On November 10th I seized the opportunity to visit creative and advertising agencies in London as part of Internet Week Europe, following the ‘Strategy Route’.
We started the morning at Work Club in London Bridge area, a really cool office with super high ceilings and a massive wall covered like a blackboard with funny things written in the style of Bart Simpson I shall not…. oh and a really cute dog that walks around the office.
They told us that ‘strategy’ is selling stuff in better ways, or getting from A to B in the most creative and innovative way. Important things to understand are the behavioural instincts of people, to think logically, and to ask the ‘stupid questions’. Noted. Example of their own work: the CarteNoir campaign.
Next up was Anomaly, where they do things in a different way, as the name would suffest. They don’t separate the Creative and Strategy departments. They solve briefs ON THE DAY and don’t charge clients for their time, allowing them to come up with innovative solutions that don’t waste money. Examples of their work: Be Stupid (Diesel) campaign, Converse (Hot Chip free track/mural) campaign.
Naked office was an impressively quirky office space with an amazing view over the city. Here we were given more of an insight into the future of design rather than what the company does itself, with some really interesting slides showing some crazy things that creatives are doing at the moment. They hire ‘brilliant misfits’! They are a pure planning agency with a wholistic view on the creative and media industries.
Poke was in the Biscuit Building in Old Street area. They let us into some secrets about being an Account Handler: you don’t have to be a douche bag or a drunk! It was interesting to understand more about the Account Handler’s role in the advertising industry.
Next we moved on to the Tea Building to see Glue Isobar…I spot a running theme in building names here. They spoke to us about Account Handling, and the skills necessary to be one: leadership, strategic thinking, commercial thinking, creative judgement, financial understanding, decision making, perspective, etc. Later they spoke about Strategy and the importance of understanding the audience and being aware of creative opportunities that are presented by technologies and platforms. An example of their work is their campaign to visit Sweden with the Troll Spotters website.
Finally, after a long day of finding offices across the city, we went to Mother, also in the Biscuit Building. They talked to us about the traditional advertising triangle: Brand, Consumer, Category. They believe that their advertising and designs should be contributing back to culture, and good campaigns are the ones that last and exist outside of just the commercial purpose, for example, the Levi’s campaign in the Rustbelt, Pennsylvania, which changed many people’s lives. Creating an idea that you advertise, rather than advertising ideas.
It was a really insightful day, and I learnt the importance of cultural reference and thinking laterally.
Continuing to explore what is on offer in the Industry, at LCC we rocked up to some offices around Farringdon without even booking appointments…outrageous behaviour.
It was encouraging to see that people didn’t mind that we just turned up, and were happy to chat to us and give us advice about entering the industry and applying for work experience. We were told about the importance of showing your ideas and creative thinking in your portfolio, not just the final outcome.