WCRS
60 Great Portland Street
London W1W 7RT
+44(0)20 3128 6000

@WCRS_LDN on Twitter WCRS on Google+ wcrsldn on Pinterest WCRS on LinkedIn

Memory Lane

It’s Watford Week. And I’m feeling slightly fuzzy round the edges. That’s what drinking with advertising students will do for you. It’s a heady mix of premium French lager and fond, dewy-eyed memories. Not only did I probably imbibe a few too many Katonas, I also almost definitely and quite cringingly recalled the halcyon days of touting our book around London.

It is without doubt the most exciting, confusing, character-building, horrifically hard and stressful time of your life. And despite the rate at which the world is changing (we now broadcast our Watford crit live on uStream and Liveshare), it’s not changed much. Let’s paint the picture a little for you from first hand experience. You finished work in a bar at 1.30am, you stayed up playing Grand Theft Auto Vice City till 2.30am. You get up at the crack of 10am, slog your way across town to meet your partner, try and get away with just buying a bottle of water in Starbucks and stay there all day working on a brief set by a creative director with a thing for terrorising students with an impossible task.

Later, at a self-proclaimed top advertising agency, you sit nervously awaiting the drubbing. The creative director enters. He’s had a bad day. The client didn’t buy the route he liked. They changed the edit. He’s got an itchy rash. His wife is livid he’s at the office late, again. Time to take it out on students who have the gall to walk in here with gusto and enthusiasm.

A team arrives less than one minute after he does. He boots them out. “Here’s your first lesson in advertising, ladies” he cries. In the 1990s it was de rigour for all creative directors to reference to male teams as female. Then, it’s demolition time. He tears through the work. Nothing meets his benchmark. None of it could run. None of it would pass muster. Having torn it all off the wall, he pulls out flip chart and draws a diagram (yes, a diagram) of how to come up with advertising ideas.

Cut to later (in the pub) and sixteen 20-somethings are crying into their Lowenbrau’s, metaphorically. In actual fact, we were all getting hammered and laughing a lot (laughter was and often still is the soundtrack to being an advertising creative). We laughed at the ludicrously aggressive but somehow strangely inspiring crit we’d just endured. Despite the antics, the arrogance, the mock-anger, it was a thrilling ride that I wouldn’t have changed it for the world. One thing I did change, however, was how we came to approach group crits ourselves. Opting for enthusiasm and energy over aggression and alpha-male posturing. If a student team have made it thus far, it’s unlikely their work is devoid of merit, and in my experience, everyone’s got a workable idea. Beating it out of them may work for some creative directors. But we prefer to tease it out.

WCRS Tweets
  • Giant sculpture crawls out of the ground in Budapest http://t.co/C102yD05Tr via @boredpanda http://t.co/FzbGewc60e

    24 October, 15:25:33
  • Nothing like an apocalypse to get you in shape! Fitness instructor Adele Kirby's audio training app on @kickstarter http://t.co/4esFzQzEZA

    24 October, 11:39:27
  • Our Royal Navy work is shortlisted for two @COOHawards. Well done team! http://t.co/pGA83BUcgY

    24 October, 09:56:34
  • Always full of wonders. Nice edit of #WildlifePhotographeroftheYear on @CreativeReview. http://t.co/uzCMb0YcPg http://t.co/EOTg9vsIoT

    24 October, 08:47:32
  • RT @ninajas: Great reference to @RobinWightUK from @EngineLondon @WCRS_LDN famous "the future is orange" http://t.co/XkyZAxvlfd

    24 October, 08:39:42
  • Nice. A collection of @NASA sounds from historic spaceflights & current missions on @SoundCloud https://t.co/pbvxtkNHHC

    23 October, 16:20:23
  • RT @EngineLondon: Klein: 'Think Beyond your core products, but always stay true to your brand message'

    23 October, 14:10:12
  • RT @EngineLondon: Next up we have our CEO @girlfromafrica, who is talking about creativity for the ultra-connected consumer. http://t.co/Xy

    23 October, 14:10:00
  • Gen Z need to be warned about throwing data at internet gods. Here's @DinoBurbidge Kids Media Manipulation Manifesto http://t.co/F2rZ5N1D1A

    23 October, 13:03:52
  • A collection of loopy looping doodles from @Drew_Tyndell http://t.co/u2XasSXXmG http://t.co/Tk8GlseLGE

    23 October, 13:00:44
  • RT @MarketingUK: Why Generation Z needs a 'birds and the bees' chat about the digital world http://t.co/DZJPO9pPPY http://t.co/i2Vp12HGKg

    23 October, 11:19:58
  • Our Head of Tech & Innovation @DinoBurbidge in @MarketingUK about why Gen Z need the digital 'birds & the bees' chat http://t.co/0hg3bSw8Um

    23 October, 11:06:55
  • RT @ninajas: Still bursting with pride as @womensaid and @WCRS_LDN win the @OceanOutdoorUK competition http://t.co/GM86yBjtDt

    23 October, 08:58:24
  • @vin_laden gets to hang out with the birthday boy. #ohyes http://t.co/cgugpjbA4i

    22 October, 16:18:59
  • More good news...we're up for two @CampaignbigAwds this evening for Royal Navy and BMWi3. #OhYes http://t.co/8wFvmBSn0q

    22 October, 16:12:30