Gradwatch 2018: Ad creatives Gabby and Aaron, Falmouth University

We’ve picked ad creatives Gabby and Aaron for our annual Gradwatch showcase; putting the spotlight on art and design graduates who we feel produce outstanding work


Pot noodle shot glass: Pot Noodle Shots given out at bars at the end of the night

Creative partners Gabby and Aaron found each other at Falmouth University, and after working together over the course of their advertising degree they’ve now moved to London to chase their ad world dreams. The campaigns they design together are almost invariably humorous; their Bic campaign even won them a ‘One To Watch’ at this year’s D&AD New Blood Awards. Here we speak to them about their practice, what they’ve learnt so far and their future aspirations.

Creative Review: How did you two find each other and decide to team up as creative partners?
G&A: In first year, our uni held a speed dating event. Everyone partnered up but we were one of the few teams to have chemistry and stay together for all three years.

CR: Do you each have set roles within the partnership, does one of you do copy and another do visuals?
G&A: Our roles are not very defined. We find it important to go through things together, bouncing ideas back and forth and crafting things as a team but when pushed, Aaron leans more towards art and Gabby more to copy.

Bic Newspaper: A newspaper written out in Bic to illustrate how far a Bic can last.
Bic Open: Bic’s ink can actually last for 80,000 words

Creative Review: You’ve already done three internships in three hugely successful ad agencies – what are some of the important lessons you’ve learnt from these internships?

G&A: First off, it’s easy to get caught up with agency work and end up neglecting your baby, aka portfolio. We always make time to get feedback and tweak our book during placement as it’s all we’ll have to show for it when we leave. 

Second, is to talk to people. After a while we realised that you don’t have to be extroverted to make a good impression. We can both be kind of shy and find it hard to approach important-looking people. A conversation starter helps. Ask what they do or what they’re working on and if there’s anything you can do to help. Having a good relationship with everyone around made our internship a lot easier and sometimes we’ll get lucky and some new friend will slip us a cool extra brief to work on.

Third, ignore that crippling self doubt. Impostor syndrome is the absolute worst but we try to remind ourselves that even though we’re new, we earned our place just like everyone else. All the stuff we were doing before placement, i.e our way of working, presenting and personalities, are what got us the job. The same applies to everyone living the placement life, so keep doing your thing. Just try to do it better.

Campaign for JRF to highlight the poverty in the UK
Proposed campaign for Bose

CR: Now that you’ve graduated, what’s next? Are you applying for jobs together and would you like to retain the partnership?
G&A: We’re currently on placement at Ogilvy until the end of August. While we’re out of the office we usually try to revise our book and score more crits. There’s been a lot of pressure to get a job soon as Aaron’s student visa expires in October.

CR: What would your dream assignment be?
G&A: It would be great to work on a global campaign, something that gives us the opportunity to do something unusual and positively impact people’s lives., @gabbyandaaronMore from CR’s Gradwatch scheme here