Discover Media takes over Advertising Week Europe


By inviting dozens of GCSE students to our Discover Media event at Advertising Week Europe last week we were not only trying to spread the word about fixing the skills gap, but offer something new and refreshing to the talk/panel/seminar format. Something Marketing Magazine’s Nicola Kemp believes we managed with aplomb. “Amid the inevitable industry naval gazing that accompanies an event like AdWeek Europe Carat's Discover Media event was a breath of fresh air. I was so impressed by what the Carat team achieved and the standard of the presentations was really high.”

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Below is a run-down of the jam-packed three-hour event.

However, the day actually began half an hour before a teenager even made it on site.

We ran a giant ad on the iconic Piccadilly Lights not only promoting the event, but being a call to action for the industry to join us in helping tackle the skills gap.

Watch it here or click on the video below.


When the teenagers from Regent High in Camden did turn up to mix with the advertising movers and shakers and find out all about life in a media agency their day began with a short talk from Carat’s MD, Matthew Hook: “The purpose of today is to try and introduce people to something we’re really passionate about. We’re really excited about the industry we work in.”
The event was not an ordinary Ad Week session – it was interactive, and centred around the teenagers. “Most of the sessions here are people on panels, people in discussions – we’ve decided to do something a little bit different,” said Hook.
He talked about how keen Carat is to encourage young people into the industry.
“We’ve all got the same problem – we all need lots of people who really understand the internet and are really interested in technology,” he said. “There’s a skills gap; we need more and more and more of these people.
“We’re also trying to encourage other companies to look at what we’re doing and think ‘that looks like a good idea’.”
Then Mandem on the Wall made their entrance; the three YouTube and now television stars Joivan Wade, Percelle Ascott and Dee Kartier, who took the students through their key elements of success - Preparation, Execution and Perseverance, or PEP for short.  
Dee said: “We’d met each other and generated a lot of amazing ideas. How many of you have thought of a great idea and then just put it to one side? We took a great idea and said, we want to put it out there.”
Joivan asked the teenagers: “Hands up if you’ve ever started something and haven’t finished it. That’s the main reason why a lot of people don’t find success in what they want to do.”
He said it was important to stick at something. “Even seven months ago we were thinking about just finishing this whole thing,” said Joivan. “But we have 40 million viewers online, they look at a lot of our material and they’re inspired by it. Once you have that role and that responsibility you can’t just give up.”
He talked about how the group had now created PD3 Entertainment, so they could have more control over their own creative output and inspire others too.
“We’re trying to create a legacy and leave something behind,” said Joivan. “There’s not as much opportunity for talent in the UK for black and minority ethnic talent.
“If there’s anything you want to do, then make sure that you set your mind to it, and you just start, and turn up. That’s the most important thing – turn up.”
They also stressed to the teenagers that it was important to work out what they wanted to do with their lives.
Joivan said: “You guys have a purpose in life and you need to create a legacy. Nobody lives for ever but the aim is to create something that will.”
Ben Moutrie, an account director on adidas at Carat, talked to the teenagers about some of the advertising campaigns for the global giant. “Our audience is basically you guys,” he told them. “You’re the future of the brand.”
He described to them what it was like working for adidas in Brazil for the World Cup, and answered their questions about his football team (Leeds, which was met with disappointment), who’s better, Ronaldo or Messi (Messi, obvs) and what inspired him to go into the media industry – no surprise, it was adidas.
The students were then given a brief to launch a pair of adidas trainers – helped by mentors from Carat. After an hour of work they then had to deliver a ten minute presentation in front of everyone in the room. A daunting task that they handled amazingly.  
Yahya Shire, 14, said: “I think today has been great. It’s been an amazing experience for me, I don’t think any of us has ever done anything like this before.”
Gina Haggett, 15, said: “My favourite part has been doing the brief and creating our own advert to get across to an audience.” The judges were hugely impressed with the students’ efforts. Paul Davies, from Microsoft, said: “There aren’t many opportunities to do something as great as this – I feel honoured to have been asked.
“It was fabulous to see the energy and enthusiasm from the students in the room. They clearly had a passion for advertising, and demonstrated a good grasp of the theory they had learned. Most interestingly, as they had never been exposed to the existing industry norms around TV, Digital, & Mobile, they approached briefs in a genuinely media neutral fashion – the thought of a digital strand, or a mobile plan was alien to them as technology is embedded in the fabric of their lives, and they see no distinction in consumption across different devices. Digital just is.”
Nicola Kemp, head of features at Marketing Magazine, said: “All week we've been hearing about the importance of diversity, authenticity and the need for businesses and brands to make a positive impact on the world around us. While many agencies have been discussing these issues Carat have put these ideas into actions to make a tangible difference to people's lives. Thanks for inviting me to be involved - it was without a doubt my highlight of AdWeek."
The winning team came up with a seven-day countdown to the launch of the trainer on YouTube, with adidas key talent doing the teaser.
Nicola said: “They were a really confident team with an ambitious strategy that successfully built anticipation and excitement with a seven-day countdown on You Tube. We were really impressed with the strength of their creative idea and thinking; particularly building the sense of mystery around the trainers' launch.”


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