New 2017 Christmas designs for hire now!

Get your face in the ho-ho-hole!

Christmas face in the hole board

Christmas is one of the times of year when our photo cutout boards really shine. They add extra sparkle and fun to festive events and increase engagement. A colourful, vivid photo cutout board is ideal for interacting with the public at conferences and expos, corporate events, charity events, retail stores, marketing events, theatres, art galleries, awards ceremonies and the many other events that take place every November and December.

We’ve created some unique new designs for 2017 that you won’t find anywhere else. Boost the buzz at your Christmas event! The new designs are on our website and are proving popular, with hires going out as we write this. If you want to grow your presence and engagement with the public this Christmas, you need a photo cutout board. We’re ready to talk to you on 08450 570321! Or drop us an email at office@connectedshopping.com.

Christmas snow globe, marketing, experiential, events
Guests are going to LOVE our new snow globe board! Be the first to get it! There’s a nice big space on the plaque at the bottom for corporate messages, logos, hashtags and web addresses. Or anything you like!

We’ve given the Christmas range a makeover with a fresh and up-to-date design style.

2017 polar bear, penguin, santa claus, Christmas scene
We’ve designed a fun new Christmas board with some new friends for Santa. What do you think?

The choice of how many face holes is yours. In this new design below, you can have Rudolf or Elf cut out or both. Just ask us and we’ll make it the way you like. For children at a Santa’s grotto, for example, you might prefer to have just the elf cut out, because it’s at a better height for kids.

Santa reindeer face in hole board 2017


As for custom Christmas boards with your own design or one created by us, check out our custom boards page for more info. As an example, here’s a festive board we made for InternetMatters.org for use at TalkTalk’s offices over the Christmas period.

Christmas photo cutout board campaign

Wet sponge boards – they’re waterproof!

Wet sponge aunt sally board
A child throwing a wet sponge at a ‘greedy’ high street estate agent – actually a parent

One thing we don’t mention as often as we should is that our face in hole boards aren’t made of chipboard, wood, cardboard, or anything else that can absorb water and get damaged. In fact they are made of lightweight, waterproof PVC foamex board – which means they are weatherproof and can be soaked at will – as will happpen when you’re having a wet sponge throwing frenzy!

Any of our boards can be used for a wet sponge throwing contest – we’ve even had teachers get sponged at a school open day. But here is an example that was created to lambast everybody’s favourite ‘villain’: the high street estate agent. Boo! Hiss!

To promote their online estate agency, our customer Sellmyhome.co.uk are running a campaign in which a high street estate agent stands in front of a house he has just sold and says ‘You just paid for my new Porsche! Cheers!’.

Throwing things at a figure of ridicule is a time-honoured English tradition. Our face in hole boards are also referred to as Aunt Sally boards. The original Aunt Sally game was played in pub gardens and fairgrounds dating back to the 17th century. People took turns to throw sticks at a wooden head with a clay pipe in its mouth. The winner was the one who broke off the clay pipe. The wooden figure was called ‘Aunt Sally’ in what was really a pretty mean game, but it was long before political correctness so we can let them off.

So don’t forget: the fact that our boards are waterproof not only means they can stay out in the rain without damage, but also that you can stage a wet sponge throwing contest! What’s not to like?

There are still a few months of warm weather left, so order your wet sponge board soon for your next event!

office@connectedshopping.com

08450 570321

 

Beach boards celebrate our coastal culture

This week we’ll take a break from the booming custom made boards side of our business and get back to basics with the boards that started it all: colourful seaside fat lady on the beach-style face in hole boards. Nostalgic and fun, they hark back to the saucy postcards of naughty artist Donald McGill and have become a vintage classic and a cherished part of our coastal heritage.

beach donkey holiday photo cutout board
Little Johnny

They are perfect for seaside parties, beach-themed parties, birthdays, seaside weddings and company events (we can brand them if required).

photo board, skinny jimmy, british seaside tradition
Skinny Jimmy, a classic seaside photo cutout board

Take your pick from our cheeky, postcard-style, traditional beach designs. Choose from Punch and Judy, Ethel and Ernie, Skinny Jimmy, Betty and Billy, Fat Mabel, Little Johnny, Thin Tim & Big Bertha, Doris and Dick and Strong John to add to your event. Perfect for use at school fêtes, parties and family fun days.

fat lady on a beach seaside face in hole board
Here she is … the original Fat Lady on the Beach! Isn’t she lovely?

We think traditional British coastal culture is worth preserving, and it’s nice to see it thriving in a few areas, but much more can be done. Here’s a link to a blog post we made last year which talks about the Seaside Heritage Network, an initiative to catalogue and preserve our valuable coastal cultural assets.

Our seaside boards don’t take as long to make as custom boards, because the designs are already done and we can get the boards out to you in just a few days as opposed to two weeks or more for a custom board. That makes them ideal for last-minute party planning – all we need is a week’s notice. Why not add one to your Summer party, beach event, birthday party? It adds so much fun and is bound to produce some memorable photos!

office@connectedshopping.co.uk

08450 570321

http://www.photocutouts.co.uk/buy-seaside-peep-boards.htm

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

 

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 

 

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.

Event marketing with face in hole boards

Photocutouts are proud to have helped get the message out for yet another organisation. This week’s Board of the Week is a marketing board we made for Cohabitas, a company that matches people together for house-sharing.

We think it’s a brilliant idea, because why should people live alone, paying all the bills themselves and with nobody to eat dinner with, when they could be sharing a home with one or more others, living as friends, sharing the bills, and being happier?

face in hole board, marketing, publicity, experiential, content marketing

Here’s the board we made for Cohabitas, to their design specifications. The waiter is meant to be George Clooney. Cohabitas is mainly geared towards women between 45 and 55, who might enjoy having a dishy Hollywood star serving them cupcakes and champagne.

Cohabitas are using the board to promote their business at the WI Fair, Alexandra Palace, London, which runs from the 29th of March to the 1st of April 2017. The WI Fair celebrates everything about the great British institution that is the WI. It brings together four fabulous days of craft, cooking, creativity, shopping, learning and travel. This makes it a perfect showcase for an organisation like Cohabitas.

At shows and exhibitions like this, a face in hole board can be a crowd-puller. It provides a focus, people naturally want to interact with it and take photos, and it bears your organisation’s logo, insignia, phone number, web address, hashtag or anything else you want to put on it to promote your organisation.

When people share their photos with friends and family or on social media, there is your organisation’s logo and other information in the picture. On the internet an image can go far, and if it carries your message, it means a bit more publicity for you every time it is shared.

For full information about our bespoke photo cutout boards for fairs, trade shows, fundraising and marketing, email us at office@connectedshopping.com, call us on 08450 570 321 or visit our website at photocutouts.co.uk!

 

Custom photo cutout board helps Atlantic rowing charity effort

When Dan Baker, Steve Baker, Mark Gibson and John Lakin needed a photo cutout board to promote their charitable cause, they came to PhotoCutouts. Who are they? Four lads from Bristol who are preparing to row across a little pond called the Atlantic Ocean. Why are they doing it? For Movember and men’s health, and for the adventure.

Nuts Over the Atlantic is a team of four friends and adventurers who are entering the 2017-18 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, an event dubbed the world’s toughest row. To promote their effort and to raise a target £100,000 for Movember, they have embarked on a nationwide tour called NutsGoRow. It kicked off on the 24th of February and will conclude in London in November. We are thrilled to have made this  PhotoCutouts face in hole board to help promote the tour:

Charity fundraising face in hole boards

At the first event in Bristol (a mere 36-hour non-stop row on rowing machines – they’re just warming up really), the face in hole board was there to help promote their cause, spread their hashtags and generally raise awareness of their campaign.

NutsGoRow Bristol 36hr row finish

Posted by By The Hundred on Sunday, February 26, 2017

Since then it’s featured on BBC TV and generated lots of social media exposure for the team. And that’s just the first event in the NutsGoRow tour – there are still 9 to go!

Here’s a video about a past race.

The 2016-17 race is still going on! On this live race tracker, at the time of writing there is still a solo rower closing in on the finish line with ‘only’ 210 nautical miles to go out of the total 3,000.

Race rules: https://www.taliskerwhiskyatlanticchallenge.com/the-challenge/race-route-and-rules/

PhotoCutouts are proud to be helping to promote yet another charity event. As it says on the board, NutsGoRow’s Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/bythehundred/, their Twitter handle is @ByTheHundred, their website is ByTheHundred.com, their G+ is ByTheHundred, and their YouTube channel is this, and their Instagram is #ByTheHundred.

They are doing a great job of promoting their campaign via social media, and we’re proud to be helping them.

Go boys!

Crufts season: helping marketing for dogs charity

 

rehoming dogs, charity, crufts, face in hole board, photo cutout board, fundraising

With Crufts coming up this weekend, the nation’s thoughts are with man’s best friend. The world’s biggest dog show will be on our screens showcasing the finest and best-groomed dogs in the country.

It’s the perfect time to also spare a thought for the dogs who are not in the limelight and who are down on their luck. Charity organisations like the Dogs Trust take homeless dogs in, take care of them and find them new homes.

PhotoCutouts are proud to have worked with the Dogs Trust for the last two years to create promotional materials for the charity. Our photo cutout boards have helped in their fundraising efforts around the country. Here’s a glimpse into how we worked with the lovely folks at the Dogs Trust to create their photo cutout boards.

First our artists did a concept sketch based on ideas from the charity’s marketing manager. From the start we included the organisation’s logo and gave their hashtags a prominent position on the board.

Crufts, dogs, charity, rehoming

This went through a couple more stages with amendments to minor details. Then our designer added colour and made a few more tweaks to produce the final board which the charity approved and accepted.

charity marketing board dogs trust crufts

We printed the design in high resolution onto weatherproof, durable foamex PVC boards, cut out the face holes and added wide, stable feet to stop the boards getting blown over in the wind. These features are standard on all our boards.

We also made some roll-up banners with the same design. These are great for carrying around and unrolling wherever they are needed. They come with lightweight telescopic stands that are easily transportable and can be set up in moments. Here’s a roll-up banner in action.

Charity fundraising board marketing dogs

Photo cutout boards are a proven way to attract people to charity fundraising stands, trade show stands, and other types of promotional or fundraising event. The public like to interact with them and share their photos on social media. If you are a charity fundraiser, get in touch with us now to discuss a photo cutout board for your next campaign.

http://www.photocutouts.co.uk/create-custom-photo-cut-out-boards.htm

office@connectedshopping.com

08450 570 321

Dress up as your ancestors – or someone else’s ancestors

ancestors portrait reconstruction

In a fascinating news story recently, it was revealed that an artist from Peru likes to dress up as his ancestors (both male and female) in painstaking photographic reproductions of his old family portraits. It seems he is obsessed with his noble lineage and so proud of it that he goes to great lengths to recreate historic oil portraits of his forebears, with himself playing the central role.

He probably hasn’t heard of face in hole boards. He could have had the portraits printed onto board, cut out the faces, applied some careful makeup and put his face in the hole to mimic his ancestors. But he’s clearly such a perfectionist that he feels it necessary to recreate the whole painting. Fair enough. It takes all sorts.

The National Self Portrait Gallery is based on a similar idea. We haven’t managed to actually track down the descendants of Queen Elizabeth I, Henry VIII and the model who sat for the Mona Lisa and get them to pose in reproductions of the famous paintings, but the face in hole format gives anyone the chance to step into historic portraits!

Let’s play spot the difference. Here is Peruvian artist Christian Fuchs posing as his great-great-great-great grandfather next to the original painting:

face in hole portrait

And here’s an event attendee posing as The Laughing Cavalier in one of the panels of the National Self Portrait Gallery, our pop-up face in hole art gallery:

dress up as your ancestors

Can you see the join where his head goes through the hole? No, neither can we! Perfect isn’t it?

The National Self Portrait Gallery consists of several panels of four or five portraits with the faces cut out and a space behind for guests to stand and put their faces through the holes. Hey presto – they become historical figures! Friends and other guests can snap away with their cameras or smartphones and get the results on Instagram, Pinterest or wherever they like.

To find out more about the National Self Portrait Gallery, visit http://www.photocutouts.co.uk/pop-up-art-gallery.htm

To hire the NSPG, call 08450 570 321 or email office@connectedshopping.com