Our House. A pact with Guru Dudu.


In an earlier post I told you how Guru Dudu’s Silent Disco Walking Tour was one of five star hits of the festival.

So much so that when he said on his Facebook page on Sunday that he needed a room for a few days we offered the room in our Air B’nB free of charge.

On one condition.

He put on a Silent Disco Walking Tour here in South Queensferry.

It was particularly relevant as today was the day the Queen opened the new Queensferry Crossing so it seemed like an excellent way to celebrate.

He agreed and I put the jungle drums into motion.  24 hours later 45 Guru Dudu virgins were assembled in Scotmid’s Car Park and the tour began.

Starting with his legendary East meets West Yoga/Disco warm up we all found our inner Disco Chakra’s to Chic’s Le Freak.  And what’s more, with Guru Dudu having implored the Disco Divas to take the relentless rain away, they did, and we were treated to a pleasant autumnal evening’s weather.

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Moving to The Loan we were further uninhibited as we each took to the dance stage in our own style which was echoed by the assembled.

Next stop the harbour, with the 53 year old Road bridge and the aforementioned 12 hour old Queensferry crossing as our background to the West and the iconic 145 year old Rail Bridge as the dance canvas to the East.

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Post bridge orgy we headed to the High Street for our mass choir performance of Bohemian Rhapsody to the Orocco Pier posse.  It was awesome (plenty of air guitars on show).

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Up the West Terrace past the Ferry Tap to the East Terrace where we did a ‘Soul Train’ to Rose Royce’s Car Wash.

Next up we performed Our House by Madness.  IN. A. HOUSE.  (The pink one on East Terrace)

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Not to be outdone, a resident of West Terrace took us up The Vennel (painful) before inviting us into her back garden, where we jigged to Rihanna.

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As we basked in a glorious sunset we headed back to Scotmid for the piece de resistance and finale.

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Scotmid staff and customers were utterly bemused as this flash mob descended on their favourite supermarket.

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And just to top it all off we did a collection for the Royal National Lifeboat Institute that has a station in South Queensferry.  (Again it seemed appropriate, on this special day, as they have been saving lives around the bridges for many, many years.)

£280 later…

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Guru Dudu’s Silent Disco Walking Tour


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Sometimes you stumble upon an ‘experience’ that is so unique, so damn CLEVER that it takes your breath away.

Guru Dudu has created that ‘experience’: an hour long tour in the hands of a self appointed guru and yoga instructor with a deep love of Disco music.

50 of us congregated in the Grassmarket at 2pm on a busy Fringe Sunday afternoon, right in the heart of thronging Edinburgh touristville. After being given radio controlled earphones Guru Dudu commenced the tour with a bit of dance yoga warm up, meet the neighbours, before commencing the tour. In a fairly tight mile or so loop we danced to Abba, Stevie Wonder, Backstreet Boys, Chic and many more disco and discoesque classics.

We created a Soul train near the University.

We sang Bohemian Rhapsody to the crowd at Greyfriars Bobby.

We air guitared.

We serenaded strangers.

But, most of all, we danced like crazy gradually becoming less and less aware of the fact that this was essentially a public performance with a cast of strangers and a conductor that is also a master choreographer.

“Voullez Vous, Aha” a second before each ‘Aha’ Guru Dudu points out a passing person on the left or right and instructs us to shout ‘Aha’ and point at them in unison. It works every time. You laugh at your innate ability to be a massed choir and dance troupe with absolutely no training. It is miraculous.

And we grinned. Oh how we grinned, from ear to ear for every second of the 45 minute tour.

This is as good a Fringe show as you will EVER perform in. Go on, release your inner Bee Gee.

A remarkable rebrand for Investors in People (IIP) Scotland


Screen Shot 2017-07-31 at 15.52.54For some time now I’ve been working with IIP Scotland to help them on their journey through a rebrand that most people agree has had a pretty remarkable outcome. Along the way I enlisted the help of Front Page in Glasgow (website) Studio LR in Leith (identity) and 3X1 (PR) to help make the new brand for IIP Scotland truly remarkable.

IIP Scotland has been steadily growing its portfolio of services for some time now and is on the cusp of even more innovation. So, with an increasing emphasis on consultancy work, rather than offering only IIP accreditation, allied to the success of the Investors in Young People Award (a Scotland only initiative) and in anticipation of a slew of exciting new consultancy offers, the time was right for IIP Scotland to rebrand to reflect its growing portfolio of client-led services.

I was commissioned by the remarkable Peter Russian (if you know him you’ll know why I use that adjective to describe him) to conduct a comprehensive consultation process that sought the views of a cross section of staff, board members, clients and prospects to identify a clear new proposition for the organisation.

As an interim measure, the website was redesigned, after a pitch, by Front Page.

‘Love your business, love your people’ became the core communication and resulted in a far more engaging site.

On 20th June we witnessed the public unveiling of a new name, a new brand and a radically different look and feel.

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The result is Re:markable. With a colon. (But not in copy.)

The name reflects the fact that Remarkable (the new home for IIP in Scotland) delivers a world-class range of services. It helps organisations become more successful by developing and empowering their people to have increased control in their workplace.

It’s intended to be more dynamic, passionate and authoritative, with supportive and genuine Specialists (consultants).

The name reflects the fact that Remarkable makes a marked difference to the organisations it works with; and offers marks of quality (to include Investors in People in Scotland) and a world-class range of consultancy tools and services.

It’s a mark that recognises they are more able. And that’s remarkable.

It’s bold. That’s partly down to the board challenging us to think big, to be positive and to be radical.

But the marque itself is restrained, classical almost. That’s because we wanted to maintain a sense of authority and too much fuss with typography might just have been a step too far.

We commissioned a full new suite of photography using real people (clients, all of them) by Sam Sills that showed ordinary people doing their jobs remarkably.

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Working with a client that wasn’t willing to accept anything less than statement work was a real delight. And with agencies that gave their all was brilliant too.

An intelligent, thought provoking team that really walk their walk were a real pleasure to do business with and I believe they’ve been rewarded with an outcome that succeeds in completely repositioning their organisation.

And that’s been rewarded with tremendous initial results. The PR alone reached 7.5 million people (with 100% positive messaging), web traffic doubled, new visitors trebled, and I love this quote from the managing partner of one of Scotland’s largest law firms.

“It’s brilliant. It’s clean, fresh, and open to all sorts of innovative branding and marketing collateral. Great job and all the best as you all move forward to the next phase of getting the brand firmly established”