Advertising unlocked: psLondon Inspiring the generation
Shade ThompsonSocial & Content Marketing Manager
What would happen if teenage students traded places with adults in the advertising and marketing world? Just like the classic film ‘Freaky Friday’ or an element of the 2019 film ‘Little’.
At face value, it may be easy to assume mischievous behaviour and lack of understanding would be prominent however, the concept of trading places could yet be one of the biggest development opportunities to make within the sector. Bridging the gap between generations not only transfers knowledge from adult to youths but also, brings insight and opportunity from youths to the world in a positive light.
In November, our team at psLondon welcomed students from Parkside Studio College to uncover the world of advertising. Organised by the IPA (Institute of Practitioners in Advertising), the ‘Advertising Unlocked’ initiative was created to showcase the industry to the next generation.
So what exactly did we unlock with the students and why? Here’s how the day went.
"As someone who's worked in youth marketing and is passionate about inspiring the next generation, this day means so much to me. Young people need more opportunities like this and we're delighted to have been a part of this initiative.” Shade Thompson, Marketing Manager
Unlocking the career journey
Kicking off the inspirational day at psLondon in Hoxton, Strategy Partner and Co-Founder, Robert Pepper spoke about how the agency came to life, giving an overview of his journey to setting up the agency. He shared a range of top tips for the students on how to get into the industry, based on his own experience of taking a less-than-direct route in.
Alex Causton, who led the day for psLondon, followed with an overview of the advertising and marketing industry, what an agency is and the roles available to kick-start a career in creativity.
Showing the journey to the next generation is important. Not only does it give a sense of direction on how to get into advertising, but it also encourages young people by showing them the wide and varied routes they could take.
Unlocking client relationships
Client Directors Leila and Stefan went on to present the world of Client Partnerships, from leading customer relationships to commercial and creative production, they immersed students in a life of an Account Manager in an agency.
This workshop was followed by a quiz for the students to find out if their preferences and behaviours at home and school align with that of an Account Manager. With a number coming up as ‘very likely’, we were excited to learn we might have some future Client Executives in our midst.
So why should students learn about relationship building in advertising? Knowing how important it is to build and nurture relationships in the workplace, and between client and agency, helped them see the importance of transferring their natural skills into a business setting.
When asked at the end of the session what they thought were the most important aspects of an Account Manager’s job, we were delighted to hear:
“Communicate, treat clients with respect, and understand who their target audience is for their campaigns”
Encouraging our young guests to think like the client partnership team really helped them see how communicating clearly and openly is critical to their success at work, as well as being so useful in their personal lives.
Talking about all things insight and strategy, Head of Insight & Strategy, Kendra and Oli, one of our Strategists, introduced the meaning of strategy in the advertising and marketing environment. The students got the insight (pun intended) into how strategy shapes advertising by looking at the structure of one of psLondon’s campaigns with RIND. They also explored the difference between insight and observation and had the opportunity to guess insights from memes.
Too often, there can be a disconnection between generations, just like a parent and teenager.
By helping our students understand that effective advertisements have a clear objective and purpose, they can start to develop the ability to use knowledge and insight to create effective campaigns.
Showing the creative side of the business, our Creative Heads, Scott, Sophie and Bob spoke to the students about their day-to-day activities with examples of the vast array of creative work we’ve produced for our clients. The students also had an introduction to our sister agency, Studio Hansa, to better understand the process of storytelling, film and animation from analysis to post-production.
To wrap up the day, the students had the opportunity to put all of their leanings together and create their own TikTok ad campaigns. This was a great way for them to show what they’d learnt, work together and understand the world of advertising.
Overall, the day helped reinforce the value of connecting with younger generations; they are the voices of the future. With the rapid growth of digital technology, extending the arms of knowledge and providing ‘hands-on’ experience for young people who may not have easy access helps to strengthen societies' foundations. Above all, it broadens generational inclusivity within advertising, enabling young people to be a part of the conversation and leaving them with a lasting feeling of empowerment, and unlocks a generation of equipped advertisers.
“I want to work here, do you take on work experience?”Avar, student