An industry immersion training pathway for young Londoners, aged 18-24

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Creative Media Campaigns was a 6-week, intensive industry-led course co-designed by Create Jobs and Kati Russell from The Girlhood, delivered in partnership with Wieden + Kennedy, MediaCom, and charity Time to Change.

This experiential programme led our 15 participants (young Londoners age 18-24) on an up-close-and-personal tour of the advertising industry, helping them to gain a good understanding of the different kinds of agencies and how they work with brands, along with the variety of roles and pathways that exist into the campaign creation and wider advertising industry.

Working closely with collaborators including Grey London, The Pop Up Agency, Commercial Break, FCB Inferno, Unruly and British Arrows, participants visited leading agencies, heard from the people who work in them and took part in a series of bespoke masterclasses and workshops designed to support them to learn about best practice research, capturing insights, generating ideas and understanding the process - from receiving a brief from a client, to coming up with a campaign and finally pitching it back.

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The course kicked off with a ‘What I Didn’t Know about Advertising?!’ session led by Zoe Mitchell, New Business Director at award-winning agency Wieden + Kennedy. This was a comprehensive overview of the industry, the role of an agency, a look at who works in it and what the purpose of advertising really is - which crudely boils down to “making people feel something”, and leaving them “wanting to buy the product or service they see being advertised”

After some team building and getting-to-know exercises with Kati Russell (who was a constant sounding board and support for the group) and the Create Jobs team, next stop was understanding what goes into the creation of a campaign and for the groups to be split into their three teams of five participants, to receive their briefs. Step up teams Bottoms Up, Mental What? and Team Titans!

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The brief that charity Time to Change gave the group was to come up with campaigns responding to this provocation:

How can we make this generation more open and supportive around mental health than any before?

The teams took their briefs really seriously. “It feels like a big responsibility, we want to get this right,” said Mark Manabat from Team Bottoms Up.

Over the following days and weeks, the teams learned about:

  • The importance of compelling storytelling and making people feel things, (Naana Orleans-Amissah and Michelle Jones)
  • Breaking down the brief, uncovering insight and insight generation (Susie Burdekin, The Drill)
  • Best practice Ideation Techniques (Abraham Asefaw, The Pop Up Agency)
  • Idea Development (Susie Burdekin & James Hillhouse, Commercial Break)
  • ...and along with the daily go-sees and masterclasses were constantly refining and re-working their campaign ideas in their teams.

They also did their research with their target audience, finding the time to go into Stoke Newington School in Hackney to interview pupils about their feelings about their own mental health and who they trusted to talk to about their own feelings and worries.

Tours and industry talks included:

  • Taking a campaign to Media Market (from John Beardsworth and Lucy McMullin at the mighty MediaCom),
  • exploring the craft of art direction and copywriting (with Becky McOwen-Banks et al at FCB Inferno, and Create Jobs Alumnus and copywriter Asher Harris)
  • Social Media best practice (with Zosia Morris, Somethin’ Else)
  • A tour of the amazing Unruly Ltd (with Katherine Patterson)
  • A trip in the future of technology (with Perry Nightingale, Head of Technology at Grey London)
  • Weekly residency at the Wieden + Kennedy 'basecamp'
  • Talks on UX (Michael Naman)
  • How to Get Noticed (Holly & Miriam)
  • and a Guide to Design & Typography (Adam Hunt)

As finishing touches were being put to presentation decks (thanks to a Keynote workshop with Apple’s in-house training team), designs and logos were being signed off, and research was being collated, it was time to practise for the final pitch-back. Step up again, Commercial Break’s Susie Burdekin!

Finally, the big pitch-back presentation day had arrived, guests invited, the boardroom at our wonderful hosts Wieden+Kennedy’s made ready (thanks for everything Kevin!) and the panellists of leading industry experts assembled.

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Before we began, to steady their nerves, the group were treated to a short but impactful mindfulness and wellbeing session from Wellbeing Coach Delyth Johnson.

Then it was time to present. The panel comprised of:

  • Helen Andrews, Managing Director at Wieden + Kennedy
  • Geraldine Gaillemin, Group Business Director at Grey London
  • Abraham Asefaw co-founder The Pop Up Agency

  • Chris Kilvington, Senior Marketing Manager at Time to Change

  • Rose White and Sarah Finke, Trustees at Safaplace Charity

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Needless to say, the three groups smashed it, and all three campaigns were delivered confidently and got to the point. The campaigns were definitely moving and the presentations and the content were highly commended by all panellists and by Time to Change, the client. Here are some of the panel's responses:

“The campaigns you have come back with are as good as the professional campaigns that came back to us from professional agencies, some of the insights are even more powerful” - Chris Kilvington Client & Senior Marketing Officer at Rethink Mental Illness (Time to Change)

“I have been very moved by your presentations today, and will take away the findings and the insights. We would like to invite you to our conference on mental health next May to present your findings, your ideas and responses are exceptional” - Rose White, Trustee at Safaplace Charity

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“If she were still with us, my daughter Rachael would have used this app, it’s a brilliant resource, I would like to see it being developed” Sarah Finke, Trustee at Safaplace Charity (about one of the App’s produced by Team Mental What?)

“You should be very proud of yourselves, the way you have presented these ideas, and the progress that you’ve made since I saw you in the ideation stage is really impressive and exceeds my expectations which were already very high!" - Abraham Asefaw, co-founder at The Pop Up Agency

“I have been blown away by the brilliant ideas, the professionalism of the groups and their presentations which were brilliant, can’t believe you haven’t been doing this for longer. Today was without question the highlight of my week!” - Helen Andrews, Managing Director at Wieden + Kennedy

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From the trainees' perspectives

Watch a short film about the course, made by trainee Elizabeth Anibaba, below:

Guest blog posts:

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Following the course...

Since completing the course, the group are flourishing and going on to do all kinds of wonderful things - including our Meet a Mentor programme & corporate Mentoring programme with TI Media:

  • Ayomitide Adesanya & Obinna Udekwereze gained places on Commercial Break’s flagship paid advertising traineeship with HSBC, as Junior Creatives.
  • Joanne Oguntimehin is working at Grey London as an Account Executive
  • Yewande Oludipe has been offered a place on the Account Management Intern Scheme, also at Grey London.
  • Natasha Dawson is working as a Graphic Designer for The Royal Borough of Greenwich.

Our Creativity Works courses

Our Creativity Works courses are the ultimate in creative employment courses.

Participants are given access to mentoring, accreditation in arts project management, work experience, live briefs and masterclasses.

They develop contacts, knowledge and the confidence needed to get their careers going - it's the perfect next step after school, college, university, or even your first job.

80% of participants go on to get jobs or go into further training.

Check out past Creativity Works programmes

You can also browse the Creativity Works blog tag

Creativity Works is a Mayors Fund for London programme delivered by A New Direction.

Photography by Amer Idris and Ketishia Vaughan