Monday, 31 December 2012

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.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

The Creative Advertising course's Cabinet of Curiosities has been changed to show an intriguing selection of cycling magazines.

With Wiggo winning the BBC Sports Personality of the Year earlier this week, we thought it was only right.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Level three student Lily Peters writes:-

This year the Creative Advertising Society has run several events bringing first, second and third years together. The latest of those events was a specially selected reel of inspirational talks, including many TED talks.

To open the show first year students first year students Joe Lovett and Jack Snell serenaded us all, with brilliant renditions of 'Are you gonna be my girl?' (Jet), 'Times like these' (Foo Fighters), ending with an uplifting 'Everybody Needs Somebody To Love (The Blues Brothers).

Jack & Joe with a fine performance (they're through to the live final)

The reel showed a variety of talks beginning with the late Steve Jobs' empowering speech from Stanford University in 2005. His speech rang inspiringly true, saying you should 'stay hungry, stay foolish' and 'never settle.'

The next clip to play was that entitled "No arms, no legs, no worries." It showed the wonderful work of inspirational speaker Nick Vujicic whose optimistic outlook on life is incredible and something we could all aspire to copy.

"A TED speaker's worst nightmare" followed where Colin Robinson creatively demonstrated the frustration of technology and how not being prepared can impede on presentations.

Next up was David Kelley's talk "How to build your creative confidence." He spoke of how once people are creatively crushed they often go on to give up ideas before they have a chance to grow, forgetting they have the potential to be creative.

The clip that followed challenged the restriction money brings to people who want to be professional creatives, asking "What if money didn't matter?" 

We then heard from Jill Bolte Taylor, who gave an incredibly insightful account of her experience of a stroke from the view of a scientist. She expressed how the left and right sides of her brain battled, showing how differently the world is seen without one or the other.

The reel ended with a video made by Ross Gardiner, who stressed the need to get off Facebook, explaining that who we are online isn't really us at all. If anything, in reality, we are much better.

Everyone who came along had something to take away from the reel, whether to aspire to be more, be happy, have creative confidence or to put the  so-called 'importance' of Facebook into perspective. It was an inspiring evening, which will hopefully become a regular event.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Last week saw the Level 2 students visit some high profile advertising agencies in London. Getting first hand experience of the ad industry is vitally important for the University of Lincoln Creative Advertising students, who focus a great deal on 'real world experience'. The agencies get to see the next generation of advertisers, and the students get to see how interesting an agency is. It's a win-win situation. I'll let the students explain in their own words how the visits went, first up Suzi Paddison who visited VCCP.

"On Friday morning Group A made their way to Victoria to visit the agency VCCP. We were all very excited knowing that we were going to get a glimpse inside the agency which created great ads for brands such as Compare the Market and O2. We were greeted on the 5th floor of Greencoat House by Josh Dando, a Creative Advertising Graduate who has been working there with his partner Steven Dodd since March 2011.

 Josh tells it how it is in the VCCP boardroom.

Firstly we got a tour around the building, through the large open plan working offices. It was great to see that the agency lived up to it's title of being integrated, with employees of different roles mixed together throughout the building. We also saw the separate sectors of the VCCP partnership - VCCP Search, VCCP Blue and VCCP Digital. Everybody was very friendly and seemed quite relaxed in their working environment.

Josh then gave us a very insightful Q & A session where we learnt about their journey into the agency, what they have been working on and how the agency works together. To finish the visit we went to a meeting room where we saw a show reel of some of VCCPs most recent successful ads, a great way to end the visit.

Suzi's group in VCCP's reception.

Going to VCCP was really motivational for us all and we feel we all gained a lot of great advice on what to do after graduating, and especially as it was from someone who was in our shoes not too long ago. A big thank you to Josh and everyone at VCCP for being so welcoming!"

Whilst one group of students were visiting VCCP another group went to JWT to find out more about the agency, Emma Thomas gives us her impressions of the visit.

 JWT's Reception
 James Hobbs giving the students the benefit of his experience.

"For many of our second year this was their first agency visit and as we stood looking towards 1 Knightsbridge Green, you could sense the excitement and anticipation in the air. As the clock struck 10am, all eighteen of us had been handed our passes and were heading up towards JWTs reception. At the top of the escalators we were greeted with a floor to ceiling wall of multi coloured butterflies. Already people were commenting on how cool an office space they thought it was.

James Hobbs, an ex lincoln student, and his creative partner Jeremy took us to the the Bullmore Room where we began our insight into the world of JWT. After a brief introduction to the duo we took a group tour around the agency. Traffic, accounts and the creative floor were all a buzz with creative conversations of current briefs and clients.

Once the tour was over and we were back in the Bullmore Room, James and Jeremy shared with us some of JWTs recent adverts and some of their own work, guiding us through the creative process of Andrex from initial ideas to final execution. Being able to see this process was both reassuring and inspiring to all of us. After almost two hours, we'd been given a first hand insight into both JWT and what it's really like to be a creative in the industry.

James and Jeremy will mostly be wearing stripes this week.
As we headed back down the escalators and left through the turning door, we felt more motivated and inspired then ever before to pursue our advertising dreams."

Finally Jenni Trotter tells us how her group's visit to DLKWLowe went.

"In the afternoon of the agency visit trip to London, Group A were lucky enough to visit DLKWLowe in South Kensington. We were unsure as to what to expect from an agency going through a huge creative change at the moment, however greeted by a mix of patterned walls, huge velvet armchairs, giant lightbulb feature and gold framed televisions, the agency definitely had a welcoming and quirky feeling from the very start.

We were met by Lincoln Creative Advertising graduates Neil Ritson and Stefan van Zoggel who gave us a great chat about their journey as a creative team – from pairing up in their second year to the ups and downs of placements to then getting hired at DLKWLowe just over a year ago, going on to create work for clients such as Thorpe Park and Alton Towers. They also gave us a brilliant insight into how to create a great book by showing us their portfolio that they took to book critiques and giving us advice on how to create a book which sets your creative team apart from all the rest.

DLKWLowe's brightly illuminated reception.

It was great to see a team from our own course who have gone on to create their own stamp in a London agency which is currently building a great reputation in the advertising industry. We all found it incredibly motivational to not only sample an agency atmosphere, but also speak to people who have once been in our shoes and are doing so well for themselves."

Neil and Stefan can now afford the latest style baseball caps.

 Is that a Morrisons Christmas advert prop I can see on the window ledge?

Visiting advertising agencies is always very motivational for the CA students but this year's trip was particularly nice because all of the agency visits were organised by former students of this course. 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.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Third year students from the University of Lincoln’s BA (Hons) Creative Advertising course are playing a central role in the creation of a new marketing and advertising campaign to promote the city as a quality business tourism destination.

‘Meet Lincoln’ was launched by a group of businesses within the Visit Lincoln Partnership. And whilst a main focus of Visit Lincoln is to increase the volume of leisure and short break visitors to Lincoln, Meet Lincoln will focus on raising awareness of the city as a place to meet, host conferences and bring events into the area.

Visit Lincoln Partnership manager, Emma Tatlow, asked third year Creative Advertising students to come up with the 'big idea' to promote Lincoln as a place for meetings and events.

Emma said: ‘Working in collaboration with the University on this project is really exciting. Whilst Visit Lincoln has developed a brand for the city, the students were asked to take this to the next level and come up with a creative concept for business tourism that could be applied to a range of media - such as print advertising, exhibition stands, direct mail and digital executions.

‘The students have thrown themselves into this project and I'm really impressed with the depth of their research into the target audiences and thinking carefully about Lincoln's unique selling points, and how the city can best be promoted to a business audience.’ 

The third year students were given the project as a competitive brief. They competed against each other to produce the best campaign and the staff team selected the best six. The shortlisted six campaigns would have all worked well as different marketing campaigns and they were produced by: Lily Hurst & Will Blackburn (with 2 solutions!); Lucy Eldridge & Ben Williams; Becky Rowlands & Vicky Thompson; Amanda Elvidge & Lily Peters; and Sophie MacDonald & Chris White.

The shortlisted teams presented their proposals to the client panel (Emma Tatlow; Niki Shepheard – Business Dev Manager, Lincolnshire Events Centre; and Creative Advertising lecturers Mike Belton and Gyles Lingwood) at the Old Palace hotel in Lincoln.

 Lucy and Ben presenting to the client panel

 Becky & Vicky present their concept

Amanda & Lily listen to client feedback

 Sophie & Chris explaining their 'big idea'

 Lily & Will

 Lily in full presentation mode

The client panel (Emma, Niki and Mike) deep in discussion 

It was a incredibly difficult decision but only one presentation could win...

It was deceided that Becky & Vicky's idea was the winner. It really captured the client's imagination by using inspiring individuals from the county's past right through to the present day. Congratulations girls!

Now that the Visit Lincoln Partnership have the ‘big idea’ this winning concept will now be passed to a local design agency to develop into a workable design. Once this has been done we will reveal whole Meet Lincoln marketing and communications campaign.

The staff team believe it is really important for our students to work to a real, ‘live’ brief. The Meet Lincoln project gave our students the opportunity of working with a client and practice using their creative thinking and communication skills to solve a real-world, commercial problem.

We have such a pool of talented young people on the course and the work that the students have done on this project will bring a tangible benefit to businesses in Lincoln and Lincolnshire.

Watch this space for when we reveal the final campaign...!

Monday, 26 November 2012

A post from level three student Lucy Everett:-

The Young Creative Council have been organising their Unite evenings for a few years now and some of Lincoln's Creative Advertising third year students were shortlisted to attend, so they headed off to Shoreditch for a quick one-day trip, folios in hand.

The event is for young creative advertisers to show off their work in order to catch the eye of creative directors and make contacts with other creatives in the industry, senior and junior alike.

Third years Lucy, Vicky, Mike and Lexi

Work was on show from creatives currently on agency placements and those looking for placements. The night consisted of a small room, lots of people, a little alcohol, lots of portfolios and plenty of chatter and sound advice.

Our day trip visit resulted in catching up with fellow Lincoln Creative Advertising students, which helped us make even more contacts, as well as see how they were getting on.

Past Lincoln graduates Dom, Björn and Christina

Overall the night was a great success! Lots of new faces, new contacts and new friends as well as filling a room with mainly Lincoln students past and present.

Thank you YCC – looking forward to seeing you at Unite VII!

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Last week close friend of the course Mandy Wheeler, from creative training company Punch It Up, came and ran the wonderful Creative Detox workshop for the Creative Advertising third years. 

Third year student Vicki Thompson writes:-

‘The whole workshop was all about ‘unleashing’ our unconscious ideas to create the best work that we can. Mandy led us through a number of exercises over half a day to help us practice getting thoughts flowing and to get around the rules that, over time, we set ourselves about what our work ‘must’ be.

‘During the workshop we explored techniques on to produce ideas in the form of several weird but fun activities that we can now repeat in our own time either on our own or as part a creative team. By the end of the session we were all aware of how we were inadvertently not realising our full potential as creative individuals and what we could do about it. I learnt so much in a short time.

‘Thank you to Mandy from all of University of Lincoln’s third year Creative Advertising students for such an inspiring session.’

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Last week Lincoln's Creative Advertising third years were lucky enough to attend a workshop by advertising education guru, Dave Morris (pictured above). Here's third year student Mike Barber to tell you more:-

‘We didn’t know what to expect but after Daves visit last year we knew it would be incredibly useful. We learnt so much throughout the day, it would be hard to cover it all in one review. The overall theme of the workshop was creating convincing arguments, something that is important in all decent advertising. Dave set us a brief before the workshop, that involved making some very strange or difficult arguments. We presented our persuasive arguments in front of everyone and the feedback we received was very helpful. The arguments that we made in our presentations were continued throughout the day in a range of fascinating and entertaining ways.

We also learned about the importance of straplines; how we can write better ones; the use of the taboo” and better ways of getting our point across. I think I can speak for everyone when I say it was such a useful day and although it left us creatively exhausted, we learnt so much and now have another tool in our creative toolkit to use as we tackle new briefs. It was great to have another perspective on our ideas.

Thank you Dave for a truly inspiring and helpful day.’

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Here's a post from Annie Richardson, Senior Lecturer in Design History and Cultural Contexts at the University of Lincoln, that provides some true food for thought:-

Food is good to think with. Of course, all humans have to eat to survive but food is also a key indicator of cultural differences and cultural change. Everyone eats, but cultures vary widely in what and how. So food becomes ritualised, a bonding mechanism, a way of expressing cultural hierarchies, in short, a symbol. Food enables us to think about what cultures value, and how they are changing. If Creative Advertisers need an exemplary topic to chew on (sorry!), this is it.

Our second-year Creative Advertising students went to some lengths to experience food rituals for themselves and engage in some primary research. One of the most arresting topics was competitive eating. Students Jade Andrews, Emily Collins and Christina Wornum for their Women v. Food project braved a local restaurant’s offer: ‘Eat your way through a giant pile of burgers and chips and you get your photo in their hall of fame!’ Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, the girls failed the challenge.

What they did succeed in, however, was generating plenty of ideas. Does this hark back to earlier times? The earliest times when there was competition for food? Competitive eating contests in America – where the current popular sport appears to have originated – itself had its roots in pie-eating competitions in county fairs. But why is competitive eating popular now? In terms of TV entertainment we can see how food has become associated with the competitive elements in reality TV programming, not just Man v Food, the popular US show, but a range of other programmes such as those featuring celebrity chefs.

It’s easier to think about the more strictly commercial reasons for competitive eating than the cultural ones. Competitions attract custom to restaurants, branded sponsorship deals, groups of increasingly well-known eating champions, and high entertainment value. That part is not so hard to understand. It’s  developed commercial and media momentum.

But what if we try to explain it from a cultural angle? After all we live in ‘foodie times’ ever questing after the exotic, authentic and adventurous in our cuisine. We disparage waste. We have diet-awareness thrust upon us. On the other hand, as Jade, Emily and Christine pointed out, actually tasting and savouring real food is on the decline through grazing habits in contemporary family life and a continuous supply, no longer seasonally-based, of any type of food from all over the world.

Perhaps competitive eating is a symptom of that decline. Perhaps competitors appeal to us because they are ordinary people who just have this rather odd but special talent. Potentially anyone could do it and become a ‘sports’ champion without all the training needed for athletic prowess– and many are encouraged to try. Journalists examining the issue emphasise the sheer sickening horror and pain of the binge experience. And there seems to be an assumption that competitive eating won’t take off here in the UK, at least not to the same extent as in the US, that somehow British culture with its traditions of restraint will prove resistant. Of course, from the restaurants’ point of view, there are obvious advantages (at least, restaurants with a certain type of clientele in mind presumably.) So watch this space!

Whether you fancy your chances of winning a competition or not, you might enjoy watching this short film of the girls’ heroic efforts. Bon appetit!

Monday, 12 November 2012

One of the hardest things to do as a creative, but busy, individual is keep a strong momentum. You constantly need ways to stay creatively busy by changing the type of activities you do.

Doodling, for example, is lots of fun but also very stimulating and, when that doodle is with a large group can be a great way of connecting people who do not necessarily know each other that well.

The Creative Advertising Society are always coming up with ways they can bring every year group closer together and recently they held a GIANT DOODLE event.

Everybody took their shoes off, gathered round some huge sheets of paper and let all their worries slip away as they responded, pen in hand, to the various DOODLE INSTRUCTIONS they were given by the Society team on hand.

What resulted was somewhere between an explosion in a Sharpie factory and Banksy's first graffiti lesson but it was nevertheless energetic, momentum building and very, very social.


Monday, 5 November 2012

On a wet October afternoon the Creative Advertising 2nd and 3rd years took over the studio to run a session designed to help new 1st years feel at home on the course.

The session, organised by Emma Thomas (2nd Year) paired new 1st years with their elders in the years above so they could have a students perspective on what it's like to be a student in Lincoln and particularly on this course.

It's always important to us that no individual or year group becomes separate from the course values and it becomes particularly useful for everybody to know everybody else when, in a few years, they are looking for their first contacts in the industry. 

Who knows? This could be the start of a (few) beautiful friendship(s) and the people our 1st years connected with in this session could be the contact the one to bring them in on placement when they leave.

Thanks so Emma and her team for such a rewarding afternoon.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

If you haven't sen the new St John Ambulance ad, Helpless, then we strongly recommend that do so now!

It was created by Lincoln Creative Advertising graduate Charlene Chandrasekaran and her creative partner Dan Morris who work at BBH (Bartle Bogle Hegarty). You can read more about the campaign on the BBH website.

The hard-hitting new campaign film draws a startling comparison between the number of people who lose their lives each year due to cancer, and those who die in situations where first aid could have given them a chance to live.

Wonderful and gut-wrenchingly powerful stuff, Charlene. We love it.

Friday, 26 October 2012

'We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths'. Walt Disney.

The most recent subject for the course's Cabinet of Curiosities is 'plastic', or more specifically, assorted plastic toys.

 And why not?

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Here's a post from BA (Hons) Creative Advertising lecturer Brian Voce:–

Over the first three weeks our new students have been busy examining the essence of visual communication in the ‘FUNdamental Sessions’. 

They have been exploring the very basics of visual language and communication, investigating and discussing how line, colour, layout (composition) and type can communicate a message or association to an audience. 

Amongst the many ways they explored this were: drawing responses to music using only line; communicating feelings and emotions with only colour and shape; and investigating typography and type styles to visually illustrate the meaning of words. 

You can see some of their typographic experiments here (the ‘post its’ denote group favourites which we discussed and debated in greater depth). Thanks here to everyone for contributing to what became lively and informative discussions! 

We had interesting work and good ideas well done everyone.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Creative team Philippa Beaumont and Artur Faria graduated from the programme last year and are currently on placement at some of the best ad agencies in London. They were recently shortlisted to be finalists in CREAM 2012 – the annual competition organised by creative recruitment agency The Talent Business and judged by Creative Directors from some of the World's best advertising agencies.

Philippa writes....

This year we were one of the lucky 20 to be selected for from over 150 worldwide applicants for CREAM 2012. 

The prize? A night of mingling and networking with some of the judges and other creative decision makers from the industry. 

This year’s host agency was Mother and not only are Mother industry leaders but they also know how to put on a good party. Our current hangovers from the mid week office party last night, are proof of this. 

The 20 finalists, a mix of teams and individuals, we’re invited to Mother to have lunch with some of the agency. We even got a chance to chat with one of the founding partners, Mark Waites. Then we had the afternoon to prepare for the event. Mother decided to solve the old age problem of creatives using events like these to catch up with old mates over free drinks. Mother sourced 20 unique and individual bars, which were to be manned by the winners, the idea being that you got a book crit and they got a drink. 

Phil & Artur behind their bar.

A busy, busy night at Mother.

The finalists were each given a theme for their bar and we were tasked with making it look as cool as possible. Everyone put a lot of effort in so they all looked brilliant on the night, we even decapitated a teddy bear for ours! The event itself started at 7pm and the entire bottom floor of Mother was turned into a pub called ‘The Mother’s Arms’, it even came with two busty barmaids in the shape of the Mother receptionists:–

The Mother receptionists become barmaids for the night!
The night was an amazing opportunity! Our portfolio got critiqued by creatives from agencies such as BBH, DKLW LOWE, RKCR Y+R and, of course, Mother. We made several great contacts and even got potential placements, as did all the other teams there. It was great that there was 20 of us that got to share this huge opportunity. CREAM is a great award to have in your book – one that has in the past led to placements and even jobs. Some teams even flew from Sweden and Brazil to be there on the night! 

The night was a resounding success and was definitely the best CREAM to date. It was proof that this industry is one of the best for supporting young talent. We are currently lucky enough to be on placement at the host Mother, which is one of the fore runners in nourishing new talent. A fun night to celebrate a lot of hard work.”

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