Welcoming Brand Vista and Schwa to Definition Group

We are delighted to welcome brand strategy and experience consultancy Brand Vista; and Schwa, a leading specialist in tone of voice to Definition Group. The two consultancies will sit alongside Definition Agency, TopLine Film, Words&Pictures and Redhouse, bringing the group’s revenue to £10m and adding a Manchester office to its bases in Leeds and London.

Brand Vista – rated by the Financial Times as one of the UK’s leading management consultancies in 2022 – was founded in 2000 and specialises in brand strategy and the alignment of customer and colleague experiences. The company’s portfolio of clients in the international leisure and hospitality, retail, built environment, charity and B2B sectors includes David Lloyd, Merlin Entertainments Group, Greene King, Places for People, Iceland, Fiat Agricultural and Yorkshire Cancer Trust.

Founded in 2017, Schwa is a team of writers, trainers and psychologists who use tone of voice and behavioural science to help organisations engage better with customers and colleagues. The company uses language to improve business performance, with clients spanning large corporates and global groups including BT, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, Network Rail, PepsiCo and Sony Music.

The enhanced service lines expand Definition Group’s insideout communications™ delivery model for major brands, business leaders, member organisations and government bodies. They boost the group’s ability to deliver a broad range of services across the brand strategy, experience and communications spectrum, enabling organisations to enhance their reputations and deliver business growth.

TopLine Film named a Top Agency by Clutch

We are delighted to announce that TopLine Film has been named as one of Clutch’s Top 1,000 Service Providers globally. The Clutch 1,000 is based on verified reviews by clients, brand reputation and selection of services offered.

“At TopLine we have always prided ourselves on our quality of service, strength of client relationships and our ability to create beautiful videos that deliver real business results, whether that is generating leads, raising profiles or increasing customer engagement. We have been a top-10 video production agency in the UK on Clutch for five years and now the Clutch 1,000 award is testament to the hard work of our excellent team,” commented TopLine Film’s Managing Director, Jamie Field.

TopLine Film brings video production and animation to the Definition Group, alongside other leading agencies including Redhouse, Definition Agency and W&P. Our clients include Johnson & Johnson, Cambridge University and Sony.

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TopLine acquired by Definition

Leeds and London based Definition, the multi-award winning strategic communications group, has today announced its acquisition of leading B2B growth agency TopLine Comms, including TopLine Film, ranked by clients as the UK’s top independent video production company in 2020*.

The deal sees Definition add SEO and inbound marketing along with video and animation content production to the Group’s InsideOut Communications™ delivery model for major brands, business leaders, member organisations and Government.  These additional capabilities boost the Group’s ability to deliver lead generation and content marketing alongside strategic brand creation, reputation management, social media and employee engagement services.

TopLine is Definition’s third acquisition in seven months following its purchase of London creative brand agency Redhouse and Leeds-based W&P – one of the country’s leading employee engagement agencies.

The Group’s expanding expertise in B2B communications has been reflected in a number of recent accolades from PR Week and has resulted in a series of prestigious client wins since the start of the year.

PR Week listed Definition as a Top 10 specialist B2B agency, selected it as one of the twelve agencies to watch in 2021, showed it rising 45 places in its rankings of Top 150 UK agencies by revenue and included Managing Director Louise Vaughan in its 2021 UK Power Book, the definitive annual guide to the country’s elite communications professionals.

New clients include Cielo (the world’s leading recruitment outsourcing partner), Halfords, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent, cyber security firm Reliance ACSN and the Security Industry Association.

Founded in London by CEO Heather Baker in 2008, TopLine is one of the UK’s leading B2B digital PR and SEO agencies, with specific specialisms in fintech, tech, engineering and education. With campaigns spanning the UK, Europe, the US and Africa, global clients include ABB, Access Self Storage, Bullhorn, Impero, Outokumpu and Xero. The agency has won a raft of industry awards and been ranked in the Top 10 Great UK Places to Work (Small Companies Category) for the last two years.

The acquisition will see Heather Baker join the Definition Group board, as Group Marketing Director, with the TopLine Comms team joining Definition under the leadership of Louise Vaughan. Jamie Field will continue as Managing Director of TopLine Film, driving the growth of its film, video and animation production and delivery services to a diverse range of clients.

The enlarged, £5 million turnover group has a combined 80 years of experience working for global brands, charities and Government and boasts a tally of over 400 UK and international awards. Definition is currently short listed as B2B Agency of the Year in the PR Moment Awards after winning the category in 2020 and W&P scooped five class wins in 2020 in the IoIC National Awards and Central and North Awards.

Nigel Howes, Chairman of Definition said:

“The TopLine acquisition is an important next step in our ongoing growth strategy.  It brings together two of the UK’s foremost B2B agencies – both leaders in their specific fields of reputation management and search-centric PR – to form the ultimate B2B growth agency and position it as one of the top 3 in the UK**.

“The acquisition also broadens and deepens our sector and service coverage – adding fintech and engineering specialisms to our existing expertise in business and professional services, technology, education, transportation, health & wellness, financial services and the public sector.”

Heather Baker, CEO of TopLine said:

Of all the agencies we’ve talked to, Definition stood out because its ambition, culture and values closely matched our own. It also had a clear and well-articulated growth strategy that offers excellent prospects for our business and our team. We’re incredibly excited about the opportunities to offer an expanded range of services to our clients and for working together with the other group agencies to deliver accelerated growth.”

Funding for the acquisition, as part of its ongoing support for Definition’s growth strategy, was provided by ThinCats (Ben Kimball). Corporate finance and debt advisory services were provided to Definition by Andy Miller at Sentio Partners and corporate finance services were provided to TopLine by Mark Madsen at Madsen Advisory. Legal advice on the transaction was provided to Definition by Dahren Naidoo at Freeths, to TopLine by James Hardy at Acuity Law and to ThinCats by Ben Slack at Clarion.

  • * Ranking according to Clutch’s listing of UK video production companies 2020
  • ** Based on revenue reported in the 2021 PR Week B2B Agency Rankings
Introducing our UK director of photography database

A director of photography (DOP), sometimes known as a cinematographer, works closely with the director to realise the customer’s creative vision. The DOP works as a manager, coordinating the team members to bring the directions on the page into reality. They have more impact on the project’s appearance and feel than almost anybody else – so it’s essential that you choose the right candidate for the job.

At TopLine Film, we produce more than 500 corporate videos every year, which means we regularly work with freelance DOPs. We know what separates an average DOP from a real professional, and we want to promote some of the outstanding DOPs we’ve worked with. That’s why we created a list of committed, talented freelance DOPs working in the UK, and we’re making it freely available online. Visit our list of the best UK directors of photography to find your next DOP. Just click on their website to get a feel for their work and contact them – and if you do hire them, be sure to tell them that TopLine Film sent you.

Once you’ve created your masterpiece, you should enter it in a competition to be in with a chance of winning an award. Check out our lists of marketing awards and corporate video awards for some ideas.

If you want to produce high-quality video content but don’t know the first thing about writing a script, hiring talent or editing, contact our MD, Jamie.

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Introducing our UK sound recordist database

When you’re on set, you sometimes get only a single chance to capture a significant moment, so it’s important to get everything right the first time around. Imagine getting back after a long day of shooting only to find that the audio is muffled, distorted, or otherwise unusable – beyond rescue by even the best mixer. That’s a nightmare scenario, but fortunately, it’s easy to avoid by hiring an experienced, professional sound recordist.

Sound is important if you want your finished video to give the right impression, but if you’re not hiring soundies every day, you might not know how to identify a pro. Here at TopLine Film, we work on more than 500 corporate videos every year, and we’ve worked with plenty of freelance sound recordists. We’ve created a list of reliable, talented sound recordists, and we’re making it freely available online. To contact any of them, just click on our list of the best British sound recordists  – and if you reach out to them, be sure to let them know that TopLine Film sent you.

Once you’ve created a great sounding video, go ahead and check out our lists of marketing awards and corporate video awards that you can enter it in.

If you want to produce high-quality video content but don’t know where to get started when it comes to sourcing talent, writing a script or editing, contact our MD, Jamie.

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Introducing our UK motion graphics designer database

Find the list of the Best British Motion Graphic Designers.

Motion graphics, including 2D and 3D animation, are a great way of getting an idea across in an engaging, entertaining way. However, with low-budget comparison sites claiming to offer motion graphics for as little as five pounds – and they look every bit as unprofessional as you might expect – it can be tough to find the right motion graphics designer for your project. As we have already shown that the quality of your video reflects the quality of your brand, there’s only one way to be sure that you’re getting exactly what you want, beautifully polished and on schedule – choosing a professional.

At TopLine Film, we produce over 100 animations every year – and we’ve been voted the UK’s top video production company by our clients – so we know what sets a professional motion graphic designer apart from the crowd. We’ve used our expertise to put together a list of the UK’s best freelancers, people we would choose to work with, and we’re making that database available to you, for free. Check out the designers’ websites, and when you choose one, be sure to tell them that TopLine recommended them.

Once you and your professional motion graphics designer have collaborated on something impressive, check out our lists of marketing awards and corporate video awards that you can enter.

If you want to create high-quality video content for your business or organisation but doesn’t know where to get started, contact our MD, Jamie.

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Launching our list of the UK’s Best British Animators

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Introducing our new British voice over artist database

Launching our list of the UK’s Best British Animators

Find the list of the Best British Freelance Animators.

If you’re producing an animated video, the last thing you can afford to cut corners on is the animation. The same is true for motion graphics – if they don’t match neatly with the real-world footage, they stick out like a sore thumb. However, if you’re not in the business of making videos, it can be hard to know what to look for, especially with the rise of online listings that boast suspiciously low prices.

Fortunately, we have plenty of video experience as an animation company and we’re here to help. At TopLine Film, we have created hundreds of animations for prestigious clients like Admiral Insurance and Johnson & Johnson, so we know the difference between a good animator and a truly great one. We have used our expertise and industry relationships to build a list of leading UK freelance animators with ideal options for all sorts of animation and motion graphics projects, and we’re excited to make it freely available online.

Our free database is very simple – it’s just a list of top-notch professional animators that we trust alongside their field and their website. You can check out their sites to get an idea of each animator’s strengths and compare them to find the perfect freelancer for your projects – just be sure to let them know that we sent you.

If you’re making an animation and you’re proud of the results, check out our lists of marketing awards and corporate video awards that you can enter to show it off.

Or, if you’re looking for start-to-finish video content production, including glossy animations and elegant motion graphics, get in contact our MD, Jamie.

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Introducing our UK camera operator database

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Introducing our UK camera operator database

Find the list of the Best British Camera Operators

In an age when everybody has a high-resolution camera in their pocket, it’s easy to assume that anyone can be a camera operator – but don’t be fooled. Amateur footage is often shaky, overexposed and poorly framed, whereas a professional camera operator brings the right equipment for the job and produces great-looking footage every time. While it’s possible to clean up audio or to try a different approach to post-processing, there’s nothing you can do to rescue a poor video after the fact.

If you need a camera operator but don’t know what to look for, we have you covered. At TopLine Film, we work on more than 500 corporate videos every year, so we’ve met our share of camera operators. We have collected a list of top-notch freelancers, and we’re making it freely available online so you can find the perfect camera operator for your project. Our database links directly to their websites so you can get an idea of each operator’s specialities and review their portfolio before reaching out directly – but be sure to tell them TopLine sent you.

Once you and your professional camera operator have produced something you’re proud of, check out our lists of marketing awards and corporate video awards that you can enter.

If you want to produce high-quality video content but don’t know where to get started when it comes to sourcing talent, writing a script or editing, contact our MD, Jamie.

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British voice over artists

TopLine tops the list of UK video production companies 

What makes a good producer?  

Introducing our new British voice over artist database

Introducing our new database of British voice over artists

Find the list of the Best British Voice Over Artists.

When it’s done properly, voice over is one of those parts of a video that most viewers don’t consciously notice – but it can make all the difference. It subtly gives your project personality and confidence, and the viewer can dedicate their attention to what is being said. Nervous, fuzzy, voice overs with the speaker too far from the mic, on the other hand, are incredibly distracting and can really detract from your brand image. That’s why it’s important to invest in an experienced professional voice over artist.

But how do you find a voice for your project? These days, anybody with a cheap microphone can call themselves a voice over artist, but using this self-proclaimed voice talent is the fast-track to disappointment. Google hasn’t started indexing voices or categorising voice over artists by professionalism (…yet), so it has been a frustrating process of trial and error – until now. In the course of our work on more than 500 corporate videos each year, we’ve encountered countless talented and hard-working voice over artists, and we’ve compiled an internal list of standouts. Now, we’re excited to make that list available online, for everybody to use, making it easier than ever to find the perfect voice for your project.

While our list doesn’t find the right voice for you needs – that’s a creative decision – it does make it easy to narrow your search to just the top-notch professionals. Our database links directly to their websites, and lets you know if they have a home studio, so you can spend more time auditioning and less time weeding out amateurs. Once you’ve found the right voice over artist for your needs, you can also check out our existing databases for marketing awards and corporate video awards.

If you’re looking for a professional video production company to handle everything from sourcing talent to filming, animation, and post-production, contact our MD, Jamie.