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Providing top level service to our clients is at the heart of everything we do. So when the world shifted to online events and charities turned to virtual fundraising to keep donations coming in, we knew we had to adapt the way we worked in order to keep offering the best possible service.

Check out our video below as Ben Skinner goes behind the scenes at Bluestep’s warehouse to show you how things have changed.

Virtual Fundraising Takes Off

Despite being unable to go ahead with real-life events, charities were quick to think of alternative approaches. Enter virtual fundraising events! From baking online, to virtual quizzes, to online gaming fundraisers, we saw a huge increase in the demand for virtual fundraising events.

Whilst this was an exciting time, we understood that it would pose some challenges to those responsible for organising the events. With most people working from home, storing vast quantities of merchandise and getting it into the hands of supporters, was a real pain point for most of our clients.

Free storage and pick, pack and dispatch

We began offering free storage in our warehouse, so that the busy bees arranging the events wouldn’t have to worry about where to keep their t-shirts and doggy bandanas! It would all be safely tucked away ready to be shipped to their supporters at a moment’s notice.

Our pick, pack and dispatch service was also extremely valuable, as we offered the ability to distribute products anywhere in the world, at the click of a button. So whenever a new supporter signed up for an event, the Bluestep bunch got to work behind the scenes, to pick out their merchandise, pack it up safely and dispatch it to that very supporter in an instant.

As well as diversifying our range of merchandise to suit virtual fundraising events, we have provided support with the practicalities and logistics of storing and delivering it, allowing charities to carry on doing what they do best; raising money for all their incredible causes.

If you need any support with your virtual fundraising event then drop us a line or give us a call. We’d love to help!


With virtual fundraising set to stay the norm for a bit longer, charities are using branded merchandise more than ever as part of their fundraising strategy. As well as enticing supporters to sign up for an event, merchandise can be used to incentivise different levels of fundraising or to send to participants as a 'thank you' for taking part!

When looking at how to use merchandise to support your fundraising event, you'll need to consider things like budget and ease of distribution, but here's our round-up of some of the best ideas out there:

1. £1 Trolley Keyrings

Ever found yourself overloading your basket because you didn’t have £1 for the trolley? We bet most people have! That’s why these keyrings are a game changer. Not only are they incredibly useful, but your brand will be a regular reminder to your supporters after the event too. How’s that for cost effectiveness?!

2. Face Coverings

Everyone needs one at the moment, so face coverings are an easy win. Plus, they can spread awareness of your charity when your supporters are wearing them too.

3. Pin badges

Lightweight, small and durable, pin badges are a great choice for bulk buying. With so many different varieties, you can definitely find something to suit your budget.

4. Cotton Shoppers

Most cotton shoppers have a good quality feel to them and given that they’re a replacement for plastic bags, they’re perfect for eco-conscious charities and supporters.

5. Cotton or Tech T-shirts

T-shirts are great for uniting your tribe. Wearing a branded t-shirt can really make someone feel like they’re part of an event, which is useful when real life events are unable to go ahead. Get your supporters tagging you in their event pictures wearing your branded t-shirts to share the love!

6. Water Bottles

Similar to cotton shoppers, these sorts of bottles have a quality and long-lasting feel to them so they’re great if you’re promoting your charity’s commitment to sustainability. Plus, the more reusable bottles there are out there, the less plastic there is and it’s always good to do your bit for the planet.

7. Swimming Caps

Probably more useful if your event involves swimming (!), these caps are another great way of sending your supporters wearable merchandise.

 8. Wooden Medals

Any sort of medal or trophy is a triumphant way of celebrating your supporters’ achievements and saying ‘well done’, but medals tend to be more cost-effective and easier to distribute, whilst still being able to apply your charity’s branding. We reckon people love a medal and often keep them on display for bragging rights.

9. Buffs

Neck buffs can be used as part of any outdoors event, either to protect against the heat or keep warm in the cold. Whether it’s road cycling, mountain biking or even ski-ing, a neck buff will be a useful addition to any participant’s kit.

10. Doggy Bandanas

There’s too much cuteness to even mention with these doggy bandanas! With so much wearable merchandise for humans, it’s only fair that our four-legged friends get in on the action too. And think of all the adorable pictures.

We hope that this has given you a bit of inspiration with what to use for your next charity fundraising event, whether it’s virtual or in-person. We know there’s always lots to think about when you’re planning any sort of event, so if you’d like a bit of extra support from us, we’d love to help. Just drop us a line:

The sun was shining, the players were buzzing and the cider was flowing. What else could it be but the London Charity Softball League finals day?!

Bluestep were thrilled to sponsor this year’s games, which kicked off in May and resulted in a nail-biting final.

Each year, 80 charities take part in the softball games, which are played in Hyde Park, London, to compete for the prestigious Harris Hill Cup. Mind were the overall charity winners of the 2019 Cup, with The Foodfighters (Fair Share UK and ACF UK) winning the Bluestep Shield and Business in the Community winning the Harris Hill Plate. Well done guys!

It’s been a summer of trash talk, Twitter .gifs and Love Island giveaways and, most of all, laughs. Bluestep’s Charity Account Manager, Kendra Daly says “Each year we sponsor this awesome event and each year it’s all about having some fun with our fab charity clients.

It’s so nice be able to facilitate the event as we can be part of all the banter and camaraderie which is so important for everyone working in the charity sector.”

Bluestep sponsored the food and various competitions throughout the season as well as filming finals day so that the video can be used as a memento for all participants and hopefully it’ll build the buzz for teams next year! #PlayBall!

You know your stuff, so you already get why video can work powerfully throughout the ‘Flywheel’ (the upgrade on the HubSpot funnel approach) to attract, engage and delight supporters.

You’ve seen how video, for the most part, generates more engagement on social media. You also know the importance of continually optimising and testing your content. So that’s great, but video takes time to develop and doesn’t come cheap. Or does it?

Animation is a quick way to create more video content and in particular, micro-animations (5 to 15 second animated clips), allow you to create and test bite-size content to see what resonates the most with your audience. From there you can build on the most well-received concept.

Here’s how some of our charity clients have used micro-animations to great effect:

Hospice UK

Hospice UK needed a fun way to engage their followers on social media for various events through the year. They recognised the relationship-building value a simple ‘Thank you’, ‘Good luck’ or ‘Congratulations’ can have with their supporters and those were exactly the messages we used to create three different, but cohesive micro-animations. Here’s an example of how they congratulated their supporters after the Virgin Money London Marathon earlier this year.

It’s also an effective means of promoting bespoke events, as two of our charity clients have recently demonstrated in a rather colourful way!

King’s College

Evelina London Children’s Hospital (part of King’s College) challenged schools to hold a ‘Get Colourful’ dress-down day to join in their 150th birthday celebrations to help make a difference to thousands of children. Some unique characters were created for the animation to tell the story, with some simple messaging and a call-to-action at the end. Besides using the animation across their social media, they also made use of the design within their event landing page.


Royal Air Forces Association

Royal Air Forces Association needed a punchy micro-animation to help promote their RAFA Colour Chaos charity run. It was important to include key messages around the event to help educate the viewer about what makes the race unique, point them to the social conversation with the hashtag and also direct them to sign-up. The hero of this creation was the animation of the event logo with some cheeky music and well-timed motion graphics rounding things off.

So what are you waiting for? Start animating your social and web content and start to see those views and engagement increase!

Bluestep Charity Account Manager and technology enthusiast, Sarann Buckby, takes a look at some of the latest innovations we're obsessed with.

From Alexa to contactless payment and even paying with contactless jewellery! Sarann gives her thoughts on how charities, in particular, can make the most of these technologies to engage with audiences and boost donations. Here are her pearls of wisdom...

“A recent report by Blackbaud Europe reveals that the public’s appetite for giving to UK charities through online and mobile increased by 5.5% over 2018, despite a decrease in donations overall. Technology continues to fundamentally change consumer behaviour across the board, whether it’s foregoing the high street to shop online (and now even within an Instagram Story) for the best possible deal, ditching coins and paying for parking on your phone or asking Alexa for an update on the weather and news.

As always this presents organisations, including charities, with opportunities to reach their audience in increasingly relevant and convenient ways. Here’s what’s making news when it comes to making online giving a cinch:

Donation stickers on Instagram Stories

With half a billion people engaging in Instagram Stories every day and user donations on Facebook exceeding $1 billion according to Facebook’s Q4 report announcement, it’s a no-brainer that Instagram recently released a donation sticker. It can be added to a Story allowing supporters to donate directly to the cause without leaving the platform. 100% of the money raised through the donation sticker goes to the charity.

The bad news? It’s only available in the US at the moment. The good news? The guys at Facebook Social Good say they’re working hard to bring it to more communities in the coming months. Until then, you can get creative with the new and improved camera design including Create Mode which allows users to share information without having to first take a photo or video. Also, take a cue from Forbes contributor Christ Strub and make sure your charity is prepped and ready for when the donation button lands. Some good tips include:

  1. Continue to invest time in creating Instagram Stories highlights (Stories that you can “pin” to your charity’s profile);
  2. Use the swipe-up functionality in Stories to direct your audience to longer-form IGTV content;
  3. Build relationships with influencers;
  4. Schedule Instagram Stories takeovers with some of them;
  5. Get creative with your hashtags and start building Instagram Stories content around these, using the hashtag stickers.

You can also continue to make the most of collecting donations though your Facebook Page donate buttons and ads with Donate call to actions.

It’s a good time to take a step back and think about how you can adapt your social media content strategy to personalise it more based on different user profiles journeys. Then have fun with the existing functionalities (like stickers within Instagram Stories) to engage people further within their journey.

Alexa gets charitable

Amazon’s Alexa is used to being asked things like, ‘Alexa, get me a beer’ to ‘Alexa, how do I boil an egg’. However, now you can say ‘Alexa, open British Heart Foundation and donate money’ or ‘Alexa, ask the British Heart Foundation to collect my furniture.’

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) were the first in the UK to adopt the Amazon Alexa skill which allows for donations using your Amazon Pay account, so you don’t have to enter any payment details for anything up to £250. The BHF reassures users that they can create a passcode to stop anyone else donating via your Alexa.

Other charities like NSPCC are using Alexa to enable voice donations and to help engage families in important awareness campaigns like Talk PANTS.

Voice search is here and growing and it will be an ever-important extension to your existing marketing strategy and campaigns.

Contactless donations

UK contactless spending increased by nearly a third in 2018 to a total of £69 billion, accounting for more than 40% of all card transactions. Payments UK research shows cash transactions are expected to decrease to only 15% of all transactions by 2025.

This is probably not new to most charities but does require an adapted strategy to explore the best technologies available and understand the associated costs and rewards.

The Natural History Museum and seen a rise of 64% in their donation income using eye-catching contactless fundraising boxes from Goodbox and Christian Aid Week will be trialling cashless donations with 500 of the company’s contactless payment units in churches across England and Wales.

Tap to donate…with your jewellery

Another associated trend are contactless wearables like bracelets, wristbands, watches and rings. People seem to love the convenience of ditching their cards and wallets for these more fashion-forward payment options. According to a ComputerWeek report, research done by Mastercard reveals that more than a quarter of UK shoppers are ready to make contactless payments using wearable devices.

The same article cites that the worldwide smart wearables market is expected to be worth $52.5bn by the end of 2024, compared with $16.2bn in 2016. With figures like that, contactless wearables could be a worthwhile and profitable addition to a charity’s online shop.

Easy does it

Technology is ultimately about making people’s lives easier and for charity communication and marketing professionals, innovations like the above make it easier to connect with their audiences in a way that fits seamlessly into their lives. When it comes to understanding your market and creating strategies and campaigns that resonate with them, getting to grips with how they want to donate is key to ensuring your charity remains top of mind.”


If you’re looking to develop merchandise, strategies and campaigns that inspire awareness, action and change with creative solutions that have a measurable impact, get in touch with Charity Account Manager, Sarann Bucky, by sending her an email or calling on 0844 576 0576.”

The Muddy Dog Challenge is the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home flagship event and the UK’s first 2.5k or 5k obstacle course that you can tackle with your furry friend. Whether your canine companion is tackling the tail wagging tunnels or flying through the mutt maze, they’ll have an amazing day raising vital funds for the charity.

The charity already has over 7,400 human and doggie teams signed up to take on the challenge. And a staggering £900k target to smash!

Bluestep are extremely proud to be able to supply all the event materials, ranging from flags and t-shirts, to medals, rosettes and (most importantly!) the dog bandanas for those very special fundraisers.

We can’t wait to hear about the success of the 2019 events and look forward to supporting Battersea for future muddy years to come.

Only 4 out of the 10 events across the UK have taken place to-date, so there’s still time to sign up and get involved. Visit www. to find out more!

Following on from the Virgin Money London Marathon 2019 last weekend, we’re sending out huge congratulations to the event’s charity of the year, the mighty Dementia Revolution. With over 2000 runners and nearly 900 volunteers on the day it’s no wonder they have raised over £3 MILLION for the great cause so far!

Here at Bluestep HQ, we are so proud to have been a part of this fantastic cause, supplying the event collateral (everything from banners and buffs to wigs and cheer sticks) to make each cheer point look fabulous!


Congratulations to all the runners, volunteers and everyone at Alzheimer’s Research UK and Alzheimer’s Society for making the Dementia Revolution happen!

Nowadays there's a ton of ways you can use social media to promote your services. Whilst these options are great for being able to reach a really refined audience, the number of options means that it can be a bit of a minefield when it comes to deciding what to post, where to post it and how best to capture your audience's attention. If you've not got a PhD in social media, it's enough to get your head in a spin!

So we've thoughtfully compiled and condensed our key suggestions and tips to help you find a bit of clarity in the social media storm. We're taking it social media channel at a time. First up: Facebook!

A picture is worth 1000 characters…

Images are key for your social media content. Facebook posts with images actually get double the engagement rates compared to ones without!

Your post doesn’t have to be based around photos or reliant on stock imagery. You can show off a testimonial or advise on clinic times by pasting text into an image. This is a much more visual way of posting on social that grabs your audience’s attention.

If you don’t have existing templates to work off of, there are plenty of free tools out there to create images, such as Canva. (Although as designers we do suggest you try and refrain from Paint!)

When posting your images, remember to make sure:

  1. There’s not too much text on the image
  2. Your image is a decent size (so it isn’t grainy)
  3. You’re sticking to brand guidelines at all times!

Keeping things topical

Struggling with what to post? When creating your Facebook strategy and deciding what to post, it’s great to look at what is going on in the world of social media. You never know when you might catch a relevant world or national day to get involved in!

It doesn’t have to always be directly relevant to what you do, either. Simply being present on your followers’ news feed helps to keep you in the forefront of their mind. Bring out your personality by showing a behind the scenes look into the people in your team. For example, on national doughnut day, treat the office and take a snap of everyone enjoying some sweet goodies. Doughnuts + social content = winner!

Is your info up-to-date?

It’s really important to make sure your information on your Facebook page is up-to-date. Not only is this good for your SEO, it’s actually a popular way that people find out key information about you. Facebook has a lot of functionalities so you can easily put in all the key information that is useful to your audience. From opening times to locations, you’d be surprised how many people use Facebook as the modern-day yellow pages!

Quick Fire Tips

Make sure you’re getting the most out of your Facebook page by following these quick tricks:

1) Events

From education events to support groups, putting these on Facebook is a great way of getting out to the world what you’re up to.

2) Community

Remember to keep an eye on what your visitors are posting and saying about you. It is a great place to answer any questions people may have too. It is always great to show you are responsive!

3) Boosted Posts

Post so good you want to spread it further? Put a few pounds behind one of your social posts, choose your audience and watch your metrics soar!

And if all else fails?

Sometimes social media is just a bit too much to manage with everything else on your plate. You’re busy. We get that. If you’d like us to take a look at how social media could boost your campaigns and maximise your budget then get in touch. We’ll be happy to help.


Social media can do wonders for marketing in general, but we've also seen a rise in the number of Sexual Health Services that are now turning to social media to boost their marketing efforts. Keeping your ROI healthy and targeting specific audiences are just some of the ways in which it can do wonders for your organisation.


Whether it’s bespoke emoticon campaigns or simply co-ordinating some Facebook posts, there are a number of ways in which Sexual Health services are getting in on the social media frenzy to boost marketing efforts. Here are just a few:

Get Your Audience Spot On
Social media advertising allows you to choose exactly who sees your ad, meaning you only pay for getting in front of the people you want. Sexual Health Services usually have a specific demographic in mind for marketing campaigns and have a set budget, so social media is an ideal solution. From age range and location, to interests and shopping behaviours, there are many ways in which you can home in on your ideal target audience.

It’s Cost Effective
Social media efforts are a cost-effective addition to your marketing strategy. It’s free to create an account, and requires little investment compared to other marketing tactics available to you. Given that Sexual Health Services often have little budget to blow on advertising, this enables you to see a greater return on your investments and to make the best use of your budgets.

Prove You’re Getting Your Money’s Worth
Track, track, track! We know that the money-holders always need to see exactly how money is being spent and what benefit it is having and with social, you’re able to track everything. Whether your budget is £50 or £5,000, you can monitor and manage exactly where each penny is going, and what you’re getting in return. From paid campaigns to posts in your feed, social media platforms allow you to see reach, engagement, click through rate, conversions and video specific such as views. This enables for constant tracking and optimisation, as well as tangible results to create even better content in the future!

Don’t just take our word for it!

If you’re looking for proof that social media is the way forward, here’s an overview of a really successful campaign we ran for Lancashire CaSH NHS Foundation Trust:

The Trust approached us to create and implement a series of advertising campaigns across their Facebook page. Their objective was to drive traffic to the CaSH website, with the aim of increasing the uptake 18-25-year olds booking an STI test across the four regions of Lancashire.

To do this, we created a series of fun, eye-catching adverts with a clear CTA that would resonate with the target audience.

As a result, we achieved a reach of over 1 million, thousands of clicks to the landing page and an average cost per click of £0.51.

From Snapchat advertising campaigns to managing your Facebook posts, or if you just need a social media health check,  the Bluestep team are here to help! Give us a call or pop us an email and we’ll have a think about how social media could best serve you.

When the charity Naomi House & Jacksplace came to us with some ideas for an animated Christmas e-card they wanted to send to their supporters, we couldn’t wait to get started!

Animations are definitely on the up and there’s a whole bunch of advantages to using them: they’re easy to understand, they generate increased levels of engagement and therefore lower bounce rates, plus they’re easy to edit and so can be a budget-friendly marketing platform.

Let’s not forget that video in general is a great conversion booster. In fact, Charity Comms found that 74% of charities say that video content provides a good return on investment, video animation is now more popular than ever.

We had previously worked with Naomi House & Jacksplace, who provide support to life limited and life threatened children and young adults, to produce their fundraising event material so we’d got a good understanding of their brand and their message.

As a children’s charity with quite a colourful brand, we wanted to keep the animation childlike with clean lines, simplistic imagery and bold colours. We decided to use a ‘reveal’ style, having trees parting across the screen to show a landscape where a twinkling light draws the eye across the hills to the two hospices (Naomi House & Jacksplace). The music was chosen for its feel-good Christmas film style.

Although the brief began as a 90 second animation, we worked with Naomi House to tailor it and refine the story, reducing it to 45 seconds. This brought it more in line with budgets and ensured it was fit for purpose; essentially to wish people a Happy Christmas. Any longer than that and we risked losing the viewer’s attention.

Even though Christmas is over, we are still getting a warm fuzzy feeling watching this animation. And it seems it had a positive reaction elsewhere too, receiving over 21,000 views on Facebook alone!

Animation can be a perfect way of getting your message across, no matter who your audience is. If you think animation might benefit your organisation then drop us a line and we’ll get our creative juices flowing!


It's been a busy 2018. In fact, we've been through a whopping 40% growth over the past year! Therefore, over the last few months we've been on the hunt for new recruits to help with growing demand and take Bluestep to the next level.

We’re delighted to have welcomed several new faces to the team; Jamie who’s looking after our Sexual Health clients, Sarann who’s come on board to support our charity clients and Charlotte who’s heading up the Bluestep marketing. And watch this space for more budding Bluesteppers in the New Year…

Bluestep Managing Director, Ben Skinner, is incredibly proud of our growth and puts it down to the bunch of talented, passionate people we have working here who go above and beyond to keep our amazing clients happy.

“As a fully integrated agency offering marketing and design services across the board, we re pretty much a one-stop-shop for new business, and are able to add value to our existing clients,” he says. “Everyone at Bluestep is such an enthusiastic spirit and for us, it’s all about having a driven and skilled team to deliver our clients’ visions. Our goal of creating a world class marketing and design agency continues!”

Support Adoption for Pets, working with the retail giant Pets at Home, is an amazing charity who “believes that every homeless pet deserves a second chance at happiness”.

They’re a charity we are incredibly proud to work with and so we were delighted when they asked for our support to come up with ideas for their Christmas 2018 Santa Paws campaign.

We have worked with the charity for several years, supporting them with their summer scratch card campaigns. We’ve produced things like keyrings, magnets, floating pens and other incentives to increase sales of their fundraising scratch cards.

As part of the winter 2018 campaign, we created some branded doggy bandanas which were distributed to each of the 450 Pets at Home stores nationwide.

We also created a festive Christmas jumper for their store colleagues to wear throughout December. With 6,500 sweatshirts distributed, you may well see a colleague sporting one when you next take your pooch to the Groom Room.

We are really pleased with the sweatshirts and bandanas and so are our furry (and human) friends below!

Briefs are so important (and not the underwear sort, although they’re important too).

A clear and detailed brief can be the difference between receiving a first draft that makes you huff in frustration or a first draft that makes you smile; between painstaking rounds of amends or nailing it first time.

The thing with any sort of creative work is that it’s subjective and that means there are a million and one ways of interpreting a piece of work and deciding whether or not it’s ‘good’. All designers will think what they’ve produced is great work, otherwise they wouldn’t send it to a client in the first place.

However, whether it meets your objectives or not is a different matter and that’s where your perfect brief will help. Here are a few things to consider when briefing an agency with a new project:

Detail, detail, detail

Give all detail that you think is relevant. This information will help a designer to build a picture in their minds of what you want them to do.

Of course if it’s a simple A5 flyer you’re after with an agency who knows you inside out, you probably don’t need to write 500 pages on your company’s history but essentially, all necessary detail gives your brief context.

Give background information

Why do you need what you’re asking for? Have you done similar projects in the past that/haven’t worked?

This section can also be used to cover the scope and scale of your project, your intended audience, examples of other work you like, what you don’t like and the branding tools (logos, colours, straplines) you want to include, as well as the key decision-makers the designer will need to work with.

What are the objectives?

What is the most important thing that you want this piece of work to say or do? Designers often get briefs from clients asking for 25 messages to be included in the work but told to ‘keep it punchy’.

Most communications pieces can only ever effectively convey three messages: any more and you risk it becoming confusing, chaotic and frankly, not something that your audience is going to get any value from.

If you’re clear about your objectives and your priorities it will help a designer know exactly which the most important aspects are to convey.

Be specific about what you want and when you want it

This is where your deliverables come into play. Is it for web or print? Portrait or landscape? Are there particular dimensions it needs to fill? Do you need different versions creating for additional channels?

When do you need it for? And this doesn’t just mean when is the final deadline but what are your deadlines in order to get there? If you’re on holiday for a week within the project and so will need to feedback before you go, include this. If you know it takes your head honcho two weeks to review anything then buffer this into your interim deadlines.  A project usually requires multiple stages of sign off so it’s best to ensure that everyone has capacity to fulfil their requirements in order to get there.

Talk it out

Always arrange a time with your designer to discuss your brief, even if it’s just over the phone. It allows any questions to be asked and fully considered and may even shed further light on what your overall expectations are and even if there are limitations that might affect your project. It’s far better to address any issues up front, rather than discover them in the nail-biting hours before sign off!


It may look like a bit of effort but getting your brief on point from the off will really help your project in the long-run. Like with all things, you get what you put in.

With that it mind, we’re off to get some salad *sighs pushing cake away*

It seems to be an age-old question that many people and organisations are faced with. Do we go freelance, or do we bring on an agency?

We’ve put together some key differences and information into what both can offer, to help you make a more informed decision. Both are great avenues to go down and neither are a bad choice, it depends more on the nature of your project.

The perk of freelancers is you can be pretty confident they are somewhat of a specialist in their field. If you are seeking some advice on a project, or dedicated help, reaching out to a freelancer is a great idea. In addition, the involvement you take in the creative process is greater. By cutting out project managers and other parties, working with a freelancer means you can closely oversee your work directly with the person bringing it to life.

Using an agency means you will get a team effort and collaborative approach to your project. If it’s creativity and innovation you’re after, the perk of agencies is the diversity of the workforce with different eyes on your project providing a range of opinions and guidance.

Where a freelancer may experience creative blocks and struggle from time to time, an agency has the ability to bounce ideas off each other to come up with a range of creative solutions.

Agencies often provide dedicated account and project managers, allowing for stellar organisation throughout your project. What’s more, with an agency, you have the freedom to go back at a later date and add to your campaign in different areas. The agency will be familiar with the brand, tone of voice and how it fits into what has been done previously.

Ultimately, our advice is to do your research and weigh up the considerations needed to make your project a success.


1. Size of project

Agencies will often come with dedicated account managers, so you know that the project is in safe hands. We recognise that with a large-scale project, such as a full marketing campaign, it can be very time consuming if you try and manage this through freelancers. On the flipside, if you need a quick-fix or a very specific project, a freelancer is a great choice to provide you with what is needed.

2. Project deadline

If you are on a tight turn around and need the work fast, this can influence the  decision between agency and freelance. Being reliant upon a solo freelancer does come with its risk if you have caught them in a busy period. That’s not to say that agencies don’t have busy periods, however the higher number of people involved means that of ten others can pick it up and it can be managed better in a short amount of time.

3. Your Budget

Freelancers will often be more cost-effective and flexible. If your budget is super tight, a freelancer may be your answer. However, that is not to say that agencies won’t be flexible in their pricing, they just have more elements, like overheads, to consider. Even with agencies, there can be a sizeable difference between a large and small organisation when it comes to how they operate. Larger agencies may result in them outsourcing the work themselves, so you end up paying for the freelancer work and the middleman!

The Who, What, When, Where and How we helped to support Macmillan with the World's Biggest Coffee Morning, including some lovely 'mmm' cake bunting.

The Brief

Macmillan came to us for the second year in a row for help refreshing the components of their fundraising pack for the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning, one of the most high-profile fundraising events in the charity calendar.

With an already-iconic brand and recognisable design, it meant thinking outside the box for some fun ideas to get people excited for their cake sales.

And not only that, the order was for over 1.5 million units!

The Solution

After a bit of head scratching we came up with the idea of adding some lovely ‘mmm’ cake bunting to the components of the fundraising pack. A nice way to tart up a tarte!

We also provided badges, table cloths, cake flags and hanging bunting on the mass scale that was required!

Thanks to our transparent supply chain, rigorous due diligence and commitment to ethical sourcing, Macmillan could rest assured that their fundraising packs were in safe and moral hands.

The Results

Macmillan have raised over £13.5million to-date (October ’18) as part of the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning and we can’t help but feel proud to have played a part in such an integral event for the charity.

As well as successfully meeting the brief for a pack refresh, we ensured Macmillan got their 1.5 million items ethically produced and shipped on time and to budget.

Right, now who’s for a cuppa….

May has arrived! We are inching closer to summer, the GDPR deadline is looming, but for Senior Designer Becca, it also brings a month of running.

Across the next 31 days, Becca and two others will be running 110 miles to raise money for the Prostate Cancer Research Centre.

We thought we would sit down with Becca to see how she is getting on so far, and why she chose to do such a great thing for charity.


Who is running alongside you this month?
My boyfriend and his sister.


Why this particular charity?
It is a cause close to all our hearts. My boyfriend and his sister lost their father three years ago. We are doing it in memory of him and to help support other men and their friends and family who also suffer a diagnosis of Prostate Cancer. We would like to help support research in this area so perhaps at least one less family loses a loved one.


How have you been prepping for your run?
I haven’t really prepped … I did a couple of half marathons last year and have done a few runs since but that is about it! I think I underestimated the mileage!


How many miles?!
110 miles in 31 days. Every year 11,000 men in the UK die because of Prostate Cancer and so we decided to run 110 miles. Because of our daily commitments, we decided to split the mileage between us. 36.6 each. 1.2 miles a day.


How do you keep motivated when you’re out running?
A good Spotify playlist! And finding downhill routes!! The reason for running is always at the forefront of my mind. When I feel like I want to stop or I struggle to put my trainers on in the morning, I remind myself who I am doing it for and all the kind donations we have received already!


How do you relax post run?
A good bath and bath bomb!


How are you planning to celebrate when you’ve finished?
I can’t wait to tell PCRC how much we have raised! I might give up running for a month too …


Do you have a favourite running playlist?
There are a couple of Spotify ones. ‘Every UK Number One: 2018’ and ‘Feel Good Friday’ … you should check them out!


Would you rather run a mile in heels or run 10 barefoot?
100% barefoot! I can’t walk 110 yards without my feet hurting in heels.


Where can people sponsor you?
You can sponsor us here. Please donate if you can. Every donation helps us towards the achievable target we have set.

All three of us seriously urge any male aged 40 or over to go and get checked! If that is your donation to the cause, then that is enough for us!

Here’s to the rest of May!

Keep your eyes for Becca’s progress updates here on the blog and over on our social media!

Hot off the press!

We are delighted to share one of our latest projects with you. We were recently approached by the Royal Parks Trust to create a booklet for their calendar of events 2018, and we love the result!

Bluestep have worked with the fabulous Royal Parks team for the past couple of years now and have created the charity’s events booklet three years running, as well as posters and collection boxes.

The Royal Parks Trust looks after some of the beautiful landscapes within the hustle and bustle of the capital, including the famous Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens and St James’s Park. The foundation exists to protect and conserve 5,000 acres of urban parkland. Here at Bluestep, we are pleased to create something that helps keep this alive and support the work they do.

Every year, the Royal Parks hold a variety of events the whole family can enjoy. From sensory learning experiences for little ones, to wilderness survival skills for those looking to release their inner Bear Grylls. What’s more, the parks give Londoners the opportunity to swap the busy life of the city, with yoga and wellness classes immersed in green and glorious surroundings.

Two Royal Parks Booklets 2018

We wanted to create something that reflects the great work they do, maintaining the spaces for everyone to enjoy for generations to come. We made the booklet light and full of pops of colour, as a nod the beautiful parks.

Easy to navigate, whether you are looking for family activities or fascinating walking tours, the booklet allows everyone to find out how they can make the most of the magical parks.

Next time you’re heading to the capital, be sure to check out the Royal Parks and their events, and keep your eyes peeled for our work whilst you’re there!

2018 has kicked off to a great start here at Bluestep, and the team are going from strength to strength. Here is our list of star January employees who have gone above and beyond. Let’s get to it!

1st Place: Andrew Bremmler

A truly worthy winner of the top spot, Andrew is a fantastic credit to our design team here at Bluestep. Andrew has been powering through design projects and producing creative work to a mega high standard. No project is too small for him and he always gives 110%. Andrew’s creativity has also meant he has been a great input and help to coming up with ideas and creative direction for clients. You can see some examples of his amazing designs in action over on our social media posts.
Andrew also recently bought a home and has just moved into his new abode. Congratulations all round Andrew!

2nd Place: Carl Lewis

January was a big month for Carl, with a huge animation project on his hands (keep your eyes peeled for the release over on our blog!). He got his teeth into it and delivered a fantastic result; the client couldn’t be happier! We are so excited to offer animation here a Bluestep, and Carl has been key in driving this side of the business forward.
Not only is Carl a master of his trade, but his enthusiasm, motivation and a great presence in the office has not gone unnoticed, and he is a great guy to be around. Keep on doing you, Carl!

3rd Place: Harley Jacquest

Achieving a place on the employee of the month spot in December just shows that Harley is consistently a star in the design studio. No matter how busy Harley is, no job is too much for her.
Since joining Bluestep, Harley has been heavily involved in some big projects, building and maintaining great relationships with the people we work with. Harley is a pleasure to be around, and her talent has not gone unnoticed by us and our clients. Fabulous work Harley!

Here in the UK, our weekend was dominated by the Six Nations. But across the pond, it was all about the Super Bowl. Not only is it a big night for the NFL, but it's pretty huge in the advertising world.

As a marketing agency, we love seeing how the big dogs (and sometimes underdogs) make the most of over 100 million eyes watching the game. With a 30 second slot going for an eye-watering 5 million dollars, it’s big business! If you didn’t catch the game, don’t worry. We’ve rounded up the ones we think you should see.


2017 was a huge year for home assistant technology, and 2018 is set to be no different. Amazon chose their device, better known as Alexa, as the focus of their ad. Perhaps with Apple’s own home assistant launch looming, Amazon are hoping to remain at the forefront. With a star-studded cast, the advert follows the story of how Alexa has lost her voice, and how a few familiar faces step in to take her place.

From Gordon Ramsay with his colourful language choices, to Rebel Wilson and her no-frills humour, the advert is a great example of emotional pull in advertising. There is not one mention of the products features, but it doesn’t matter as it (probably) made you laugh and it’s likely you’ll remember it tomorrow.


Doritos & Mountain Dew

This collaborative ad between the delicious corn chip and America’s popular soft drink certainly stole the show. Like Amazon, this advertisement is all about the comedic value and a star-studded cast. Beginning with Game of Thrones’ Peter Dinklage, rapping a famous verse by Busta Rhymes from a 2011 hit ‘Look At Me Now’, to promote the new ‘Blaze’ flavour by Doritos. Who better to respond than Morgan Freeman, giving all the sass as he mimes along to Missy Elliot as he sips his Mountain Dew ‘Ice’.

This ad is a great example of using nostalgia. By featuring popular songs from the past, there is no doubt that people were singing along at home. Music is always a favourite for encouraging viewers to retain ads. People will certainly think of Morgan Freeman (and Mountain Dew) next time Missy Elliot comes on the radio!



Not one to miss out on the action, the National Football League featured their own ad this year. In a climate where you can’t seem to escape politics and controversy (something the NFL has been at the forefront of in 2017) what better time to sprinkle some light-hearted humour on the subject with this minute-long ad.

Featuring two of the leagues big stars, the ad refers to the whacky celebrations that players had been performing when they score a touchdown throughout the season. Here, we see Eli Manning and Odell Beckham, Jr recreating that famous dirty dancing scene, including the perfect lift! At Bluestep, we know how to have a laugh, so we really appreciated the killer moves and that the stars don’t always take themselves too seriously.



Febreze’s ad follows the story of Dave, who’s bleep doesn’t stink. Along the way, we are introduced to various people who explain Dave’s unique phenomenon. Only in the ending scene do we see the product appear. It ties in nicely with the Super Bowl and that many Americans will be hosting their own gatherings to watch the event, and asking ‘is your bathroom ready?’

The campaign’s hashtag #bleepdontstink has had a great response on twitter, even with other brands jumping on the back of it. It is a great reminder that, if it isn’t too forced, a hashtag is a great addition to an ad and keeps the slogan alive.


What can we take away from these adverts? Ok, so while not everyone can afford movie stars to promote their brand, two main takeaways are: don’t push a hard sell and above all,  make people smile.

What did you think of the adverts? What was your favourite?

At Bluestep, we appreciate the power of video & animation. If you want to talk to us about your next campaign, we’d love you to get in touch (Although we might not be able to get Morgan Freeman on board, sorry).


It’s Dementia Awareness week, and whilst the topic of conversation in the office is still very much focused around mental wellbeing, we’re dedicating this week’s blog to Dementia Awareness. Have you seen ‘RemArc’?

A fantastic way to trigger memories in people suffering with dementia, the BCC has pulled a selection of images, sounds and videos from their archives. The content ranges from well-known events, sport, TV & radio across the 1930s through to the 2000s.

Users can navigate through different themes and decades, and choose from either audio or visual to help recall memories from their golden years.

Dementia can cause sufferers’ memories to be wiped up to every 10 seconds, yet memories from earlier years (typically ages 14-40) remain intact.

The BBC Archive Department are confident there’ll be something in their archive that triggers reminiscence for someone out there. Sometimes it can be the smallest detail that can help trigger a flood of memories.

This is a lovely, positive reflection on a hard-hitting issue that can affect so many, including the families and friends of those suffering.