Curiosity Killed the Cat - or was it age?
iamcurious.co.uk by The Newhaven Agency
Originally, I was going to write this from the stance that I've said a hundred times. I'm getting older and the position I want is getting out of my grasp. Well, I am going to change my tune, slightly. I still think it's amazing that advertising is akin to, say, modeling, where you are almost only good enough to get in the creative department at your 'peak' years 18-24. Amazing. Then again, maybe this is any career field in any country, but I have chosen to immerse myself in this one and mainly in the UK - for personal work at least and Scotland specific, for personal reasons.
Which brings me beautifully into my next segment of Newhaven's iamcurious.co.uk. A bid to find young creatives, 18-25, wanting to come in and do an extended 12 week placement in return for an amazing working experience, and they will "reward [them] in interesting ways" in return for their work and a to ideally, leave with a book full of great ideas.
First of all. I think this is great. The website is fun, age appropriate, or shall I say it targets its demographic well and to the office where I'm working they sent random screen printed t-shirts (albeit not one to fit me!), and a whole packet of 'curious looking' photos that all lead you to their website.
*side note: why we (my work) hasn't written something on it or put it on the web site as it is a great opportunity for young creatives, I don't know. Will make a point to do it today*
Now, my more controversial feelings towards this, and are all of them new issues, no, not really.
What Newhaven gets: Cheap, fresh eyes in their creative department. They will get a great bargain - assuming the students coming out now are as good as the ones who came out last year -- god, has it only been a year?!
What the students get: A chance to work at one of the top agency's in Scotland, alongside multi-award winning creative teams and creative directors. To work in a great atmosphere and build up their book. Work with some huge clients in an uber creative environment.
What we might see in the end: Ideally, the students will go in hoping to be hired at the end of the process. Is this likely to happen? Rarely. If it does, right on, good for them. If it doesn't, this is where this whole situation becomes a catch 22 in Scotland.
Students leaves with a great book. No one in Scotland is hiring. Where do they go? Down Sarf. Scotland trains them up and sends them down south. I firmly believe that many wouldn't go if they didn't have to. The Leith agency has brought on three junior teams, most of them from the Napier course, and kept two of them on thus far, one for over a year now, just winning their first gold at the Roses Ad Awards.
I spent a good chunk of last year on placements. 5 months at one company, 6 weeks with another. The company I was with for 6 wks did way more for me than the one I was with for 5 months. No one told me that I was shite, so I'm still trying, without going down Sarf. Or leaving my Scottish family and heading back to the states, where people don't look at me like I'm speaking alien - maybe that's just in Glasgow...
So the age old question, how can we train them in Scotland and keep them here? How can we get agencies to take a change on the juniors. When are some of the oldies (but goodies) going to call it a day? Or maybe, take a cut in salary for some new juice. That's an absurd thing to ask, I realise.
Maybe agency's should focus more on future creatives and less on local award shows. Maybe that's what Newhaven did.
See some of the pics they sent in as of their campaign for new talent here (got the story up!).