Ideas Foundation’s Creative Media Camp

Earlier this month, creative charity the Ideas Foundation invited CR to the finale of its Creative Media Camp: an annual week-long summer scheme giving 15 to 19-year-old students an insight into advertising…

Images: George Selwyn-Brace

Earlier this month, creative charity Ideas Foundation invited CR to the finale of its Creative Media Camp: an annual week-long summer scheme giving 15 to 19-year-old students a taste of advertising…

The Creative Media Camp is open to students at schools and colleges across London. Each year, students are given a brief set by a sponsor (this year’s event was sponsored by Sony) and a week to devise a creative campaign.

The camp is based at Chelsea College of Art and Design and students are mentored by tutors and industry professionals. Staff from BBH, WCRS, Creature and Dare hosted workshops on developing and pitching ideas and at the end of the week, students presented their final concepts at Sony Pictures’ London head office.

This year’s brief was to devise a campaign that would persuade ‘Generation C’, defined as 18-34-year-olds, to buy and rent films or TV shows from Sony Pictures – a tough challenge considering most in this age group are happy to stream or download content or subscribe to sites like Netflix.

Thirty five students took part and were divided into five teams, with each group asked to create a “shareable” campaign, as well as an ad, social media strategy and presentation explaining outlining their research and thinking. Pitches were then judged by Sony and Ideas Foundation staff, with prizes awarded to the team behind the winning idea.

The results included some witty and creative responses and this year’s winner was SofaSync: an app allowing friends who live apart to jointly watch or rent Sony films or TV shows and watch them simultaneously, interacting throughout. The team created a logo and ad for the app and suggested staging screenings in famous cities using a giant sofa to gain publicity.

Another group suggested an app that enabled users to create, upload and share their own Vine-length remakes of scenes from popular Sony Pictures films, and created their own amusing take on a shoot-out scene from action comedy Bad Boys to demonstrate.

Other concepts included an augmented reality app rewarding people who purchased DVDs with extra features, prizes and discounts; a ‘selfie’ campaign encouraging Sony viewers to photograph themselves in front of scenes from Sony films and a movie-themed mobile game, with levels inspired by various Sony Pictures titles.

The programme is one of several mentorship schemes launched by the Ideas Foundation, which was founded in 2003 by WCRS co-founder Robin Wight. The charity was set up to help young people from minority or disadvantaged backgrounds “whose creativity hasn’t been recognised” gain an insight into and experience of working in the creative industries.

As well as the Creative Media Camp, it runs a similar project, I Am Creative, in more than 30 London schools (you can read our feature about it, published in July 2013, here) and students who take part in either scheme are also invited to join The Ladder, a progression programme which arranges brief work placements and visits to creative agencies in London and Manchester. The charity’s work in the North West includes Incubate, a partnership with the Comino Foundation giving pupils the chance to work on advertising, fashion, animation, broadcast media and gaming projects.

The Ideas Foundation also aims to increase diversity in advertising and in 2012, launched a film to encourage debate about the lack of ethnic minorities in ad agencies: according to a 2011 IPA report, more than 90 percent of ad industry staff are from a white background and 90 percent of communications campaigns are created by men.

Watching students’ presentations at the Creative Media Camp, it was clear they had enjoyed the programme and learned some valuable skills throughout the week. Delivering a pitch to a room full of your peers and professionals is a daunting task at any age, but students were confident, enthusiastic and professional when presenting and as well as learning about the process of making a campaign, they gained experience of team work, problem solving, creative thinking and public speaking – useful skills to have in any job.

It’s a great programme and one that charity is keen to expand, with Wight telling CR last year that the charity is now aiming to work with 100 brands and agencies.

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