Level 2 Visit to London Advertising Agencies

Last week saw the Level 2 students visit some of the highest profile advertising agencies in London; BBH, Wieden & Kennedy, DLKW Lowe and VCCP. A course that delivers ‘real world experiences’ is vitally important for the of Lincoln Creative Advertising students.

This first hand experience is mutually beneficial for both the students and the agencies. It allows the students to see the inner workings of an agency and likewise the agencies get to meet the next generation of advertisers. Like the Egyptian Plover to the Nile Crocodile…it’s a win-win situation.

I'll let the students explain in their own words how the visits went, first up Ellen who visited BBH.

“Walking through the middle of Soho, and you see that little black sheep on the door. It can only be BBH.

Glass bottles of water, wall art and plastic sheep completely immerse you in the ethos of the company; when the world zigs, zag.
Walking through the floors and sections you could just feel how much everyone wanted to be there.

They have an unlimited free coffee bar, complete with pastries and foam hearts in the froth of your latte (which we took full advantage of). Oh and brownies, they had the best brownies!

Whilst there, we were shown around by Claire andMaria, part of the ‘Lincoln Mafia’.They showed us BBH’s most recent show reel, and explained the process the agency goes through when they take on a brief.
They were really great at giving us advice for when it’s our turn to try and make it in the big, scary advertising world.

We also met BBH’s newest creative team, Marc andCallum. They showed us their website, and talked about their ‘Mega bus book’ which they’d put together in a 7 hour bus journey on the way to London using only stories in that days Metro.
Pretty impressive.

The whole visit gave us an exciting glimpse into what we hope our creative futures have in store.

Another interesting aspect of bbh was “Zag”
In a world full of zigs, do you zag?
zag is a dedicated area for starting new and upcoming companies and ideas, finding their target market, to producing the best work available to go from strength to strength – a wise investment for any new company."

Whilst one group of students was visiting BBH another group went to DLKW Lowe. To find out more about the agency, Abigail and Ola gives us there impressions of the visit.

DLKW Lowe was everything I imagined an advertising agency would look like. The building was huge and had really high ceilings, there were adverts that they had created all over the walls (the Morrison’s ads mainly) and a massive lightbulb hung from the ceiling as the main centre piece of the agency; showing that this is the place were great ideas happen and evolve! The atmosphere was buzzing therefore I instantly got a positive vibe! We met with an inspirational previous Lincoln Creative Advertising student called Adam who is now in a creative team at DLKW Lowe and has been there for 3 years. He told us about how he got to where he is now, what briefs he’s previously done and what briefs he’s currently doing, what the procedures are once you get a brief, what it’s like living in the busy and expensive city of London and lots more vital and helpful info! He gave a great impression of DLKW Lowe and it is definitely an agency that I aspire to work for!”

“We ventured into the heart of London to find DLKW Lowe, an advertising agency that has produced many successful campaigns. The visit was quite short but in the time that we had, we managed to prize a 
lot of important information about ad land from our Tour guide/Former CA pupil, Adam Smith. He was without his partner (also a graduate from the course) But he managed to give a very informative session on his own. He spoke about the scale of their work, from from filming in different countries to late nights in the office. He also talked us through his ideas process and reinforced how hard we need to work to become the creatives we want to be. It was a very enlightening experience and a true reality check, especially since it came from the mouth of someone who had previously been in my shoes. All in all, it was a great experience.”

The second agency for the BBH group was VCCP, here are Jo and Hannah’s accounts of their visit.

“Half of the second year students were lucky enough to visit top London agency VCCP. It all started with a quick workout (a hefty five flights of stairs) to reach the top floor to have a swift but exciting tour of the agency. Our hosts for the day were ex-Lincoln Creative Advertising students, Jade Sturman and Sophie Townsend, who have been working for VCCP for over a year and are living proof that it’s all possible if you stick at it. Not only did we hear about Sophie and Jade’s experience of the advertising industry but were also joined by two of the female Creative Directors of VCCP who gave invaluable advice and told inspiring stories. It’s safe to say our very first visits to London agencies have given us a tiny glimpse of the industry and how thrilling the world of advertising is. We can’t wait to become part of it.”

And finally Charlotte, Tom and Cullen tell us how their group’s visit to Wieden & Kenedy went.

“On Friday afternoon a group of enthusiastic Creative Advertising students from The University of Lincoln found themselves in the wonderland that is Wieden+Kennedy.

We entered with an acute sense of excitement that boiled over, for most of us, at the mere sight of the reception area. The white walls were adorned with weird and wonderful items; a Honda helmet sat amongst painted wellies, multiple clocks, and mannequin heads.

We met the brilliant creative team, Philippa and Artur, who studied Creative Advertising at Lincoln too, and were led into a conference room that had a partially glass ceiling, through which you could see people walking above you. In the week leading up to our visit we had been set a fantastic Nike brief by Wieden+Kennedy’s creative teams, and were to present our solutions to them and Nike’s Creative Directors that afternoon.  Presenting our work was possibly the most nerve-racking thing we’ve ever done, but it was fantastic to get feedback from people within the industry right now, and was certainly an eye opening experience. 

The quality of Wieden+Kennedy’s work that we were shown was phenomenal. We were privileged enough to hear from a variety of people within the Agency, including an wonderfully eccentric and highly engaging talk from Luke Tipping (Senior Interactive Creative), and even had a talk from ECDs Iain Tate and Tony Davidson, covering how they made it to where they are today, what they look for in creative recruits, and a whole range of other fascinating insights.

Days like this make a huge difference to us young creatives. We know how competitive this industry is so the thought of discovering where we fit in it can be daunting.  Emersion will always be so much more inspiring than just talking, so to visit an agency gives us a real feel for the place, for the people who work there, their work, and what they stand for. It’s incredibly motivating to go somewhere you could potentially work at one day, and we learnt as much about ourselves that Friday as we did about Wieden+Kennedy, and that’s invaluable.

So, we entered excited, and left buzzing, ready to discover and create new things (we even got free t-shirts).  Bring it on Wieden+Kennedy. Bring it on.”

“The opportunity to work on a brief for Nike was one of the most exciting experiences of our creative careers. We threw everything we had into the project, and having our idea awarded winner has set us on a creative high! Having the industries’ best critique our work at W&K gave us added confidence that what we do is on the right lines and appeals to industry. A fantastic small snippet (hopefully) into our future career paths.”

This year's agency visits were all organised by former students of this course, which made it even more special.  It's very rewarding to see CA graduates who are now staff at the highest profile agencies and it's a great vindication of all that we teach on the programme. A big thank you again to all our alumni who went out of their way to make this year's trip so rewarding.