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The Tom Sawyer Effect

31 Great Queen Street

London WC2B 5AE

United Kingdom

Tel.: +44 (0) 203 048 0104


United Kingdom

We are a pervasive communications company. We specialise in delivering original and entertaining content & experiences.

The Tom Sawyer Effect

We are a pervasive communications company. We specialise in delivering original and entertaining content & experiences.

The Crystal Maze rebooted


As The Guardian put it this week, The Crystal Maze is the ultimate offering to an immersive obsessed culture - a point thoroughly backed by the public demand when it presented itself. Six months later, the challenges of The Crystal Maze are set to open their doors to Londoners!

In the 90’s, The Crystal Maze was one of the UK’s favourite television shows. It’s now returning as the ultimate team challenge right in the heart of London, where you and your friends can face challenges testing your skills, mental and physical ability across the four (classic) time zones: Aztec, Industrial, Futuristic and Medieval. 

We helped the Maze team put together a phased digital strategy: this included creating a digital visual identity pack, guidelines for the email and social strategy, recommendations & setup for supporting tools (e.g. online customer service) and sample digital assets.

We and our partners planned and produced its main website, a responsive digital hub where Maze fans can find out all they need to know about the experience and quickly proceed to secure their seats - as of this writing, the experience is sold out until November!

We also developed the overarching social strategy toolkit for the brand - covering everything from tonality, channel strategy, posting frequency, geo-social setup & management, content direction, asset creation & sourcing and integration with the wider marcomms spectrum.

The Maze officially opens this Tuesday - our team's already been through secret preview sessions and can confirm it is the experience you probably dreamed of as soon as you heard this was happening (and quite possibly long before!) Make you sure you get your tickets while you can (a new batch has just become available).

So the only thing left to say is... 

Takumi Influencing Instagram

Ben Mason

I gave a talk about influencer engagement earlier this month on behalf of Tinman at an event for Takumi, a company that only deals with Instagram influencers, and only those with less than 100,000 fans. The theory being that the relative degrees of engagement compared to the community sizes (and therefore the bang for buck) is much greater for mid or even low level influencers compared to the big guns, with a kind of inverse economies of scale coming into play. 

Amongst a host of stats and facts about the channel the following one stuck out, and remains key for our bashing over the heads of anyone that still refuses to start building a presence on the platform. 

But of course it's still a challenge to keep your levels of engagement as high as possible - and ahead of the competition. And it seems to us that your Instagram feed is much like a story told in visual snapshots. So it's worth returning to the golden rules of storytelling - only replacing stories and writing with content and its creation...

Which is why you'll find me posting images like the following. Which at least over time start to make sense in the context of our own and third party immersive events, like that of the amazing Gideon Reeling below...

And of course with Instagram you have an instant feedback mechanism - if your post doesn't get good levels of engagement straight off (relative to your account generally) it's not going to perform well. 

Though it's equally important that you're not just chasing likes, as over time it's more important for your brand to be consistent - with itself and with the rest of its communications. But at the same time don't be afraid to experiment. Like I have been with Stormtrooper_GN2683 here...



Tom Sawyer community management

Ben Mason

So here’s that follow up 2015 post...this one rounding up our activity in social community management: from luxury perfume to health and life insurance, and premium paint to world-renowned whisky.

Valspar Paint UK (supporting FCB Inferno)

The premium paint brand crossed the pond to set up shop in the UK in 2014 becoming exclusively available at B&Q stores. Having set up their UK Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest channels the year before, 2015 saw the new TVC advert launch and rolled out across each channel.

Collaborations with the likes of Mumsnet, Warner Brothers’ PAN movie and Valspar’s community took place with supporting social content and competitions, and ongoing management ensured ever-growing communities, brand sentiment and social reach


Vitality UK (supporting BBD Perfect Storm)

The brand transitioned from PruHealth and PruProtect to Vitality in November 2014, Tom Sawyer helped cement the health and life insurance company’s new brand image and offerings on their social channels. The channels were used to add depth and engagement opportunities to advertising campaigns and sponsorship events & partnerships, with continuing management of their Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles  the levels of interaction and social reach greatly increased – in Facebook’s case by several hundred percent.

2015 also brought partner competitions from the likes of Garmin Vivofit and Eurostar, collaborations with health and fitness influencers, live Q&A’s with Arsenal’s Theo Walcott, and on the ground content from the Vitality Run Series events.

Having set and established the social strategy for the brand update, consolidated the social channels and managed these first larger scale promotions supporting the sponsorship programme the community management programme was successfully handed over to a new dedicated in-house team in November.

Acqua di Parma (supporting FCB Inferno)

Throughout 2015 Tom Sawyer continued to manage luxury Italian fragrance Acqua di Parma’s global profiles on all major social media channels; ensuring new releases were shared socially, that each channel was responsive to global interactions about their products, and that complex customer service queries were dealt with efficiently. Coupled with our influencer outreach programme for the brand which is now in its third year, and continues to secure coverage from the top fragrance bloggers across the world and build out Acqua di Parma’s presence through reviews, social media and in natural search, always retaining the premium feel and finish to both assets and prose.


Grants Whisky (supporting FCB Inferno)

This was our second year managing the brand’s global Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels. Having unified over 30 local markets and providing branding and content strategy support in 2014, last year was about building out the global capabilities and quality of execution.

The brand platform of recognising those around you who have helped you get where you have in life was built out with further engaging and playfully human stories and content. An update to the global toolkit and ongoing oversight and support helped all of these local markets implement the central content plan (customising with their own local additions), alongside targeted paid  activity. The results exceeded all KPIs for community growth and engagement, most notably for the Global Facebook presence which now has more than 1 million fans.


Taking over the Grant’s Whisky UK social management last year allowed us to practice what we preached from this oversight role. Grant’s UK’s social activity mirrored the global content, but adding independent campaigns and activity across the year, including sponsorship and competitions of Sky Sport’s home nation coverage of the Euro 2016 qualifiers.

The Estate of the Artist Francis Bacon (as Tom Sawyer direct) 

Tom Sawyer’s social media management for the Estate of Francis Bacon is now in to its fifth year, and our content creation and community management strategy for the Estate’s Facebook, Twitter, Google+, blog and newsletter has seen news about the artist enthusiastically celebrated amongst a hugely engaged fanbase. In 2015 the Estate’s Facebook page grew by 28%, achieved over 181K page likes (purely from organic activity) and saw us frequently engaging with high profile social profiles including galleries, museums and auction houses. The Estate recently launched their new website and announced the long awaited publication date of the ‘Francis Bacon Catalogue Raisonné’ – here’s to 2016…






















Time Run

Based on times throughout history when social media didn’t exist, it was nonetheless invaluable as we launched and established TimeOut’s most recommended escape the room adventure in London. As explorers voyaged through time with the help of Babbage, Tom Sawyer were firmly rooted in the present day managing the Twitter, Facebook and YouTube channels, celebrating those who took on Luna’s quest, revealing snippets of the adventure game and engaging with Time Runners either side of their adventure through time.