The lead up to Christmas brought us several new clients across music and talent. House music supergroup Swedish House Mafia took us on to help announce their first live shows in five years, LA DJ duo Cheat Codes were added to the roster, along with two new touring clients, Keith Urban and Cher. Turning the dial up to 11, the team also started work on two new rock acts, Saint Agnes and BadFlower, and we were thrilled to take on the finalist of Masterchef: Professionals 2018 Matthew Ryle on the talent side of the business, to support his ongoing activity into 2019. And for something a little different, we were hired to work with the successful German illusionists Ehrlich Brothers around their appearance on the We Are Most Amused and Amazed ITV show celebrating Prince Charles’ 70th birthday, ahead of their upcoming arena tour.
Read more about last year’s fourth quarter highlights below.
STOP RIGHT NOW, the anticipation is over! Two decades after the Spice Girls first revolutionised the 90’s pop landscape, in November we announced that Emma, Mel B, Melanie C and Geri will be reuniting on stage for the first time since the London 2012 Olympics for a massive stadium tour this summer. The news predictably generated momentous buzz across the nation and beyond, for weeks.
We also announced global pop icon P!nk's first UK shows in five years, a run of huge stadium dates that sold out almost immediately, Cher’s first UK dates in over a decade as part of her ‘Here We Go Again’ tour, and last but certainly not least, revealing UK dates for Elton John’s ‘Farewell Yellow Brick Road’ final tour in 2020.
BTS ARRIVE IN THE UK
October was all about BTS in the UK. They came, they saw, they conquered. Ahead of two completely sold out shows at The O2 Arena, the K-pop phenomenon continued their world domination with their first ever trip to London. With a very limited promo window the week of the shows we maxed out their schedule with a press junket including the likes of Noisey, NME, Radio 1, Buzzfeed, Vogue and The Guardian. The shows were packed, loud and spectacular, winning them five star reviews across the board, with the band going on to make their UK TV debut that week on Graham Norton. It didn’t stop there as the DawBell ‘Bangtan’ crew then travelled out to Berlin and Paris to oversee the local media operation for more sold out shows - taking each city literally by storm.
DAWBELL ON THE TV
It was a busy run up to Christmas, with several DawBell clients dominating our TV screens. First up was the fifth and final series of BAFTA & RTS award winning mockumentary show People Just Do Nothing. The press campaign kicked off with an exclusive cover feature in Guardian Weekend, in which the cast were interviewed out of character for the first time, enabling us to set-up an impactful and in-depth piece of editorial. We followed up with high profile features in the Radio Times, i Newspaper, Q Magazine, Guardian Guide and more. One of the final looks we secured was an online cover feature with GQ, which saw the guys storming the Conde Naste HQ in London and editor Dylan Jones' office to ‘blag’ themselves a cover feature.
DawBell’s talent team were Strictly in Jungle fever last quarter! As well as leading the media strategy around Joe Sugg’s journey through Strictly Come Dancing and navigating press opportunities and stories throughout the season up to the final including a weekly column for the Daily Telegraph, we saw TV national treasure Holly Willoughby heading Down Under to co-host ‘I’m A Celebrity…’, keeping us busy week on week.
NATIONAL ALBUM DAY
DawBell were hired by the BPI and ERA to support their inaugural National Album Day in October, celebrating the UK’s love of the album through a variety of events and initiatives. The week leading up to the day itself - Saturday 13th October - saw the launch of an Album Artwork Exhibition with 70 album covers on display across the UK. The DawBell team were deployed to London’s Waterloo station at 7am the Monday before to coordinate a press call with Novelist and Billy Bragg to promote the exhibition, with coverage on the likes of BBC, Metro, LBC, London Live, 6 Music, Daily Mirror and i Newspaper, ahead of a big social campaign on the day to encourage music fans across the country to play their favourite album at 3.33pm.
The DawBell team returned to the Dorchester Hotel in October for the prestigious BMI London Awards, which honoured the U.K. and European songwriters, composers and publishers of the past year’s most-performed songs in the US. Winners included Ed Sheeran for the ‘Song of the Year’ and the likes of Liam Payne, James Arthur, Right Said Fred, Tinie Tempah, and Natasha Bedingfield attended the event.
GARY BARLOW'S SUNDAY TIMES BEST-SELLER
On October 4th, Gary Barlow released his official autobiography ‘A Better Me’, which went straight in at No.1 on the Sunday Times Best-Seller list. Ahead of release, the DawBell team agreed a joint serialisation with The Times Magazine and The Sun for the first extracts of the book, with a national teaser campaign helping to create a huge buzz.
Take That released Odyssey in November, their eighth UK No.1 album. It went straight to the top spot blowing all competition out the water with 106,000 combined sales, giving it instant Gold certification, and was the highest opening week figures for an artist album in 2018. The band said at the time: “We’re so grateful to all our fans who have been out and bought the album. What a way to celebrate our 30th anniversary! It really is incredible and it means so much to us. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone on the tour next year!”. Continuing the band’s 30th anniversary, a massive UK and European tour follows in Spring 2019.
In November, Elton John was unveiled as the star of the 2018 John Lewis Christmas Advert, always a huge talking point in the media, and the poignant scenes in the ad did not fail to impact on the British public. Furthermore the Evening Standard supported the Elton John Aids Foundation by launching their official Christmas Appeal Charity, as part of their AidsFREE campaign, with every penny donated going to funding projects in six key cities: London, Nairobi, Atlanta, Kiev, Delhi and Maputo. A star studded gala night featuring Take That at the Haymarket Theatre just before Christmas raised over half a million alone.
NEW RELEASES AND TOP LISTS
DawBell’s music roster was busy last quarter releasing some of the biggest records of the the year, including Top 5 albums from US singer Shawn Mendes and pop-punk four-piece 5SOS, as well as Rita Ora. And four years since their last release, Smashing Pumpkins came back in force with a brand new album, which was marked by an epic three hour show at Wembley Arena show in October.
With soundtracks also dominating the UK album charts in 2018, we continued our work with Queen by working on the official soundtrack of the award-winning ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.
We were excited to see some of our most exciting newcomers added to the all-important end of year tip lists in Q4 too - Newcastle’s L Devine was recognised by the BBC introducing, Amazon and YouTube’s Ones To Watch lists, as well receiving editorial support from Noisey, NME, Huffington Post, The Independent, Gay Times and Ticketmaster. We also celebrated the BRITs Critics’ Choice nomination for Scottish singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi.
RITA ORA RECORD-BREAKER
Rita set a new UK chart record in October of last year with the release of her single ‘Let You Love Me’, her 13th Top 10 on the Official Singles Charts, breaking a 30 year record for the most Top 10 singles by a British female artist. This achievement was followed by her highly anticipated studio album Phoenix which received critical acclaim from the likes of NME, Independent, Financial Times and The Times, with a run of impactful covers in Stylist, CLASH and Guardian Guide ahead of the album release itself.
DAWBELL CHRISTMAS PARTY
Ending the year with a high, the annual office Christmas Party took place early December, which featured the DawBell ‘Woke’ Awards as hosted by our esteemed digital PR’s Jordan Shepley and Lauren Webb. With categories such as “DawBell Dad” (for MD Stuart Bell), the excellence in interior design award (for Senior Music PR Ashley Townley’s amazing production skills for the BTS promo day) and the President and First Lady public voted awards, which went to our digital intern Harry Lethaby and our PR Manager Lewis Fromberg respectively, the evening was capped off by a poetry/rap recital by MD Rich Dawes.