Custom boards: get people into your brand

Custom face in hole boards

Custom face in hole boards steal the show across the country

Want to get people into your brand? You can – literally – with the ultimate marketing tool: a custom branded face in hole board. The public love to interact with it and take memorable photos that get shared online – with your brand all over the board. It’s a simple idea that time and again has proven highly effective. What’s not to like?

Here are a few of the custom boards we’ve made recently. These are all now out there in use, promoting brands and causes for a small financial outlay. They are weatherproof and hard wearing, so they can be brought out again and again for multiple events.

Custom branded face in hole board

… but sometimes events are one-offs by their very nature. We made this one for a major book launch in Brighton: Bestseller Peter James’s Want You Dead. The location was appropriate for a book launch: The British Airways i360 tower on Brighton’s seafront. While they waited for their copy of the crime thriller to be signed by the author, fans could step into character and be photographed in the board.

Spaceman photo cutout board

This one was for fire and security systems company Schrack Seconet to use at an industry expo. The boards are brilliant at conferences and exhibitions because they draw visitors to your stand.

Rollercoaster face in the hole board

We made this board to support a promotion by Cussons Carex, who were offering half price entry to Alton Towers Resort with special packs of their product. The hashtags for the promotion are featured on the board to get people sharing on Twitter and Facebook.

Mammoth face in hole board

Sea View Beach Cafe on West Runton Beach in Norfolk have been getting a lot of marketing mileage out of this board. Customers and public love to pose in it and get their photos taken. West Runton Beach has just been awarded Blue Flag status. They are proud of it and not afraid to make lots of noise about it to attract visitors! We’re happy to have helped promote their business.

That’s just a small selection of the boards out there right now promoting businesses. Tell your marketing department about photocutouts.co.uk or call us on 08450 570321 to start designing a promotional board for your company.

www.photocutouts.co.uk

office@connectedshopping.com

 

Smile, you’re on Photo Cutouts!

If you’re appy and you know it …

The BBC ran an article recently about FaceApp, a smartphone app that changes faces in photos. A Twitter user called Olly Gibbs visited the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and thought the faces in the portraits looked too solemn and grumpy. So he brightened them up with FaceApp!

FaceApp smile generator
Photo: OLLY GIBBS

You can see the rest of the results in the BBC article.

FaceApp can make the person in the photo smile, increase or decrease their age, and even change their gender! The results are usually very good, but can be frankly disturbing if you change gender or make an old person young. So its best and most reliable use is to add smiles to photos.

It might be useful if your face in hole board photos don’t quite work or were captured at the wrong moment. Since our photo cutout boards are all about faces, we thought we’d try out the app!

The original photo is on the left and the processed version is on the right.

Smile photo cutouts

The subject here might not have smiled because the man in the painting (American Gothic) isn’t smiling and he’s acting as his stand-in. But a smile usually win over a grumpy face! (Thought: what would happen if you used the app on Grumpy Cat?)

photo cutouts smiles

Oh dear. The girl on the right looks like she needs cheering up. Let’s give her a grin!

 

Smile grin beam

That’s better!

Of course most people are smiling anyway in our photo boards because they are so much fun. But you never know when this app will come in handy to make it smiles all round.

 

Now here’s an image of three more grumpy people we cheered up with the app.

face in the hole boards make you smile

No, wait, that’s the original image! They were just really enjoying themselves.

See our range of photo cutout boards at www.photocutouts.co.uk

Call us on 08450 570321

Email office@connectedshopping.com

Face-in-hole technique: getting it right

As you know, we make boards with holes cut out so people can put their faces through them. This creates an illusion in which they magically become a character in a funny scene. What we have found over our many years in this business is that the photo results can vary depending on how you put your face in the hole. But, you may ask, why should this be? Is there a special technique? Putting your face in a hole isn’t hard, is it?

Well, no. But there are various factors to consider in trying to get the best overall effect. To illustrate these, let’s look at a few face-in-hole photos that didn’t quite work out, and think about why this might be.

  1. face in hole board techniqueOkay, the clue is in the name. Face-in-hole board. You put your face in the hole. In this case somebody has gone AWOL. Nul points.
    face in hole board face technique not quite right
  2. This is progress. The face in the right is in the hole, but it isn’t in the hole. You can see a lot of daylight around it and the angle is wrong. A kneeling position would have worked better here. Sometimes what goes on behind the board can be as funny as what goes on at the front!

face in hole board hole too big

3. This is not his fault. He’s doing it right, with his chin resting in the bottom of the hole. But the hole is much, much too big (we didn’t make that one). What kind of face would you need to have to fit in that? I mean he’s got his hands in there as well! Does that look like he’s a pirate? No, it looks like a child’s little head in a massive hole where an unfeasibly massive pirate’s face should be.

We try to cut our face holes just right, with smaller face holes if appropriate, and at a suitable height for children.

4. This one isn’t bad at all, but look at the fellow top left. That’s one of the challenges of putting your face in a hole: knowing which way to face. A quick look at the front of the board would have helped here!

Now let’s look at a few good ones to see how it goes when it’s done well.

awesome technique for face in the hole1. Okay, the beard helps and the hair colour happens to be the same, but he has managed to a)  face the right way and b) get his face well into the hole to stop any daylight getting through.  This is face-in-hole technique perfection. Well done that man!

Vintage face in the hole board

2. Here’s a vintage one. Is the hair theirs, or have they just positioned their faces perfectly? Answers on a postcard.

photo board technique

3. Which of these has the better face in hole technique? The lady on the left, of course! She has her chin in there and her face is poking right through. That will look a lot better from the front than the chappie’s effort, which is sort of a half-hearted crouch. Bend your knees and get your chin in there, man!

head in hole board technique

4. These two are doing their best with what they’ve got. On the left, it’s a perfect face -in-hole with no light leakage, the whole face is in there and the illusion works. On the right, the hole is a bit small for him, but he’s at least got as much of his face in there as he can.

Gross out face in hole board

5. Technique here is mostly good, but people come in different shapes and sizes so the perfect face in hole photo is an elusive thing. And we’re sorry about the board. We hope you get over it quickly.

For all your face in hole board needs, email office@connectedshopping.com or call 08450 570321.

www.photocutouts.co.uk 

 

Schools love photo cutout boards!

Remember your school open days? Were they fun? Did they bring the school together? More importantly, did both pupils and teachers – and even the head! – get properly involved and have some fun? What can schools do to make sure their open days are memorable?

A brilliant way of creating a sense of unity at school events is to have a face in hole board with a fun, relevant theme and the school logo, social media addresses and hashtags on it. Here’s an example we’ve just done for a new independent school in Surrey, which they have told us was a ‘huge success.’

Schools face in the hole boards
The children must have loved seeing their teachers-to-be showing their fun side. As they say in their comment here, ‘even the senior management team got involved.’

Here are some of the prospective pupils enjoying the board on Banstead Prep‘s Open Day. Schools love photo cutout boards!

Images reproduced with kind permission from Banstead Prep School.

Head in the hole boards for school open days

The board has turned out to be a great marketing tool for the new school, helping to promote it on social media and create a sense of belonging and togetherness.

wet sponge throwing, schools open days
Wet sponge throwing at people with their faces through the board is guaranteed fun . It needs to be well organised though.

One popular idea – among pupils at least – for established schools is to have a wet sponge session. Because our boards are made of waterproof foamex PVC and printed on acrylic, wet sponges will not cause them any damage. Sometimes even teachers will allow themselves to be wet sponged with their face in the hole!

Everybody has smartphones these days, which means photos of the board will get shared on social media and photo sharing sites like Instagram. The school can post them to their own social media profiles as well, as Banstead Prep have done. What better advert for a school than to share pictures of teachers and pupils having fun?

With Summer fast approaching, it’s time to consider a photo cutout board for your school. It’s a great promotional tool that will create lasting photo memories – and can be used year upon year.

To find out more about our custom photo cutout boards, please visit http://www.photocutouts.co.uk/create-custom-photo-cut-out-boards.htm, email office@connectedshopping.com or call us on 08450 570321.

 

Pop up art gallery a hit at Cambridge University!

face in hole art gallery portraits
The Gallery set up before the event

Our pop up face in hole portrait gallery continued its tour of the country last week with a hire at Jesus College, University of Cambridge. The event was organised by Meet Cambridge, a networking and venue-finding organisation. It was filled with event professionals who thoroughly enjoyed the pop up portrait gallery. It was a great icebreaker and made for some memorable photo opportunities.

Cambridge university face in hole pop up art gallery
It’s a bit tricky to get the head angle just right, especially when you can’t see yourself in the painting! We’re working on this. We plan to put a photo of each painting on the back of the board so that users can see which way to face.

Meet Cambridge love the gallery so much they have shared lots of photos from the event on their social media, and included it in a blog post about using social media at events.

How to use social media at events

 

National Self Portrait Gallery in Cambridge
People just can’t help themselves.
Cambridge University National Self Portrait Gallery
Fun fun fun – and a few conspiratorial looks between historical royalty!

We call it the National Self Portrait Gallery, as a tribute to the selfie craze. It would be quite hard to actually take a selfie when you’re in the picture, but you can always use the timer on your camera, or one of those selfie drones. Most people are content to have their photo taken by someone else. And of course it’s such an unusual thing to have your face in a classic portrait. That’s what makes the photos so good for social media sharing.

We’re very pleased the National Self Portrait Gallery created a buzz at Meet Cambridge’s event. Where will it pop up next? That would be telling! But you’ll surely read about it here.

To find out more about hiring it for your own event, drop us a line at office@connectedshopping.com or call 08450 570321 and ask for Jim or Shelley.

Businesses go photo cutout crazy!

This Spring we have had more orders for photo cutout boards than ever before! Businesses, charities, sports teams and organisations are adding our face in hole boards to their marketing and fundraising activities because of the fun they bring, the photo opportunities, the social media sharing … in short, the buzz. Here are a few examples of the work we’ve done in the last several weeks as the nation’s businesses go photo board crazy!

Autoglass

After a successful board last year, Autoglass asked us to make them another one for the Fleet News Awards at Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London. With a racing theme timed to coincide with the Grand National, this is the design we settled on with them.

photo cutout board for businesses

Royal Veterinary College

The RVC commissioned a board from us for their 2017 Open Day. It encouraged prospective students to ‘step into’ the role of vet, helping them to imagine themselves in the job.

head in the hole board for marketing businesses

And here is the board in action on the RVC’s Twitter feed.

Photo cutout board for open days

Seabrook Crisps

A good example of a hashtag promotion. Seabrook Crisps run a #seabrookselfie campaign and chose us to supply face in hole boards to promote it.

Selfie head in the hole board for marketing

And here it is in use on their social media.

photo cutout promotion, social media

British Psychological Society

The BPS went for a seaside theme for their annual conference in Brighton. Here we’ve taken one of our stock boards (Doris and Dick) and added some branding. That’s a simple way to create a custom branded board.

Doris and Dick traditional seaside face in hole board

 

Brighton Institute for Contemporary Theatre Training

Step into the shoes of dancers with a board used to promote this performing arts school at the Brighton Fringe.

face in the hole board for businesses

Here it is in use at the festival.

marketing, photo cutout boards

So that’s just a handful of the boards we’ve made this month for businesses and organisations. There are plenty more under wraps until after the event has happened.

To promote your business or organisation with photo cutout boards, find out more today by calling 08450 570321 or emailing office@connectedshopping.com 

 

Face in hole king Tomoyuki Shioya, we salute you!

Not all heroes are muscular, brash and tough. Sometimes a hero just quietly gets on with his business, and achieves legendary status through sheer persistence and force of will. Tomoyuki Shioya is one such hero, and he’s our favourite person in the world.

Tomoyuki Shioya, face in the hole boards, photo cutout boards
What a legend.

We blogged about him last May because he has stuck his face in some 3,000 face in hole boards in Japan and elsewhere. He also features in our keystone post Face in Hole Boards: A Bit of History. Everywhere he goes, he takes his camera and tripod with him in case he comes across a face in hole board to add to his photo collection. After finishing his office job at 5pm he wanders the streets in search of something to put his face through. He is on record as stating that he wishes to be buried in a face-in-hole coffin.

Now he has made a video about his strange life and his obsession with face in hole boards, which he considers a high form of art. In Japan, many boards are advertising hoardings that present a photo opportunity to passersby that helps to generate interest in brands. Tomoyuki Shioya has taken the photo opportunity and run with it, and Forrest Gump-like, hasn’t stopped running with it. Maybe one day he’ll hang up his camera and declare enough to be enough, but we guess that as long as there are face in hole boards we will continue to see his face in them.

Watch our hero talk about his passion in his own words.

‘I think they are an extremely effective form of communication,’ says Shioya. ‘The people who make them want to make people happy, and people enjoy taking pictures with them. I think what makes them so great is that everyone involved with them is happy.’

We certainly agree with that. Our photo cutout boards are designed to be fun for all involved, and at the same time they can communicate business messages and promote charities. They add an element of fun and interaction that makes people warm to a brand, or just warm the world with their smiles.

For a photo cutout board for your event, business or charity, or just for fun, call us on 08450 570321 or email office@connectedshopping.com today.

Face in hole boards: get your pets involved!

We’ve always made face in hole boards mostly for human beings to put their faces through. The humans have always responded by being amused and enjoying the experience. But who’s to say that furry people can’t also get into the whole face in hole thing as well?

We were inspired to speculate on this by a recent video of cats in wigs. Wigs stuck to face in hole boards, to be precise. The ‘boards’ are somewhat more tubular than our photo cutout boards generally are, but this seems to be necessary to tempt the felines in. Maybe treats were used as well. Or it could just be the legendary liking cats have for cardboard boxes. Anyway, here’s the video.

😂😂😂😂YT : mugumogu

Posted by Spiral Out on Wednesday, April 19, 2017

This got us to thinking, why not make face in hole boards for pets? We’ve already come close to it with our face in hole board for River Dart Country Park, in which a dog got the right idea. All right, maybe the people were holding the dog but still, the face in hole for pets idea has potential.

dog, face in hole board, animals, pets, furry
That’s it, boy! Pirate dog, arrrrrrr!

As well as pets pretending to be people, there’s scope for people to pretend to be pets with our boards. Our board for the Dogs Trust got plenty of human action when in use.

Pets, face in hole board, fun, animals, cats, dogs
Sometimes a face just fits. Maybe it’s the beard

… as did our series of boards for World Animal Protection.

Pets, face in hole, dogs, cats, furry people
Somebody liberating his inner dog in one of our World Animal Protection boards

Let’s face it, a dog will poke its nose through any hole to see what’s on the other side. If it’s at the right height, a doggy face in hole board could result in some memorable photos. Watch this space while we work out the backgrounds that will give maximum comedy effect!

For all your face in hole needs, including custom photo cutout boards for events, promotions, weddings, charity fundraising, product launches and awards ceremonies, call Photo Cutouts on 08450 570321 or email office@connectedshopping.com today.

Plan Bee create a buzz with a photo cutout board

Bees need all the help they can get at the moment. And if we help them we are helping ourselves. As essential pollinators, their decline in numbers is a threat to whole ecosystems. And that’s not to even mention the delicious honey they make.

Plan Bee Ltd. are a company who offer beehive adoption, management and educational services. They are an ethical, sustainable eco-innovation business who help organisations to enhance their green credentials. Their customers include Highland Spring and construction giant Balfour Beatty.

Plan Bee offers companies a way of growing their Corporate Sustainability profile by establishing and managing honeybee hives at their chosen location. Hives can also be situated at golf courses, grouse-shooting estates, hotels, farms and in urban environments. They also run community projects and offer hive adoption for individuals.

They asked us to make a promotional photo cutout board featuring their logo and hashtag. It was used at a ‘Go Wild in the Spring’ event an the National Museum of Rural Life Scotland, where Plan Bee’s byproducts were tasted, including lots of that lovely honey.

photo cutout board marketing, bee
This is the Plan Bee board before the face holes were cut out

The artwork was supplied by Shirley Lochhead of Tea And Type. Here’s her page about the artwork. We love it because it projects Plan Bee’s ethos of constructing and building to bolster bee populations in the countryside.

Promotional face in hole boards are a tried and tested way to attract attention at public events. That’s because people love to interact with them by sticking their faces through the holes and having their photos taken. The photos tend to get shared on social media, too, and if the organisation’s web address, phone number or hashtag is prominently displayed on the board, then photo sharing offers more free publicity!

Our bespoke promotional face in hole boards create a focus for people to interact with staff and have a bit of fun. Why not order one for your organisation?

Find out more about Plan Bee Ltd. at www.planbeeltd.com/

To ask us about a photo cutout board for your organisation, call Shelley on 08450 570321 or email office@connectedshopping.com

Our Geffrye Museum face in hole board is a bit special

This week’s Board of the Week is one we made for the Geffrye Museum of the Home.

geffrye
An 1830s drawing room

If you’ve never visited the Geffrye Museum of the Home in London’s Shoreditch, you really should. It explores home and home life in England from 1600 to the present day.  Just the building is wonderful enough. It’s a Grade I-listed 18th -century almshouses that was built in 1714 from a bequest from Sir Robert Geffrye, a former Lord Mayor of London and master of the Ironmongers’ Company. It’s beautiful. Just look at those proportions.

Geffrye Museum, building, beautiful

Inside, displays of middle-class London living rooms and gardens show how tastes, styles, society and behaviour have changed over the centuries. One of the museum’s most popular regular fixtures is the Christmas Past exhibition, with eleven different period rooms decorated authentically for the season. How times change!

Geffrye
A 1695 parlour

The almshouses have been restored to their original condition and give a glimpse into the lives of the poor and the elderly in the late 18th and 19th centuries.

The Geffrye Museum is currently raising funds for its £18m ‘Unlocking the Geffrye’ project, which will open up the Geffrye for all visitors and the local community by developing existing buildings, creating new spaces and preserving the museum for future generations. It aims to provide improved access, new galleries and more collections on display at any one time.

Here’s a face in hole board we’ve made for the Geffrye Museum which they have been using in their fundraising efforts. It is a cartoon depicting a Dandy and a lady with some pretty spectacular headgear.

And here it is in use by the museum on their Twitter account.

Dandy, Geffrye

We’re pleased to have helped yet another fine institution with a photo board for attracting attention!

How would you use a photo cutout board to promote your business or raise funds? What would it look like? What messages would be on it? To discuss your ideas with us, call 08450 570321 or email office@connectedshopping.com today!