ programme.  Kinetico water softeners are also used in such prestigious establishments as Buckingham Palace and the Savoy Hotel.

Best Outdoor Living Furniture: Outdoor lounge furniture sets, Out & Out Original

Out & Out Original’s outdoor lounge furniture design combines outdoor durability with indoor style, allowing the lounge sets to look as good in a conservatory as in the garden.

Out & Out Original understands its moral and ethical responsibilities to both its furniture makers and the environment.  Using a number of natural materials, including FSC-certified sustainable eucalyptus and recycled teak, the company works to ensure valuable resources are retained or replenished for the future.

This range of furniture is also fit for purpose, with features essential to its use outdoors.  These include UV stabilised resin, 100% polyester cushions with removable covers and tempered glass on coffee tables.  It is designed to wear in not out, making it cost-effective and robust.

Best Outdoor Building Supplier: David Salisbury Orangeries and Garden Rooms

David Salisbury describes itself as ‘engineers in wood’. Every product design is unique and precision-made, remaining in keeping with its surroundings.

The company was an early adopter of environmentally-friendly policies, installing a biomass boiler over 10 years ago, feeding it with timber shavings and offcuts generated during manufacture.  Factory roof solar panels provide 20% of the company’s power supply reducing its footprint by over 88,000kg CO2 per year.

Every aspect of a David Salisbury product is considered carefully, and corners will not be cut at the expense of quality.    The company demonstrates unrivalled technical innovation as well as a commitment to excellence in customer service.

Best Outdoor Building Supplier: Glass verandas, Eden Verandas

Eden’s glass verandas allow customers to enjoy the outdoors whatever the weather.  The high-quality materials used give customers total confidence in their outdoor living products.   Eden’s glass verandas can complement any home, new or old, large or small, and can be retro-fitted giving maximum versatility, with the option of converting into a glass room at a later date.

Eden Verandas offer a free design service with a no obligation quote. Designers are based throughout the UK, providing a local business experience coupled with the peace of mind gained from a national company.

Eden’s glass verandas add value to any home and any lifestyle.

Best Retirement Living Solution : The Bathmate, Nationwide Mobility

Nationwide Mobility is a company with a simple philosophy – it is dedicated to offering the best possible bathing solutions for those no longer able to enjoy safe bathing at home.  With over 20 years’ experience, Nationwide Mobility has a deep understanding of customer needs.

The Bathmate is an inflatable bath lift offering a simple solution for those having difficulty stepping in and out of the bath.  It doesn’t require installation, fitting into a customer’s existing bath, gently lowering the customer in and out by inflating and deflating at the touch of a button.

The Bathmate’s uncomplicated design makes it one of the most ingenious and popular mobility products available.

We’ll keep you posted on their progress; the winners are announced on  Thursday 26th October.