COVID-19 and ENGINE, the driving force behind IF virtual workshops

Engine Autumn Work Experience Zoom Screenshot

This year IF have taken their workshops online for the first time. We teamed up with creative advertising agency ENGINE to host a three-day remote work experience for students from London, Manchester and Bolton. The students were given a live creative brief to work on for Disrupt Space, an arts agency that represents young Black artists and aims to disrupt the world of cultural elitism.

The project was organised for the students to gain an understanding of life in a creative advertising agency and to experience working on a live brief, from the initial strategy stage through to generating creative ideas and presenting them to the client. Throughout the process, the students received guidance from ENGINE, with Managing Director Torie Wilkinson, Account Director Owen Keats and Business and Marketing Executive Hannah Shelley leading the sessions. Also joining us throughout the three days were CEO Jim Moffatt, Strategists Rob Jennings and Jack Cartwright, Creative Directors Richard Nott, Steve Hawthorne and Katy Hopkins, Account Executive Hope Shooter and Production Assistant Olive Andrews. They each introduced the students to a different aspect of creative advertising, providing them with an overview of the process of creating an advertisement and the various teams involved.

The students were given a brief to devise a campaign that advertises the Disrupt Space physical and online galleries in a way that increases awareness for the platform and its artists, by telling their stories and showcasing their work. Over three days, the students formulated their ideas and planned their own campaigns in response to the brief, with support from ENGINE. On the third and final day they presented these ideas to the client, Founding Director of Disrupt Space Paul Reid and those from ENGINE.

Steve Hawthorne, Creative Director at ENGINE says, "We were incredibly impressed with the work presented during the Autumn Work Experience sessions with Ideas Foundation. The students managed to do in three days what it takes us, even after years of experience, many weeks to do. At least half of the battle when it comes to creating great work is selling it in. And to do that you have to present your ideas clearly and confidently - which all of the groups in the sessions did. It was also clear that the work was a collaborative effort. No mean feat when working remotely. The ideas themselves felt fresh, with some lovely insights. Overall, if that was what the students could achieve in just three days, I’d love to see what they could come up with given more time."

Following an initial industry day at Global Academy in October, IF have been working closely with Disrupt Space in order to involve students in a campaign to advertise the release of an online gallery that will be launched in March 2021 and developed in partnership with Octagon Studios. Michael Healy, CEO of Octagon Studios, joined the work experience remotely from Indonesia to discuss the use of AR technology in the online gallery and how this could be used as a unique selling point in the campaign.

The final campaign will feature students’ work from the industry day and subsequent online workshops, bringing together the creativity and ideas of students from a number of different schools across the country. Despite a global pandemic preventing these future creatives from meeting in person, creative connections can still be made far and wide with a little help from the internet.

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