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It’s a new look for First Essex

During our time at First Essex, the team at Abyss Marketing were instrumental in creating a set of on bus materials that are now being rolled out across the fleet of buses in the area.

Paula Middleton, Account Director, comments; “First Essex buses were hosting a variety of different on bus coves, stickers and vinyls. It was clear that the buses all needed to be carrying the same set of standard messaging and we therefore looked to develop a range of generic on bus messages.”

The on bus coves are now in the process of being rolled out and fitted across all buses in the First Essex fleet so watch out for them!

On bus cove

On bus cove

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October Jump In is spooky!

The latest issue of Jump In, our monthly newsletter will be hitting your inboxes very soon.

Lots of stories about our recent antics and of course as it’s approaching Halloween, it’s got a special spooky theme to it!

Here’s a sneak preview…..


October Jump In

October Jump In

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The Doric Fleet

At Abyss we’re really excited about just finishing our first project in partnership with the public transport unit at Aberdeenshire Council.

Our remit was to create and design a new livery and support materials for their Central Buchan on demand responsive door to door bus service.

This service operates anywhere within a designated area and best of all it’s for everyone.

So, with some of our team having the ideal local knowledge we set to work about creating something unique. We wanted to capture the fertile farmlands of the north east of Scotland as well as their unique local dialect.  As part of the livery we were therefore proud to introduce the Doric Fleet – The Heid Bummer, The Nickum and The Auld Man – each and every one of them is an adventure!

Martin Hall, Principal Officer (Information and Infrastructure), Aberdeenshire Council comments; “At Aberdeenshire Council we engaged the services of Abyss Marketing to support us with the design of a new vehicle livery for our Dial a Bus service launching in Mintlaw and the surrounding area. With their local knowledge through Account Director Paula Middleton, Abyss struck upon an ideal design. The design captured the identity of Scotland whilst linking to the local Doric language which really gives it a great community feel.

Paula and the team at Abyss were an absolute pleasure to work with on this livery project with all communications being delivered on time and within budget. Their enthusiasm for the project was infectious and we would not hesitate to use Abyss Marketing again in the future.”

A member of the Doric Fleet

A member of the Doric Fleet

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‘Tis the season to be jolly….

Festive campaign puts us in the mood for fun!

We recently worked with the team at First Scotland East to creative some festive timetable leaflets for them.

The leaflets now being handed out to customers provide really helpful information relating to the bus services First will be running in a host of areas in the East of Scotland.  The company is also offering up a discounted FirstFamily ticket priced at £8 which really is great value if you are heading out and about this year for some shopping or some fun with the family.

As always we had a great fun working with the team at First Scotland East on these leaflets.  They really put us in the mood for some festive cheer pretty early on in December!


Festive leaflet

Festive leaflet

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Leaflets for Lanarkshire

Leaflets mailing in Lanarkshire

At Abyss we’ve recently finished creating some smooth, high quality leaflets for First in Glasgow.

The leaflets are forming part of a mailing that’s currently going out to a large amount of households in Lanarkshire. The leaflets promote First Glasgow’s numerous services that operate under the banner of ‘Lanarkshire Connect’.

Paula Middleton, Account Director at Abyss Marketing adds; “As always it’s been an absolute pleasure working with the marketing team at First Glasgow on this project. The leaflets are designed in a gorgeous purple and pink palette and give customers the opportunity to redeem vouchers on First services and gain discounted bus travel in the run up to the festive period – that must be good news for all concerned!”


Lanarkshire Connect leaflet

Lanarkshire Connect leaflet


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Happy Birthday Platinum!

One year old this week

It was exactly one year ago, on 18 November 2013, that Paula Middleton, formerly First Aberdeen’s Marketing Manager launched the jewel in their crown – the Platinum 19 bus service.

Paula, who recently joined the team at Abyss as their Account Director reflects back on the project and the Top Gun style launch.

“The Platinum project is probably the biggest, most important project I delivered during my time with First Aberdeen. It was almost 12 months in the making and there was plenty of blood, sweat and tears ( yes tears) when into Platinum.  It was worth it though to lead the Top Gun style service launch at the bus depot in King Street on 18 November 2013 is probably one of the proudest achievements of my career so far.”

Platinum 19 was the brainchild of Paula Middleton and she continued to be the heartbeat of the project before, during and after it’s launch. Platinum service 19 exceeded all expectations and delivered on every target set against it.

Most recently the service went on to win the Best Bus Service of the year award at the 2014 Scottish Transport Awards in Glasgow.

So what more can we say except HAPPY BIRTHDAY PLATINUM 19 from all the team at Abyss.


Platinum Service 19 is now one year old

Platinum Service 19 is now one year old

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Over the fence….

 Paula joins the team at Abyss Marketing

It’s not often you hear about someone leaving a bus operator to join an agency. More often than not, the reverse is true. Former First Aberdeen Marketing Manager, Paula Middleton, who was key in delivering a range of improvements within the business helping the company restore its reputation and deliver passenger growth, has however done just that!

In August Paula hopped off the First Aberdeen journey and decided the grass on the other side, offered by marcomms integrated creative agency, Abyss, should be the next step in her career.

She said; “The opportunity with Abyss was too intriguing and exciting a prospect to turn down. I absolutely loved my position at First (which latterly included a regional Scottish Marketing position) and relished the challenges that came with it. However, 11 years with the company I felt that the time was right for a fresh challenge.”

During Paula’s time at First Aberdeen she was instrumental in delivering a significant number of industry leading projects. The Platinum 19 service launched by First Aberdeen back in November 2013 was Paula’s brainchild and she proved to be the heartbeat from start to finish.

In addition to Platinum 19, which incidentally, won the Best Bus Service category at the 2014 Scottish Transport Awards, Paula’s record at First speaks volumes. She’s delivered far too many campaigns to name them all, but just some of them include; the launch of the Northern Lights service for First Aberdeen which included internal ceiling branding on the buses that reflected a Northern Lights sky, an industry first in Scotland.

She had a huge role in the rollout of MTicketing across the UK – Aberdeen being the pilot, a second Platinum route on Service 12 launched earlier this year and replicates much of the award winning features from Platinum 19 and her last big campaign for the company was the launch of new Streetlite buses with unique Sunshine and Thistle branding both inside and out.

Latterly Paula worked further afield for First in Scotland relaunching two major services in the Scottish Borders – the X62 and the X95. Both services carry distinctive route branding in the form of tartan for the X62 and a Common Ridings theme for the X95.

Paula adds; “Life as a Marketing Manager within a bus company is challenging. Inevitably you’re spinning a huge number of projects at any one time all to be delivered within really tight timescales and of course within a budget that’s often not quite enough!”

So since taking up the position of Account Director with Abyss on 13 August, what’s different about life on the other side of the fence?

Paula laughs; “Life is different in so many ways but in others it’s exactly the same! I’m still juggling a massive amount of projects at any one time with the aim of delivering them all within tight timescales and budgets – that hasn’t changed at all. One of the best things about now working for Abyss is having the opportunity to work with other public transport companies and of course clients in completely different industries. I didn’t always work in the bus industry myself so having the opportunity to work outside it at times is a refreshing change.”

For more information about Abyss Marketing or to contact Paula directly you can call 07860 958294.


Paula launching the Doric Bus at First Aberdeen

Paula launching the Doric Bus at First Aberdeen



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