ALL KILLER.
NO FILLER.

At least something exciting came out of the noughties. Killer was set up in 2005, originally as a small team of sharp, hungry and annoyingly ambitious agency bods who wanted to build their own thing – kind of agency we’d all dreamed of working in, a creative hub where idea is king. Ingrained deep within our DNA was ambition, big ideas, a free-thinking, commercial-savvy attitude and a place where ‘can’t’ didn’t exist. We didn’t do ordinary, we did different. We delivered solutions that work their magic on our clients’ bottom line. Not just in their portfolios.

NEWS INTERNATIONAL,
OUR 1ST ACCOUNT WIN!

We were behind the year’s biggest national magazine launch within a month of starting Killer, having beaten off fierce competition to land the contract for News Magazines £8.5 million launch of real life weekly, ‘Love it!’. The magazine was the first launch of the newly created magazine division of News International, owners of The Times, The Sun and Sky TV. We devised and produced a consumer press and trade ad campaign, outdoor advertisements as well as all Point of Sale material.

A second News Magazines title – a national monthly interiors magazine was launched in March for which we had already been appointed to handle advertising and marketing material.

We went on to create numerous projects for the Club 18-30 holiday brochure as well as campaigns for Marks & Spencer, and national magazines FHM and Zoo.


MAGS TO RICHES
THE MAGAZINE YEARS

We found ourselves working for all the big publishers, marketing magazines through supporting newsagents with point of sale material, dump bins, free-standing units and shelf wobblers. We’d also run all the press advertising, sell subscriptions and chase lapsed customers. We’d get called in on the big launches for new magazines – ZOO being one of them – the first ever weekly ‘lads’ mag. It was a new business proposition to a new audience, packed with risqué ‘blokey’ content, which was great fun to work on.

We also created (and sold advertising space for) magazines for our clients. Clients who understood the value of customer magazines, which were brilliantly written by our editorial team. We gave them access to celebrity endorsements and features, along with opportunities to sell their range of products through creative editorial, pulling together interesting features and on the whole entertaining the customer base with interesting features.



INTRODUCING A SERIOUSLY WELL-TRAVELLED ADVERTISING AGENCY.

THE TRAVEL YEARS

Within a few years we really found our niche – the travel sector. We had the Club 1830 account and helped grow it into the number one youth travel brands by creating attainable holidays for the youth market. Our first ever brief for this client was an instruction from the Head of Marketing, “You can’t sell sex, and you can’t sell alcohol.” That’s fine, we said. We’ll sell the dream. And we did. Adventure, discovery, culture, style, music, sunshine, super DJs and gold bikinis. Club 1830 was an instant hit with the youth market.

From then on we won some great accounts working in partnership with the biggest and best UK tour operators: Virgin Holidays, Thomson, First Choice, Neilson Adventure, Direct Line, VHIP Hotels & TCD (Virgin Holidays brands) right through to niche travel brands such as Amro, Nobel Caledonia and Pierre & Vacances – a huge European operator who own Center Parcs.

What worked so well for us here was the fact we were really good at re-inventing and re-skinning the products to various different audiences. You can’t invent new countries to sell but what you can do is re-sell and re-package the message to different audiences. This is similar to what we are doing now in the Fundraising Charity space. We’re always trying and create something unique for a unique audience. And we’re good at it.

Our travel years came to a very abrupt halt in 2010, soon after the Lehman Brothers demise and the global economic crash of 2009. The industry took a massive hit, with 40% of the industry’s business lost. Every single client subsequently took their marketing and advertising in-house, which was a massive loss to us. Within 12 months we had lost nearly all the travel business, and wondered what would be next.



THE AGENCY THAT DOES A LOT OF WORK FOR CHARITY. AND LIKES TO TALK ABOUT IT.

THE FUNDRAISING YEARS

Charity was an interesting fit for us after years of working in the cut-throat commercial world. Producing work that was going out to be ‘tested and research’ was a whole new world to us. Usually if you created something that didn’t work, you’d be sacked, so the luxury of testing was cool with us.

Killer bring something interesting into this space. Something different. It’s the confidence and belief we have in what we do that rubs off onto our clients and their supporters. And I don’t just mean with a creative swagger and a sprinkle of pizazz, but with a deep-rooted strategic understanding of the industry and the experience we have within the company.

Our mission is not only to double the amount of money donated to charities by UK citizens, but also to change the way fundraising is marketed. We are on a personal mission as an agency to make this happen. Apart from a handful of the ‘Super Charities’ that sit at the top of the tree, there is a real lack of confidence within this changing. We want to make fundraising cool, help influence behaviour and drive sign-ups with exciting products and unique creative work. We want to go into new territories for fundraising products, we want our clients to lose the fear, and help make your audience love you. As we always say, ‘if they love the product, they’ll love the charity’ – simple as that.

Mass Participation is such an effective way to market. It appeals to cold, warm and lapsed audiences and also works as an awareness and brand campaign. It really is a 5 to 1 audience approach. And our ‘Love Charity Research 2019’ shows the public respond very positively to mass participation events and an easy win in our opinion. But it has to be done differently, it has to be unique somehow. If it’s not the product itself (as most aren’t) then it has to be the creative that’s unique, or the name, or the message… you get the gist. Our job is always to try and put you in a unique space, to give you a point of difference and stand out from the competition.


SOME OF OUR
FAVOURITE PR FODDER
  • CARMEN ELECTRA CALLS KILLER! Nov 09

    The American actress, model and professional saucy minx rang us up last Friday. Oh yeah baby, we’ve got connections. Truth be told, she was calling our Graham back for a phone interview for a piece in one of the national glossies. But she was rather taken with our name. “Jeez it’s like calling some sort of dial-an-assassin agency,” she shrieked at our receptionist. “Do you guys get, like, creative about killing people?” Ah, bless.

  • VALENTINE’S DAY HORN May 2012

    We’ve been helping the good people at the World Wildlife Fund raise awareness of endangered species. A series of online banners aimed at encouraging people to adopt a rhino for a loved one on Valentine’s Day tapped into everyone’s soft centre and proved a massive hit. So now it’s your turn do some good work. Visit www.wwf.org.uk and adopt animal for just £3 a month.

  • SHERLOCK HOLMES ARRESTED BY KILLER Jan 2010

    Ooh we’ve been dying to use that headline. And it’s true. After a three way pitch, International publishers PanMacmillan chose us to create and produce an online trailer promoting the launch of new children’s book Death Cloud – the first in a series of books chronicling the adventures of Young Sherlock Holmes. And very arresting it is too.

  • THINGS WE LEARNT THIS WEEK… Dec 2010

    Richard Hammond has got a thing about spiders. For a feature in the Radio Times, Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond dropped in to tell our Graham all about the motoring show’s Christmas special filmed in the Bolivian jungle. Turns out he freaked out in the jungle when a spider ”the size of an orange” landed on his shoulder causing him to drive into a tree. He even went a bit green when ‘Nobby’ our boardroom spider put in an impromptu appearance, halfway through their chat. The big wuss.

  • STRATEGIC THINKING FOR BLUM June 2012

    We’re really excited to be working with Blum – our latest new client. They’re global market leaders in the design and manufacture of quality kitchen fittings. They’re ingenious boffins and their products are what make kitchens work - beautifully. Believe us, you will never look at a kitchen in the same light after seeing the science and innovative thinking that Blum put in.

  • TIME TO GLOAT AND FLOAT May 2012

    Just won a tough pitch for Virgin Holidays Cruises to produce a stunning piece of direct mail. Highlighting some astounding exclusive cruise deals for existing Virgin Holidays customers , xx,000 copies of our beautifully executed mailer were turned around in a matter of days, at a really competitive price. Proof that you don’t have to push the boat out to, er… push the boat out.

  • WE’VE LEARNT THIS MONTH… July 2013

    That Olympic legend Daley Thomson is rubbish at skiing. We interviewed the great man for the latest issue of Neilson Holidays’ customer magazine, Energise. Turns out Daley lives round the corner from us here in Brighton. We also learnt, he absolutely hates it when you run past him and beat him to the sandwich shop.

  • VIRGIN ON THE RIDICULOUSLY HAPPY November 09

    Our electronic direct mailings for Virgin Holiday destinations continue to deliver. Ecstatic client phoned to tell us that results show a return on investment of £31 for every £1 spent with us. To celebrate, we went and bought some posh biscuits with two of those pounds.

  • GETTING OUR SKATES ON July 2010

    No sooner had we started work on designing the branding for the UK’s newest skatepark in Shoreham than a scruffy old bloke turns up completely unannounced to test ride the park. Goes by the name, Tony Hawk. As in skateboarding legend, Tony Hawk. Tony’s verdict: “Buttery smooth”. A bit like the new logo we created for them.

  • YOU’LL ALWAYS FIND US IN THE KITCHEN AT TRADE SHOWS January 2010

    Just won a three way pitch to promote a hugely influential event for the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom trades. New for 2011, kbb London focuses on innovation – so we produced an equally innovative three phase campaign, aimed at VIP exhibitors.

  • WE’VE GOT THE DECORATORS IN January 2011

    Brewers, the UK’s largest independent supplier of decorating materials, appointed us to relaunch their quarterly in-store booklet, highlighting their massive range of paints and wallpapers. An important piece of literature and a nice new client to start the year. And look, not a brush pun in sight.

BE BOLD. BE BRAVE. BE FEARLESS
CALL 01273 606000