I worked for the North East of England’s biggest and best modelling agency for a couple of years.

Tyne Tees Models.

Not as a model of course.

(I know that will come as a surprise to you).

But as a Brand Strategist.


I worked with founder Lesley.

To home in on the magic of the brand.

Then to develop the outward narrative and messaging for the brand.

Then brand and campaign slogans.


I wanted the brand to be brave.

Because Lesley’s brilliant business had been going for 25 years and, I thought, deserved growth.

(And bravery.

On my watch.

Brings that).

Specifically, I thought that more agencies in the south of England should book these northern models.

Because so many southern brands used the same old southern models.

Over and over.

And from that thought.

We developed strategies and campaigns to give us the ‘in’.


I pushed Lesley to be brave.

So here are some of the ideas that did run.

And one that didn’t.

Tyne Tees Models. 

The Tyne Tees Models Slogan, which we trademarked.



It’s a double entendre.

Of course models are more often than not striking in some way.

So you look.

But this also homes in on the actual job of a modelling agency.

To raise awareness of the client brand.

To make the client’s customers look.



We also developed this line:

Matching Models to Missions since 1984.

Because Tyne Tees Models are sure about what they are for.

They really do match the best model to the precise client mission.

What I mean is.

Lesley’s models don’t just turn up and stand there.

The Beautiful North.

Then we developed a simple, memorable and slightly disruptive campaign called:

The Beautiful North.

(A riff on The Beautiful South).

This was designed to catch the eye of the southern agencies.

To get Tyne Tees Models noticed.

To make the southern agencies smile a little, too.

It looked great.

Too Far?

But is there such a thing as going too far?

Is there such a thing as being too outrageous with business communications?

My job is to get my clients noticed.

To start conversations.

To help my clients to stand out.

And maybe by being a little outrageous along the way, too.

It’s hard to find ‘the line’.

And harder still to cross it.

But I did find (and cross) the line with Lesley.

Thick and Thin. 

Tyne Tees Models is truly different.

They really do:

Match Models to Missions.

They’re commercially driven.

And the range of models they have is huge.

Many Tyne Tees Models models don’t look like models.

(That’s the point).

And I wanted to start a conversation about unusual looking and commercially aware models.

I wanted to subvert the traditional ideas of what a model was.

And I wanted to do this with a Direct Mail campaign to southern agencies.

Those that booked models.

On the cover of the direct mail I wanted there to be an attractive, slim model.

With the headline:

Thick and Thin.

That was all.

An eye-catching, daring and self-depreciating perception around models and the modelling sector.

A conversation starter.

Something arresting so that I could then lead the conversation very quickly to subvert the stereotype and say how TTM did things differently.

We’re not thick.

(We understand your marketing and brand building).

And we’re not all thin.

(We have a huge range of real-world models).

It never ran.

And I do understand why.

But I am glad I did this.

Because I pushed to ‘the line’.

The Line.

I’d encourage you to push for the line, too.

To be brave.

It’s part of our jobs as creative communicators to do that.

It’s our jobs to make clients feel uneasy sometimes.

Because in an over communicated world that’s very often what you have to do to get noticed.

So have fun!

Keep organisational objectives and strategy in mind.

But most off all.

Do be brave.

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