Literally Clothing

A selection of Literally Clothing products, including a sweatshirt with 'I am wearing a sweatshirt' written on it.

Literally Clothing

A couple of years ago, I had an idea for a t-shirt. It was a plain t-shirt that had written on it, quite literally, ‘a t-shirt with some writing on it’.

Determined that this wasn’t going to be one of those ideas that existed only in my head, and not in the real world, I then had fifty of the t-shirts made, and forced them upon various unsuspecting colleagues at work for about £20 each.

Astonishingly, the t-shirts eventually ran out, and I set about finding a supplier who could knock a t-shirt with some writing on it out whenever it might be required.

When that supplier was finally found, Literally Clothing was born.

A lady stood in the street wearing a navy blue tote bag, with the word 'bag' written on it in large white letters.

As well as t-shirts, you can now get hold of a whole range of very transparently described nonsense through literallyclothing.co.uk.

There are bags, jumpers, t-shirts and hats for all occasions, and it’s a lot of fun coming up with fresh designs to mark some of the biggest calendar moments throughout the year.

It’s often said that everyone has a book in them, but it also seems that a lot of my friends are would-be clothing company owners. I’ve helped a few people start up their own labels now, and if this is something you’re interested in please feel free to get in touch and I’ll see what I can do to help.

A review, which reads "I bought my dad one of your t-shirts for his birthday, and he agreed that it was accurate"

Liz Truss The Game

Liz Truss The Game

Update: You can now read about Liz Truss The Game in The Metro.

Whether you support the Conservatives, or you don’t support the Conservatives, or even if you’re not really sure; there’s no getting around the fact that Liz Truss wasn’t the best prime minister.

It’s hard to think of a national leader who’s caused more chaos in such a short period of time.

The headline act, of course, was her taking a wrecking ball to the British economy with her infamous ‘mini-budget’; but it barely seemed like a day went by without some sort of misstep or controversy arising out of 10 Downing Street.

Part 1: TikTok

The more I thought about it, the more it felt like she was playing some sort of video game. It was like a bizarre Grand Theft Auto mission, except the goal was bringing down the government, rather than driving haphazardly into innocent members of the public.

So, I decided to bring that vision to life with this piece of nonsense:

The video raced to almost a million views, and there were enough people in the comments asking me to actually make the game that I decided to give it a go.

Part 2: The Game

A week or so later, LizTrussGame.com was born.

You are the Prime Minister, and your challenge is to try and remain in office for longer than 45 days – the record for the shortest-ever stint in 10 Downing Street set by Liz.

By issuing laws, and responding to some extraordinary political goings-on in Westminster, you can boost your confidence rating and save yourself from the sack. Or at the very least you can try.

I had loads of fun making this, and had heaps of comments from people who enjoyed playing the game.

If you’ve had a chance to give it a go I’d love to hear how you got on.

The Technical Bit

A few years ago I taught myself to build websites, and this is one of the biggest projects I’ve taken on so far.

I designed and coded everything myself, building the site in Node.js/Express, using a MySql database. It was also the first time I’ve used Sass for a project, and I cannot believe I hadn’t tried it before.

The content was also written by me; but of course it was (mostly) inspired by real-world events.

As a few people noticed on TikTok, I made the original video in Adobe After Effects.

The Ianvestigation

The Ianvestigation

A few months ago I deleted my Facebook account. In doing so, I inadvertently severed my only means of communication with my Australian friend Ian.

Having realised my mistake I took the only option available, and flew to Australia to try and find him.

I gave myself two weeks to track Ian down, in a country of 25 million people and a landmass almost the size of the whole of Europe. To be honest, it was a completely stupid idea.

However, remarkably, it actually did work.

Against all the odds, and with the help of a few media appearances, I was able to track Ian down in a little under 8 days.

If you’d like to see how it happened, my daily video diary is on TikTok, with a YouTube version to follow in the next couple of weeks.

Obviously, with my work hat on, it was a really cool exercise in viral marketing; with the campaign to find Ian reaching over 10 million people both in the UK and Australia.

I was also very flattered to be asked to visit some friends’ workplaces to give a talk on how the Ianvestigation came together.

If you’ve got any questions, or want to find out more about this week of absolute nonsense, please feel free to get in touch.

Media Appearances

  • The Project (Network 10, Australia)
  • Today Extra (Nine Network, Australia)
  • The Christian O’Connell Show (Gold 104.3, Australia)
  • Chrissie, Sam and Browny (Nova 100, Australia)
  • Radio 1 Breakfast (BBC Radio 1, UK)
  • Metro.co.uk (UK)
  • 9Now (nine.com.au, Australia)

The Bonusly Bot

The Bonusly Bot

At Jellyfish we use a rewards platform called Bonusly. To cut a long story short, when your colleagues do good stuff you can send them Bonusly points; and they can turn those points into fun things like vouchers.

The thing is, it’s great when you do receive points, but the only people who really find out are you and the person who sent you them.

To rectify that, I built this robot. Every time I receive some Bonusly it now makes a very loud announcement to the entire office.

I’ve always wanted to be able to do something on the internet, and for it to make something happen in the real world, so this was a very cool thing to be able to put together.

Where to watch

Suzuki: Good Different

Suzuki: Good Different

I devised the creative for a new set of social media adverts for Suzuki.

Having spent several years working in social media at the BBC, I must have made loads of videos for the internet. This, however, was my first time making an advert, and it was loads of fun to put together.

Suzuki have just launched a new marketing campaign, Good Different, and asked Jellyfish to look after the social creative.

Very often, the video ads you see on social media are shortened version of the television advert. They’re not specifically designed for audiences on the internet.

We were tasked with coming up with something tailored to those social media audiences, while still using the same creative concept as TV.

I lead on the creative for Jellyfish, alongside my good mate Baz Williamson, our senior creative director.

Between us we devised a number of treatments. They appealed specifically to social media users, and would be re-versioned to meet the behaviours of audiences on different platforms.

We then worked with the incredible Chloe Shaw to cast, shoot and deliver the ads over a period of a few weeks.

I’m not sure I’m allowed to put any specific facts and figures here, but the early results have been really impressive. Keep your eyes peeled for some more creative bits and pieces with Suzuki later on in the year.

  • Creative: Me and Baz Williamson
  • Producer: Chloe Shaw
  • Agency: Jellyfish
  • Client: Suzuki Cars UK
  • Cast: Bibi Lucille and Owen Frost

Beyond The Woods Festival

Beyond The Woods Festival

In 2015, we had a party in our back garden for my brother Joe’s 18th birthday.

It was so successful that we decided to do it again the next year, and the year after, and the year after that.

Eventually JoeFest, which became Beyond The Woods Festival, grew into a 3,000 capacity event, with four stages, overnight camping, and some of the UK’s most exciting new artists coming to our little corner of Lincolnshire.

Holly Humberstone played the festival in 2017, and is now one of the UK’s most highly-rated new artists

Joe, who is now a music promoter, was in charge of putting the bands on; while as the managing director I looked after all the less-glamorous organisational things, like having health and safety meetings with the council.

There were late-night DJs, a secret bar disguised as a garden centre, and we were one of only very few festivals in the UK where you could start your day by feeding some deer from the back of a tractor.

Stourton Woods, where the festival was held, had its own deer park

Sadly, as with a lot of events like our, Beyond The Woods didn’t survive the Covid pandemic.

While the festival kept getting bigger, it was still organised by the same group of mates who were at the original garden gathering.

Although there was a brilliant sense of community behind the twenty or so people who came together to put this big party on every year, there was one thing we were missing: A huge corporate benefactor with fat piles of cash.

And so, after an incredibly memorable run, Beyond The Woods Festival was put on hold indefinitely in 2021.

The original JoeFest in 2015

Joe is still putting on gigs under the banner of BTW Presents; and I’ve still got the event management plan tucked away safely, ready for when we need to dig it out again in the future.

Google UK: Saved By The Search

Google UK: Saved by the Search

At the end of 2020 I took on a short freelance contract with Jellyfish, helping to devise a new approach to social media for Google UK.

One of the things I was tasked with was coming up with a new YouTube format.

Google wanted an idea that would entertain and engage young audiences, while demonstrating just how helpful their products can be.

That’s when Saved By The Search was born.

In each episode, a YouTube personality is faced with a challenge: The sort of thing a lot of people are searching for at the minute, but also something you’d probably need a bit of help to do properly.

To make things more interesting, the participants are given no instructions whatsoever. The first time they see their challenge is the moment the cameras are turned on.

To help them out, and to remind us exactly how brilliant Google is, they’re allowed to use a limited number of searches. But they have to be used carefully, because once they’re gone, they’re gone.

You can take a look at all the episodes of Saved by the Search here.

Creative concept by me, creative development and production by Jellyfish production.

Huws At Ten

Huws At Ten

In case you didn’t know, The BBC’s News At Ten is basically the UK’s main news programme.

It’s presented by a man called Huw Edwards, which makes him basically the UK’s main news person. He’s the guy the BBC parachutes in whenever there’s a major news story. When the Queen died, he was on air for about a million hours.

One day, a few years ago, I noticed something very unusual about Huw Edwards: He always started The New At Ten in exactly the same pose.

Obviously, this had to be turned into a Twitter account. So along with my colleague Matt Hewitt I started @HuwsAtTen.

Every day, we posted a screenshot of Huw doing exactly the same pose at the start of the news, and every day we’d get a handful of followers having a laugh in the comments section.

Then one of those followers sent the account to a journalist, and we ended up on pretty much every news website in the country.

We then made the news again when Huw deliberately changed his pose to send the internet into meltdown, and that Christmas we awarded a money-can’t-buy @HuwsAtTen calendar to the person who could best recreate the iconic Huw Edwards pose.

Sadly, all good things must come to an end. Earlier this year the BBC changed the layout of their news studio, meaning that Huw now starts the news standing up.

Matt and I made the difficult decision to bring @HuwsAtTen to an end, but we’ve left the account active so we can look back on many happy years of viral screenshotting.

Besides, you never know when The BBC might decide to invest in a new table…

How Old Is Henry?

How Old Is Henry?

It’s the question on everyone’s lips: How old would Henry VIII be, were he alive today?

Happily, I was able to provide an answer to this age-old conundrum with one of my very first stupid Twitter accounts, @HowOldIsHenry.

Powered by a bot, How Old Is Henry would tweet automatically once every twenty-four hours to remind followers how old our most infamous monarch would be, were he still with us.

Sadly, a few months ago, the account had to stop tweeting.

The online service I was using to host the bot decided to withdraw its free pricing tier. As much as I loved watching people celebrate Henry’s advancing years, it wasn’t really worth paying £7.99 a month for.

For now, I’m keeping the feed online as a permanent record of the account’s sheer stupidity.

And you never know, there might be a way of bringing Henry back at some point in the future.