The Warchest

I manage advertising for The Warchest, a hobby shop in Dun Laoghaire. This involves working to actively promote the shop’s product offering and events, primarily through social media.

To achieve this, I have taken creative control of all advertising output, working with shop owner David Reynolds to ensure that the business is promoted in a way that he is happy with and that also appeals to his customer base of primarily males under 35. This means I am charged with keeping up with trends in the tabletop gaming world to ensure I stay on-brand for the shop and the products sold.

“James has given the shop a unique tone of voice and brand personality. He brings ideas and creativity to anything he takes on and his work has driven strong engagement with customers on social media.”

David Reynolds, Owner – The Warchest

My role includes the creation of videos, posters, audio, photography and writing post copy, and has seen me use a variety of formats to try best showcase what the shop can offer. This is supported with a small budget for promoting content to relevant audiences through facebook, which is the primary outlet the shop uses to reach its customers.

I have created a Facebook Canvas to showcase the games the shop sells, for example, as well as building a website for the shop with wordpress, which can be seen at thewarchest.ie.

This involved shooting and editing five short videos, which have also been posted on the shop’s facebook page as additional content, using product images to create attractive visuals that show off the items sold in store, and writing copy and designing the overall look of the Canvas, which also includes images that make use of the phone’s motion sensor and carousels that showcase products.

I have also created short advertising spots for the shop, both of which take very different approaches. One looks to promote the shop to Magic: The Gathering players in a fun, light-hearted way, aping the style of the classic Marks and Spencer food ads. The other looks to attract a wider range of customers by showing what the shop has to offer in a more straightforward way. This two-pronged approach helps the shop to attract both casual gamers looking for a fun place to play, and more serious competitive players. I’ve also made a short intro for the shop’s longer-form videos with After Effects.

In addition to video, I also work to make the product images provided by the companies who manufacture the shop’s product range a little more interesting, and also to engage followers on social media with engaging posts. This helps to keep the page interesting and varied, and allows me to test the effectiveness of different posting in terms of reach and engagement.

I’ve also worked to improve the quality of imagery the shop uses on social, particularly instagram. My photography is focused on trying to capture the fun and excitement of playing games at the shop, as well as the community aspect of the games.

This posting is supplemented with community management shared between myself and David, with him handling stock enquiries and other product related questions, and my role being to boost engagement through positive interaction.

As the shop also relies heavily on events to build it’s audience and keep customers coming back, I have used facebook live several times to show customers the fun, friendly environment the shop offers.

The Warchest’s reach and engagement have risen massively since I started managing advertising. The shop’s numbers began very small but are growing consistently. Before I began working on the shop’s facebook page, for example, the average reach per post was 166,  after I took over it grew to 1124 within a month, with engagements going from an average of 18, to 99 per post. While the numbers are small, the business has a small follower base, which continues to increase and is a key target for the future.

I have also been successful in reaching beyond the shop’s local audience and hitting the wider audience that plays some of the games sold there. One example, a post which parodies the game Magic: The Gathering and TV show Rick and Morty, reached the top of the Magic the Gathering subreddit, and saw a huge number of views and interactions.

This post is an excellent example of my approach for the page. It hits the niche audience for the product, with the potential to be shared beyond the target audience for the shop, while also promoting the product sold – in this example, a new set of Magic: The Gathering cards was due for release on the Friday of that week, and this post ensured that was taken away, by mentioning it in the copy that complements the images at both start and end of the story told through pictures. In this way, it reaches the shop’s audience, whether through the facebook page, or through their interaction with the community surrounding their hobby.