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School of Thought: Afterthoughts from our Creative Director

Sunny Deo   —   14 November 2017   —   Access News

School of thought participants at Access

Last week was pretty awesome. We hosted Week 8 of School of Thought and got to meet an extremely talented group of 12 advertising professionals in the North West. 


As Creative Director, the onus was on me to first set this week’s brief, and then judge the work on Thursday evening. The brief was to create an integrated campaign for Namibia Tourism Board, under the proposition, ‘experience the untouched beauty of Namibia’.

Integrated Campaigns

When it comes to integrated campaigns, it’s easy for us to throw an idea across many different media and announce it as integrated. But we always have to question why we are placing our message in that medium of choice. Because if it doesn’t make marketing sense, from a brand and customer point of view, then all we’re really doing is splashing water wherever we can to say we covered every area. We always have to ask ourselves, “what’s the marketing purpose?”

The power of an integrated campaign is seeing and understanding how all the touchpoints work together as a single unit and under one idea. Whether that idea is big or small simply depends on how you flesh it out on an integrated scale.

“We always have to ask ourselves, “what’s the marketing purpose?””

Crunch Time

In general, the work that was presented was of a very high standard, and it felt great to see the next generation of creative talent standing and presenting their work. Picking the top three was tricky, but there was one clear winner. And his work demonstrated a total understanding of the brief and, for me, was the only idea that accurately met the brief head on. On top of that, the idea was brilliant. So much so that my response was “I wish I’d thought of that.”

The idea was ‘Take a break from tourism’. Immediately, that idea says to me, “Don’t bother with the rest of the places you typically think of. Instead, consider a place where it really feels like you have the whole place to yourself." And that was the exact objective the brief. The executions of how Fareed brought it to life in a truly integrated fashion, along with a solid presentation, also did it justice. So I’d like to congratulate Fareed Athman once again on a job well done.

The executions of how Fareed brought it to life in a truly integrated fashion, along with a solid presentation, also did it justice. 

Remember The Brief

During the presentation, I heard one or two ideas that I knew were potentially very big. But, unfortunately, not enough went into bringing them to life, either in rationale or through execution.

And I told the candidates I was left hanging because I was desperate to know and see more.

Of course, there were other ideas I was super excited about, but this time they weren’t on brief. And this is something that me, my peers and everyone else I know, have always struggled with at some point; sticking to the brief.

They’re based on insights gathered by planning and research departments, and they must be respected and answered. We may not like them sometimes, and we get carried away with our own ideas and thoughts about the direction it should go, but that’s the challenge and the journey of what we signed up for in this business. End of the day, we’re creating solutions for brands. It’s not about us and chasing the glory of awards, those will come. First and foremost, always respect the brief.

First and foremost, always respect the brief.

Closing Thought

School of Thought was a wonderful experience for all of us at Access. For the students, it’s here to test your capacity, and discover a lot about yourself throughout the process. And I’m convinced the positive impact of this workshop is something they’ll always be able to rely on throughout their careers.

As for now, I’m very much looking forward to December 7, where we discover who comes out on top from the 12 weeks, and earns a ticket to Cannes Lions 2018.

Wishing all participants the very best of luck.

Meet the participants of School of Thought

School of Thought will be hosting their awards night on December 7 at Texture in Manchester. Meet the creatives that took part and talk to them about their ideas! Keep an eye on our social channels for updates on the night. 

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