A message from last years winners to our future hopefuls and a selection of photographs from their trip down to the head offices of Standard Life.
'Well, it was an experience. And an incredible one at that.
Following Winter 2014, the ‘Big Project’ was approaching, something everyone since first year was waiting for. A chance to do some real advertising, for a real client, in real life. It was fantastically real.
Abi had contacted myself, Carys, and Shaun within around two minutes of the new groups being announced after Christmas – our team was already formed, and we could get excited.
The big reveal came around, and we found out that we’d be working for the international savings and insurance brand ‘Standard Life’. A company which spans many countries, offering insurance, pensions and savings to all their customers. Based in Edinburgh.
The brief. It was fair to say that the brief was a big one, and a challenge in itself. To encourage people to save, and to get people to see saving money, as appealing as spending money is. A challenge as the vast majority of people love to spend, it’s that ‘buzz’ you get from owning something new – why put money away instead? But we were ready, to tackle the challenge head on. We had only six weeks. I say ‘only’ as when you hear the words ‘six weeks’, it seems like forever. Forty two days, or sixty thousand minutes brings with it the ‘we’ve got ages’ attitude. And we had to avoid that straightaway. The only way to tackle this project was to get going, and get going from the word go. We chatted, we planned our time, where to meet and when. The brief required two full campaigns, covering some mandatory media including TV and radio, but allowing for extras – whatever would make those campaigns even better. So we split our weeks into chunks.
The first seven days.
We researched. Trawled the internet, spoke to real people, to our families and friends, even read a few books (I know, books!) Really getting to grips with the spending and saving habits of people helped us dramatically later on in the process. Looking for that juicy insight all of the time.
The next fourteen days.
Campaign one. We wanted a full campaign finished within two weeks. Executed and all, and if we don’t finish, we’d move on. The pressure was on. Our first campaign focused on our age group. The aspirational types, the young professionals aiming to start in the real world. It was relatable to us, and we aptly named it ‘We’re Here for Doers’. A primarily digital campaign, utilizing social media, YouTube, and Spotify. We’d meet up most days, at 9am – it’s the best time, and work outside of the studio. Occasionally stopping for tea breaks, and even Easter eggs (they were on offer in Tesco at the time, couldn’t resist).
The following fourteen days.
Campaign two. We’d finished our first, so we got to work with fresh eyes on a different approach. Settling on women as our audience, from an insight that not as many women have a pension in comparison to men. We wanted to encourage women to take out a pension, not to save for the big things, but for the smaller things instead. Simply adding a topping on an ice cream, buying some flowers for your living room, or going out for tea sometimes. The little things in life that make it sweet, we didn’t want people to think twice. Why think twice.
Crunch time. The last week.
With two campaigns under our belt, we had to finalise. Printing, practicing, and pitching were the only things on our mind for that last week. Writing and rewriting our pitch into the most concise and clear message it could be. We all had our roles, we had our work printed, we could only wait.
Presentation day came around, and we were second in. We were honored to have two fantastic people down from Edinburgh, Lauren and Gillian from Standard Life. Along with Justin and Dave, we pitched both our campaigns. And following, spoke in more detail about our ‘Doers’ campaign – the one that we were excited by ourselves. We left the pitch feeling good, and left Lauren and Gillian with a copy of our campaigns to take back to Edinburgh.
With all the great briefs coming our way following the six week project, it was easy to forget the sheer amount of work we’d produced, but we eagerly waited for some feedback from Lauren and Gillian.
When we received the news that they’d selected our ‘We’re Here for Doers’ campaign as their winner, it was fair to say we were bowled over. We couldn’t really believe it, especially as all the teams in the year had produced some seriously awesome campaigns.
We’d be going to London – and not just London, the high life.
8th June. Team reunited at Kings Cross and we took the tube over to the Gherkin. One of the most incredible buildings in London, and we headed straight for the top floor where we were greeted by Lauren and Gillian, and introduced to Mary, Head of Customer and Digital Marketing. Stepping out of the lift, it was fair to say we spent a good ten minutes simply taking in the incredible views of London, before we got started on a workshop around our idea. Our idea was potentially becoming a real campaign, as part of the company rebrand. After chatting for the afternoon, and working around our idea with the company, we would be heading to the OXO Tower Restaurant. An incredible experience, the food was something you’d see on MasterChef. We had a great meal and conversation with the team from Standard Life, and we can’t thank them enough.
Our hotel for the night was on the banks of the Thames, with a stunning view over Tower Bridge, so naturally we went for a walk across at midnight. The next day we jam-packed it with London’ey things. Shoreditch, Brick Lane, casually walking past Matthew Lewis (Neville from Harry Potter) and going for a chilled drink in the Ice Bar. And in the evening we all headed our separate ways, on a serious high. The experience was something we’ll never forget. Producing a campaign which we could pitch to a real client is the best experience you can get, its what we’ll be doing in industry after all. It allows you to develop your creative skills, as well as manage your time and have a laugh along the way, of course.
If we’ve got any advice, it’d be..
Get going. Don’t wait to start, as six weeks is a lot quicker than you think.
Two weeks for each campaign. Stick to a deadline, and move on.
Rehearse, but not overly. Know what you’re talking about and the client will too.
Enjoy it, it’s an amazing opportunity, grab it with both hands.'
Our guys got an A for advertising at this years YCN awards.
The Creative Advertising course here at the University of Lincoln has been successful again at this years Young Creative Network awards. Six students picked up awards in a highly contested competition. The YCN awards opened up to European entries this year as well as British students so our guys did particularly well in the face of such high quality work.
Sarah Wisher & Molly Barnes won for the Sage brief. Ellen McGettigan & Mirella Spina, won in the Syfy UK category and Matthew Holmes & Carys Thomas won with their entry for The England and Wales Cricket Board.
Many congratulations to the winners and we'll see you there at the awards ceremony in September, hoorah.
The highly coveted D&AD Black and Yellow pencils.
The D&AD New Blood awards were held recently in London and the Creative Advertising course at Lincoln was, once again, very successful. Joe Lovett, Jack Snell, Malene Loves and Elly Hogarth all scooped wooden pencils. Joe and Jack produced a thought provoking piece of work for WWF and Elly and created a very effective campaign for Talk Talk. Both teams did really well to earn wooden pencils considering the huge number of entries and the quality of work on display so congratulations go out to them.
These guys weren't the only winners on the night, Tom Watkins did fantastically well to get, not only a Yellow pencil but a Black one as well! Tom put together a very well executed campaign for WeTransfer. Tom's multi channel campaign for 'When I'm a dad' helps would-be fathers plan and take vows for this momentous step. The D&AD jury recognised that the work was so powerful and so well executed that Tom should be recognised as one of the best students at this years awards.
Being successful in student design competitions requires a lot of hard work and imagination and to achieve success at this level is truly outstanding so well done to all of our successful students.
This year's trip saw Level 2 visit some of the most prolific advertising agencies in New York city.
As an extra treat Matt Holmes made a record of this years trip for your viewing pleasure . Enjoy!
During the week we were fortunate enough to visit McCann, Barbarian Group, Saatchi's, Wieden + Kennedy and BBH.
Here are a few pictures from our epic adventure along with words from some of the students who travelled with us to New York.
[Matt Holmes] The first agency visit of the week was upon us. At ten on Tuesday morning, we all took a stroll down third avenue heading for McCann NY. McCann are an agency who look at things differently, and with their philosophy of a ‘Truth Well Told’, aim to really portray human truths well in their ads.
To kick off, we had a tour around their production department ‘Craft’ where we gained an insight into editing, 2D and 3D animation, and sound recording.
It’s one of the great things about McCann, that rather than externally sourcing production, they can now do most in-house (or large office building!) We had a great talk from the print department whilst sipping our free iced water, looking into ‘print mechanicals’ and how ads make it to press, sometimes going through tens of copies before the final.
Finally, we were shown the latest showreel by one of the creative directors. McCann have some huge clients. Their latest work for Jose Cuervo Tequila saw them freeze a margarita in space for ‘Happy Margarita Day’, which didn’t actually taste great.. but nevertheless, so cool (pun may be intended). Their ‘I am Generation Image’ campaign for Nikon proved a huge success, focusing on real-life stories and capturing them in the best way possible. And in New York style, creating a real life restaurant seating thirty seven diners, up in the air in Times Square for their MasterCard ‘Priceless’ campaign.
McCann are a truly forward thinking agency, with their interior to match. Each floor different, yet even better than the last – and the view, it saved us having to go up the Empire State for sure!
[Abbie Williams] The Barbarian Group was the second advertising agency that we visited whilst in New York.
This agency focuses more on the digital and interactive side of advertising, which is openly shown on their website stating ‘We make stuff the Internet loves’. The third years who visited this agency last year, told us about how interesting the layout of the agency is so we were all excited to see it for ourselves. As we walked into the reception, we were warmly greeted.
Whilst walking past reception and into the main space, the first thing we all laid our eyes on was the amazing, wavy, wooden desk! The famous desk that we had heard so much about! The reason behind the wavy desk and big open space is so that the agency as a whole can work as one, with no division. In their words ‘4,400 square feet of undulating, unbroken awesomeness to keep people and ideas flowing.’ I thought that this was such a lovely feature of the agency; the fact that everybody knows everyone, and everybody is aware of what’s going on in the agency.
Whilst showing us around the main space, they told us about the agency and it’s clients. The Barbarian Group has clients such as Pepsi, Bacardi, Samsung and Virgin, which is pretty amazing!!! Once we had a tour of the agency, we were then able to ask questions, which we all found very helpful as they gave us some great responses.
The Barbarian Group definitely came across as a fun, enthusiastic and hard-working agency.
[Matt Holmes] The following afternoon – I say afternoon, due to a major blueberry pancake overload at breakfast, we all convened outside the ultra-shiny agency that is Saatchi&Saatchi NY.
With a glossy lift ride, we soon reached the eighteenth floor where we stepped out into a wonderland of creativity. The reception was bright, and yet again, the view was incredible looking right down Madison Avenue.
Take ten minutes later once we’d all snapped away at the breathtaking views, we were met by Beth. A super cool, and hilarious, creative manager at Saatchi. Moving on into a huge meeting room, we got the chance to listen to Beth and her journey into the industry, as well as a fantastic creative team and social media creative.
The guys here were hilarious, and after firing at them with tens of questions, I think everyone including myself decided on moving to New York. Saatchi&Saatchi have some major clients, and most recently produced work for Cheerios, and the new Apple Pay on the iPhone 6. It was an exciting, and cheek-hurting visit from all the laughing, but with an ear-popping lift ride back downstairs, we carried on exploring the city for the rest of the day. And in true American style, a coke float was the only way to go next.
|A room with a view indeed|
The agency visits not only provided a fantastic insight into what advertising is like across the pond, but inspired every single one of us even more to pursue our goals. New York City is a place where the impossible is possible, and over the week we learnt one major thing. Jump right in.
[Abbie Williams] We previously visited Wieden + Kennedy’s London office in November last year, and I think I can speak on behalf of all of us when I say that we absolutely loved it, therefore we were all so excited to see the New York office! As we walked into the reception, we first saw the modernly designed stairs that followed the unique and quirky style that the London office also has.
|Ready and waiting for the creatives!|
The pillars in the room were decorated by different artists and there were random sofa areas around the agency that people could go to when they needed to escape from the work for a little while. Wieden + Kennedy’s relaxed ethos makes the agency stand out from others, yet they still remain hard-working and produce incredible, award-winning ads! Whilst at the agency, we were able to have a Q&A with two creatives called Jed and Eric.
|Very excited at Wieden+Kennedy's now to tackle those stairs!|
They initially showed us some work that they have been a part of. Eric worked with Heineken on the stunt ‘Departure Roulette’ which we all found ourselves talking and laughing about long after, and Eric worked on Nike Freeze Frame experience which was a very successful stunt that was done in Venice Beach, California to promote its new Jordan brand trainers - which was also so inspiring. I definitely recommend you look them up on YouTube!
|Pointing to the future - mostly|
The questions they answered for us definitely helped us gain more knowledge about the industry and Wieden + Kennedy as an agency. Visiting the New York office confirmed to us that our love for Wieden + Kennedy was not just in London, but New York too. What an agency!
[Charlotte Robins] Our final visit was at the legendary BBH. Being one of the biggest and most famous agencies in the world it was incredibly exciting knowing we were getting a chance to meet some of the people who are a part of it.
We sadly couldn’t have much of a tour, but were given an in depth question and answer session with a creative and strategist. We don’t often get to meet people from other sections of agencies, so getting to hear the strategist and creative at the same time was brilliant because it gave a much bigger picture of how an agency works, and made the finished works even more interesting to see.
|Kelly Lane at BBH|
They were straight up and funny. We were able to ask riskier questions, and they were great, answering everything in detail. Their work is has a high quality finish and showed a wide range of styles, which meant a wide range of skills had been required. The vibe was quite different to other agencies we’d been to; it felt slightly more formal, yet the works maintained a high level of creative flare; being funny, moving, tense and engaging. These creatives meant business, and were clearly hard working and dedicated people.
This trip has been one of the best experiences of my life, and I know that’s true for the rest of the year group too. Seeing the agencies first hand gave us a real sense of how varied agencies can be, and how even if you love their work, you may not want to work for them. We learnt as much about the agencies as we learnt about ourselves.
Though many agencies are different, at the end of the trip one thing they had all said is ‘the most important thing to have in this industry is drive.’
The agencies confirmed that we’ve got to grab this industry by the horns if we want to get a seat - or a Pilates ball to sit on. The trip became invaluable because it was inspiring, and inspiration is what you need to stay driven.
Look out New York. We’re coming for you!
As an extra treat Matt Holmes made a record of this years trip for your viewing pleasure . Enjoy!
|Two years enter...there can be only one!!!...winner.|
In order to be good at Creative Advertising you need to be able to construct a good argument. Constructing good arguments requires looking at things from all sides and only when you fully understand your subject can you create innovative and persuasive advertising strategies.
That's why the Creative Advertising course holds an annual Great Debate competition between the Level 1 and 2 students. The students have to know the subjects they will be debating inside out and be able to present an equally good case for and against their subject matter. The students don't know which side of the argument they will be promoting until they enter the 'debating arena' and only have a couple of minutes to compose themselves before the battle of minds begins. Preparation is key and the students that have done the most extensive research will inevitably progress the furthest in the competition.
|Which name suits him best? Colin or Martin|
The competition runs at a hectic pace with second years and first years squaring off against each other whilst the third years sit in judgement and decide which teams proceed into the next round. The questions range from the esoteric to the plain bizarre and a successful debater doesn't allow their personal feelings to enter into the discussion – it's all about creating the strongest argument.
|Excellent support from the seconds years.|
|The Final question - No more page 3 - A victory for feminism|
All this debating is great practice for developing a sound advertising brain and keeps everybody sharp. Now, which is best, poster advertising or social media?
Claire and Maria's Weetabuddies campaign. FYI, Claire is the one on the left.
Lincoln Creative Advertising graduates Claire Stokes & Maria Stochado have been very busy at BBH, they recently had some high profile work on television for KFC during Christmas and have just launched their latest creation Weetabuddies
There's 11 films for Weetabix - all aimed at 4-7 year olds (but we're hoping you like them too!) And they've also made a website for kids to create their own and enter a competition.
It's the biggest, and most all round campaign they've worked on to date and they've had great fun making it along the way. Yay.
Matt & Gabi phoning piggy bank helpline.
Gabrielle Choo and Matt Paxton graduated last year from the Lincoln Creative Advertising course and have gone on to land themselves a full time job at DigitasLBi, hooray. This didn't happen by accident of course Gabi and Matt put in a great deal of hard work into their work placement and all of the effort paid off when they were finally offered a contract just before Christmas. I'll let the guys tell you the story in their own words. 'After our end of year show in June we sadly waved goodbye to a wonderful three years in Lincoln, however we were ready for our next adventure. Raring to take our first steps in to London Adland. After a busy few weeks going on book crits and further developing our portfolio we landed out first placement at the wonderful Hometown. On our first day we were thrown in the deep end, working on the same briefs as the senior creatives at the agency. Though slightly daunting I believe that giving us so much responsibility so early on was invaluable. After three months, two monumental briefs and one pitch winning idea our summer was over.
Next we were to become winterns at the magnificent DigitasLBi on Brick Lane. We immediately loved the agency, everyone was so friendly and there was always something exciting going on. Though in such a huge place we had to work hard to prove ourselves. We scrambled for any brief we could get and tried to get to know as many people as possible. In the next few weeks we worked on a real range of stuff. We realised the scope of the work that DigitasLBi did, and it was brilliant. After a few successful briefs we took part in an ideas workshop for a new account with some of the other creatives, some of the creative directors and the chief creative director. After coming back with just a days worth of ideas we presented them to the daunting panel. Unbelievably they liked them.
Over the next few days we were asked to develop these ideas, we heard hints and rumors over drinks that the creative directors didn’t want us to go quite yet. We geared ourselves up to ask for our placement to be extended. Before we got a chance to we were stopped at our desks and each handed a red box with a unicorn embossed on the front, the unicorn being the symbol of Digitas LBi. A round of applause across the huge studio. Matt hyperventilating. Me clutching my red box like a trophy. After a month on placement we were asked to be a permanent part of the team. Just in time for Christmas, we became fully fledged unicorns.'