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.

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