Organised via creative education charity Ideas Foundation, the students were selected to represent the college at the VCCP offices in Victoria, pitting their creative concepts against other colleges up and down the country. The international creative agency has a diverse and impressive portfolio spanning from Compare the Market to O2, Cadbury to easyJet. Currently, the company is working with Nationwide on their #OnlineHate campaign, and staff gave their Wednesday afternoon to our students to impart wisdom.
Hailing from Islington, Ideas Foundation was set up in 2000 by Robin Wight, and works to provide young people with industry experience. Project Leader Leonia Goromba explained: “we partner with creative agencies and work to give students from disadvantaged backgrounds an opportunity to experience what ‘creative industry’ is. It’s a bit of hands-on work experience.”
Founder Robin Wight was described as an “eccentric and passionate” man with fifty years of ideas in advertising. “The thing is that we are all still learning,” he told us. “[The students] all have a very interesting idea, and are just finding the way to get it out, with a nudge from us.”
The event followed on from a workshop in which City and Islington College students competed amongst themselves for a place on the away day. Those who made it through to the second stage could then develop their initial idea further – with expert help from top advertising specialists at VCCP, Ideas Foundation and Nationwide. The brief, originally given to VCCP, was amended for a younger target audience and asked students to create a campaign tackling online abuse. This falls into Nationwide’s philanthropic ethos, and follows on from their ‘Together Against Hate’ work with Channel 4.
“We’ve seen some great ideas today,” Assistant Advertising Manager at Nationwide, Darragh Hall, fed back. “As a brand, it’s really good to work with schools and get a fresh perspective to see their ideas and maybe get a new take on what we’re sending out at the moment.
“The kind of channels that we’re looking at more and more are just what’s normal to them. Stuff that would have been new for us will be part of their daily experience. It’s great to get that perspective and find out how they like to be communicated with.”
Student, Dominique White, followed on, saying, “It’s really a great opportunity to have the chance to work directly with people with such experience. For people like me, I’m happy to have experience in something I want to do in the future. It’s let me know what life might be like, and to know that this is something I want to continue with.
“I’ve realised that advertising is not as simple as it seems. Lots of companies and team effort is involved in realising a project like this. It’s not a one man show, and you have to integrate different people’s creative strengths into all the different areas.”
The event was attended by Business lecturer Maxine French and Employability & Skills Coordinator, Sherwyn Atkins. The City and Islington College staff were pleased by the opportunity for students to gain relevant vocational experience in their sector of choice: “I think it’s provided a window into the industry that they maybe wouldn’t have otherwise experienced,” Sherwyn said. “It’s allowed them to understand that this is a viable and accessible career. Having spoken to professionals here, they now know the work that’s required to get here, but also the qualifications that are required. I think today has raised aspirations.”