Is this the 2015 John Lewis Christmas Advert?

The wait is over…the eagerly anticipated TV advert for Christmas 2015 at John Lewis has been decided.

According the a blokey in Waitrose car park John Lewis have finalised their Christmas 2015 TV Advert.

You can take a sneek preview of the full advert over on the U tube

Jingle Jangle all the way as John Lewis look forward to Christmas 2015 with this merry advert for tv

Panda update 2015


Solar Powered Charging Table

Recharge mobile batteries outdoors – bring me sunshine, bring me power

The everyday use of smartphones and tablets has skyrocketed over the past few years, and is overtaking desktop traffic for many websites. The world is becoming an ever more connected place and sales of smartphones continue to rise. In 2015 mobile devices will continue to dominate.

With the constant checking and updating on mobile devices the most limiting factor for mobile use is the duration of power supply from the devices’ battery.

A solar panel table gives you the chance to charge your portable digital devices when you are outside.

Recently some businesses have seen an opportunity to attract customers by offering charging stations so people don’t scrabble around trying to hook up to any available power sockets.  These charging stations could be simple multi socket adapters indoors (for which there is usually a fee) or alternatively customers can sit at table outside, reading or working on a laptop whilst their batteries are charge via a solar powered charging table.

The Sol Table from Sol NRG is a solar power charging table that captures sunshine to produce the electricity that can charge your device’s battery, be it a mobile phone, tablet, laptop computer or a portable games console.

This innovative piece of technology is ideal for bars, restaurants and campsites to give customers a much appreciated service.  Some people are so impressed with the solar powered table charger that they have one in their garden and work in the sun.  The tables are easily stored and can be folded into an upright position making them easy to transport so they could be taken into a park or on to the beach.

With a charging time of 3 hours on a sunny day, once fully charged, you can move the table into the shade and it will still work as a charger. In fact, once the table is fully charged, it has enough energy to charge a smartphone up to 33 times, so a fully charged table your battery should easily last the whole day.

Visual Merchanising – A Creative Career

There has been a new phrase thrown around quite a lot recently, with this phrase being ‘visual merchandising’. While it might sound a little odd or even confusing, it is essentially just a fancy word for ‘advertising’. But at its core, what is visual merchandising and how does it affect me?

What Actually is Visual Merchandising?

Visual merchandising is a way of turning designs into 3D displays for retailers and other commercial businesses with the purpose of attracting more clients and making more sales. It is a newer marketing technique that appeals to the more creative side of people and combines several well-known advertising techniques (the hook, the rhetoric, free samples etc.) in order to garner more interest.

Many retailers don’t actually realise that what they are doing is visual merchandising. Any retail store showing products with open doors for trading, is effectively using visual merchandising on some level. The aim is to attract the customer into the retail space in the hopes that they will make a purchase and the more ‘boxes’ you tick in the mind of the customer, the more successful your campaign will be.

Who Can Do it?
Almost anybody can do visual merchandising on a very basic level, if they have experience in sales. It is the concept of knowing what people want and knowing how to get it to them. Posters, product examples and even opening a store in a new area can all be considered visual merchandising. It is just a way to get your name and your service out there to the interest of the general public.

Nowadays visual merchandising is important in order to maintain the attention of your audience. If you don’t have their attention, then you don’t have their business. This is why we have seen a recent increase in the ‘visual merchandising career’ concept, as there are people who study the latest trends in order to find the most successful way of getting your product or brand name out there and interacting with people.

Letting Creative Juices Flow
A career in visual merchandising can be incredibly rewarding as there are so many different forms of advertising that you can branch out into, giving you a lot of scope for ideas on how to market your product. Experienced visual merchandising companies draw from a wealth of previous projects that include pop-up shops, attractive window displays, product demonstrations and more in order to better ascertain what their intended audience might want to see, and then they go from there. It is all about tailoring your advertising to meet the needs of your intended audience, so that you get the highest turn out.

Creative types would do incredibly well in a visual merchandising career as it uses the latest social media campaigns as well as requiring a knowledge of graphic design in order to create hard-hitting and attention-grabbing posters and designs. It can use a variety of art styles to prove a point, or to make a comparison. The best campaigns are the ones that urge you to get started on something, or the ones that make you think and visual merchandising is all about thinking up creative ways in which we can get this across to potential clients.

Job Opportunities
Becoming a visual merchandiser presents a whole range of job opportunities. You can work as part of a larger company or go freelance and choose the types of companies that you will work for. Advertising isn’t going away in any sense of the word, in fact it plays a larger part in our lives than we’d like to think. Even on websites we are now required to watch certain advertisements before we continue and while it can get irritating it is just another way of getting your brand name out there.

In that sense, there will be no shortage of work for visual merchandising freelancers and visual merchandising companies because there is a constant demand for bigger and better advertisements in order to catch the attention of the audience. Whether you are considering it as a career, you own a retail business and would like to request the assistance of a visual merchandiser, or you just came here simply to find out more, you can’t deny that visual merchandising has a drastic effect on our daily lives.

Article provided by Prop Studios; a multi-award-winning company specialising in the design, project management, manufacture and installation of bespoke luxury retail window display schemes and in store visual merchandising.

Make a Harry Potter trunk

When well-known books get film adaptations, their popularity often booms. Special editions, costumes, themed desserts and foods and merchandising campaigns advertise products from the books, whether you want to buy a replica bow so that you can be Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games, or a real flashing wand from the Harry Potter Universe. Everybody wants one, they are in such high demand. However they are also often sold at extortionate prices, and so it can be difficult to supply your little ‘witches and wizards’ with everything they need and want to become little Harry Potters and Hermione Grangers.

So what can you do to offset the inevitable costs for buying this merchandise for your kids? Well why not make your own? The trunk as shown in both the Harry Potter films and books makes several appearances and will also work well in a wide range of different kids bedrooms. It is roomy and can fit whatever you want in it. So let us give it a go!

Collect your Ingredients!
Obviously you’ll need some wood to start your trunk off. The colour is not so important as it can be dyed afterwards to give it the right tint, but you want it to be reasonably sturdy but also a material that is not going to be a major pain to cut. Pine is a good timber to use, as it is lightweight, yet sturdy. You’ll also want to grab some nails and a few ironmongery accessories for your trunk. You’ll need a few pairs of hinges and a latch to make sure your belongings stay safe in the trunk.

Sketch out your design in 3D on a piece of paper, getting a rough idea of how big you want it to be. Then cut out your wooden pieces and fix them together using glue and nails. Clamp the sides to make sure your ‘box’ doesn’t fall apart once the glue has dried. Leave it for a few hours to a day.

For the top part of the trunk, you’ll want to sand down the sides a little to get that nice curved edge. This can be done by hand, although it does take a long time, or with a power sander. If you’re not sure how to do this part, you can always work with a square trunk; it doesn’t have to be 100% accurate!

Add your hinges to the inside and mark out where you want the latch to go, but don’t attach it just yet as you might be painting your trunk.

Fake it ‘till you make it
For the extra details on the trunk, expanding foam works a treat. Make sure to wear gloves and old clothes you don’t mind throwing away when handling this as it is nearly impossible to get off. Spray the trunk with lines of expanding foam to replicate the lines found on Harry’s trunk and leave to dry. After the foam has expanded and dried, get your box cutter and shave off small pieces of foam, gently carving until you’ve got the shape you want.

Expanding foam may have some holes in it, so you can always spray more foam in order to decrease the holes or use a filler such as polyfilla or similar. Coat the foam with a few layers of wood glue to harden it and then it is nearly ready!

Now it is time to dye your wood. Work slowly with an old wash cloth, as you can always go ahead and darken it later on but it will be harder to get the dye off. For your expanding foam details, you can simply paint them the colour you desire with acrylic paint or use a spray paint (after taping up the rest of the trunk to prevent the spray from bleeding). Once this has all dried, you can now attach your latch.

Getting a Worn Look
If you don’t want your trunk to look brand new, grab the sandpaper again and give it a few scuffs and scratches. Don’t get too overzealous otherwise you may end up warping the shape of the trunk! A little bit of sanding is just fine.

To add one more personalised touch, grab a can of white spray paint and make your own stencil. This is great for stencilling names onto the trunk to make them that extra special. Perfect!

If you can want you can get a little creative with your choice of decorations, you can add a burn mark here or there to look like the trunk has gone through the wizard wars, it is up to you! There are so many tools available today that give creative types the freedom to create replica pieces that look just as if they’ve stepped out of the book, so go nuts and your kids are sure to love it. Why not try your hand at making a bigger trunk for yourself, if you’re also a fan, and have a matching set? With time and a little bit of effort, the possibilities are endless!

Article provided by QualityIronmongery; Ironmongers based in Doncaster, South Yorkshire for over 20 years and specialising in the fixtures, fittings & furnishings of gates, fences and more household essentials.