Georgia Penny | Senior Account Executive

In a day designed to open more eyes to opportunities in the media industry, MediaCom teamed up with the wonderful Future First to educate 40 high school and college students across the North West on how media agencies work, beneficial skills to have for a media career, why it should absolutely be a path to consider for the future.

After a short introduction to the day by Future First, a combined effort of charity, school staff, students, employers, and alumni; the group were welcomed by Chris Broadbent, COO.

With an established apprenticeship scheme in place, MediaCom is keen to build on this, developing a wide-ranging and varied talent pool. The aim of the morning session was to demonstrate just how many academic subjects and skills can lead to careers in media, with MediaCom home to roles for all types of people.

A collection of staff took the opportunity to speak with students about the academic and career journeys that brought them to MediaCom, then moved group to group taking individuals’ questions. This concluded with staff asking questions about the student’s interests and courses – and offering any experience/advice to address their concerns and the decisions they face.

The morning was a foundation to talk about the world of media and the skillsets, subjects and routes taken – but it was the afternoon session that would really get interactive…

Once the students had a better understanding of who MediaCom are and the work that we do, we thought we’d put that knowledge to the test by giving them a live brief for our client, New Balance, and challenge them to come up with ideas for a campaign. We also invited along Head of Marketing for New Balance UK, Sam Matthews, to be the judge and have the tough job of picking a winner.

The brief was one simple question: How do New Balance get more young people running? The students participating were the target audience and we were confident that they’d have some great ideas and insights that MediaCom & New Balance could genuinely apply to future campaigns.

We designed three tasks to give a flavour of the sort of work we’d do for a client brief;
• Audience insights – the students picked out key insights about themselves and their peers to create the base of their media ideas
• Market insights – looking at multiple competitor campaigns, the students picked out common themes of sports/athleisure campaigns to find the gap for their brief
• Brainstorm – using an array of techniques, the students come up with creative and innovative media ideas in answer to the brief

We were all astounded by the response to each of the tasks that were set. The students developed fully formed insights around how pressured life as a young person is, and the fact that young people can’t necessarily afford gym memberships (leading to ideas around the fact that running is free!). Their analytics of competitor creative showed a real understanding of how brands operate, and why Puma might use Kylie Jenner’s face to sell their shoes. The winning idea was creative and ticked all New Balance’s boxes – it celebrated individuality, utilised talent and made New Balance’s shoes the hero of the story. Well done to all involved, and congratulations to the winning team!