“Sh*t, can we do this?”

On Thursday, Bucks Creatives were lucky enough to have Steve Henry come in to speak to the entire course. A man who not only has been involved in so many great agencies and campaigns over his career but has also set up his own companies outside advertising and is a legend in his own right.

We spoke about breaking rules – great news for a room full of young minds. He inspired us to go out there and reshape the face of advertising. It seems in the current climate, a lot of the ‘greats’ talk about the ‘great’ times, and that advertising faces more issues these days. With social media having such an impact in the world, it is harder to convince people of risky ideas, but to be great, we must take these risks.
When looking into a market, he encouraged us to draw the parameters of the market and audience, and to then look beyond those to find our ideas. The best ideas are difficult and they shouldn’t bounce into our heads willingly.
After this Steve set us our very own brief to start a revolution in the Creative world; to get Creatives fighting back to get them to stand up and demonstrate their worth, and that is what we intend to do next.
Thanks for a brilliant afternoon Steve, truly inspiring. We look forward to seeing you again.
Julie Botwood

Open a box and find a dinosaur.

The thirds years have had a Creative Detox! We’re so in our own tracks that we’ve started building our own obstacles to, very metaphorically, get over.
Third year, Jess Baldock, described the day as “eye-opening. It really highlighted to us how without realising it we have all put certain pressures and restraints on our own creative capabilities. With a “yes and” attitude     I think that, as a group, we can all start working more as one team instead of being territorial and competitive with our ideas.”
The studio is flowing with the ideas and discussions have never been more of a team effort. We’re all communicating as a team and we’re smashing the latest brief which rolled through our doors from Wieden & Kennedy which happens to be based around Toilet Roll.
Next week we start working on our Final Major Project!
Julie Botwood

Thanks for a great day, Mandy!

Agencies, tea and writing…

The second years have been up to a lot since they begun the year! Now they enter the world of agencies and briefs galore, and they’ve already impressed a few!
A huge thank you to Ben Stump at Isobel for giving our second years their first agency crit of the year, and a huge congratulations to Helen and Remi for winning!
They have so much fun working on the Rich Tea brief, and a lot of fun eating biscuits – I mean – researching biscuits!
Alongside that, Eddie Fisher at Lucky Generals have set them a brief and they’re busily working away on that too! It’s fair to say they’ve taken to briefs like Ducks on water!
One of our new tutors, Andy Imrie, has also been challenging them on the writing skills by writing their own obituaries!
Let’s hope they don’t plan on using them any time soon!
Julie Botwood

Katie and Helen hard at work in the studios on their Lucky Generals brief

Remi & Luke working away on Lucky Generals’ brief

Andy has also been challenging us by getting s to write our own obituaries!

The A&A Team come to Bucks!

It’s a brand new year in the Ad Studios and to go with it we have brand new additions!
Aside from our wonderful first years, we also have two new tutors at Bucks!
Anton and Andy have just finished their first week with Bucks and we hope they’re having as much fun as us students are!
Anton has set the 3rd years a brief for Dancing On Ice which has got us all skating with excitement. Andy has been getting the second year looking at Rich Tea biscuits  – set by Isobel – and the studio has never been so hungry for nibbles!
Anton has even been looking at the 3rd years work and is filling them with positive energy and inspiration as they begin to produce campaigns for their books ready for the industry.
Having a Copywriter and another Art Director among all three years, including Course Leader, Julie, is paving the way for a very exciting year here at Bucks so stay tuned!


Julie Botwood, 3rd year.


and Andy

The end of the year shows. Phew! That took blood, sweat and beers…

The end of year show ‘Blood, Sweat and Beers’ was a great success showing the final ad books off to the world. First their was the show at Bucks, then on to London. Advertising agency, Isobel, kindly hosted the show in their lovely offices in New Cavendish Street. Lots of industry friends turned up to see the work and a good evening was had by all. Lots of contacts made and lots of beer drunk. Worth all the hard work!

Thank you to everyone who came along – from Mr President, Lucky Generals, D&AD, 4Creative, Haygarth, Grey, Stink Studios, JWT, Pick The Flowers, BBH, Jungle Creations, Stereo, Iris, Publicis, CHI, TMW, Havas, Karmarama, Octagon, Zak, Kitcatt and Croke and many more.

Sarah Hardcastle from Mr President and freelance creative Chris Lovell – both graduates from the course – enjoy the show


The Legendary New York Study Trip: 2017

The 2nd Year Creative Advertising group has just had a big adventure in New York. Everyone had a fantastic time and the students had experiences that will last a lifetime.

I lead a 17 strong party from suburban High Wycombe to the bustling Big Apple.
Before we left, I had managed to arrange 12 advertising agency visits into some of the top advertising agencies in the world.

I knew that such a busy itinerary would challenge the students’ stamina but the agency visits were so good and varied that all of the students managed to attend every single one.

From our hotel in mid-town we were able to take the subway all over Manhattan and Brooklyn and visited the following agencies:

Sparks and Honey, Tribal, Brooklyn Brothers, 360i, Grey, Stink Studios, Cunning, Makeable, Exposure, Anomaly, Droga5 and Deep Focus.

Then came the weekend where the students were free to explore all over New York and visit the sights, buy crazy stuff and have fun.

I would like to thank the whole group for being such good company and so well behaved. And I hope some of them make it back to New York to work there one day!

Phil Dearman, 2nd year leader.


Read the following reviews by some of the students about their favourite places…

Sparks & Honey

So, after a long old journey, leaving Wycombe at 7am, arriving in NYC and having a bit of time to recover, we got to our first agency of the week- Sparks & Honey.

Sparks and Honey is an agency based around research of trends and cultures. Every day they have the ‘Cultural Briefing’ which they kindly invited us to (they have an ‘outsiders welcome’ policy, which I love) here they talk trough cultural signals of the last 24 hours; looking at micro, macro and mega trends and predicting where culture is going.
They have their work process pinned all on the walls- as did a lot of the agencies, and it was great to visually be able to walk around the room and see the progression of trends from micro to mega. This is really something all the group agreed we’d like to bring to the studio here in the UK, along with a bit more of a formulised ‘interesting shit’ day every Monday.
I actually think S&H was one of the agencies we learnt the most from; not being an ‘Advertising agency’ as such and coming at it from a totally unique angle was really insightful and offered us a lot to think about that we have never touched on before- there are many practices the agency follows which would be great for the development of Bucks Ad School.
One of the things I noticed in the cultural briefing was the way it was conducted. Obviously they’ve been practicing it every day so they’re a pretty well oiled machine, but it really at times sounded scripted it was that smooth. Amazing to watch and the way everyone made a clear concise comment on the point that was brought up, and everyone else took in on board and moved onto the next was amazing to see and defiantly something that we should all learn from.

Liv : 2nd Year Creative Advertising


Our visit to 360i was full of passion and curiosity.

Walking into the building felt like any other agency, until the curtain lifted.

The creatives put on a performance that engaged me more than any other agency has ever done. They spoke about their journeys, they told us their stories and in doing so enveloped me into their way of thinking. Their stories were very different, yet both spoke to me on the same creative level.

As a student, a thirst for learning is always present, whether it be a persons background or an agencies work; yet although 360i touched upon these matters, I had not comprehended just how much they were willing to teach us.

They spoke about how to create a dynamic campaign, how to get a job, what to do in order to further my career and most importantly they told us to be “powered by curiosity”.

Something that I will remember from our short time in New York will be their enthusiasm and passion to inspire and motivate us students to be in the industry. To be ‘powered by curiosity’, to take in everything around us and make the most of our journeys, as with a little passion they can develop into something great.

An inspiring agency, that on the whole, got a standing ovation from Bucks Ad School.


“Creatively Led.

Strategically Driven.

Digitally Native.

Humanity Obsessed.”

On the 4th day of our trip we got a chance to visit an 11 year old agency – Droga 5. Placed on Wall Street (took over 4 or 5 floors of the building) and making us sign a disclosure agreement before we even got to New York we immediately got an image of a massive agency that know their place in advertising world. We got a chance to meet some of the team members, Chloe Grindle – copywriter, a junior creative team of Tobias Lindborg and Felix Karlsson who turned out to be absolute lucky legends and Chloe Harling, a creative coordinator. During the talk that was accompanied by an amazing view at Brooklyn from the window (which was literally the only thing that we were allowed to take a picture of), we’ve got some amazing advice and a clear image of what Droga5, as a company, seeks in the people that they hire. By talking to Tobias and Felix we found out that D5 is really open to international teams and they are really helpful with the visa paperwork that they were struggling with as a team from Sweden. It just shows how friendly the staff is even though the company is pretty big and overwhelming for some. We’ve been told that D5 strives to be crazy, seeks diversity and fresh and new ideas and has quite a competitive way of working, meaning many teams are working at the same brief and the best one wins. But they assured us that it’s a friendly competition. Droga in polish language means a path and it’s definitely a path that I want to take in the near future, even if there’s five of them.

Julie : 2nd Year Creative Advertising 

Deep Focus

The last agency that we saw on the class trip New York was Deep focus. Which was around the corner from times square. While we were there we had a Q&A with John Reid (Chief creative officer, US) and an account manager. They gave us advice such as “sometimes people want it all and that’s a bit well.. but that’s the crazy world we work in and sometimes the best ideas come from just going for it”. And “your idea is sort of like the palm of your hand and how you manage it create/ show the idea is like your fingers. They all need to be able to work together”.

We were also had a tour around the agency, and although it may seem small. It is actually quite cosy and has the open planed atmosphere that made well me at least feel welcomed and relax. They also have a very cute dog called Guson (side note he also has his own Instagram @gusontheloose) in their office and I have to add mite that that did keep me busy for a good ten minutes by it also aloud me to talk to the owner and other creative that work at the agency to see what they are like and get a really good feel for the working environment. As most people send a lot of time there it seems like a friendly place to work.

They also have a small production part so that they can create some of there work in house which to me would be really interning to get involved in within the agency, so I think that it would be something to look out for.

Sabina : 2nd Year Creative Advertising


On Thursday 9th March, We went to Makeable on 11 Harrison Street, Where we were warmly welcomed in and introduced by Gardenia Willoughby & Ryan Fleming, we were toured around and presented by hard working creatives and planners working on current business then shortly gathered into their pitching studio.

Gardenias Willoughby, Partner Client Engagement Director began by formally introducing herself and how she got to who is she to present date, as did Ryan Fleming, Partner Design Director. These two made us feel very welcome and ready to learn and analyze,?We discovered who Makeable is and what Makeable stands for with Gardenia. We reviewed a range of case studies that they had created for big name American and international brands.

They began with the creation of TWC Mobile, (the Weather Company) an engaging and attractive, easy to use, on the go mobile app where social users can upload geo-tags on current weather updates, Innovating the brands image and interaction for current and new consumers and they were quite happy to let us intervene and ask questions.

This process continued through with other innovations and creations for;

  • Nickelodeon and a discussion on how they approach and speak too Gen X – Z market.
  • The American Kennel Company and their Dog matcher/ Dog interest mobile app.
  • FUIJI Film and how they outpaced the other competition brands.
  • McCORMIK and their desperately needed contemporary new overall brand redesign.
  • Penguin Random House and what they worked on.

UNIQLO and their ‘3d selfies’ campaign. ?I enjoyed this Agency the most. As an Agency that prides itself in Innovation and Design’ It stoked my interest in the role as Art Director in my soon future. Standing out over other agencies because of their approach to design in advertising over other sectors of advertising.?I enjoyed what they had to say about their own experiences on briefs and working with these clients and brands. ?They had a lot of strong advice and looks into the future as junior creatives with key advice on how to approach getting into the Advertising industry.?As a second year student getting comfy where I was, this whole trip and the visit to makeable really motivated me to be the best and make more out of what I can bring into my working ? Even the atmosphere and layout of their agency looked like an attractive fun working environment.

Hayden : 2nd Year Creative Advertising. ?


With a core staff of only 6, Cunning was the smallest agency that we visited. However, it could be argued that they made the biggest work, with a large portfolio of experiential executions. Mark Voysey, Head Bloke, gave the group some great advice reminding us to alway look for the SMIT (single most important truth) in every brief to make sure that we are always nailing exactly what they want us to get and not overcomplicate things. It was particularly interesting that he said that many brands themselves can’t even come up with this, so how, as creatives, are we supposed to? Before we went on the trip there had been lots of talk about whether experiential campaigns were worthwhile any more due to the fact that they only really effect the people who have the experience of attending them. However, Mark encouraged us to think of everyone as a journalist. In this day and age almost everyone has a smartphone meaning that anything that anyone does is instantly shareable, the difficult part is making your event interesting enough for people to want to share, and that doesn’t mean making your structure an interesting shape. “If you leave here with one piece of advice let it be this: never work with ovals.”

Jess : 2nd Year Creative Advertising


On Thursday 9th our second agency visit was to Makeable, a small “digital innovations company” in Lower Manhattan. Their projects are all works of art, with their presentations ending on huge scrolls of paper, which spans entire rooms. It was obvious from the talk we had with them; that they are all hugely invested in their work, and, that they genuinely care about what they do.??From the perspective of advertising students, visiting Makeable was very interesting, they don’t make adverts, instead they provide creative solutions to company’s problems. Though not advertising so to speak, the things we have learnt at Bucks can definitely be applied to their style of working, and vice versa.??From our talk with them I felt that we all learned quite a lot, everything from making beautiful keynote presentations, to useful tricks when using Photoshop. I found the energy and alacrity with which they approached their work was contagious, and made it seem like an interesting and fun place to work.

Ed: 2nd Year Creative Advertising


The third  and last agency of the day on Wednesday was Stink Studios in trendy area of New York- Brooklyn. I think i can speak for the group when i say this was one of our favourite agencies and not just because we were greeted by one of the smallest, softest and sweetest puppies we’d ever met (although agency dogs are a big plus in my eyes). The agency had a very relaxed and cool vibe to it, as well as a friendly family feeling. We were introduced to friendly faces, Dan Scott Croxford- Head of content. Linn Livijn Wexwell- Art director, and new arrival Belinda Reichle- Executive producer. They started their presentation with a few case studies, presenting their slick digitally focused work. They also gave us the opportunity to ask them for any advice.

Their advice:

Learn how to use key note and google slides

Know your tools (look into what tools are out there/what tools are different agencies using)

Know your industry (follow award shows/Adweek/ FWA/ Awwwards/ Best Ads)

Keep up with latest trends

And last but not least stay inspired!

All in all Stink Studios was a great visit with good work and friendly genuine people, not to forget generous with the great spread of donuts, cakes and muffins they got for us. Yum!

Sophie : 2nd Year Creative Advertising


On the morning of the last agency day we made our way through the snowfall to place number 10, Anomaly, a new model agency. There we were greeted by a bit of Reggae and a great view over the snow-covered skyline of New York City. After a short wait we went on the first part of a tour through the workspace, which looked like a trendy, big city loft. Despite the space, the place gave off a very homely vibe, with everyone sitting together in the same room, open plan kitchens and metre long bookshelves.  We sat down for an interesting and extensive talk about the work Anomaly has done for brands like Jolly Ranchers, Budweiser and Converse, then continued our tour through the office which is spread out across three buildings. The tour ended in the agency’s own bar.

Jen : 2nd Year Creative Advertising

Exposure, “a communications agency connecting the dots between brands, culture and consumers” was one of the more relaxed visits, with them providing beers, a win in our eyes!

They were one of the agencies who have moved away from the traditional advertising routes, showing us work involving redesigning a brands identity (Marley Natural), sculptural installation (Adidas Original) and Formation lyrics for tequila (Jose Cuervo). Something that I haven taken away from this agency is to maintain a world outside of advertising, by doing a personal project or hobby and when in doubt use Beyonce lyrics – “Cuervo No Chaser”.

Hannah : 2nd Year Creative Advertising

Emily & Charlie tell us about life and internships…

Lovely to see Emily and Charlie – who have just finished a 6 month stint at Jack Morton – who create experiences that connect brands to the people who matter most to them. Find out more at  http://www.jackmorton.com

Thank you for coming and sharing your stories – and for reviewing the D&AD and YCN competition work.

They are just about to start their second internship at Pretty Green – good luck girls!

The Hub Creative Academy comes to Bucks!

It was great to see The Hub’s Mike, Matt and Elliott up at Bucks for the Creative Academy briefing on YHA. Beth, the client from The Youth Hostel Association, also came to share her YHA stories and experiences. The winners will get a paid internship at The Hub.

We’re up against Falmouth advertising course in this competition – so do your best Bucks!


Ian Berry comes up to Bucks to talk to School of Art & Design

A big thank you to artist and Bucks grad, Ian Berry for an insightful talk and fascinating close-up look at his work.


Here ‘s an extract from his interview with Dean Valler, our lovely PR man!

How has studying at Bucks New University benefited you?
I think there was a couple of things that really stand out.
The first is to think openly and differently. I have been quoted as saying that I think many people in advertising are much more creative than some artists. To think past the first ideas, and then to be able to present them in the best ways.
The second is the work ethic. At Bucks we had contact time most days, including weds night lectures in London (yup.. Union night!) and we had a heavy workload, I lived with sports students and I must have had 95% more work to do. This helped first being prepared for the real world and industry and then now when working, to really make all the effort to take chance of all the opportunities that arise, basically, carrying on working my ass off to grasp every chance.

What key skills did you learn that have helped you?

To those that read this, it may not make sense, but as I say above, to think. How to think, and how to do things differently. I dont know if it is a tangeable skill but it is a very undervalued skill. I said to the students that this can be adapted to many industries and jobs afterward, you dont walways have to go into adland. I wish however I had grasped with both hands the chance to learn other skills, as the options were there, like on photoshop, illustrator and indesign as if I use any of these I have to outsource it now. When often it is rather simple. With the Degree, and working in the industry, I certainly have the skills of an art director of how I want things, now it is a bit frustrating I dont have the skills to carry that through. In the industry, and AD doesnt really need these skills.However when I lives in Sydney, most AD’s were required to have them and I am finding it more, so I hope the students listened and spent some time learning them more. But essentially, and this goes for all the social media tosh now, the key thing is the message and the idea.

Did you always want to go into the career you’re in?
From a young age I was always known as the arty one, but got put off by the naysayers who said it wasnt a career and all that bull.

However when I was studying and first of all working in advertising I did love it and was pretty emmersed in it, and was excited about doing it and seeing things printed and made. Obviously the ideas that don’t get through are frustrating, and how a client or other could bastardise those that do. But that was part of the challenge. That said, compared to now, I love only really having myself to please. I even dont really like taking commissions on now, as prefer the freedom and independence of creating what I like. Commissions are so much more work on top. Of course, I take on a few.

How did it feel to come back to the University and what did you most enjoy about the visit?
It was the first time I have been back in 10 years, actually since my graduation. It sounds bad but I did live most of that time away in Australia, and then Sweden. I was surprised to see the new building and everything looking pretty nice. Admittedly it needed doing, it was a bit dated when I was there. It felt like a growing positive place, and a good place to learn. The ad deptartment even looked like an agency.

The best thing though was meeting some of the students, especially those that stayed behind afterward. Ad students especially are very enthusiastic, and always looking for opportunities. But like in any walk of life, there are always the loud ones, and the ones that are not so confident. I was hoping to show a few of those that have not found their confidence that with a bit of hard work you can get anywhere. I was not actually a naturally confident or quick creative. I would let others shout over me for ideas that i had a few minutes before, but I always made up for it with hard work and commitment. I wish the students the best of luck. I think it was also important for them to know that there are some transferable skills to other careers and opportunities. Perhaps adland isnt for everyone, it is scary if you do a degree and you feel it isnt for you as a career.

How proud are you of the way your career has developed and what are your aspirations for the future?

Its really strange. Even 5 years ago if you were to say what I would have achieved in this time, and said it would be over the next thirty years, I probably would have been happy. But you make milestones and you dont appreaciate them, you just look to the next and want to achieve more and get better. If you stagnate its not good, so its always good to be progressing. Afterm y last show I actually crashed, so I’m actually proud that I managed to get back, as well as making a fmaily and miving countries three times, so all in all, stepping back, you have to be proud. For the future, who knows, lets not set any targets.

Ian Berry Interview from Design, Media & Management on Vimeo.