Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Mr. Stabby

"advertising is about telling stories. the ability to see potential from seemingly nothing, and then develop it into a great idea, is a key attribute for anyone wanting to work in advertising."

as part of our application process we were given this photo as a starting point and asked to tell a story in 500 words. here is mine:

It was 6.37 on a Sunday morning and Mr Stabby’s eye twitched with every screech of Mrs Higgins’ cat.

“It shall die.” He hissed, rising from his bed. Mr Stabby had had enough, every morning that wretched cat was yowling from the rooftop of the garages at the bottom of the garden; the time had come to do something about it.

Three days had gone by with no sign of Schubert. Mrs Higgins believed she could still hear his shrill yells in the early hours of the morning but she put it down to her tinnitus; this wouldn’t be the first time that her ears had deceived her. Her poor little Schubert, what if that awkward neighbour of hers had done something to him? He had clearly taken a disliking to Schubert and had been round several times knocking on her door. She had kept the door on the chain and had never let him in as he had a slightly deranged look about him. She had heard them talking about ‘Mr Stabby’ at the greengrocers.

Mrs Higgins steadily wheeled her trolley along the blustery sea front, pausing at regular intervals to carefully put up a poster, which read “MISSING, My beloved cat Schubert.” along with a description of Schubert, a copy of the photo of him that she kept on the mantelpiece and her contact details. Mrs Higgins had retired to Eastbourne over ten years ago but had kept herself to herself preferring the company of the crackle of Radio 4 to that of the outside world. Once the posters were in place she walked the twenty-minute journey back to her house, she was fit for a woman of her age.

Mr Stabby’s real name was Duncan. He was hurt by the nickname that the kids on the pier had given him. His astigmatism had left him with an unfortunate twitch and a slightly deranged look, making friends had not been easy in a new town. Having ruled out the option of obtaining a pellet gun, Mr Stabby went round to Mrs Higgins’ to once again try and reason with her and ask her to ensure that her cat was shut indoors for the night. For the first time Mrs Higgins invited him inside.

After pouring a cup of Earl Grey into a dainty china cup, Mrs Higgins shuffled over to the mantelpiece, the picture of Schubert smiled up at her. A tear pushed from her eye as she cast her malevolent gaze around the myriad of trinkets. Her tiny raw hands settled on a heavy lead cast of a cat.

“Lovely tea Mrs Higgins, I do hope we can come to some agreement.” Her hands ravaged by time, twisted around the ornament’s neck as though she was wringing that of a chicken.

“I’m sure we can.”

Mrs Higgins steadily wheeled her trolley along the blustery sea front, pausing at regular intervals to discreetly rip down the posters, which read “MISSING, local man by the name of Duncan Osborne.”

Monday, 23 January 2012

what i did learn

i've come to the end of my first week on MA advertising (creative planning) at bucks new university, here are my goals for this year:

  • find a mentor within the industry
  • have great ideas and communicate them in a dynamic book
  • to strengthen my online presence
  • not to squander being a student - i don't just mean with discounts and lack of council tax
  • to challenge the briefs that we are set 
  • make the most of my time off

i'm really looking forward to the workshops that will be running, especially the stand-up comedy - it's always something i've wanted to have a go at. this whole week; from meeting everyone on the first day, to going to a lecture given by tom murphy from BBH, to being suffocated by lynx boy spray at the SU bar, it's all got me really motivated about what lies ahead this year. i can't wait to get into agencies and to start producing work that's innovative and exciting, that i can be proud of.

bruce's top tips:

  • go into the industry through the planning route
  • experiment, take risks and don't be afraid to make mistakes
  • seek feedback: you're entitled to ask for thorough, honest feedback
  • become informed about lots of things, not just advertising
  • have something to say
  • never stop producing
  • don't be boring and don't get too comfortable
  • become invaluable
  • challenge everything, don't take it all at face value
  • get discussions going
  • identify what you do best and don't compromise on it
  • don't hold back on pushing a concept, don't follow convention
  • if you're on a roll, keep going

here is what i have learnt and experienced so far:

  • many people have never seen falling snow - a small-worldy observation, nonetheless true.
  • roland from the library is a delight - in fact everyone i've met at bucks has been friendly and helpful. ♫ maybe it's because i'm a londoner , maybe i spent too long in paris, maybe it's in such stark contrast to my previous uni experience or maybe i'm just a die-hard cynic, whatever it is it came as quite a shock.
  • the backwards commute is not for me, next week i shall be decamping to the sunny heights of high wycombe.
  • there are 24 hours in a day. this first week has been painful but hopefully my body clock will have set itself to 'productive' before too long. thank you caffeine.
  • i'm going to have to up my game in terms of asking people for what i want.
  • i've picked the right course.