Open: A year in Play-doh

Friday, December 23rd, 2016

So, goodbye 2016.


It’s certainly been… a year.


But come on – it hasn’t all been bad.


There have been some good moments. And at Open’s Christmas Party last week, we were asked to re-create our most memorable (work-related) moments in the most nostalgically stinky of all modelling clays – Play-doh!


Here’s a quick run-down of our favourites:


There was the afternoon in November when our part-time Studio cat managed to sneakily stick her whole face into the icing of an unattended birthday cake…




How about when 100% unofficial Clare-Balding-lookalike Liz met the ACTUAL Clare Balding in the office car park and it made her life?




Oh dear. The fateful day that Nicki walked to Angel and her ankle fell off. At least she now has a snazzy bright pink plaster cast to show for it. Get well soon Nicki!




One of my top moments of 2016 – when Open copywriter Alfie won ‘best in show’ at I Wish I’d Thought of That. He talked about putting happiness at the heart of your fundraising – something that very clearly resonated with everyone in the room. Well done Alfie!




This year saw Open’s inaugural pancake ‘Toss Off’ for Terrence Higgins Trust – an event that spawned the mammoth ‘Elvis’ pancake. This multi-layered, calorific creation was demolished by Simon King – from one hungry King to another!




And of course – the winning moment, the one that tops them all, the one that will go down in Open history, that shall become legend.


Tom’s Cow Poem at Open’s Birthday party.




We can’t quite repeat the poem in it’s entirety for you here on this fair blog, but it was weird, and it was funny – and it made us all laugh. Thanks Tom!


So here’s to 2017.


May there be many more moments we can mould into silly shapes…



No one should have no one at Christmas…

Monday, December 12th, 2016


I wanted to share this with you as I think it’s a beautiful image.


MissUnderground is one of my favourite Instagram accounts.


So I was dead proud to see that today’s image featured a campaign that we had a hand in.


And as a direct response fundraiser, even more pleased to see that the call to action was reproduced in the copy.



Paul de Gregorio

IWITOT pride…

Thursday, December 1st, 2016



IWITOT is always a special day at Open, but yesterday was extra special for a couple of reasons.


Firstly, we’re all beaming with pride at the two Open staff who spoke at the event. Both Fiona and Alfie were incredible and Alfie winning the public vote made us all extremely proud.


And secondly, we avoided a crisis by playing to our strengths…


As we’re making more moving pictures for our clients, our studio took on the task of live streaming the event this year. We set up our big and expensive camera equipment – only to be foiled by the Amnesty firewall in the hour before the event was due to go live.


So we did what we’ve done quite often over the last few years.


We got our phones out.


If you were watching yesterday’s incredible event on YouTube, it was being broadcast over 4G via Claire’s iPhone, which had been hastily strapped to a tripod in our hour of need!


We talk a lot at Open about how mobile phones should be central to the provision and delivery of content that brings the amazing work our clients do to life, and yesterday just proved their singular power and flexibility.


So watch this space – because early in 2017 we will be launching products that will connect our clients’ amazing stories with their donors.


The whole of IWITOT 16 is available here to watch. Enjoy!


Paul de Gregorio