Assorted advertising news, opinion and insight from Toast. We look at industry news and future trends in TV Advertising and Branded Content. Toast is an Advertising and Branded Content Agency based in London.

Branded Content Featured /

Animated Marketing Videos: Engage, Educate, Convert

Marketing directors worldwide ask themselves: How do I get my brand noticed? Grabbing your audience's attention is the first challenge in marketing. So, how do you get your brand noticed if you’re a marketing director? Marketing has evolved beyond traditional methods to cater to the changing preferences of consumers. Animated videos in marketing have emerged as a highly effective tool for engaging, educating, and converting audiences. We’ll look at some of the benefits of using animated videos and explore the reasons behind their success.

Advertising on YouTube in the UK

In the UK digital advertising landscape, YouTube has emerged as a dominant digital platform for advertisers to reach targeted audiences. Youtube has a vast user base and targeted adverting options. Businesses can use the potential of YouTube advertising in the UK to grow market share. The popularity of Youtube in the UK is a critical factor influencing a company's marketing strategy. We’ll look in detail at Advertising on Youtube in the UK. We’ll explore the factors that impact budgets and provide data for you to make decisions.
Featured Video Production /

Using the Power of Video to Promote Company Culture

Businesses worldwide recognise the paramount importance of fostering a positive company culture. A strong company culture enhances employee engagement and productivity. Equally, company culture plays a significant role in attracting potential customers. And a well-documented company mission is now essential when hiring new employees. One powerful tool that has emerged as a game-changer in encouraging employees and promoting company culture is video.
Advertising Featured /

The Potential of Advertising on Netflix: A Game-Changer

Updated 24th July 2023. Amongst the streamers, only some platforms have achieved Netflix's popularity and cultural impact. With millions of subscribers worldwide, it has become the go-to platform for binge-watching. Netflix captivates audiences with its diverse library of original content. Update: Netflix has removed its basic plan in the US & UK for new or rejoining customers. The company is trying to draw more viewers into either paying for the full plan or watching the ad-supported version of Netflix. Netflix advertising still frame of app interface The platform has so far succeeded with a subscription-based model. But with an increasing debt pile, Netflix has had to look for new funding streams. Advertising on Netflix is an exciting prospect.
Advertising Featured /

Pitch Perfect: How to get the best from your pitch process

Coming into 2023, creative agencies across the UK have faced a tough period with demand for services. The effect of the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, supply chain disruption and the cost-of-living crisis can be seen across our industry. Most agencies are used to pitching competitively, but as we respect the need for clients to engage with multiple agencies on a brief, us agencies also expect to be respected for the time, effort and resource that goes into an agency pitch process. Especially in the current market we find ourselves in. So, we thought we’d share our top tips on pitch best practices…
Featured Healthcare /

Healthcare Podcasts, creating connections with company audiences

I recently shared a cab to an Awards “Do” from Waterloo with a couple of people from the Pharmaceutical industry. During the course of the short cab ride, they shared their pain points when it came to healthcare industry comms – the common litany of expense, time constraints, and a dearth of knowledge on how best to deploy digital comms. A question they asked of me was what I thought was the most effective (and cost-effective) medium for communicating information internally. And I had to say that, in the B2B sector at least, the Podcast might well win this accolade.
Advertising Featured /

Cinema Advertising – is the big screen glittering again?

Cinema advertising is a powerful way to reach a captive audience of moviegoers. With large screens, comfy seats and loads of leg room the cinema experience is fantastic. Cinema advertising is an effective way to promote your brand. Cinema-going numbers are recovering well after they stumbled during COVID. 2021 saw a 48% increase over the previous year, and the recovery continued in 2022 with a 110% increase.

Blockbuster cinema numbers are back

In the UK, Super Mario Bros: The Movie had a stellar opening weekend making £8.7m from screenings at 720 locations around the UK. The three-day weekend opening out-paced Sonic The Hedgehog 2, which took £5m in April 2022. 
Featured TV Advertising /

Working with the best In house Ad Agencies

Businesses, like individuals, work in all sorts of ways. Some are gregarious and outgoing; they work well with others. In contrast, others are introverted and like to keep things internal. The methods that companies use to handle their marketing efforts are equally diverse. Some companies like to work with an external agency for some things and keep others in-house – social content is a frequent candidate for internal oversight to ensure the social media monster is fed regularly and cost-effectively. Here's a list of just a few in house agencies in the UK.
  • Unilever - U-Studio
  • No7 - BHive
  • Specsavers - In House Creative
  • BBC - BBC Creative
  • Google - Google Creative Lab
  • Channel 4 - 4creative
  • Lego - The Lego Agency
  • Oatly - In House Creative
  • Deloitte - 368
  • TSB - kindred TSB
  • Shelter - In House Creative
  • Pernod Ricard - The Mix
  • 3 Mobile - In House Creative
  • Sainsbury's Bank - In House Creative
  • Kraft Heinz - The Kitchen
Featured TV Advertising /

The Advantages of TV Advertising

Updated July 2023

What are the advantages of TV advertising?

  • TV Advertising builds trust
  • Advertising boosts sales
  • Adverts on TV are full screen, not fighting for screen space
  • TV reaches a vast audience
  • TV advertising results can be tracked
  • Small brands can get into TV advertising on digital channels
  • TV adverts benefit from second-screening
Featured News TV Advertising /

Brand Response Vs Direct Response Advertising

still from a BVOD advertising campaign
How to create a successful Brand Response Campaign. What's the right balance between brand awareness and direct response advertising? A question we're regularly asked over here at Toast and an interesting one to explore and answer…

The rise of Brand Response Advertising

Brand response marketing provides a seamless blend of Direct Response and Brand Advertising delivered through a single campaign, attracting people with a compelling narrative (brand marketing) and securing their attention with a call to action (direct response advertising).
Featured TV Advertising /

A TV Advertising Campaign – is it time?

Marketing budgets in the UK have increased at the strongest rate since Q2 of 2014… But what’s driving that increase? In our latest blog we review the latest TV advertising statistics, data and trends that have shaped the TV advertising market over the past year. For most, a brand's advertising journey starts with press, digital, door drops, radio and OOH advertising. But that only works for so long. Sooner or later, most hit a ceiling and once that happens, a television advertising campaign is often a crucial next phase in their marketing-driven growth.
Featured News /

On the road to sustainable video production

Toast is looking at ways to reduce the impact of our video productions on the climate. We're looking at a selection of previous projects to gauge the carbon footprint of each. We plan to benchmark these projects and work on ways to become a more sustainable video production company.

Is Outsourcing Advertising the best way?

Brands are looking for more control over their advertising output. Is bringing creative in-house better than outsourcing advertising? Or is there a third way?

In-house Advertising Team

We all still remember the PR car-crash, which piled up around the Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad. The campaign was supposed to be an example of edgy advertising crafted by an in-house team. In the driving seat that fateful day was Kristin Patrick, senior VP-global brand development. Mr Jakeman, President of PepsiCo Global Beverage Group, praised the ad on Twitter shortly after it was released. Saying he was “super proud of the @PepsiCo #CreatorsLeague for producing this.” The tweet got deleted swiftly afterwards.
Featured News /

Will this Facebook Boycott make a difference?

Is the social media giant's myth starting to unravel? The idea behind Facebook is great - anything posted to their network is pretty much the responsibility of the poster. They do have checks, but they're sometimes automated or often in reaction to another user's complaint. This freedom to post to has made Facebook the perfect location for anyone looking to promote hate or a hateful message. Some see the unfettered ability to broadcast a message with the likelihood that those messages will go unaltered as freedom of speech.

4 Ways to Make Your Video Budget Go Further

Video production is complicated by nature. You’ve got pre-production, shooting, and post-production — each stage with its interlocking series of tasks that need to be planned and executed. So when you’re embarking on a new video shoot, it’s easy, perhaps even natural, to feel overwhelmed and get anxious about the video budget. video budget Fear not, because there are tried and true ways to ensure your video budget goes the distance. Here’s a list of four really good ones:

Does lockdown mean cheap TV advertising?

A healthcare emergency

Coronavirus is a healthcare emergency that has changed the world and will affect the future of individuals and businesses for years to come. Sadly Coronavirus has already taken the lives of friends and relatives. There will be few among us that aren’t personally affected by loss once the virus has been either contained or has run its course. We take a brief look at how the lockdown has affected the advertising market.

Animation Styles and Animation Process

With live-action production all but impossible in these tumultuous times, we here at Toast thought it might be useful to talk about other options for promoting your product, brand or company.

Animation for advertising

We turn our attention to animation. Some dos and don’ts, the process, the cost, the advantages and the disadvantages. And finally, some animation packages that we can offer here at Toast should you be interested in going down this route. The crucial moment during the process of developing an animation is in the initial stages where you’re considering what animation styles you’re going to adopt. Budget can be a deciding factor; character and 3D animation cost more than say 2D animation.
Featured TV Advertising /

Addressable TV & Advanced TV in the UK

The Americans are coming

Sometimes a new platform or craze lands and everyone scrambles around for information on how to monetize it or just how to jump on the band-wagon. It happened a few years ago with AR & VR, London was a buzz with startups looking to exploit the new tech. Now it’s happening again with advanced TV. One of the first stages in a new phenomenon are the calls from our American cousins looking to partner with local London businesses to get their feet under the table early. At Toast, we’ve now had two such calls, from American startups looking to expand into the UK market with platforms that are already up and running in the US. We’ve been doing our research into addressable TV in the UK, read on to see what we’ve found.
Featured TV Advertising /

Advertising Rules and Regulations

A big part of our job in TV advertising is clearing adverts to go on air. Mostly this is a straight-forward process of proving legal claims and making sure adverts are appropriate for the viewing public. Advertising rules and regulations in the UK are run by an organisation called Clearcast.

Clearing an ad full of orgasms

Sometimes things are a little more tricky. Below is the response we received to a rough-cut submitted to Clearcast -the UK TV Advertising clearing organisation. The advert was to be shown once on late-night Channel 4 and was used to promote the Aids awareness charity - Frontline Aids (Formerly - International HIV/AIDS Alliance)
Featured News TV Advertising /

Amazon has the power to dominate Addressable TV

We look to the future of Addressable TV and ask the question. “Are all the cards falling into place for Amazon?” Back in the summer, TechCrunch ran an article about an Amazon job posting which was initially titled: “Head of Free to Air TV & Advertising.” After a bit of tweaking by Amazon, the job listing became: “Head of Prime Video Channels Free To Air TV & Advertising TV Partner Channels.” This job title clearly wasn’t going to fit on a business card so was changed to: “Head of Prime Video Partner Channels”. Notice the omission of “free to air” in the final title? Is Amazon planning to launch a free ad-funded version of Prime Video?

Addressable TV, the new Amazon store front?

Running ads on a free streaming version of Prime Video and knowing who is viewing the adverts. Plus having access to years of their most intimate buying habits could be Amazon’s winning hand.

Clutch Identifies Toast as a Leading Advertising & Video Production Agency in the UK

Toast is a talented team of video production and advertising specialists, dedicated to helping your business creatively stand out from your competitors. We specialise in branded content, television commercial production, television media buying, and motion graphics. We know what works to elevate your brand, and we’re not afraid to scare you a little if it will help your business succeed.

These are the reasons we decided to join Clutch, an online platform whose mission is to identify the best B2B agencies and help them to be seen by buyers who need their services. Clutch publishes validated reviews from clients who have worked with the agencies listed on their site. The reviews, along with an internal evaluation of each company’s market presence, are what form their rankings and enable some companies to be listed above others.

Featured News Video Production /

Video Production – State of the Art 2018

Toast is a branded content agency based in London, we've put together this infographic that looks at the cameras, computers, drones and storage all used in the production of video and animations. We've compared some of the gear used now to the kit used way back. video production infographic preview

The GoPro is a staple of any video kit bag and with its quality-improving every year GoPro footage can be seamlessly edited into any production. Cameras have also got smaller and lighter, using a DigiBeta Cam years ago would give you toned arms and a strong back, now a DSLR can be thrown about all day.

Drones have also been a great leap in video production values, if you need a quick aerial shot just throw up a drone, no more waiting around for an expensive helicopter to turn up. Computers have probably changed the most with a desktop computer able to edit 4K footage and render stunning 3D visuals, the technology really is empowering the creatives. The advances in production gear is also having great benefits in filming. DRTV adverts with smaller budgets than traditional brand adverts can now leverage some of the best new lightweight cameras to increase production values. The infographic covers many other bits of Video Production tech, take a look.
Featured News TV Advertising /

GDPR and Digital Advertising

GDPR and Digital Advertising, is GDPR the big shakeup that will change the world of targeted advertising? A recent survey by W8 concluded that GDPR will make 75% of UK marketing data obsolete. “Data” is a dirty word. We have all been probably, shocked and surprised by just how many companies have our information on their databases, as the flurry of “Don’t Leave Us” emails hit our inboxes. Many customers have a nagging feeling that there is something sinister about all this data mining that routinely takes place when we shop online. Companies have shared and made money from our data for years. GDPR if anything has forced business to look at the key relationship factor with their customers – TRUST.

Brand Safety – Is your brand safe?

The Brand Safety issue is a big subject in the media right now and doesn’t look like it’s going away soon. For brands and organisations, it’s a reputational nightmare. You make some entertaining and informative video content and suddenly you get calls asking why your video is linked to or surrounded by other content that is extremist, offensive, pornographic, or at its simplest just contrary to your own brand’s ethics and values. For example, you are a family brand selling healthy cereal and you find yourself linked with a very explicit lyrics and imagery from the band Cradle Of Filth, famous for their songs that are violent, sexist, and overtly sexual. That’s a PR disaster that is none of your doing but the problem is you are now in damage limitation mode.

Drone Delivery the Future of Toast

London is bewildering in its levels of culinary creativity. A gourmet crisp shack, pop up potato joint and grilled cheese sandwich shop all exist within the media haven of Soho. A new hire at Toast, Harry Harryman was quick to point this out. He jumped to work immediately, capitalising on this booming trend. Partly transforming our video production shop into a street food business with a difference – a drone delivery food service. Toast introduced the next step in “snack UX” – drone food delivery Toast.

The next unicorn?

Once rumours of the project leaked out we came under intense interest from various parties in venture capital land. Quotes about the project are too numerous to mention. It reminded all at Toast of the now-famous “project ginger” from a few years back. We were about the change the food delivery landscape forever, our drone delivery idea was to be revolutionary. Toast invited investors to London for secret demos a few months after starting up. Then the service ran in stealth mode for about 6 months. We experienced problems in secretly beta testing the service in a built-up area. We found a new location, Frenchman Flat Nevada after initial scouting. It seemed a good location given its secret nature and numerous abandoned building structures. We later ruled out ex-nuclear testing site Frenchman Flat as the drone rotors had a tendency to stir up ground dust which would be a health risk.
Featured TV Advertising /

Planning a brand video production

So, you have a great product or service. Maybe you’re a new-to-market challenger brand wanting to take on the big boys and win? You do your research and everyone in marketing with any intelligence is telling you to setup a brand video production. Because more people engage with brands and share video than any other form of content. If content is king, then video is God. Video Production gear
Featured TV Advertising /

Test TV Advertising

New to Advertising? Why Not Run A Test TV Ad?

So you have a great product or service and you want the best way to let people all about it. Then TV advertising is the best choice and will certainly outperform your online marketing in terms of trust, target audience and crucially the bottom line.
And right now making your first TV advert and getting it on air on the right channels for the right audience has never been more affordable, simple and effective in terms of ROI. In fact we have a unique offer that allows you to Test the water with your first TV Ad and measure its effectiveness.
Featured News TV Advertising /

How to drive traffic to your website

A Case Study of

If you're like startup Tootle, a new challenger and you want to drive traffic to your website where do you start? They aim to disrupt the £45 billion UK used car selling market. Tootle matches private car sellers to car dealers wanting to source specific cars directly from the public. By streamlining the sales process and removing middlemen, they aim to drive better prices and a smoother experience for both sellers and dealers. toy woman standing next to toy car