Friday, 21 November 2008

"We don't want your business. Yet"

I was very impressed in the initiative used by a Willowfield Funeral Services in Ireland who came upon with the idea of advertising their business by promoting a message about drink driving at Christmas.

A great way of publicising your business and getting an incredibly valid message across.

Hooray for forward thinking funeral directors.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Its not all about death you know!

I spent the weekend relaxing by the seaside with my husband, daughter and a few of our friends in Suffolk. The weather was amazing for November; not a cloud in the sky and the sun actually felt warm. So much so, my 2 year old daughter insisted on running around the empty beach with her wellies full of sea water! I sat outside the beech hut watching my friends and daughter playing on the sand and I had 'one of those moments' when you look at the sky, breathe in the fresh air and look at the world carrying on with its life . You just 'get it'. You understand why George Weiss & Bob Thiele managed to write the utterly perfect song - 'Wonderful World'. Its all a bit cheesy, I know, and I maybe want to shake myself for even writing and admitting to these feelings, but to be honest I get them a lot.

Sometimes we'll be working on a
tribute film and I have hold back any tears that may want to fall during the editing, but when I sit back and watch the final cut on the big TV, I'll be overcome by the exact the same feelings as I had on the beech at the weekend. I'll shed a tear because watching my clients life in film , seeing what they have done in their lifetime, makes me - well 'get it' - It shows me just how wonderful life really is.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Is wanting to innovate the funeral industry such a wacky idea?

Two years ago I set up Sentiment Ltd. I suppose the idea came in many forms, things I’d seen on TV, a string of family funerals both good and bad, my own experience in event planning and production, my brain running overtime at 2am in the morning. It all just merged together and then ‘shabang’ I came up with the crazy idea of funky funerals and video production!!!

There is nothing in the world I love more than being able to bring comfort to people, make them smile, make them laugh or do something that overwhelms them. I like to push the barriers out, do something that will have a positive and lasting impact on people for the rest of their life. Allowing them to celebrate the life of the person they had lost in a way most befitting the person.

I think I had some sort of calling, not so much in the sense a priest or a vicar gets a calling. No god whispered in my dreams to tell me I was destined for greater things – just a true desire to offer people something more and perhaps change the traditional thinking around funerals.

Two years ago, if you mentioned the idea of
photo slideshows and montages to funeral directors, they would look at you as if you were barking mad and reply in their flat funeral directors tone “explain to me what it is you do again” or “no no no, people don’t ask for things like that” or “umm well if anyone asks for such a thing we’ll call you” - in other worlds leave your leaflets on the side and we’ll drop them in the bin when you leave!!!!

After the brush off I got from 99.9% of Funeral Directors, I would normally then not bother to mention the great ideas I had of releasing butterflies, or hosting a funeral in the local caves with canapés and cocktails!! – “they think your weird enough already!”

However the funeral industry seems to be waking up to new and innovative ideas. There are more colourful coffins on the market and the demand for green and eco funerals, wicker coffins, recycled coffins, pink coffins, ashes into diamonds, ashes into the sea is on the increase. We are a different generation now. We have access to so much and want so much more. Will the baby boomers, the hungry yuppies of the 80’s, the free spirited hippies of the 70’s or even just Joe Bloggs down the road want more than just a conveyer belt funeral for Mum? I truly believe
Sentiment will not be seen as such a wacky idea after all!

Do you think it is such a wacky idea? What would you want at your funeral to represent the person you truly were? Fine wine instead of tea? French cheeses instead of curly sandwiches? Or make your final lap in a Formula 1 racing car?

Comments Please …