Market Rasen BIG

The assembled students await MR BIG's decision.

The third year Creative Advertising students recently participated in an ambitious project to promote Market Rasen as a place for local residents to do their shopping. The Market Rasen Business Improvement Group (MR BIG) project is part of the national Mary Portas initiative to reinvigorate interest in the high street and get the public to 'shop local' again.

Back in January 2012 a team of dedicated citizens from Market Rasen set out to pitch for funds to the Portas Pilot enterprise and were picked as one of the initial towns to benefit from the scheme. The team managed to secure £98 599 to help promote and improve their town through various energetic and thoughtful projects, this is where the University of Lincoln Creative Advertising course comes in.

Sara Scott, who is leading the Portas Pilot project for MR BIG, briefed in a project to the Level 3 Creative Advertising students who were asked to promote the benefits of shopping locally to customers in and around Market Rasen. The students had a week to come up with ideas for advertising and innovative marketing solutions which were then presented to the course teaching staff. The proposals were whittled down to six teams who then prepared their work for presentation to the client.

Chris and Sophie run through their proposal

Kwan puts her point across

The presentations were held in the Lincoln Hotel and the judging panel consisted of three of the course teaching staff plus Sara Scott and Jackie Smith - MR BIG Markets Director. The shortlisted students all gave confident, clear presentations of their work and conducted themselves in a very professional manner which was commented on by the assembled judges. The students who made it through to the presentation stage were, Matt Slee, Jenni McDonald, Chris White, Sophie MacDonald, Kwan Naruporn, Lucy Eldridge, Liam Nicholson, Lily Hurst, Wil Blackburn, Amanda Elvidge and Lily Peters.

After much deliberation and some difficult decision making the judges finally concluded that the work of Amanda Elvidge and Lily Peters was the winner. It was felt that the girls' idea summed up the benefits of shopping locally in the most concise and effective way by focusing on the personal touches you get from shopkeepers who know their customers. So well done Amanda and Lily!

The concepts have now been passed on to the MR BIG team who will develop the press adverts and posters with a local graphic design company in order to bring it to print ready status, all with the help and input of Lily and Amanda, of course!

Jenni and Matt being persuasive

Lily and Wil's big idea

Sara and Jackie deliberating

This project has been the second 'live' brief that the University of Lincoln's Level 3 Creative Advertising students have worked on in the last month and it shows how professional and motivated they all are to produce such effective advertising when working to such tight deadlines. Projects like the MR BIG Shop Local campaign are a great way of preparing students for the rigours of working in an advertising agency and the Creative Advertising programme places great emphasis on realistic work situations, so it's very pleasing to see the students click into action when they need to.

It has been a rewarding experience working with dedicated volunteers running a project as deserving as saving the high street. We all wish the MR BIG team well with their cause and will be bringing you updates on Lily and Amanda's work when it goes to print.