Inspiration can be found in the strangest of places, even in the bowels of rejection. Here 2014 AWARD School grad Kate Allan reflects on her time at the creative camp.
The first piece of copy that I ever had rejected was an online daily deal description for barefoot lawn bowls.
It read: “Hustle Grandma off the green! Wrest the ball from Pop’s arthritic clutches! For too long geriatrics have dominated the game of lawn bowls. It’s time for them to make a cup of tea and take the weight off their hip replacements.”
I was told to tone it down and be less offensive.
In that case it was probably for the best, particularly given the average age of our customers and the fact that monitoring social media comments was part of my job description.
But at AWARD School, you’re never told to tone things down. And only in extreme cases are you told to be less offensive.
Which is lucky because when you’re pumping out 40 or 50 ideas a week, you quickly lose your filter. It’s the only way to get past the first thoughts, cheap laughs and genius ideas that don’t make sense to anyone but you.
In a professional setting, no creative director is going to calmly and kindly explain to you why a campaign starring Karl Marx, Napoleon and Marie Antoinette is probably not the best way to sell speakers.
No client is going to sit through six consecutive dick jokes without storming out of the room.
But at AWARD School there are no boundaries, no budgets and so many bad ideas being thrown around that there really is no judgment.
In one lecture someone asked, “Is it ok if my idea isn’t strictly legal?”
I think the response was something along the lines of, “Are you kidding? It’s encouraged!”
You like puns? At AWARD School, you can write all the puns you want. Just be prepared to watch them all get ripped off the wall. But that’s ok – it just makes room for more puns!
Sometimes you’ll stumble across a good pun – one that’s funny, surprising, original and all the other things a good ad is supposed to be – but they’re not called puns. They’re called “a play on words”.
I learned a lot from my tutors at Clemenger and The Hallway. Like that it’s ok to advertise Google Drive by getting the Backstreet Boys back together for a reunion concert – you just need to have a really good reason for doing it. (I didn’t.)
And that there’s beauty, or at least necessity, in rejection.
Each week the majority of my ideas ended up in a pile on the floor. The ideas left over were the ones I had to keep working on.
At no point was an idea deemed good enough the first time I presented it. Instead my tutors said, “Keep going”, “Try to push it further”, or my favourite, “This is good. Can you beat it?”
But if they had let me settle for my first, second or fiftieth idea, I wouldn’t have come up with the ones I’m really proud of.
I also learned a lot from my fellow students. Like that the best ideas come from a combination of caffeine pills, red wine and 3am.
And that people really do bond through trauma.
There was a brief, calm interlude between the day I submitted my final portfolio and graduation night. I used the time to reacquaint myself with friends and family and catch up on 12 weeks worth of sleep.
Now I’m steeling myself for rejection all over again. I’m sure most of my CVs will end up in a pile on agency floors. Luckily I’ve learned to keep pushing it.
Want to see more of AWARD School’s Top 10 from 2014? Check out our photo gallery: ‘AWARD School Grads: The Creatives Of Tomorrow Up Close Today’
Insight agency TRA has asked 1,000 New Zealanders about their favourite ads, and the top ten ads most liked by the public are also very effective at achieving business results. According to the findings, ASB’s “Ben and Amy” has taken the number one spot, with nearly twice as many people mentioning this ASB campaign as […]
In this guest post, Andy Mellor, regional vice president, ANZ at Kofax, asks what does customer experience look like in this era of privacy and risk? “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” If only you had a dollar for every time you heard this saying, right? When we talk about customer […]
A French influencer has been snapped travelling in economy despite posting a photo of herself flying business class on social media. Océane El Himer, a Dubai based French model and influencer, posted a photo of herself posing in front of a business class seat on a recent flight, with the caption “Next stop: Monaco. Je […]
Aussie actor and media personality Shane Jacobson has joined forces with Sydney Water to launch a new water conservation campaign called Turn it off, Bob – urging us to think differently about our relationship with water. The campaign launched yesterday, and features Jacobson in character as the likeable larrikin, ‘Bob’, whose long steamy shower sparks […]
Sustainable soap brand Single Use Ain’t Sexy has been greeted with a huge influx of support after raising over half a million dollars in funding via a crowdfunding campaign. The brand has launched itself into the ‘green economy’ by calling on the Australian public to financially back them and their mission to get Aussies to […]
Queer Artist Ryan James Caruthers has publically slammed software company Unfold after it asked to use the artist’s work for free as part of its Pride Month social media campaign. Caruthers took to Instagram to show screenshots of the conversation he had with Unfold after it asked the artist to share 12 of his images […]
After relaunching in September last year, TWOOBS has become a ‘kinda’ shoe brand by also focusing on making the world a ‘kinder’ place and creating more consumer-conscious shopping. The vegan shoe brand founded by sisters Jess and Stef Dadon changed its marketing approach last year and stopped using social media to push sales the old-fashioned […]
Highly experienced tourism marketer Kelly Ryan has been appointed to lead the marketing efforts at Visit Sunshine Coast (VSC). During the past 12 years, Ryan has supported Canberra’s tourism industry in senior marketing roles, including as director of strategy and insights as well as director of marketing at VisitCanberra. Most recently, Ryan has been working […]
GHO Sydney has developed a new educational platform for Family Planning NSW to help parents and carers of children with disabilities navigate the changes to their bodies, emotions and social interactions. The project, ‘Planet Puberty’, was made possible through funding from the federal government’s Department of Social Services, and was co-designed with people with disability […]
JCDecaux today announced conservation organisation, Bush Heritage Australia, as its major charity partner for 2021. The partnership is part of a series of ‘social impact’ initiatives the business is launching this year, under the banner of JCDecauxHEART. JCDecauxHEART focuses on three areas of social impact: health and mental health, environmental sustainability, and enriching urban communities. […]
Shameless Media’s Michelle Andrews and Zara McDonald’s latest podcast, The Books That Changed My Life, will launch exclusively on LiSTNR on Tuesday, 15 June. Throughout the series Michelle and Zara will talk with guests including Kevin Kwan, Laura Henshaw, Jock Zonfrillo, Susan Carland, Hamish Blake and Delta Goodrem about the books that have had a profound impact […]