Schooling the next generation in creativity

We’re in no doubt incredible creative talent is alive in the North! This week ThinkOTB has been the host marketing agency kicking off School of Thought 2021 – the now legendary, creative marketing course where big ideas are king.

On Monday we set this year’s students an out-of-home brief to advertise the best way to pay abroad… and last night was pitch night. 11 very nervous young people – some students, some graduates, some in industry, including our very own Motion Graphics Designer – turned up with their responses… and crikey, we were impressed! From insight-led routes that had us all nodding and off-the-wall ideas that challenged all our years of marketing expertise, to beautiful illustrations and fearless copy lines, it was all there on our Boardroom wall!

Those School of Thought students have another 11 weeks to enjoy as they tour the best marketing agencies in Yorkshire for more briefs and more expert feedback. Between now and when we meet them all again for the final night in August, ThinkOTB have plenty more mentoring to do.

Inspiring future marketing minds

The creative industry is thriving in the North right now. Big organisations such as Channel 4 are leaving their London roots and are (hopefully) being pleasantly surprised by the creative experience that is waiting to greet them. The talent pool is growing too. In March, ThinkOTB talked to the Creative Practice students at Leeds Arts University, sharing with them how their graphic communication skills would be well rewarded in the world of marketing and advertising.

Many of us at ThinkOTB have been lucky enough to have inspirational figures who have taken the time to share their nuggets of wisdom, their techniques and their one-liners with us during our careers. ThinkOTB’s ‘Fresh n’ up’ scheme takes students after their second year in university and pays them well to work for 12 months in the company. Over the years we’ve hopefully passed on our wisdom to these placement students – many have stayed in the marketing industry, so we must have shared some decent nuggets with them!

This summer we’re hoping to have a positive impact on two more placement students who will be spending time in all our departments to decide if their future lies in design, copywriting, motion graphics or client services.

Mentoring at Windsor

After founding our company over 30 years ago, our Chairman Mark Davies was keen to mentor the next generation. He worked with the Gordon Cook Conversations for over 15 years at Windsor Castle (St George’s House) and in Scotland, to support and develop mid-career people. The Conversations programme brings together people from across society who are in a position to make a difference. They debate and discuss powerful issues in society to nurture wisdom which can be put to use in the wider world. 

With Brexit and the pandemic now impacting on younger people, we feel it’s more important than ever to give back to the creative industry and for ThinkOTB to do our bit to make it stronger than ever.

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