Saturday, 14 July 2012

we're frukt

last week was spent at communications agency frukt, working on a live brief over the space of four days. on the monday we were given an introduction to the company by their one and only creative planner, flo page. she explained that her role is to harness peoples' passions and to give brands a meaningful role within their lives. the objective is to tell brand stories in interactive, immersive and entertaining ways that will live through channels and over time. frukt's mission statement is 'to entertain the world' and the brands on their books certainly reflect this ethos; from coca-cola to nokia to southern comfort, the heart of frukt's expertise evolves around music but with a definite digital edge.

flo said her skills are weighted differently for different clients, with one being mostly strategic whilst another may be more heavily creative. i felt that she finds it rewarding to have this variety and mix and i think that although we inevitably have to label our job, i hope that my role will allow for a certain level of diversity as well.

jim robinson, who is in charge of client services, and dom hodge, frukt's planning director, ran us through the structure of the agency and emphasised what i find to be true of many of the smaller agencies; the championing of mixed skills from everyone. their reasoning being that ideas can come from anywhere (even occasionally from the client).

the brief we were set had to be big, brave and long-term. each group was given their own creative starting point to work around, which was helpful and interesting because when we came to present we all had different approaches. our challenge really lay in trying to describe the feeling of the brand rather than the service.  our group spent the first day simply trying to define our audience and one of the most useful pieces of advice that i received was to consider it as one audience and then focus on one or two segments that won't alienate the other segments.

flo's top tips for presenting:

  • clothing - don't wear any statement pieces that will distract your audience
  • stand - it gets air to your head and gives you more presence
  • be as visual as possible
  • put no more than 3 bullet points on each slide
  • don't use full sentences
  • print stuff, stick it on the walls
  • get clients up and moving around the room
  • provide a hand-out so they have something to take with them

a lot of time was given to thoroughly running through the strengths and areas of improvement for each group, certainly the most detailed we have had so far. it was really helpful and we had the chance to ask lots of questions to flo and creative director and founder, jack horner. flo was really generous with her time as we were aware of the pitching that was going on and our student ability to get under people's feet. it was a fantastic chance to get a feel for the day to day of their agency and another steep learning curve.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

rapp it up rapp it in

bolly & cauli
bullshit bingo
last week MA advertising spent the day at rapp. we began with a briefing by planning director gavin hilton who set us the challenge of making people fall in love with cauliflower again. gavin handed over to one of rapp's junior strategists, jo birch, who gave us each a bingo card full of industry jargon to make sure we were listening to the key points that would be laid out throughout the day.

jo talked about the importance of having a consistent theme when defining your truths for a brand or product. she advised us to ensure there were no boring bits in the brief and to let the personality of the consumer shine through. jo ran through the structure that rapp use, beginning with establishing three sets of truths; the market, audience and brand truths. these would lead us to our strategic story and ultimately our proposition.

chris & marcus
jo handed over to ex-bucks creative team marcus and chris who told us about their journey from university to rapp and backed up jo's point about the importance of an interesting briefing session.

after a short break we went to sit around the large table on the roof terrace where global cco ian haworth gave us a really inspiring talk about his incredible adventure from helping out in a studio, having left school at 17, to becoming an art director at 19, winning his first award at 20, then becoming a creative director at 26 and a partner in his own agency at 28. it's amazing to see how his passion has sustained and daunting to think that i'm already 25... two of the key points that ian made, which stuck with me, were that lateral, original thinking is the creativity in planning and that creativity is only a guess unless you have an understanding of who you're talking to. ian gave some really sound advice and was a really interesting person to listen to.

jo, ed and mel then split us into groups to work on the cauliflower brief and came round discussing our ideas with each group. it was really helpful to have a clear structure and examples of how it had worked for previous campaigns. i enjoy analysing ads but although things like the target market may be very clear, the insight isn't always so clear. for example, budweiser's wassup ad's insight was 'when male bonding happens, not a lot happens'. i think that being able to dissect ads will make the building of them easier, i'm trying to improve my ability to identify the core structure.

we presented to gavin at the end of the day and my team were happily declared the winners and given a bottle of moët each! as i mentioned before; students love cake but they love moët!

on the last thursday of each month, rapp treat the whole industry to free drinks which we happily got involved with. sitting out on the steps in the sunshine we spoke to ben and rob, another creative team as well as creative director shelby meale. a massive thanks to everyone at rapp for putting so much effort in for us and for being so accommodating. this was undoubtedly our best workshop so far.