What is it like to work at one of London's most prestigious advertising agency? Who are these mysterious prodigies that revolutionised the mechanics and cogs that keep the world of advertising churning? And who are the anonymous geniuses behind the only annual event more exciting than Christmas itself - John Lewis' yearly festive campaign? I wasn't going to wait around to find out.
Scrolling through twitter a couple of weeks back, I saw that many big London agencies were opening their doors to aspiring creatives, planners, strategists, account managers and anyone who just fancied a nosey round some of the biggest and most awe-inspiring offices in London. AKA Me. Since I was 14 my life ambition - however sad it may seem - was to craft, direct and shoot John Lewis' Christmas advert. So, naturally, I did everything in my power (filled out my name) to ensure I was in the front row for the lecture on the bear and the hare.
Suffice to say, I wasn't disappointed. Not only did I meet some very keen advertising beans therefore adding to my (very small) list of people who'll attend advertising talks with me, but I also had possibly one of the best days of my rather short existence. We learnt everything there is to possibly know about John Lewis' account during talks with James Murphy (founding partner) and Caroline Grayson (business director), whilst also being given insight into how to make a campaign with virtually no money at all. Their campaign's excellence for Harvey Nichols' awards scheme stemmed from their almost invisible budget - and yet, this didn't prove to be a hindrance to the company's creativity. Using CCTV footage of pilfering customers, Adam&Eve DDB promoted Harvey Nichols' rewards scheme by stating to the audience that if they 'love freebies' they can get now get them for free. Coming up with such successful ingenious without a fancy film set, without money for casting and without a budget for elaborate editing is creativity at its best.
As if this wasn't enough for my small heart to handle, we were then launched into the creative sphere of Marmite with the insight that everyone has one longest forgotten jar at the back of their cupboard. Creative - Tom Weber - explained how it was this one small human truth that prompted their idea of the Marmite Adoption Trust agency (in essence, a spoof of Battersea Dogs home). Naturally, after pitching, Marmite absolutely loved the idea so the team went on to create a Marmite rescue unit - uniforms, rescue missions, recovery vans - the whole package. Extracting and mimicking language from animal rescue shows proved an excellent way to write ads about people mistreating their jars of Marmite. This was a classic example of an idea with great depth and room for exploration as the team then invented the 'Marmite Gene Project' - a test the public can complete to assess whether they 'love' or 'hate' Marmite. All in all, this campaign was a great success as not only did it remind the public about their forgotten jars of Marmite at the back of their cupboards, but it put Marmite back on a pedestal as the product that divides the opinion of the entire British nation.
After a lunch break (with lots of pizza), we went on to speak with the head of Digital, Social and Innovation alongside a Senior Planner. As a creative, naturally, my knowledge concerning industry awards leans towards the creative side, however, I learnt that often simply because a campaign is creative, that may not mean that it is always effective. Therefore, this particular planner was much more interested in the Effies - awards encouraging effectiveness across the industry. Judging the success of a campaign can be done in hundreds of ways - an increase of sales being an obvious route with behaviour change metrics featuring as another medium of tracking.
From H&M to EA Sports, GWR to Fosters and Google to The Financial Times - Adam&Eve DDB supports an endless list of highly successful clients, is a vibrant, energetic and exciting agency and definitely a place I can see myself in a few years time. The 29.09.17 proved to be an utterly enlightening day.