psLondon takes on the IPA's Advertising Unlocked 2023.

Nurturing future Advertisers: Why agencies should empower the next generation

28 November 2023

Shade ThompsonSocial & Content Marketing Manager

Inspiring the next generation is one of the most powerful forces of movement in our communities and across many industries, including advertising. From driving change to equipping future leaders, there are many benefits to sharing both knowledge and experience.

Looking through the lens of our recent workshop for The Ursuline Academy Ilford students as part of the IPA’s (Institute of Practitioners in Advertising) initiative Advertising Unlocked*, read on to discover why inspiring the next generation should be on your to-do list.

*Advertising unlocked is a programme run by the IPA to showcase the industry to the next generation.

It encourages people to think the unthinkable

Sharing experiences can open a window of pathways for others, and that is exactly how we started our day with the Ursuline Academy Ilford students for Advertising Unlocked.

Our Strategy Partner and Co-Founder, Robert Pepper shared his personal journey with the students which included how psLondon started and became the agency it is today. This was followed up by our Marketing Manager, Shade Thompson’s overview of the day, her journey to marketing and introduction to advertising.

Both personal stories shared were not the conventional route the students thought they’d taken which sparked even more curiosity in the room to start the day.

I really enjoyed it. I’ve seen another advertising agency before but I have an interest in English and Art, it seems like a nice hybrid between the two. I am actually at a point of deciding whether I should go for the English route or more artistic, and I think this is a nice middle ground where I get to exercise both skills.Jessica Madu

Opening up about your experience and sharing your origin story helps show a range of avenues young people could take to get into the advertising industry– offering more opportunities and fewer limitations. In other words, encourages people to think the unthinkable.

It inspires people to believe in possibility

When asked what the students wanted to do post GCSE & A-levels, there was one united answer “We want to work in the creative industry”, and whilst only a few had an idea of what path they’d take, the rest weren’t quite sure until they met the psLondon team.

Client partnerships

Starting with our Client Partnerships team, Client Director Stefan Kaminski and Client Manager Sam Harrington took a deep dive into what they do and how their amazing roles fit into the mechanisms of a brand and marketing agency.

Emphasising the importance of relationship management, the students then discussed what they could do to make their clients feel special, ensuring both short and long-term success.


Insight & Strategy

Unravelling the world of knowledge, was Senior Strategist Ellie Atkinson and Strategist Seun Ariyibi, who expressed the power of curiosity and insight, and how it supports the process of unlocking a creative solution. This was followed by a game of ‘Guess the insight’ – the students looked at adverts to discover the intention and message behind them.

“I didn’t know ‘Strategist’ was a job. This experience has opened up more avenues that I didn’t know were possible and things I can go into without feeling like I need to put myself in one box.”– Jessica Madu

Creative & Moving Image

Wrapping up the first half of the day with all things visual were Design Director Sophie Stevens, Creative Holly Bell and Creative Lead, Bob Lloyd for Motion at our sister agency, Studio Hansa.

Sophie and Holly shared our creative process and the depths of how far purposeful designs could go – highlighting some of our incredible client projects. Bob took it behind the scenes and shared the components of creating a film, animation or design with the focal point being storytelling and connection.

Uncovering the variety of roles in advertising increases the options next-generation leaders could take without limits, or as we like to say, believe in possibility. 


It motivates people to look for magic!

Getting more active in the second half of the day, the students put all their learnings into practice by creating their own TikTok ads based on three different briefs.

The students split into three groups and put together a 10-15 second video that encompassed client management, insight, strategy, purposeful creativity, and storytelling – along with some very awesome video tricks and transitions.

They went on to present to the group and our panel judges, wrapping a bow on a successful, educational, and fun-filled day.

Getting hands-on experience is one of the key factors to learning and provides the space to search beyond your perspective and turn something good into great. Something we like to phrase as ‘look for magic’.

The workshop helps with is soft skills, self-esteem, confidence and presenting. It’s very beneficial for the students.- Ray Butler, Head of Art


In a nutshell…


It was a brilliant day filled with shared knowledge, experiences and inspiration for the next generation. A wonderful initiative created by the IPA and we’re proud to have supported in championing future leaders in advertising. Bringing it back to why inspiring the next generation should be on your to-do list, it ties in with the psLondon tagline and how we work at our agency:

Think the unthinkable.
Believe in possibility.
Look for magic.


We look forward to inspiring more young people, our peers, clients and communities to help drive change through creativity and strategy.

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