Field Days and School Trips

Two week update, and it’s been a period of field days and school trips.

First up was the IPA Foundation Certificate exam held in a hall that we all agreed reminded us of Hogwarts. Questions for the roughly six-hundred strong ad-noobs ranged from discussing the negatives of a co-regulatory standards system to why we should remember to smile at the creatives. Alarmingly, instead of being sent scores in the post so you can swear, cry, celebrate or cheer in privacy, results are published in Campaign Magazine. This June, public humiliation comes to a newsagent near you.

Our next day out was to the heart of the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority); the waggly fingers of the advertising industry who ensure everything produced is ‘legal, decent, honest and truthful’. After warning us against creating and releasing evil advertising onto an unsuspecting public they then proceeded to share a multitude of banned ads. It was like peeking into the confiscated cupboard at school.

Recognise the star of this Tango banned ad?

The legal was followed by the shiny. Namely world-leading post-production house The Moving Pictures Company, responsible for the very finest in VFX and CGI-type-wizardry as seen in everything from Harry Potter to the Cravendale cat with opposable thumbs and skating Evian babies. Personally, I’ve never been that awed by 3-D (but then my only experience of it is ‘Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs’) but seeing the Strongbow Ad (you know, that one, the one with the arrow, and the glass shatters? Yeah, knew you knew) made Charlie crave a pint of the sweet appley stuff for roughly six hours. Did we just witness the future?

Nothing like a bit of competition to make the Foundry descend into devious tactics and petty squabbling. Our Thursday challenge ‘Judging Creative’ was with one of the top planners here, Adrian, who shared a selection of ads from round the world, and asked our opinion on them. Sounds simple? Bad answers got scorned, good answers got jelly beans. It all got a bit ugly. Charlie didn’t quite understand and started eating his jelly bean prizes, and Chris had several taken away for not complying with the rules. But it’s all alright. Because I won. #justsayin. In all seriousness, it is a far more challenging task than you may think to tactfully yet honestly judge, analyse and communicate those decisions regarding creative work. Especially directly to the same creative who has just invested time, effort, blood, sweat, tears, and possibly a marriage. Biggest Learning: Don’t sit on the fence. Have an opinion, and stellar reasons for it.

Still smug.

The last Foundry tit-bit to share was that we had the pleasure of lunch with Giles (MD), Paul (CEO) and Andrew (CHAIRMAN). We expected serious conversation between polite small-talk. Instead we got how to G-up a car, and where the nearest best kebab shop was. Yet to try out the automobile recommendation, but the ExCo can be our new restaurant guide any day.

But by far the most rewarding part of past weeks was bringing back shiny new pencils for Alex and Lewis. Just look at them! Look! Look at their little happy creative faces! D’Awwww.

Royalist Creatives

– Tamar

P.S. Make sure you all get yourselves down to the much-hyped but really-very-good David Hockney exhibition at the R.A. Art made on an iPad? Discuss.


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