Postcards From London Part Two

16/02/2015

The final 2 weeks of my work experience in London as winner of the Carat Scholarship, were spent with the Digital Strategy team and time absolutely flew by!

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During my 2 weeks I had the opportunity to assist across a number of clients that I have not previously been exposed to. I worked with the digital strategy team on Wickes (a DIY client similar to Bunnings in AU), analysing the past years learnings in the digital space and working towards digital strategies for 2015. I met with the Communications Planning team to discuss MasterCard & their direction for the year. I worked on a research project, looking at insights around a young kid’s audience and how they interact with media. Having worked across similar projects in Australia for Disney Channel, this was a great opportunity for me to take a look at differences in how kids consume media across the markets. Key takeout being that both AU and UK kids love their gaming! I also met with both the Strategy and Insights teams in the office, a great chance for me to build some long term market-to-market relationships.

In addition to the client exposure I experienced, I also met with a huge variety of media owners over my visit. This helped me to really get an understanding of the media landscape and discover what technology and opportunities are available. I met with both Facebook and Twitter, had a tour through the beautiful Twitter offices near Piccadilly Circus. It was really fantastic meeting with publishers without a specific client in mind and being able to really delve into their platform and USP. A few of my topics of conversation included discussing how to define ‘accountable’ branding, how to harness the second screen throughout TV viewing and how to determine real-time trends through a RTB model. Thanks to these brilliant publishers I also had the true London experience (media lunches!), with the absolute privilege of dining at some brilliant restaurants (Amaya, Tsunami, Sardo, The Bleeding Heart, Iberica).

Overall this was a really fantastic opportunity for me to experience Carat media life in another market. I have made some long-term work connections (and friends!). Other general observations that I made over my time spent in London include;

The British really do love their tea. Every hour or so in the office there seems to be a ‘tea run’; with one team member heading to the kitchen and returning with handfuls of hot brew. In the past there even used to be ‘tea quizzes’ where a trivial question is asked (such as “what is the distance from earth to the moon?”) and the person with the least correct answer has to do a tea run. The teams here are super collaborative offering to not only do tea runs, but also water or snack runs. This trait is definitely reflected in the Sydney office with Friday runs to the kitchen for drinks (and the Sydney Strategy team actually having tea runs, not surprising given they are 75% British).

Don’t get caught without an umbrella. Now I know this sounds obvious, but seriously don’t ever get caught without an umbrella! Over my 3 weeks in London I was very careful to always carry my umbrella in my handbag wherever I went. I was also very lucky in that I only had one day of rain in my 3 weeks. That one day of rain just happened to be the one time I snuck out for a quick lunch without my handbag. All I have to say is that the London weather is out to get you.

Thank-you Carat London for the experience and your hospitality.

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