Forever & Young wins

A swift update from the current module: we got news today that our Hyper Island agency won 2 out of 3 pitches. As this module is a lot about the economics of a agency, these wins make Forever & Young the top earning Hyper Island agency. A good reason for a glass of apple juice, cheers.

Module 7 - The Agency

My Hyper Island time is soon running out, after this one there is only the internship module left. But before that, one of the toughest and most interesting modules: The Agency.

The class is split into 5 agencies with 10-11 people in each. Those agencies have CEOs, project managers, designers and creatives. All agencies have three clients each and the possibility to pitch for more clients as well. All assignments are real and paid for by the clients with actual budgets, a pleasant pressure on delivering great work. My agency goes by the name of Forever & Young, we're 11 people. Right now I'm in charge of the current pitch for a real estate company here in Sweden – as a process leader, facilitating a group of four creatives and helping them work towards the winning idea. It's a nice change for a couple of days stepping back from creating ideas. It's more about structuring the idea development process and trying to create a creative atmosphere in a group in order to help them be more effective – a great learning experience. Next week I'll continue the work on one of our clients as an art director.

Where the creative things are

Last week we discovered a new way of researching (stalking) ad agencies that we like – by checking up on their office via Google street view. It's a bit of fun and gives you a glimpse into the area they are located in and how different their buildings are. Below are some of the offices we found:

Droga5 in New York

Wieden+Kennedy in Portland

Anomaly in New York

If you should find any other creative offices around the world with Streetview, please share with us.

Visiting creative orchestra

Earlier this week we traveled to visit a new agency here in London called creative orchestra. Several people were chatting about this place in the first few weeks since they opened shop and this made us quite curious. Their office is hidden away in north Islington although full with nice stuff and a bunch of young people, in fact that's what this place is about: Young creative talent. Chris & Victoria, the founders and creative directors, want to assemble a force of 25 juniors from different creative disciplines and offer their services to clients on a project basis and to advertising agencies as an independent creative department. For the talent it means a different way of compensation, the more you accomplish the more you earn.

They have a few briefs floating around the place for interesting brands and seem to be a hive of busy idea bees as they also encourage the youngsters to realize their own ideas and develop original intellectual property. The place seems to have a a good vibe about it, fun is an integral part of their creative process. They pulled off a couple of stunts to introduce themselves to the industry, send aging cream to Mother, wrote a April's fool article on campaign and held a creative session for a day on the circle line.

They do enjoy being called the new Mother by others and had some positive comments from other rock star agencies like Anomaly. We'd say it's a teenage pregnancy so far, we'll have to give them the nine months to see how it works out with the motherhood. We salute their fresh approach which is rather relevant to us and many other young creatives out there. We're curious where it goes and the work to come out of creative orchestra. Maybe we'll even get to contribute.

The Bank

We started another freelance gig today at an agency called The Bank. It's not finance but integrated advertising. One of the sweet things they did was to remake La Dolce Vita for Peroni.
They did some sweet stuff for Peroni, remaking La Dolce Vita. We'll be there for a couple of days, maybe longer helping out on a pitch. Fun and lots of work so far.

Creative Sensei

It seems like young creatives cannot afford to be picky about their first job nowadays. Yet we shall all have ideas where we'd like to work – and there are a lot of ways how to make that choice. I imagine many a creative is attracted by the glamorous name and the reputation of an ad shop and chooses the place they apply to by the name above the door. So were we. When we started out, we admired the coolest ones, always checking Campaign's new business charts, the award annuals and of course the recent work.

After some placements you realize that there's much more to it. Now there is one main criteria we're looking for in order judge whether a place is for us or not: a creative (director, or team) we can learn from. I think that's the critical point when you start out in this business, to find someone who can act as a mentor and help you moulding your potential and make you a better advertiser. A creative whose opinion you can absolutely trust and seek out if needed. Not someone who solves your problems, but rather helps to find the solution yourself. Finding such a person is not as easy as it seems and once you find that mentor, showing them enthusiasm and hunger is the real challenge.

When we look at an agency, we do not care about the name above the door. It is a only an indicator for where the great people are. We care more about the one person that can teach us to reach the next level – a creative sensei. Scamp and Dave Trott are great examples for this breed of advertiser. We're interested in your thoughts. Do you know more creatives like that? Or have you found your sensei already?

The Workshops Begin…

Last night we had our first D&AD workshop at Feel. It wasn’t an agency many of us had heard of but after a bit of research we soon realized they’ve done some pretty cool work. Chris Arnold, the CD and Partner ran a great first workshop. We didn’t touch on much advertising really, the session was more focused on creativity and communication in general. Chris also dabbled with some psychology and NLP, which was a bit of an eye opener.

For last nights brief, Chris asked us to put together a reaction diary for the week. And last night he explained why it was so important to be able to read reactions, as only then can be really evoke them. Chris talked about many things last night but I think the one point he wanted us to go away with was everything we do should get a reaction.

Here’s the template + instructions we were given, so if you want you can try it yourself.

KesselsKramer Outlet

We have a great meadow in front of our agency, it's vibrantly populated with lots of people from Leo's and the surrounding companies in Kensington Village. Today, while most of them were tanning during lunchtime, we sacrificed our precious food hour and made our way to visit the KKOutlet, KesselsKramer new London office.

There, we met Richard Walker, the Creative Director and showed him our work. We admire the work of KesselsKramer and are very excited about what they might will do in London. If we keep pushing our book, maybe we'll get the chance to be part of it someday. Have a look at some of the stuff they did.

WK seeking

Wieden + Kennedy's Portland office started a recruitment campaign for all kinds of creatives a couple of weeks ago. I you are a creative person of any kind apply. Even if you do not consider working there, apply. It's an application that is fun to fill out, on top it is both, inspiring and motivating. Go to – you can't do wrong.

'This is it. The major casting call for all of the best of the best. If you don't know if you are the best, apply. If you can tell a good joke, apply. If you can use proper toilet etiquette (see below), apply. If your mom thinks you are handsome, apply. If you are a designer, a writer, a creator, a thinker, apply. Take a risk and the payoff could be huge.

This just might change your life.'


That was my office this week as I was working with Nick, a copywriter whose Art Director had this week off.

A month has gone by in Publicis Dialog/Modem now and I had the pleasure to work on two pitches. I also got offered to stay for another month, yay. In the beginning it was rather boring to be honest, I had a lot of briefs not involving creative, but design. The situation rectified quickly and there are some interesting things on my table now. The work load is pleasantly balanced between online stuff, and fully integrated work and the old bit of design in between, to keep the skills fresh.

Other exciting things are happening as well – I'm hitting the streets again with my book. Curious, what will come out of it.

Agency Night Out

Right, I still haven't figured out the details, like most other creatives here, but the production brand of the agency is joining the integrated which is joining halfway with the interactive. The only thing I know is that it's an occasion for am agency party for people getting to know each other. Part one was yesterday, a night club in Mayfair and it's looking like they are planning a trilogy – fun times ahead.

One day placement at VCCP

Thanks to NABS I participated yesterday in the one day live-brief placement at the London above-the-line agency VCCP. The day started early and was held by Simon and Nikki, the planner in charge was Micheal. They briefed us on an interesting project covering broad range of media. Creative starters helped getting the brain going and after some coffee it started to be fun. Three creative teams and five individuals attended. All together a good amount of work was created and at the end of the day it was a great experience. Get on NABS' mailing list in order to be informed about the next one.

Some of the young creatives in the workshop room

Simon reviewing some work on the walls

The blue walls provided a great canvas for creative ideas

Work we've done

Qatar Lions?

A couple of weeks ago I answered to an ad in Luerzer's Archive for a creative position in Qatar. They wouldn't give anything away in the ad itself and asked to submit some work before they would reveal their agency name etc.

So I did. They offered me an art director's job in Qatar – with a wonderful payment, you can dream of as a junior creative in London. The specs: huge client portfolio, big budget just for fake ads, no brand strategies – win awards, loads of 'em. Tempting. Very. Worth it? Let's see:

I dream myself of working in a creative London agency. It's a though one. Would it be easier to get into a good one after winning awards? Awards for fake ads, in categories which haven't been exploited that much? Could I come back to London from Qatar after a year and get a job easier? I know quite a bunch of people who came to London from other countries. They had agency experience, they had awards. Still, they couldn't gain ground in the city. After some time and countless meetings with headhunters they had to travel back to their country. Of course – there, people would throw jobs after them. London's international ad victims.

I turned the offer down. Maybe you would think that I'm really picky. Yes I am.
I'm not looking for that one ideal agency, I'm not after a big name. I want a place where I can grow and learn stuff I admire. And that is not necessarily ads just made to win awards. And hell yeah – I consider doing that outside of London. As long as I'm getting better there it doesn't matter where it is or how much they pay.

Coherent? Or stupid?

Ding Ding

Last friday should have been our last day at Beattie McGuinness Bungay but we got to stay on. That's cool. We didn't get anything produced yet so we'll have to work harder I reckon. We like it, and we'll get to work on the big IKEA pitch – aaand enjoy the sun in Covent Garden during lunch time.

Exciting? You bet! Tonight we'll clean up our book a little bit so it's ready for tomorrow's portfolio night. Apparently all tickets are sold out. We hope to get some good shots from all the young teams we'll see there.

Portfolio Night in London *lineup*

The creative line–up for London's Portfolio night next week is revealed. We'll be there and it should be a fun night! It's gonna be in Covent Garden. Anyone else coming?

Grand Singing Union

The agency is going crazy about singing at the moment, everyone is getting in shape for the SingStar presentation tomorrow. We're trying to contribute something as well, so we work on ideas and stuff. Our desk is very tiny (bad) hence it looks always busy with only a few papers on it (good).

When an idea recession hits us we tend to look very desperately at our tiny desk and search the walls for inspiration.

Since the best way to help seems to be singing we are left with no other choice than sing along – Val enters the agency’s history with the lowest score on SingStar ever (I think it’s because of Kristin’s voice in the background!).

To enjoy more wonderful Grand Union madness visit their wonderlicious blog littleunion.

Also - check out for much more impressions from the podfight last week. Very nice pictures there, can anyone spot the one with us?