What has the internet done for us?

According to the Huffington Post, amongst the amazing things the internet has given us are funny cat videos, Facebook stalking and dubious hashtags. It’s taken control of dating, shopping, TV and banking amongst other aspects of everyday life that previously required pieces of paper or even going outside. Coming from a somewhat more serious standpoint,… Read more.

The smart approach to 2017

It’s hardly surprising that smartphones have become a major part of our lives given the plethora of things they allow us to do quickly and conveniently: pay for coffee, make bank transfers, shop online etc. Perhaps this year will bring your first experience of paying for your groceries via your phone? Perhaps it’s the headache… Read more.

On your marks, get set, GO!

Are you running a campaign at the same time as the Olympics? With fewer than 100 days to go, it’s time to be on your marks, get set and GO with your promotion. Despite the need to be mindful of legislation that stops non-official partners from using official wording and logos, there are numerous creative… Read more.

Welcoming Our New Non-Executive Director

Vanilla Active are pleased to announce the appointment of Graham Temple, Chairman of the IPM, as our new non executive director. “I am delighted to welcome Graham as a non-executive director and we are looking forward to working with him closely over this exciting period of development.” – Neil Mandel, Managing Director of Vanilla Graham brings… Read more.

The Smarter Way to Freelance

It amazes me how many digital freelancers who work for agencies to deliver the digital aspect of an on-pack promotion, simply disappear. The agency builds a relationship with that person, only to start again from square one when a new project with a new developer comes along. I have even seen occasions where the freelance technical… Read more.

Testimonial from Russell Black

We love receiving positive feedback from our clients! “Russell Black’s website was very basic and in need of updating. Neil came up with some superb ideas and transformed our website. Vanilla Active has created an attractive site generating a positive impression and driving more visitors to our site. An excellent service and I would have… Read more.


Fancy getting your hands on some Vanilla flavoured jelly beans? We’ve got 10 packs to give away – and entering couldn’t be easier. 1) Comment with your guess of how many beans are in this pack 3) Share the post with your friends via social media to be in with a chance of winning. GOOD… Read more.

Testimonial from Sobell Rhodes

Dear Neil I am writing on behalf of myself and my partners to thank you very much for the design and implementation of our new specialist website for solicitors. You incorporated the branding of our main website seamlessly and the results are greatly appreciated by myself and my partners, plus extensively praised by many solicitors…. Read more.

A word or two to end the year…

As 2015 draws to an end and I start to wonder how I am going to get through TWO Christmas meals next Friday, I wonder yet again where the time has gone. It seems only yesterday that I cleaned up my desk, removed the last set of Christmas cards and the left over mince pie… Read more.

Hello IPM

Vanilla Active are now proud members of the IPM  – the leading professional body for the promotional marketing industry. Having attended the COGS awards last month, we are excited about what else our membership will bring!

Let’s TALK about data

Following the TalkTalk data hack, companies are wise to pay more attention than ever to security of consumer data. At Vanilla Active, our servers are housed in a data centre accredited to British and International standards. They are protected by firewalls and accessed only through a private secure network. Unlike TalkTalk, who allegedly did not… Read more.

Don’t let your website SCARE people away!

Don’t let your website SCARE people away! Everyone has stumbled across a scary website in their time – one that blasts music the moment you open it, one that is glaringly orange or transports you to the 1990s. Let’s take a look at three of the most terrifying, and the reasons why they’ve become (scarily)… Read more.


We at Vanilla Active are excited to announce our short-listing for the IPM COGS awards online category. The awards celebrate well thought out and well executed projects in the world of promotional marketing, and we are thrilled to be taking part this year with our entry – the Avery 2014 Reward Scheme. For four years,… Read more.

There is Life After the Live Date

Running a digital promotion without a supporting marketing strategy is like hosting a party without sending invitations. There are a number of ways to attract attention to your promotion, and they needn’t in themselves be digital. Perhaps you are running a radio or TV ad, printing billboards or hosting a publicity event that people will… Read more.

Save our Vanilla Yellow

Has anybody heard of the Pantone system? For those who haven’t, it’s a designer’s way of identifying colours  – a Colour Bible, if you will.  Designers have relied on Pantone for years and years, to ensure consistent colour. If you have a big branding project, the colour on the logo must be the same as… Read more.

A Verse from Vanilla

Does your packaging stand out? Anything to shout about? We can set sales in motion With a digital promotion   Purchases begin to rise By offering a perk or prize Buyers start to tweet and mention ‘This brand’s worthy of attention!’   Could we lend a helping hand Making you a stand-out brand? Start today… Read more.


Vanilla Active are hiring! We are looking for a mid weight web developer to join our team. Are you passionate about what you do with an ‘anything is possible’ attitude? Essential skills required are: HTML/HTML5, Javascript, jQuery, CSS / CSS3, Responsive web design, Bootstrap framework? Experience with WordPress, JSON, ASP DOT NET, SASS-LESS would be… Read more.

Ode to Vanilla Active

Is your website dull or slow? Was it built ten years ago? Doesn’t work on your device? We can offer some advice   Muti-national? One man-band? We can help promote your brand Designing, building, tweaks, assessment See return on your investment   Start today and be proactive Mail or call Vanilla Active.     www.vanillaactive.com

New ways to Network

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Business Networking is a great way to make connections, generate leads and pass referrals. But only if you keep track of the people that you meet and the businesses they run! If you are new to a group and want to build up your network, or you are a seasoned networker with a bulging… Read more.

Introducing… Barry M Cosmetics

We are excited to announce the launch of our latest website, barrym.com for Barry M Cosmetics.   Barry M is the leading British colour cosmetics company – famous for offering a wide range of colourful, cruelty free products at affordable prices. The prestige of the brand will now be reflected in a new website with… Read more.

Make your brand a WINNER on the web

It is a fact that there are potential customers waiting to be pitched the perfect deal online. A digital promotion lets you turn this scenario into sales. Before running a promotion, make sure your business is ready for some attention online. Now is the time to Google yourself – and examine everything from your company… Read more.

Make your small business ROAR!

A state of the art website will keep you ahead of your competitors, and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. With our special offer template site, we do all the work for you – designing and building your personalised website from concept to completion. After all, how would you feel if, having paid an… Read more.

Sharing = Caring about your brand

Are you reading this on a desktop while glancing at your smartphone or watching TV? If so, you’re not alone, with nearly 80% of us dividing our attention between more than one screen. The most prevalent example of this is people using social media while watching television or looking at websites, which can only be… Read more.

‘Tis the season to reflect

Christmas is a wonderful time for us all escape from the daily madness of a 9-5 or 8-6 business.   Many businesses close for 2 weeks allowing bosses and staff members a chance to recharge the batteries.   The increase in remote working encourages workers to ‘do’ a few hours at home just to catch… Read more.

What makes a loyalty scheme successful?

Loyalty or reward schemes are becoming more popular each year. Participation in loyalty programs is up 19% since 2007 and a recent survey claimed that 96% of UK consumers are currently a member of a scheme.   Key factors that put consumers off joining a reward scheme include: – improbable rewards (28%) – unrealistic points… Read more.

Predicting web trends for 2014

So FIFA 14 came out in September as well as many other games for 2014. But it was only September I hear you say!!! Why do they and all other companies do this? Basically it makes the product and service fit for the future and not out of date within a couple of months. So… Read more.

Why WordPress?

WordPress hit the online streets in 2003. It was primarily used by individuals in order to blog without having to write code from scratch.   12 years on and blogging is just one off the many benefits of WordPress. Now WordPress is used to build some of the most dynamic and complex sites on the… Read more.