Confessions of An Advertising Student: Impressions of Advertising Week Europe

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There was so much free stuff.

For a student free stuff is incredibly exciting.

There was a juice bar that was free but you had to play a little game to get the juice. The game was on touchpads in the minimalist-styled juice bar, so you felt a bit like you were in the future.

The juice bottles were made of glass and they had a little strap on the lid, so you could carry them around like an accessory and let everyone know you won the game.

There seems to be a huge move towards environmentally friendly packaging. Particularly in the drinks department. All water was in resealable water cans (brought to you by LadBible). They looked super trendy but they were incredibly hard to open and I watched a lot of people on panels trying to open them whilst maintaining eye contact with their interviewee.

Ad people are obsessed with the word ‘millennial’. The people that say it the most don’t seem to have spoken to one in a long time.

Ad people are obsessed with the word ‘millennial’. The people that say it the most don’t seem to have spoken to one in a long time.

At points, I had to smother laughter when panels discussed millennials as some unknown species, an entity that is ‘other’. Everyone talks about working out what we want, why don’t you just ask? We’ll tell you – we’re pretty vocal. Everyone says we have a short attention span but I spent a good 15 minutes thinking about those juice bottles (see above).

‘Diversity’ is so in right now but white faces are alive and well at Advertising Week Europe.

We need to stop holding panels about it and start doing something about it. It needs to happen soon because it is deeply embarrassing. With all this talk of finding fresh new content, it seems some different voices would be an easy way of guaranteeing that. Because it feels like we’re a bit saturated, close to dried up.

Ben Wheatley was a total inspiration. He gave a talk on Cinematic Storytelling and I could have listened to him all day. He was completely humble and human. I’ve never been more motivated to go out and actually do something, instead of sitting around and talking about doing things. He made his film with £6000. That’s a lot but it’s also not a lot. He was saying that if you want to be a filmmaker then you just have to go outside, get your phone and film stuff. You have to start. Starting is the hard part. I never knew he wrote scripts with his wife, Amy. As an aspiring creative, I was pretty interested in their working process.

Sounds ruthless, respectful and loving. I’m going to look for those things in my future partner.

I am so confused by the words ad people use. I want to try my hardest not to use them because it feels like a way of keeping people out. Content. Dynamic content. Enable! Empower! Inspire! Ultra-premium content. Innovative platforms. Incredibly promising. Secondary experiences. It all stops meaning anything. Which got me wondering: if we’re in the business of communication, why do we use such impenetrable language?

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