Collective Upstarts: The Future Of Advertising Is In Safe Hands

A placement scheme like no other


Spending time with young creatives is a genuine pleasure.

Wide-eyed and eager to take on the world… Their approach to ideas is unspoilt and adventurous.

That’s why we run Collective Upstarts every year. A placement scheme like no other where students battle it out against their course mates in an intensive 2-week pitch for a foot through the door.

We believe that nurturing creative talent is the lifeblood of the agency and supports our future as well as generating new ideas for our clients.

Collective have partnerships with some incredible educational institutes across the UK but our flagship partnership for over the last 5 years is with Falmouth University, the UK’s leading Arts University.

The team have been supporting hundreds of students on their journey into advertising through the Creative Advertising course by providing feedback on briefs and portfolios, pro tips on how to get a job in advertising and lectures on the latest industry trends. All that great stuff.

On to the pitches…

Brief set. Fast forward two weeks. Myself and our Creative Director, Daniel Hall take on the 5.5 hour adventure across the Westcountry to Falmouth.

Upstarts are go.

30 creative teams began pitching wonderful, enlightening and on occasions outrageous ideas to launch a new digital product for one of our clients. The brief was tough, arguably the toughest we’ve set in five years of Upstarts but the students absolutely smashed it.

They sought out solutions that appealed to consumer emotions and behaviours, understood the target audience at length and the digital strategy required launch the campaign and provoke ongoing engagement. Honestly, there wasn’t one idea that failed to answer the brief.

Then came our challenge. We had to shortlist a few teams that were outstanding which provides them with the floor to pitch their ideas to our client and also secure an internship within the agency.

The day ended on a high with a lecture to the first, second and third years around the state of advertising and some pro tips on how to get a foot through the door. Oh and of course there had to be an obligatory group shot.

They also had some lovely things to say…

Safe to say the future of advertising is safe in the hands of this lot.

Chris Shadrick is Head of Strategy at Collective London and works across all of our client accounts providing analytical insight and solving challenges through creative planning, behavioural economics and media channels. He has worked across most sectors and has run successful not-for-profit businesses in his spare time.