Sunday, 31 January 2010

This year saw the first ever Faculty Winter School: a chance for students from different programmes in the Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design to swap courses for a week and work alongside students from different disciplines. Architects working with Animators? Advertisers working with Fashion students? Absolutely! Mechanics working with biologists to create a mouse with wheels? No, that almost certainly didn't happen. But one day, it will... mark our words!

Over the week the lucky students who graced the Creative Advertising studio collaborated to tackle a single project. Split into teams they shared different points of view across different disciplines to best utilise the resources of each group.

But what did everyone learn? The students learned about effective, engaging communication, working in groups and, as ever, coping with tight deadlines. And the staff? Well we also learned things about the different skills and extra potential brought to a project when collaborating across disciplines.

The best results came from the teams whose projects had a simple, strong concept and invited the audience to interact with the piece.

And the winning result? This RUBIK'S CUBE, which represented, on the outside, a puzzle, waiting to be solved. And on the inside the group had produced a series of sensory experiences hidden within each cube which gave those lucky enough to play with it a new adventure with each exploration.

The judges comments? They loved it. In fact it was a clear favourite with one Winter School judge commenting that it offered the chance for discovery.

Which brings us back nicely to the experience as a whole. The Winter School gave everyone a great opportunity to discover other student's very different disciplines and the huge increase in creative potential that emerges when working as a team.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Mike Cuthell and Phil Monks who graduated from Creative Advertising in 2008 are currently working at Wieden+Kennedy where they have just finished filming the latest Nike Football commercial.

The ad, which features Wayne Rooney and Fernando Torres practicing their shooting accuracy with a difference, has already featured on Sky's Soccer AM show. The full 60 second version will be airing on TV on January 27th. It also features as the centerpiece on the Nike Football website.

Mike and Phil have created a really great piece of work and have had an amazing experience in making the commercial. Here are a few words from the boys.

"To be totally honest, when a Nike brief lands on your desk, it's not something you take lightly. Fear, excitement and a sudden realisation that you have no idea where to begin. It's been a good few months in the making and it's finally here. It's already sparked a few debates online. I guess the best thing you can do is just watch it".

Visit Mike & Phil's blog at

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Our students are expected to develop startling, imaginative, arresting, original, humorous, exciting, inspiring, thoughtful, clever, witty ideas and images. Oh yeah…and we like them to have fun too!

So what better way to say 'look how creative I am' than making a great big cake?

The CA Level 1 students were asked to bake a cake showing the qualities of a character they had been given which concluded with a tea party for all involved.

After the oooh's and aaah's that followed the unveiling of the baked masterpieces the cakes were demolished in a peer assessment feeding frenzy which left the table looking like the aftermath of a Tarantino movie.

Monday, 4 January 2010

The week before the Christmas break saw Alex Taylor come and speak to the third years. I'll let third year student Sophie Yeoman tell you all about it:

"Before meeting Alex Taylor, we were all sent her CV. WOW! If I achieve just a fraction of what Alex has achieved in her career than I'll be very happy indeed! Quick highlights include working at Saatchi & Saatchi, Wieden+Kennedy, BBH and Publicis; being featured in 2008 Creative Review in an article titled "The Changing Art of Art Direction"; Featured in Campaign's "A-list" 2004; chosen by D&AD/IPA in 2003 as one of the top creative women in Advertising due to her reputation as a D&AD award winner and outstanding contributor to Advertising; first female in Advertising to be nominated to the previous all-male D&AD Executive Board in 1998; 189 Entries in D&AD Annuals; 2 Gold Cannes and 3 Silver Cannes. OMG!!

Alex Taylor came into the studio to talk about her experiences and how she has managed to work her way up in the advertising industry. We were also shown a very inspiring interview with Helmut Krone, the man behind the classic VW and Avis campaigns. As third year students, we are constantly being told by Gyles and Mike to come up with completely new stuff that's never been done before and this is exactly what Helmut Krone did in the 1950s (showing us that it IS actually possible!).

Alex also took us through a few projects that she had worked on personally as an Art Director. It was great to actually see the person behind the ads and understand the journey that was taken to get to the final execution. It was particularly interesting when she showed us a campaign that was not finished yet and Alex wasn't completely happy with. She showed 2 different executions and asked our opinions. When we gave her feedback she genuinely seemed to consider and take on board our opinions.

Key points that Alex outlined in her talk:-

- be thinkers first and foremost

- both art directors and copywriters should learn how to write copy

- be aware of ALL new media


- always dress well: you never feel better than when you're in a suit (tested out successfully by Pete and Ollie in the crit the next day!!).

Alex Taylor was a real inspiration and one of the most important women in the advertising industry. What a fantastic and inspirational visiting lecture."

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