November 26, 2015

The past can send a message

DJ Pressure

Some days the past sends a message to the future. And today a young man I first met and worked with at Livity in 2003 came back to the Livity office. Nice to see you Dave, AKA DJ Pressure.

Back in those days, Dave was working hard putting his past behind him, and used his passion for music to become Live Magazine’s first Music Editor under the guidance of then mentors Mark Gurney, Kate Burt, Gavin Weale and the then editor Jordan Jarrett-Bryan.

Dave enthusiastically looked after the music page for a few years, reviewing all the vinyl that arrived (that’s how long ago it was) keeping himself out of trouble and keeping us entertained – one day we turned up for work to find Dave blasting Two-Step from his turntables and sound system which he’d set up earlier that morning in the office to ‘cheer us all up’ as he felt we’d been ‘looking a bit stressed’.

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November 3, 2015

Sam Conniff’s #TopFiveLive

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Sam Conniff’s #TopFiveLive

1. Vexed - Of the many formats Live produced, it was always when young people had their own clear unadulterated voice that it was at its best and this Vexed episode is one of my favourites.

2. Live recordings - The entrepreneurial environment at Live Mag UK meant ideas often became projects. I’ll never forget Live Magazine’s own record label and the track still on my playlist is the Mark Ronson remix of the very first release, Keep Movin’ by the Vinyl Villains.

3. Tissue Paper Crew – Live started exploring video content early on, and created a Saturday film club at the same time the magazine was talking gangs. This video is a sometimes funny, sometimes cutting satire of gang culture, based around toilet roll.

4. Jamal Edwards’ cover - I could have picked many faces who graced Live’s front cover long before they were famous, from Rudimental to Rizzlekicks, but I’m most proud of the fact that we gave Jamal Edwards his first front cover, as what he’s achieved embodies so much of what Live stood for.

5. The Guardian - Of all the relationships Live cultivated, from Newsnight to News international, the proudest of the lot was the friendship with The Guardian that spanned a decade, and ranged from an annual hack day to the editor to editor mentoring, between Celeste Houlker and Alan Rusbridger.

October 30, 2015

Live Forever

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To the friends, family and foremostly, to the young people of Live Magazine.

On the 15th anniversary of Live Magazine it’s time to celebrate all that it’s achieved and to also completely re-think the way Livity benefits the lives of young people, and to do something new.

Live Magazine inspired a generation of young people, we know it will be missed, but it’s success and legacy will endure, no matter how good Livity made Live, it was the young people that made Live great.

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October 28, 2015

The Future of Livity

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Livity has always existed to offer access and opportunities for young people, via the wide-reaching campaigns and content delivered for the progressive clients we work with, and the activity with young people face-to-face.

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October 14, 2015

How positive work experience can have a long lasting impact on young people


In celebration of Work Experience Week, young person Tulani gives us the lowdown on his recent work experience at MTV, an opportunity signposted through Livity. Tulani gives us his breakdown of his two week placement, providing insight into the long-term impact this experience has had on his own passions and future career goals.

“My life at MTV”

I had the privilege recently of walking into the head offices of the wall street of entertainment, MTV. What once felt like a faceless global engine for music is now a collection of warm and beautiful faces that laughed at my jokes and smiled, even before I had a chance to.  I got thrown into the trenches for two weeks with nothing but my bare hands, and let me tell you it was f***ing exhilarating. It’s a jungle over there, but a very trendy jungle with such diverse and exciting soundtracks.

It all started with the International Talent & Music team. Headed up by Melissa Skye and Bianca Acca aka the twin dream team, who together handle the most eccentric talents in the world with a touch of grace and a splash of class. It was great to watch them toss each other a metaphorical football that is effectively the EMA’s. Each took their turn whipping it into shape and preparing for the Milan leg on the 25th of October 2015, all the while guiding and receiving support from their young and hungry T.A.M team.

They weren’t shy to give me a peak at their baby either. I was given International video priority grids which really opened my mind up to the enormous scale of MTV’s reach across the globe. I tracked how often new songs were played across all their channels in all the regions except the US of A. Yes, we all to different degrees have an idea of how big this company is, but until you actually see it sitting on a page in numbers with regional chart forms in front of you, you can’t actually imagine it.

Let me put it in perspective. The first EMAs ceremony was held in 1994 in Berlin, Germany, and they are held every year in a different country. 1.2 billion people across the world watched the awards, staged in Belfast last November. The figures estimate that £25 was generated for the city, for every £1 of public money spent. £22 million was the total economic impact for Belfast. They are changing the face of a city one country at a time.

From coordinating social media announcements with Ed Sheeran and Ruby Rose, as well as across the 35 regions that MTV reaches, to coercing AC Milan to allow Mario Balotelli out on a school night, the Talent & Music team have pretty exciting lives from day-to-day. It’s not just paper pushing and conference calls.

Week two, I was a fully matured MTV Adult! I moved from Talent & Music on to saving the world, with the Staying Alive Foundation. Here, I found the place where they are fighting and measurably winning the war on an epidemic. HIV & Aids is a global threat. The Staying Alive Foundation is the largest collective effort to educate, support and supply people with the tools they need to protect themselves against HIV & Aids. Since everybody gets a kick out of numbers, here are a few. Since 2005 they have reached over 500 million young people and distributed over 7 million condoms. With the television series “MTV Shuga” they reach 550 million people and educate them about sexual reproductive health, how to prevent contracting HIV/Aids and encouraging them to know their status.

This Foundation was started 21 years ago by Miss Georgia Arnold. Having spent an evening with her perusing SOHO’s art scene, and selecting our favourite piece of photography from the life of Elizabeth Taylor. I have one thing to say, she is a remarkable and inspiring human being. As the founder of Staying Alive, she is a kind and warm soul. No wonder she commands so much respect without asking. I imagine much like that of Cleopatra in her day.

This all had me thinking intensely about my life and the impact I want to have on the world. I could never have imagined that after only two weeks I would be so much more aware of my existence and so much more conscious of how important it is to put your passion before anything else. I came to MTV for two weeks work experience and I left with perspective and a re-energised lease on life.

Thank you MTV, Melissa Skye, Rowena Dyson, Georgia Arnold and all the unsung heroes, I have met over the past two weeks that help make the global machine what it is. We turn on our televisions and hear beautiful music and watch meticulously planned award shows, but there are troops that are fighting every day to make that a possibility. This is a salute to them for all their efforts because not everybody gets to be on the television screen.

14.10.15, Tulani Pama, Livity young person 

A big thanks to all the team at Viacom, for working in partnership with us at Livity and providing brilliant work experience placements for our young people! 



August 20, 2015

Why Jeremy Corbyn speaks to young people



Livity work experience Ciara gives us her perspective on the unexpected rise of Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour leadership contest, and explores just why he’s resonating with young people. 

There is apparently nothing this government, and most politicians, fear, then a genuinely left-wing politician that sticks to his principles, and the kinds of “morons” that would vote for him (thanks for that John McTernon). Jeremy Corbyn has seemingly upset British politics like few others have, and the commentators across the political scale are scrambling to discredit him. What makes Corbyn such a threat that other candidates would see ‘Anyone But Corbyn’ as leader of the Labour Party?

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June 29, 2015

Build it. The people will come.

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A young person I met at a somewhereto_ event last year sent me their blog to have a look and give some feedback. Her offerings are playful fashion musings – achingly cool, full of good humour and life.  She’s had the foresight to cook up a good tagline for the top of the page – “Build it. The people will come”. I love this sentiment because I see it all the time, working alongside people who believe in their ideas and are confident that if they take those ideas to a certain point, others will follow. These people are everywhere, but Livity and somewhereto_ seem to have a habit of attracting them.

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May 20, 2015

The definitive A to Z of youth marketing

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14 years ago, while sat in the Trinity Arms in Brixton, Michelle Clothier and I were making plans for our new agency, Livity. At the time we called it an ‘experiment’ in marketing and we believed we were creating something unique and important. We’d left our jobs and agreed to test the experiment with our livelihoods. We believed we were testing two ideas.

The first idea was whether the power of brands could be harnessed as a force for good when it comes to young people.

The second idea was equally ambitious; could the process of creating these campaigns also be an empowering and educational experience for the same young people they’re trying to reach, and in so doing, could the involvement of those young people create better concept, strategy and creative?

Or more succinctly, is the idea of an ethical marketing agency an oxymoron, or the idea of morons?

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May 7, 2015

Who should I vote for?


There are topics of conversation that should be avoided, namely religion, money and politics.  However now that what we ate for lunch is deemed worthy of mass sharing, talking about voting, and who you’re voting for has become more common. And if this promotes a healthy dialogue, encouraged participation and informed decision making, it should be celebrated.

In the spirit of this celebration, we’ve summarised some of the key content and digital activity which has caught our eye and prompted this discussion in the run up to #GE2015.

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