Advertising

I Failed Graphic Design

It’s close to that scary time in a Placement Year – my first ever appraisal. I have my appraisal tomorrow with the big bad boss (who actually isn’t big or bad and is probably reading this… Hi Caroline!) and it’s got me thinking about what I’ve been up to in the past six months.

I have to fill in a “Student Self-Assessment” beforehand ready to take into the meeting so I have been writing a list of things I’ve done so far. The majority of things on the list are design tasks, which cover anything from leaflets to reports. It’s been interesting to work on such a variety of projects and give me experience working with different documents. Usually we get most things created by designers who will then print them too, but a few tasks I’ve actually created from start to finish in house and have been able to send them onto printing companies for the final stage. This essentially is cutting out the designers fee altogether – which in my opinion are all overpriced in the first place.

Tip: if you’re a student with basic Photoshop and Illustrator skills then create a graphic design company, I bet you’ll be better than half of the ‘designers’ out there already and you’ll rake in the money. Rant over.

To name a few I’ve designed a new complaints leaflet which was originally created by professional graphic designers. I designed the Junior Newsletter which gets sent out once a year to approximately 7,000 junior members of the credit union. I’m currently working on the credit union’s annual report which holds facts and figures of the past year and predictions for the future.

Who would have thought that I, the girl who scraped a D in AS Level Graphic Design (and had to drop it) am designing things for the biggest Police credit union in the UK?

Another thing this appraisal has got me thinking about is what I want to do in the future. Obviously the design side of things I enjoy a lot, but also the media planning side of things. Deciding what adverts are being sent where and what e-newsletters/ads we’re going to send to who and when. Another thing I really enjoy is being able to go out and be the face of the company – kind of like PR – as you get to meet some really interesting people and you can portray your company/service however you wish.

Working for a smaller company with fewer employees allows you to learn about so many different things, so anyone reading this blog who’s looking for a placement year don’t just aim to work for a company because you’ve heard of their name. At the end of the day you’re going to be a small cog in a large wheel and not experience as much as you possibly could elsewhere. I’ve been lucky to learn many things about what I DO want to do in the future.

And The Placement Hunt Continues…

Currently I am in the same position as many other 2nd year University students who have opted for a ‘sandwich year’ – forever searching for placement opportunities, then spending hours filling in an application form or writing the perfect cover letter. Then once we’ve applied for a placement that we’d kill for, we have the long wait to see what happens even though we may not hear back from most companies.

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Sounds like lots of fun doesn’t it? No, I don’t think so either. However once you do get a call back from a company you have applied for to find out that you have made it to the next stage, there’s no better feeling! I can only imagine how good it’s going to feel whenever I get the call to say I’ve been successful through all the stages and have bagged myself a year placement…

“A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed like hopeless failure may turn into glorious success.”

I’m sure this quote is quite relevant at this moment in time. It’s keeping me going anyway!

On another note, recently I came across quite an interesting article which told the top 20 list of pointless degrees – as they’re “most likely to leave you on job seekers”. Here is the list:

20. Psychology.

19. Religious studies and theology

18. Music

17. Sport & Business Management

16. English Lit

15. Advertisement

14. Business Management

13. English Language

12. Sociology

11. Events Management

10. Accountancy

9. Film Studies

8.Ancient History

7. Media Studies

6. Primary Education

5. French

4. History

3. Criminology

2. Sport Science

1. Geography (With an Employment after 6 months as low as 36%)

I don’t think there’s anything worse a student could read whilst stressing out over assignments and deadlines that they probably won’t even get a job once they graduate! As an advertising and brand management student it wasn’t great seeing advertising as number 15 (although I’m glad I didn’t see branding or marketing on this list so I’m not completely written off). I’m pretty determined to prove them wrong!

Here Comes The Christmas Adverts…

Hands down, the bear and the hare is my favourite Christmas advert of 2013.

This Tesco one is a nice little video to watch – don’t know how good it is in terms of advertising but it certainly makes me feel Christmassy!

And of course, the Marks and Spencer’s advert is also a winner this year – as it is almost every year!

Guinness – Made Of More

This is the latest Guinness advert which started to be shown last month (September 2013). The reason I have decided to blog about this particular advert this week is because I love the concept and the meaning of friendship and selflessness is truly shown by the people in the ad. As we see a group of young men all taking part in a game of wheelchair basketball, we’re shown an intense game and a great deal of teamwork. Then, once the game is over, all but one of the men stand up out of their wheelchair and head out – one giving the last gent, still in the wheelchair a pat on the back. The meaning behind the advert is very sweet and also portrays disability in a positive light – showing they are still normal people. After the game they head out to the pub and each celebrate with a pint of guinness.

Although I love the advert and it’s had a lot of positive press since it’s release I can’t help but wonder what the motivation behind the advert was? Does Guinness really want to change perceptions of disability? Or did they just create this advert because they knew most people would see it and think “Oh that’s a nice thing Guinness have done”?  I tried researching to see if Guinness has had any other links with disability or wheelchair based sports but wasn’t able to find one. I don’t think we’ll be seeing a similar message from Guinness again. Despite being unsure of their motive behind this advert, I won’t take it away from them that they have been very successful and have created a truly heart warming ad. The figures show it’s success as it went viral very quickly generating over 3 million views in 4 days. It’s definitely in my top 20.

End Of The World Job Interview

Although I’ve already blogged once this week, I came across a great new advert which my boyfriend had shared on Facebook which I had to show on my blog. For all of you who haven’t yet seen it, get watching!

A fabulous ad for the new LG Ultra HD 84″ TV. 10/10 from me – what do you think?

The things you can do in a couple of minutes…

photo edit

As an advertising student I do spend a lot of time looking at different adverts that are in the media. But also, as a woman, I pay attention to how women look in these adverts – mainly their slim, tanned, disproportional bodies. We constantly see “perfect” women in adverts from perfume to clothes – for male and female.  It’s difficult to tell what is actually real on these “perfect” women we are shown. 

So… one day I decided to have a play around with one of my holiday snaps from this year. As you can see, the photo on the left is the real one where I look very pale which not much make-up, then on the right I magically have a three-week-Caribbean-holiday tan, blusher and a touch of lippy! I know it’s not the best of editing – but I didn’t spend very long on it and I don’t have Photoshop. But it gives an idea of how much can be changed, I even found a “skinny” edit feature which slim down your face and body on the photo!

Don’t get me wrong, I am not gullible, I am very aware that the majority of the things we see in the media are not real and have been tampered with in some way. But, I do think it’s crazy that we can take a picture of someone and through editing we could change their skin colour, weight, height, make-up and facial features – all in a few clicks! I’m all for touching up photo’s and making things picture perfect for advertising campaigns but I don’t agree with showing young women disproportionate pictures of women and making them think it’s possible to look like them.

NOTE TO YOUNG WOMEN: DON’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU SEE.

Epiphany Abroad

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After 2 weeks in sunny Costa Blanca – Spain, I’m now back in rainy Manchester, and of course – back to blogging! I thought my first blog post-holiday should be about what has been on my mind whilst in Spain.

toughdecisions (image from nightowlnews.com)

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my future and my career and what’s coming up in the next term of Uni. When I go back into what will be my 2nd year of University, I’ll be starting “Agency Life” (which is one day a week in an unpaid job in the industry related to your course – in which we get graded on), I’ll be going to my other lectures and also working. But another important factor will be applying for my Sandwich year – this is a year after the 2nd year and before the final year in which you can choose to work for a year in industry, to gain money and experience and maybe even use it to help with your final dissertation. Since my course is called Advertising and Brand Management I could take a number of different routes in choosing a job for my sandwich year. I could go into advertising, marketing, digital, branding – most routes I choose will be a guess if I’ll like them, as I’ll have had no previous experience – aside from marketing. Now for a lot of research into my possible choices.

I thought once you’ve decided what University you want to go to and what course you want to study the big decisions stop for a few years – but they keep on coming!

I would also like to thank Mama O for the Liebster Award she nominated me for http://gomamao.com/2013/07/23/virtual-hug-received-thanks/ – I didn’t know what this was when I first read it but after a lot of researching on Google I think I just about understand the concept. And a huge thank you to her no less. I’ll be replying back to this hopefully in a few week once I know who to nominate!

Be less Cat, and more Dog

I’m sure you’ve all seen it. O2 has unleashed a new campaign telling the audience to “be more dog”, whatever that means. However, although the slight confusing as to what the advert is actually trying to say (at first), it is my favourite advert on TV at the moment. It’s amazing!

 

 

What do you think? When I first saw it, it stood out, I’ve never seen anything like that before, and I actually enjoyed watching it. That’s what you need for a good advert, right? It took me a while to realize it was advertising O2 but since I pay attention to it every time it’s on it didn’t take me long to remember. So why do we need to ‘be more dog’? And what does that even mean? Well O2 have been very kind and made a video – almost as entertaining as the first – to explain what this concept means. However some may say if it has to be explained then it hasn’t worked very well…

 

 

It’s either an act of genius, or waste of time as it has to be explained. I say an act of genius – I love it.

STOP TEMPTING ME, FACEBOOK

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The adverts on Facebook usually have a link between previous websites you’ve been on and items you’ve looked at, they are then tailored to your home page to tempted you to go back and buy. Ok, I understand the concept BUT I can’t handle the temptation!

As a woman, I like online shopping, I do it quite a bit (probably too much). So when I’m looking at a new pair of shoes or a new dress then decide “No, Jo you don’t need them, save your money!”, I then go onto Facebook where the previous item is being pushed in my face. No wonder people are going into debt when you can’t even go o Facebook to talk to friends without being told to buy a handbag!

However, Facebook do completely get it wrong at times aswell. At this moment in time there’s an advert on my home page for powered wheelchairs…dunno where they have got that one from?!

I think the Facebook advert concept is great for fashion retailers, tempting an audience to go back and purchase. So well done Facebook in making me buy those shoes but you didn’t do so well in trying to get me to buy a wheelchair, sorry!

(image from byzblog.com)

 

Agency Life….What Should I Expect?

mmuAgency Life”

As I’ve just finished my 1st year at Manchester Metropolitan University, obviously the next step is 2nd year. Man Met have invented a unit for 2nd year student which involves going to a marketing/PR/advertising agency for one day a week doing unpaid work, all to give you a taste of what life will be like when you finish University. This carries on for 2 terms and at the end you get graded on it, also some placements could employ you for extra part time work should they want to. I have already sorted out my placement for that unit, so now it’s just a waiting game.

What should I expect???

In the 1st year of University I have learnt the basics of marketing, we learn theories and concepts and are introduced to basic marketing philosophies. But all this knowledge doesn’t tell me what I’m going to be doing on a day to day basis. Dealing with clients, handling business’s social media sites, maybe blogging – I have an idea what I may be up against but I won’t know till day one…

…and I can’t wait! I have a really dull summer in store for me, full of job hunting and handing out CV’s to take up some of these 3/4 months till I start back at Uni, so I’m just waiting for summer to be over so I can start the placement. Bring. It. On.

Do you have any tips or first-day-at-work experiences? Let me know!