Creative Advertising in the Big Apple

We love going down to London to visit our friends in the industry, of course we do. 
But there is no denying the thrill we felt when jetting off to New York to make some new friends in The Big Apple. 

At the end of March, at six am on a wintery Monday morning, 30 students with oversized suitcases and pockets stuffed with dollars rolled up outside the main campus, ready to set off to the US.  

Over the next 4 days we were fortunate enough to visit BBH, JWT, Ogilvy, Vanity Fair Magazine, even finding time to pop our heads into see the good people at Hyper Island as well as set a brief for the students live in Central Park. 

Here are a few pictures from our epic adventure along with words from some of the students who travelled with us to New York.

Emma Thomas - 1st Year - BBH

"Being the first ever agency i’d visited, my excitement was at an all time high. As soon as the lift doors opened, the iconic BBH black sheep was very prominent and the atmosphere in the air immediately changed. There was a buzz about the place.

 As we waited for someone to show us round the agency, we got the chance to experience the view BBH’s creatives get. 

New York City lay before us. In every direction iconic buildings stood high above the bustling city below. With a view like that it’s clear to see why the outskirts of SoHo is the home to BBH NYC. Walking through the agency the buzz remained. Creatives were working all around us, some alone, some in teams, all obviously loving what they do. Colourful paintings and personal touches filled the agency with life.

We then got the opportunity to hear from and talk to creatives within the company and see some of the work BBH has produced. This was such an invaluable chance to really see what the world of advertising is truly like and give us an insight as to what’s in store. The things they spoke to us about were just ridiculously motivating and I know for me, I came out really focused and even more convinced advertising is where I want to be. "

The reception of BBH NY + a fine bunch of CA students.

Jenny McDonald - 2nd Year - JWT

"Heading up to the 2nd floor, the reception area was an array of weird and wonderful pictures and furnishings, topped off by a show reel of JWT work, projected onto each wall. We were then met by Carly Wengrover from the PR department who took us on a tour of all three floors occupied by JWT, walking through the infinite desks, highlights included the many obscure photographs and posters scattered around the open-plan office, many of which making for interesting photo opportunities; and the Cafeteria, which doubles as a room for entertaining and even has its own stage and DJ.

After the tour, we were then ushered into a conference room to be given the opportunity meet a few other members of the JWT team and probe them for information with our questions, these included McDonald Predelus, who works as a Creative, Kelly Dye, a Creative Coordinator, and many others including one British account planner, which made me feel less worried about my own prospects about one day working across the pond.

A lovely creative 'nest' in JWT NY.

Of the three ad agencies which we were lucky enough to get the opportunity to visit, I would say that JWT is the most traditional in its core values; with it’s separation of each department and its offices being in the midst of sky scrapers, it makes for an exciting and different experience of visiting an agency."

Gathered directly in front of the sign that proves we're in JWT. Clever bunch, aren't we?

Liam Nicholson - 2nd Year - Ogilvy

"Situated away from the bustle of New York City center, on 11th Avenue the Ogilvy & Mather New York office stands tall with hustle and did not fail to impress. This is the headquarters of the company that owns around 450 offices in 120 countries and approximately 18,000 employees of which 3,000 are located here. A lot of expectations where completely blown out of the water as we were shown around the stunning building then taken to the sunny, roof terrace with breath taking views.

I found this agency visit to be extremely rewarding due to the Q&A with the creatives working on accounts such as IBM, Wonka, Castrol and Fanta. We were told about these accounts and that Fanta were debuting an exciting new development in advertising using Facebook Timeline, were you have to find characters in the timeline and like them back to the present (

The creative's answers were very sincere and inspiring. We were told how important criticism is and how you should encourage this criticism from people that you respect and want to please. “…And remember your experience is different to everybody else’s.” We were also given advice about our book, what to include in it and how to get hired, which I found especially invaluable.       
Overall, a truly exceptional agency and home to legendary campaigns."

The group on the roof terrace at Ogilvy NY.

Lily Peters - 2nd Year - Vanity Fair

"The excitement of our trip continued as several of us were fortunate enough to visit Vanity Fair. 

After passing security and taking the lift up to the 22nd floor, we met with Hamish Robertson, the Digital Design Editor. He was incredibly welcoming and spoke with us about the inclination that brands now have toward using digital media. As a firm believer that print is not dead - something I felt equally strongly about - Hamish gave us a brilliant insight into how a monthly magazine, such as Vanity Fair, is working with digital to compliment it, something he thought no one has quite perfected yet. As well as discussing the future of media, we gained an understanding of how fierce the competition for the top advertising spots in such a high-end magazine is; we discovered how the art direction and creativity of the ad can effect whether it is granted the initial space within Vanity Fair. It was wonderful to be able to speak directly to someone so involved with the developing relationship of print and digital media, as well as someone who decides which ads feature in the magazine."


Back to me! The students had an excellent time and most definitely used every single second they were in New York to explore. 

They took Limo rides to dinner, went to see college basketball matches, got stuck on Statton Island, did the tourist thing, the New Yorker thing, saw independent cinema in Brooklyn, modern art at MOMA and walked the excellent High Line to name just a few of their adventures. 

'This is how we roll' - CA students catch a Limo to dinner.

Ferry Terminal

The Statue of Liberty

I hope this blog gave you a flavour of our visit but if you REALLY want to get a feel for our New York trip then you should have a look at this piece of work by 2nd Year Lily Peters. 

Gathering students for a life briefing in Central Park

A sunny morning in Central Park, briefing about to commence.

She produced it in response to a brief the students were given LIVE in Central Park halfway through our trip. Enjoy it, it's called 'How Sweet is The Big Apple'.

And if there was ever any doubt whether we enjoyed ourselves, well, we've already arranged the dates for next year's trip!