Not Actual Size is a London-based group of people that explores the big meanings of small things, both in its own creative projects and work for clients, who currently include Nike, Ray Ban and the V&A.
Our own projects, such as the Middle Class Handbook, seek to consider aspects of modern life in Britain, with intelligence and humour, teasing out the wider significance in the minutiae of the mundane. Our commercial work entails creating content for brands that will entertain people, and allows them to see their own lives reflected in the brand’s media. The content can be used directly by brands, or their PR or advertising agencies, or sold into the media by Not Actual Size itself. Much of its recent work has been online, but it produces books and film, and stages events.
As a company, Not Actual Size believes that if companies want to develop a relationship with people, they need content that can start and sustain conversations about subjects knitted into people’s lives. Obviously that content must be related to the brand, but it works best when it has integrity and desirability in its own right. We feel the best way to achieve that is simply to work with creative people who have experience of creating successful, attractive, compelling, unique content. This is why we employ respected creatives from journalism, TV, arts and academia.
The Not Actual Size approach involves two steps. Firstly using researchers, who combine academic methodologies with a populist sensibility, and secondly turning this raw material into entertainment that both demonstrates brand values and gets people interested. Our specialism is talking to people about the wonder of everyday experiences. We have, for example, produced award-winning work based on such commonplace activities as using mobile phones, eating fast food, and commuting by car. These subjects are not glamorous – not usually, anyway – but people have strong feelings and ideas about them, and they enjoy sharing those feelings and ideas with each other.
The vital point is that the conduit between the small things and the big meaning is people. It is people alone who can transform the mundane into the momentous and, as the Middle Class Handbook seeks to show, this is something we are all trying to do, in our own way.
For more information, visit notactualsize.co.uk.