Fluid Ideas, the creative agency that launched a cow into space, masterminded a digital innovation driving over £450m in property sales and has raised over £100,000 for charities, has unveiled a blueprint for its next chapter as it celebrates its 20th anniversary.
The award-winning agency, which started life in the windowless basement of a beauty salon in Derby, is marking the milestone at the end of November with a new vision and team structure.
Today, Fluid is a 55-strong full-service agency with annual revenues of almost £4m, serving a global client base from its studio in a converted cotton mill at Darley Abbey Mills, on the outskirts of Derby.
It has invested nearly £200,000 to upgrade the premises and accommodate its growing team, which includes creatives, strategists, developers, designers, artworkers, CGI artists, photographers, copywriters, social media specialists, motion-designers and digital marketeers.
Its client base spans sectors including manufacturing and distribution, education and training, property and developments, health and wellbeing, retirement living, leisure and hospitality, food and drink.
With its new vision, Fluid aims to become an essential part of its clients’ operations, capitalising on the synergies that come from team collaboration to drive innovation and value.
A revamped structure brings together five teams focused on strategy and creative, campaigns and content, production and visualisation, websites and systems and performance and innovation. The refreshed set-up seeks to unlock new potential for clients and enable a results-driven future.
Phil Harvey, Fluid’s joint managing director with Ed Bowler, said: “It’s been a tremendous journey over the past 20 years, rewarding and challenging in equal measure, as we have grown our client base beyond our East Midlands heartland to win business with national and international companies, including many household brands. I’m immensely proud of our achievements, our people and our culture.
“Fluid punches like a global agency. Over the years, we’ve added new specialisms to expand our service offering and deliver ground-breaking projects.
“We’re constantly pushing the boundaries with our innovative approach to the work we do. The collaboration between our teams ensures we deliver superb results and forge close relationships with our clients to become a proactive, value-driven partner to them.
“We also take great pride in ensuring our team’s wellbeing and happiness, and have introduced a range of benefits, from private healthcare and free gym membership to social events. This approach has led to a 92 per cent staff retention rate, which is almost unheard of in our industry.
“We’ve derived great pleasure from recruiting many graduates and seeing them flourish in their careers. Young people have joined us for work experience and have gained permanent, full-time roles.”
Phil added: “The past five years in particular have been transformative, as we have experienced significant growth despite the challenges of Covid, recession, Brexit and the cost-of-living crisis.
“Our passionate and resilient team enabled us to successfully meet and overcome these challenges. As we embark on our next chapter, we believe our unwavering commitment to our values and vision will enhance client partnerships and establish Fluid as an irreplaceable force for our clients’ businesses.
“With our track record, the support of our clients and the dedication of our team, we are extremely confident and excited about the future.”
Over the years, Fluid has worked with a diverse range of clients and brands, including RESCUE, SC Johnson, YHA, Royal College of Nursing, Legal &General, East Midlands Railway, Barchester Healthcare, The Cambridge Building Society, Bupa and Haas F1.
Highlights include developing a multi-channel digital campaign, cheekily called Let’s Sleep Together, to promote RESCUE’s range of natural products designed to improve sleep, which saw it gain over 28 million impressions on social media platforms and doubling its database during an eight-week drive.
For YHA, Fluid devised an industry-recognised campaign called YHAppy, which encouraged families to stay in its accommodation during the autumn and winter.
A campaign for East Midlands Railway attracted over 200 million impressions on social media, while one video went viral and received over 50 million views.
One of the agency’s best-known campaigns involved sending a toy cow into space, when the National Forest Adventure Farm enlisted Fluid to promote a new maze themed around the 50th anniversary of the first manned Moon landing.
For the launch, Fluid’s creatives organised for the farm’s mascot, Crumpet, to fly to a height of 36,000 metres – the edge of space – before parachuting safely to earth, landing in a field in Yorkshire.
Fluid’s digital sales tool has helped generate over £450m worth of sales over the past 16 years across the retirement community sector, which Phil hailed as a game-changer.
Phil said he was also proud that Fluid has raised almost £100,000 for good causes over its 20-year history, including supporting the Arrhythmia Alliance in memory of team member Stine Aelberry, who passed away in 2015. Fluid has also supported Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People, Derby County Community Trust, Alzheimer’s Society, YMCA, The Brain Tumour Charity and many other organisations.