Winner winner chicken dinner

The results are in, and I'm chuffed to say I have projects shortlisted in 2 categories in this year's D&AD New Blood Awards. 


Hellmann's White

The brief: Reduce food waste using a service, publication or device.

The solution: 40% of the food produced in India is wasted. Just 4% is transported in refrigerated trucks. The rest travels unrefrigerated and perishes in the sweltering heat.

By painting India’s food trucks Hellmann’s White (for the price of 12 jars of mayonnaise), we can reduce their internal temperature by 15%, saving truckloads of food.

Not only do we massively reduce food waste, allowing more food to reach the country’s 190 million starving people, we spread Hellmann’s name all over the world.

Because India’s just the start... 

Art Director: Megan Egan
Copywriters: Nick Stanley, Poppy Cumming-Spain


YETU

The brief: create a new digital money service to help people left behind by traditional banking.

The solution: Land grabbing is a worldwide issue. Every second, an area of land the size of a football pitch is stolen from communities. This isn’t just illegal, it’s immoral. Global corporations are leaving families without homes, in order to evade tax.

YETU, which translates as ‘Ours’, is a new cryptocurrency which adds proof of fair land ownership to an encrypted digital land registry every time a purchase is made. This makes it impossible for corrupt banks and governments to forge land ownership certificates, protecting the land now and for future generations.

Creative team: Megan Egan, Jonothan Hunt

A shift in energy

We’ve all awoken from our Christmas dinner comas, wrenched ourselves away from Netflix and managed the first early rise of the year. Today was our first day back at SCA, and this term, something feels different. There’s an air of determination and focus brewing amongst us, because 2018 is our year, and the future is in our hands. 

Everyone walking in today with their shiny new portfolios has really created a shift in energy. We’re starting to see that this book is our ticket into agencies, placements and eventually a job. We will be guarding them with our lives… Almost. I may have nearly left mine in a coffee shop earlier. Great start. 

Change is coming

The advertising industry is an exciting place to be right now - there’s change coming, and a shift in how people work. It’s exciting because as young creatives, we’re the ones who can shape this new advertising model. We all have our eyes firmly on the prize, whatever that means to each of us individually.

Personally, I just can’t wait to see what the next few months have in store!

Comedy School final showcase

It's official, no one can ever say I'm not funny again - I even have a certificate to prove it. A couple of weeks ago, the SCA graduates of Comedy School went to the Backyard Comedy Club in Bethnal Green for their first ever live comedy performance in front of an audience, and my god was it nerve-racking! 

We were like caged tigers backstage, pacing back and forth, but I was so pleased to see everyone step it up a notch and nail it when they were on stage. I'm still bursting with pride at how well everyone did, with a special mention going to Martin who was going to bail performing until the last second, and absolutely smashed it! Go Martin!

Here's a recording of my short set... You can't hear any laughter in this but I swear people were laughing... I swear!! 

I probably won't give up the day job, but I'm so glad I did it. Check out the Comedy School if you'd like to try this out for yourself - I can't recommend it enough! It will be a painful but amazing journey. 

Wicked Witch Hunt

Earlier this week, we were tasked with coming up with a new way of promoting the musical 'Wicked'. 

Poppy, Sara and I teamed up to bring the magic to the streets, by creating a Wicked Witch Hunt experiential campaign, which invited the public to track down Elphaba - if you found her, you had a chance to win tickets and voucher codes for the musical. 

Here's a snapshot of our presentation below.

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Our first masterclass with the legendary Alex Taylor

Today was our first masterclass with Alex Taylor, and I am totally okay with sharing the fact that I’m still in awe. Not only is Alex an incredibly humble and down-to-earth person who encourages me every time I see her, but her work really makes me feel things, and sadly, not a lot of advertising does that to me anymore; especially since I’ve grown up hating being advertised to… am I in the wrong industry?!

Unfortunately we ran out of time so she couldn’t show us her full body of work, but we did get a detailed look at her process in creating her award-winning ads for the British Army. 

I’ve known about the print-versions of these adverts for a while, admittedly because I googled Alex Taylor before I joined SCA (I’m from a design background and therefore didn’t have a lot of exposure to the advertising world pre-London), however, I’ve never seen them side-by-side with the TV adverts, nor had I actually sat down and evaluated and broke down what was happening within them.

 Sniper, 1997

Sniper, 1997

What I think Alex managed to achieve, was a raw, grittiness within her work, which showed the true extent of what it means to be a soldier, without gamifying or glamorising it, but somehow still making it incredibly aspirational. There were very simple strokes of genius throughout - such as airing an advert at 6am, forcing wannabe soldiers to get up early to get the phone number. I loved how Alex created CTAs and made the viewer become incredibly involved within the adverts themselves. 

Not only that, the art direction was exceptional and so real. The scribbled text, ripped paper and crude photographs really made for a visually stunning and exceptionally emotive piece, and the placement of the contrasting shadow on each put the viewer in the soldier’s place - I literally have so much love for these campaigns!

 Inoculate, 1997

Inoculate, 1997

I feel so incredibly privileged to have just spent a few hours learning about Alex’s inspiration, and the process she went through to produce the British Army adverts. One thing that immediately stuck in my mind was to ‘embrace mistakes’, something I’ve grown very used to in my design background. So often I’d press the wrong button on Photoshop and create a completely new effect, and call it a ‘happy accident’. 

Similarly, Alex told us all about her process in producing the print campaigns for her adverts, and how the little errors actually ended up being the best bit about the design; her excitement is still clear to see about these little mishaps, 20 years on. 

 17 Year Olds Required, 1998

17 Year Olds Required, 1998

I find listening to Alex Taylor really refreshing - I’ve listened to so many people within advertising moaning about how jaded they are by the industry, but I can feel Alex’s passion and she is not afraid to advertise the glamorous side also; the travelling, the parties and the people you meet. Maybe that’s not so true nowadays, but regardless, it’s just exhilarating to feed off Alex’s vibe, and listen to who I consider to be a true legend and role model within the industry, as well as hearing some one say that you can aim for more than just an Art Director - push to direct an advert and always aim for higher.

Thanks Alex, I look forward to our next masterclass!

Make chocolate famous

Last week we were tasked with making a chocolate bar famous, and at long last, I had a healthy partner who survived their stint working with me - hooray! 

We chose Milky Way Magic Stars, a childhood favourite which seems to have been demoted to the bottom shelf in the sweet aisle. We wanted to remind kids just how great these little stars of joy are! 

Right now, there are more than 8 million Syrian children in danger because they’ve lost their homes and families. But now they have a new threat - the deadly cold of winter. Partnering with Unicef, we created a campaign and activation to help Syrian children stay warm and fed.

Based on the thought that 'no matter where you are in the world, everyone looks up at the same set of stars', we wanted to provide a platform for children all over the world to connect to one another. Children that have access to a smartphone would be able to connect with those who aren't as privileged through stars in the night sky. Stars will be named after refugee children, and when clicked, a child will be able to read about them and their story.

For every app download, Magic Stars would donate £1 to provide hats and gloves for Syrian children, whilst giving 10% of all profits on their share bags to the cause

The campaign would be launched with posters in underground stations and on bus stops. There would be CTAs telling people to look up, with ceilings covered in the night sky. Scannable star stickers will be added to bus stops, which would link users to Snapchat stories featuring Syrian children in refugee camps.

We would also have live data advertising boards in Leicester Square which would tell the public which stars were above them at that exact moment, and drive traffic towards the app. 

Finally, we would partner with the Science Museum, to have activations where you can hunt new stars. Access to this exhibition is only through collecting the tops off special edition Magic Stars sharing bags. We would stream it on Facebook Live with Brian Cox guiding viewers through the night sky.

Magic Stars have an identity, they have faces and it’s about time we gave these refugee children one too.

Because every child deserves to shine bright.

Magic Stars. Look up.

Credit also to my partner: Naomi Taylor.

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Find your silence

The brief was to create a low budget campaign utilising tube posters for Gaia House, which is a silent Buddhist retreat. In a world where everyone is in a rush, stressed out and glued to their phones, these adverts needed to cut through the noise and resonate with commuters.

I went down a copy route for this brief - risky being as I am firmly an Art Director and consider my writing skills on a par with a 10-year-old. To my surprise however, there was a fair amount of positive feedback on these, despite me thinking I could do so much better. Don't get me wrong - it wasn't overwhelmingly positive, it's clear I could have pushed this a lot further than I did.

Originally, I was toying with the idea of taking over a whole tube station with blank posters to create silence, but realised it was quite boring and the mock up really did look like it took me 5 minutes... which it did. I settled on copy to communicate my message. 

Lesson learnt: Don't leave things to the last minute... and maybe I can write after all!

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I am looking forward to working in a pair this week on a chocolate brief - every partner I've been assigned so far this year has been off sick during the time I was meant to be working with them. I'm beginning to think no one wants to work with me! 

KFC

Alongside various other projects, we were given 2 days to come up with a print ad campaign for KFC, which would help drive lunchtime sales. 

Being a vegetarian, research was key in this - most of the people I asked said the reason they went to KFC was because it tasted delicious and it was real chicken... (gross). So, here's what I came up with! 

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Creative Equals

I can never say this too much - I have been blown away by how much support I've received in moving to London and starting my career in advertising.

Ever since I first met the D&AD New Blood team, I've been introduced to amazing people who want to help young creatives and make positive change in the industry and the world. 

Now that it's public, I can share that through Creative Equals, a rather insane opportunity came up which has led to me living with Rosie Arnold, who it's fair to say is an advertising legend, and just an all-round amazingly inspiring person.

On top of that - Creative Equals have decided to support me further and, oh just look - my face is in Campaign Magazine! Eek!

campaign magazine advertising

Read the Campaign article here.

Reflection of the week

This one comes from a conversation I had earlier today with Olly Markeson, who is a Brand Strategist at Virgin.

Not only has Olly demystified the secrets and role of a strategist and planner for me, but he also gave me some solid advice that was passed on to him - a bad advert feels like falling down a flight of stairs, there's just layers and layers of information. Aim for 'one step' to make a great and simple ad.

Build the tension, then pop the balloon.

Thanks Olly!

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