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.
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.
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.
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