Summer makes me think of…Christmas!

The last month of summer stretches before us, with the sun shining, and the bees still buzzing. However, here at Photo Cutouts, locked in our windowless offices, we are thinking about Christmas, and us worker bees are buzzing with excitement about some new photo cutout boards!

Coming Soon new christmas designs

My dear readers, I am well aware that there was a collective eye-roll when you read that the theme for this week is Christmas. After all, we are still in the hot, hazy, lazy days of summer, and one does not wish to think of the cold, the possible snow, and the chaos of Christmas shopping.

Whilst I agree, allow me to also explain our (or at least my) reasoning of broaching the Christmas topic. Shopping for the holidays can be stressful and frantic. We are bound to be grumpy when stressed and overwhelmed. But, some fun and giggles can certainly alleviate that stress. What is a good way to have a bit of a lark? A nifty face-in-the-hole board of course! Just think: in that frantic shopping, you pause because some genius business has an awesome Christmas-themed photo board prop – it draws you in, and you simply cannot resist that fun photo opportunity. Suddenly, holiday hecticness turns into some holiday merriment.

Christmas Photo Boards

Yes, I have simplified things a little bit, and have added my own special brand of logic – but, as usual, I am correct. I would also like to add that we at Photo Cutouts are like magical Christmas elves helping everyone out. We are actually doing more than providing some striking piece of eye candy for a storefront. We are helping businesses attract more customers, and we are helping customers have a good time…. And in our spare time, we are still working on world peace.

Anyhoot, back to our Christmas theme. Christmas is certainly a time for photo opportunities and Photo Cutouts has helped to create some memorable ones. Last year Klondyke & Strikes Garden Centres ordered Snow Globe boards for their stores in England, Scotland, and Wales. (Did I mention that they suddenly became our favourite garden centre?).

Garden Centre Christmas Snow Globe

Odin Events used our Nutcracker boards to organise Nutcracker Trails with the aim of promoting Christmas shopping in town centres around the country.

Christmas Nutcracker Trail photo board

The Natural Christmas Tree Company and Thetford Garden Centre have also been our Christmas fans.

Christmas face in the hole Thetford

So, why not jump on that Christmas bandwagon (or sleigh), and start thinking about how you would like us to help you with creating buzz-worthy Christmas peep board prop. (As always, contact details below.)

In the meantime, do keep reading our blog, since, very soon, our Fun Think Tank Team will be revealing those new and exciting Christmas-themed boards!

https://www.photocutouts.co.uk/
Tel: 08450 570 321
Email: office@connectedshopping.com
Online form: https://www.photocutouts.co.uk/contact.htm

Photo Cutout Boards at Countryfile Live

BBC Countryfile Live returned this year to showcase the best of the British countryside. The event runs across 2 weekends in August, the first at Blenheim Palace and the second at Castle Howard. Visitors are treated to presentations from the shows’ presentations, theatre productions and food demonstrations, all surrounded by stands and food outlets from a range of exhibitors.

Photo Cutouts have proudly supplied bespoke face-in-the-hole boards to some of the exhibitors at this year’s Countryfile Live event, including Rohan Clothing and London School of Tropical Medicine for their Bug Off campaign.

Countryfile Live Exhibitors

A great engagement tool…

The exhibitors were looking for a great visual engagement tool to attract people to visit their exhibition stand.

Photo Cutout boards are perfect for trade stands. An interactive marketing prop with an eye-catching design which includes the company logo, creates a great photo opportunity and makes the stand memorable for visitors.

Countryfile Live_Rohan stand

Encourage social sharing with a competition

Rohan chose to use their board as part of a competition mechanism. The design called for people to snap and share their photos on social media using the hashtag #RohanBestinShow. This is a great way to encourage visitors to share their branded photographs across the web and become advocates for the company, brand or cause. The theme of ‘Best in Show’ was in line with the agricultural nature of the Countryfile Live event and generated some humorous photos of dogs in the face holes (which we always love to see!)

Rohan_BestInShow

You can view posts from the Rohan Best in Show photo competition on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, searching for the hashtag #RohanBestinShow

Photo Cutouts offer marketing props for exhibitions stands

Visit our Exhibitions page to see how Photo Cutouts can help increase footfall to your exhibition or trade stand.

If you are exhibiting at a similar show and are looking for a great portable engagement tool to attract people to your stand, then please get in touch and we would be happy to work with you on a great design.

Website: photocutouts.co.uk

Mail to: office@connectedshopping.com

Tel no: 01284 848330

Standout at exhibitions with Photo Cutouts

Summer time means county shows, outdoor expos, and exhibitions. If you have a stand at an outdoor event, then no doubt you want to stand out – and we at Photo Cutouts can most certainly help! Not only do we have some memorable marketing props, but we also have tips and tricks to boost the footfall at your booth.

GLT Show Exhibition
Photo board in action at GLT Show

Exhibition stand tips:

#1  Use a bespoke photo cut-out board

Photo cutout boards are a fun and innovative way to engage people at trade stands.  We have designers in house who can create a bespoke design to meet your objectives, or advise on face holes
and placement for you to use your own awesome design. Our boards are printed onto industrial PVC Foamex with a high-quality print, and they are also waterproof, which makes them suitable for any outdoor events.

BCConference Selfie Board

#2  Make your stand memorable

Visitors will literally get “into” your brand, leaving with them a humorous and memorable photograph featuring your company.

#3  Use hashtags for social sharing

A display without hashtags is like a Kardashian without a reality TV show. People love hashtags, and adding them is certainly motivation for visitors to share photographs on social media from your booth.

#4  Handheld selfie boards

Create photo opportunities with handheld selfie boards: walk amongst delegates and pass them around for others to use.  The standard size for handheld selfie board is 100cm x 80cm, making it
light and easy to carry around. Two handles on the back help maintain the face-in-the-hole illusion.

Folding photo cutout board

#5  Folding photo cutout boards

Not only do we produce photo cut-out boards, but we designed some to fold!  A Photo Cutouts folding board is easy to carry around and can be put in the back of a car. And when it is time to store it, only half the space is needed.

#6  Team with other marketing props

What happens when you take a photo cut-out board and add some other marketing props?  Why, marketing magic!   How about a roller banner? Once again, our team can help design a banner for you based on your needs (or you can supply your own artwork).  Plus, we offer a choice of three different roller banner sizes.

Or add our dry-wipe speech bubbles into the mix!  Create your own personalised prop for your photo booth with our fun, whiteboard speech bubbles. Write on, wipe off, over and over again! Unlike other designs, ours come with handles on the back for ease of use and unobstructed messages.

Wellbeing exhibition stand at Norfolk Show
Wellbeing exhibition stand at Norfolk Show

 

Photo Cutouts provide seaside boards for ITVBe’s The Only Way Is Essex

Popular ITVBe reality show, The Only Way is Essex (TOWIE), approached Photo Cutouts earlier in May, for help in dressing the set for their seaside themed, end of season party.

Filming for the finale took place in the rear garden of the stunning venue The House in Crow Lane, Clacton-on-Sea on Thursday 16th May. The full cast were pictured attending including Shelby Tribble and Sam Mucklow (pictured). The party was to have a seaside themed, festival atmosphere to match the location and who better to supply traditional seaside party props than us.Shelby and Sam having fun with face in the hole board

We specialise in the production of the traditional pier pastime of face in the hole boards. And it was this seaside range which caught the eyes of the ITVBe team. https://www.photocutouts.co.uk/buy-seaside-peep-boards.htm

Seaside face in the hole boards

Photo Cutouts supplied the TOWIE team with a range of seaside face in the hole boards to add some fun to the bash. The designs were the traditional saucy postcard style featuring overweight ladies and skinny gents – perfect for creating funny photo opportunities with the cast. The show aired on Sunday 26th May and is available on ITV on Demand, where you will spot newcomer Joey Turner using the Photo Cutouts ‘Strong John’ face in the hole board.

TOWIE's Joey Turner as 'Strong John'

Sister company, Fun4Guests also got in on the fun. Fun4Guests supplied a range of party hire props, including a vintage Kissing Booth to add some romance to the bash.  Kissing Booth TOWIE Screenshot

The season finale party was a huge success and a lot of fun. Photo Cutouts and Fun4Guests were delighted to be involved in our neighbouring counties TV series.

In case you missed it, ITVBe’s reality TV hit is available to watch on catch up for free via the ITV Hub.

If you would like to hire our Photo Cutout boards, party hire props or vintage Kissing Booth the please contact us to discuss your event.

*
*
*
 - 
*

A recipe for food for thought

This blog is dedicated to:
D.H., thank you for providing the inspiration;
M.B. for sharing your many (amusing) memories;
L.H. for getting me what I needed;
C.H. – trying to get you to recall events from the past is
like pulling teeth, but you continue to be my biggest fan.

Before writing this blog, I have had quite few idea thingies bopping and bouncing around in my brainy brain (fine, we all know this is an oxymoron), almost like a bunch of ingredients but no recipe. I now propose to see how the ingredients come together, and if the outcome is a delicious dish or food poisoning. Brace yourselves my loyal reader fans, brace yourselves….

ice cream recipe

Do you remember the summer vacations of yesteryear? The days when the family packed up the car and drove to a seaside town to escape from a hot and muggy city. Our parents would rent a little caravan or chalet, and there we would settle in for a week or two, and proceed to thoroughly enjoy ourselves. I find seaside towns tend to evoke a jumble of memories: the feel of clumpy wet sand built into sandcastles; the excitement of discovery when rock pooling; that satisfying crunch of freshly battered fish and chips; the heat of the sun during a fun game of beach cricket; the satisfaction of burying a sibling up to the neck in the sand; the sugary stickiness left over from candy floss; that coconutty smell of suntan lotion….

Have I also mentioned that in memories like these there are unicorns flying around and fairies sprinkling pixie dust?

Do you remember the summer vacations of yesteryear? The days when you sat in the family car, so eager to be at the seaside, but the car kept stopping – either because your carsick prone sibling needed to throw up (yet again), or because the car overheated and it needed to be manually cranked to start again. Our parents would rent a little caravan or chalet, sometimes smelling of Eau de Wet Dog, or Eau de Mould, or even Eau de Something Decomposing. There we would settle in for a week or two and try to enjoy ourselves to at least some extent. I find seaside towns tend to evoke a jumble of memories: listening to those piercing shrieks and that incessant whinging of some children who were (for whatever reason) not thoroughly enjoying themselves; the physical pain of tripping and falling on the promenade, coupled with having a broken heart because the ice cream cone fell as well; the disappointment of being dragged to some “Restaurant” because the parents wanted prawn cocktails in fancy glass and scallops on shells; the sugary stickiness of candy floss stuck in the hair; that smell of public toilets….

Have I also mentioned that in memories like these there are roaming orcs and goblins eager to substitute a child in place of the fish and along with the chips?

Whether they be of years ago or of last year, memories of seaside holidays are usually a mixed bag – rather like seaside towns, as some appear to be flourishing while others seem to be deteriorating.

The themes (or perhaps more aptly “the ingredients”) for this blog came from my colleague, who alerted me to an article on the BBC titled Seaside town reinvention ‘should start with Blackpool’, and from English Tourism Week (March 30 to April 7, 2019). Both of these topics made me reflect on the importance of our seaside towns, and the need to preserve and nurture not just our British seaside towns, but also their traditions.

beach seaside fat mabel ice cream recipe

One of my other colleagues was reminiscing about some holidays at the seaside when he was a child, and then what those holidays were like with his own children. He recalled “bumping into a fat lady” who turned out to be Fat Mabel, a photo cutout board who has remained a fixture of the seaside for years (and she does not seem to age – good for you Mabel!). He also told me about playing (or rather trying to cheat at) miniature golf with his sister, and then how he suddenly became a mini golf champ when he played the game with his son (not suspicious at all!).

Not that far from the sea

Mini golf and photo cutout boards are just two of the many things/traditions we associate with the British seaside, and they are also our two businesses (Putterfingers is our portable miniature golf for those of you who have suddenly landed from outer space and are not yet in the loop). At both Photo Cutouts and Putterfingers we like to have fun, we like to make a bit of money whilst having fun, and we love it when other businesses can use our products to promote their business, all the while they are having fun and making that bit of money like we do. I would venture to say this could be called increasing economic growth, which is one of the recommendations from the report published by the House of Lords The future of seaside towns.

seaside beach recipe hut sand

Now wait! One more thought ingredient to add to our bubbling cauldron before you begin to think I am some pontificating know-it-all. Our blogs (this one and the one for Putterfingers) are usually quite light-hearted and fun with interesting facts, a bit of history, some educational material, and usually a good sprinkling of quirkiness, and I certainly do not wish to depart from this, nor do I wish to even suggest I have a solution for the improvement of seaside towns (even though I am excellent at telling people what to do and I am always right). So there! I am not a pontificating know-it-all. Nevertheless, I will impart some parting words – rather like that final seasoning and fancy garnish that finishes the dish. If you have a chance to travel in the UK, whether it be a day trip or that summer holiday, perhaps decide to be one of the tourists that some of these seaside towns would welcome. Most of us have a chance to travel abroad, but sometimes the best holidays are those spent discovering the treasures that are in our own back garden.

If you are interested in more information about the future of seaside towns, here are some links:

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-47800638

Seaside Heritage Network

https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/lords-select/regenerating-seaside-towns/news-parliament-2017/seaside-report-published/
(This link provides a synopsis of the report from the House of Lords along with a link to download the complete report in PDF.)

You might also wish to revisit a couple of our blogs from June 2016: British seaside culture is worth preserving, and Face-in-hole boards: a bit of history.
https://photocutouts.co.uk/blog/british-seaside-culture-worth-preserving/
https://photocutouts.co.uk/blog/face-in-hole-cutout-boards-around-the-world/

And, finally, check out some of the seaside-themed boards we have on standby, ready for your fun summer event (be it at the seaside or not)!
https://photocutouts.co.uk/blog/beach-boards-celebrate-coastal-culture/

I do hope I have given you some food for thought. Until next time my darlings, toodle pip!

Tel: 08450 570 321
Email: office@connectedshopping.com
Online form: https://www.photocutouts.co.uk/contact.htm

Photo board boosts seasonal campaign for Christmas Tree grower

Seasonal Marketing Campaign

Photo Cutouts customer The Natural Christmas Tree Company have given us some nice feedback on Facebook about their Christmas 2018 campaign:

“Fantastic service and quick and efficient design and logo placement! The photo cutout has been a great success for us!”

-Harry Edwards

If you run a Christmas tree business, as Natural Christmas Tree Company owner Harry Edwards does, it’s probably fair to say that your business is seasonal! It involves work all year round, but the bulk of sales will happen during a short and very busy period each year. What can you do to maximise sales during this period? It would be pretty disappointing if you worked so hard and not enough people got to hear about your business.

Seasonal Marketing Campaign
Branding can be as subtle or as in-your-face as you choose.

To avoid seasonal sales flops, businesses can do a range of things to boost awareness and get people buying. One part of this mix is a photo cutout board: a colourful stand-up board that projects a friendly image of your brand. It comes with face holes so that customers can take funny photos of each other – with your company branding front and centre!

This helps create a buzz about your company by word of mouth and via social media. The board can be anywhere that helps to get the message out: at shopping centres, in front of your premises, at trade shows and other events, or just via social media by sharing photos of employees and others posing and making faces!

Other seasonal business include fireworks, food stalls, lawn care & gardening, outdoor adventure, travel, and many more. If you run a seasonal business, don’t let all your hard work fail to pay off at peak sales time by not shouting loudly enough about your business! A Photo Cutout board is a proven (and fun) part of the seasonal marketing mix.

Here are a couple of boards we made for seasonal fireworks supplier Standard Fireworks, to help make sure their peak season wasn’t a damp squib and really went off with a bang.

standard fireworks seasonal campaign Seasonal Marketing campaign

Get in touch today to discuss your branding requirements for your next peak season!

www.photocutouts.co.uk

office@connectedshopping.com

08450 570321

 

 

 

 

Garden centre chain puts Snow Globe boards to good use

Snow Globe boards add Christmas cheer

This week’s blog post is about how a business used Photo Cutouts boards to promote its stores and gave customers a fun experience at the same time. It’s the story of how a garden centre chain boosted its public image with a co-ordinated set of our Snow Globe boards distributed across 22 of its branches. It’s also the story of how you can do the same to promote your business.

Snow globe christmas face in hole board
This is the Snow Globe board before being customised with the customer’s message.

Klondyke & Strikes Garden Centres like our Snow Globe board so much they ordered 22 of them – one for each of their branches in England, Scotland and Wales. For use during the festive period, the boards are placed strategically at each branch to encourage visitors to pose in them and take photos. The sharing hashtag for Instagram, Twitter and Facebook is #KlondykeSnowglobe.

To tempt customers to share their photos on social media, Klondyke & Strikes are running a ‘Show us your best festive face’ competition with a prize for the best snow globe photo. Customer have really gone for it – just look at the Instagram page for the hashtag #KlondykeSnowglobe and you’ll see how well the campaign is going!

Snow Globe scene
Some of the Snow Globe layouts are absolutely gorgeous.

We really love what Klondyke & Strikes have done with the snow globe boards. Face in hole boards have a vintage feel, and these scenes are examples of real old fashioned window dressing which has always been a vital part of retail but which so many other stores forget to do well. We wish them every success with their seasonal campaign and hope that these beautiful displays make customers feel like spending more! It just gives a nice warm fuzzy feeling for customers that their staff have gone to all that effort, doesn’t it?

Visit our site

Email us

08450 570321

 

 

Exhibition stand boards boost engagement

Take a stand with a face-in-hole exhibition board

We’re always going on about how good our exhibition stand boards are for boosting brand awareness and encouraging engagement. After all, what’s not to like about giving people a chance to literally get into your brand? Well, you don’t have to believe us – just listen to our customer Rentalcars.com, who had a 3m by 2m board at the Travel Counsellor’s Annual Conference in Glasgow earlier this month.

“The event went great thank you, the photo cut out was very popular. It looked great, the colours are so bright and clear. I’ve put a few pictures below, thanks so much for your help with this. I would have no issues using yourselves again in the future.”

Thanks

Janine.

The bright & clear colours are due to our brand new printing method, which gives the best colour reproduction available today. We printed this particular board from the client’s own artwork. From what Janine tells us, it helped to draw people to their stand and start conversations by giving them a fun photo opportunity. A Photo Cutouts board could do the same for your brand at your next exhibition! And don’t forget, photos get shared, which means further exposure for your brand!
We also make smaller and more portable face-in-hole boards than can be folded up and carried under your arm! They’re easy to carry to exhibitions and then pop open and are ready in minutes. Here’s an example of one used recently. UK Mediation took it to the CIPD Annual Conference earlier this month. The 100 x 180cm size was just right for their stand layout.
 
Exhibition board
UK Mediation said in their exhibition announcement, “We’ve been hard at work developing our fully-customised exhibition stand. There will be activities to take part in, including an interactive game, and some fun photo opportunities that are sure to make you smile! We promise that it’s going to be SUPER!”
The photo opportunity was the Photo Cutouts board – always a hit at expos.
Want one for an upcoming expo? Get in touch!
Call 08450 570321

Theme of the Week: Animals!

Animals
Tiger and panda in a promotional board for Animalz face masks.

 

Looking back at the photo cutouts we’ve made, we’ve realised that they often feature animals. The reasons for this are as varied as our clients, but it seems that many charities, brands and products have chosen to feature animals in their photo cutouts. It’s the same in advertising. Think how many brands have an animal as their mascot. So this week we’re featuring our animal friends. Welcome to the Photo Cutouts zoo!

Horses

A four-legged friend will never let you down – and neither will we! Here are some equine boards from the last year or two.

Animals horse Liverpool
A horse in this board for the Liverpool International Horse Show.
animals horses
This board for Retraining of Racehorses features … you’ll never guess.
Animal board horse
This three-hole board was used at Chepstow Racecourse.
Animals horse
More horses – this lovely board was for Sense charity to use at the Badminton Horse Trials.
Donkey ride seaside
All right, this is a donkey. But it’s an equine, right? This traditional seaside board was used by The Sun newspaper.
Seaside donkey animals
More seaside donkey rides – this time for the Sandgrown Family, part of Blackpool Better Start’s campaign.

 

Dogs

Man’s Best Friend has featured in quite a few of our boards. We like to do tricks for our customers!

Animals photo cutouts dogs
Detail of one of our boards for the Dogs Trust. Good boy!
Photo cutout board animals dogs
This one was for Xero, featuring their actual office dog Jinty!
Animals dog full fact milk
Full Fact Milk’s campaign featured a sheepdog. And a cow, obviously.
Dogs board animals vets
A rather naughty woofit running off with sausages in this board for Vets4Pets.
Sheepdog animals Yorkshire Day
A trusty sheepdog features in this board for Yorkshire Day 2018.
RSPCA animals dogs board
A cartoony dog is one of the animals in this board for the RSPCA.
Huawei Chinese New Year animals dragon dog
A Chinese New Year board for Huawei featuring what we think is a Shi Tzu.

 

Animals dogs face in hole boards
Does this one count? This board for the RAF gives a new meaning to ‘dogfight’!

 

Fish and other aquatic life

Our aquatic friends have also graced several boards. Check out these fin-tastic images of fish! You’ll be hooked! (I’ll get my coat – Editor.)

Fish animals
Don’t be Koi, take a look at this lovely board for the Japanese Water Gardens!
Fish board charity
This board was for the For Fish’s Sake campaign, run by Hubbub.
Dolphin Octopus animals
This board for the Ellen MacArthur Foundation has a variety of marine life.
Animals shark
Sharks are fish, right? This one was for Nuts Go Row, who rowed the Atlantic for charity!
Animals crab
Don’t forget the nippy crab in our traditional seaside board of Skinny Jim!

Bees

Where would we bee without bees? Here are two boards that have helped to create a buzz.

Bees animals photo cutouts
BeesNeeds used this board at their week-long campaign on London’s Carnabee Street.
Bees animals promotional board
This is a client design by Plan Bee, before we cut the face holes out.

Other animals

Here’s a smattering of other members of the animal kingdom who have featured on our boards. Noah would be proud!

oinkfest pigs animals
Three little piggies in a board for Oinkfest!
Animals cows ice cream
Cows grace this board for Isle of Arran Ice Cream.
Bat Halloween
There are bats in this Hallowe’en board.

 

Animals rooster board
Dusty The Rooster, designed by Aardman, features in this board for the London Wetland Centre.
Animals face in hole board
Bunny, chick and lamb in one of our Easter boards!

That’s it for now, but there are sure to be plenty more animal boards leaving our production facility. Do you have an idea of how to use animals to promote your product, brand, cause or business? Got a ‘pet’ project you’d like us to turn into reality? Get in touch to throw us a ball, and we’ll fetch it!

Email Photo Cutouts

Call 08450 570321

Visit photocutouts.co.uk

Theme of the week: veg!

An entirely meat free blog post

autumn veg
Some suitably seasonal veg yesterday.

Leaves are plummeting off trees, the thermometer is shrinking back into single figures and crisp misty mornings are becoming the norm. Autumn is defined by its plump vegetables: pumpkins, onions, parsnips, mushrooms and other tasty things you just want to roast and whizz up into a thick, warming soup for the chilly months ahead.

This week we’d like to show you a couple of boards we’ve made recently which are for different purposes and niches but which share a theme: crunchy, healthy vegetables! One board is for an awareness-raising campaign encouraging people to go veggie, and the other is for an organic food company who specialise in veg.

The Vegetarian Society

veg soc vegetarian marketing

You are what you eat, so this board invites people to ‘become’ vegetables! It was used by VegSoc at a major food fair. Needless to say, the board drew a lot of people to the VegSoc booth, because people just can’t resist having their photo taken as a carrot or a leek!

As always, a face-in-hole board is one of the simplest and most effective ways of conducting awareness campaigns. Here are five other public awareness campaigns that have used Photo Cutouts boards at events.

 

VegSoc photo cutout board

Tideford Organics

This company make scrummy organic vegan soups, sauces, pestos and misos in their kitchens in Devon and sell them around the UK. They are also an awareness campaign really – just look at their board! It shows how a plant-based diet cuts your carbon footprint and saves water, which helps Tideford Organics to sell more of their tasty and environmentally friendly products. It’s a win-win for this company, and their board was a winner too!

Veg promotional board
This is an example of our new folding board, which as the name suggests folds in two for easy transport and storage. Perfect for taking to exhibitions and fairs!

It’s nearly the weekend, so if you’ll excuse us we’re going to veg out now!

Visit our site

Email us

08450 570321