17 July 2017
The One Club Creative Boot Camp, an initiative by the One Club, aims to introduce diverse creative students to the creative process in the advertising industry. The entity partnered with a few of the countries’ top agencies, including Y&R South Africa, and clients like Vodacom this year, and invited attendees from creative schools across Johannesburg to participate.
Three of the Y&R Raw internship programme interns were invited to attend the boot camp, with Tebatso Mahlangu’s group, ‘We Gat This’ finishing in second place.
We asked Siboniso, Tebatso and Lesego to share their take-aways and any words of wisdom for those trying to break into the industry.
“Diversity is good, diversity is awesome” was the phrase that set the theme for the entire duration of the One Club Creative Boot Camp Johannesburg at Vega campus in Randburg. One could have never imagined being granted an opportunity to be part of the world’s most prestigious advertising program and being mentored by South Africa’s greatest advertising minds and talent, the likes of Grant Sithole and Xolisa Dyeshana.
A few days in, we were given the paramount task of coming up with an integrated campaign and idea for Vodacom, one of South Africa’s largest telecommunications companies. It was from that moment we each knew, we had to deprive ourselves of sleep and the Vodacom brief would become our daily mantra. We were all assigned a mentor for each of our groups, who would guide our creative process and made sure we understood the client’s deliverables. At the end of each day we were all treated to an inspiration session from the country’s top advertising agencies, such as Ogilvy and Mather, FCB and TBWA just to mention a few.
I was inspired during the Boot Camp, when I came to the realisation that many South African advertising agencies are already committed to their own internal programs that speak to diversity and transformation in our country. I cannot emphasise enough, the utmost importance of internship programs, such as Raw from Y&R South Africa, O25 from Ogilvy and Innovate by TBWA, that continue to nurture, build talent and skills for the future.
The One Club Creative Boot Camp, was both fun and nerve-wracking on D-day and it was time to present to the client and our panel of judges, who themselves helped shape what the industry is today. After all the teams had presented and the judges had delegated, they announced the winning teams and we were all invited to Joe Public in Bryanston, where we all celebrated a successful One Club Creative Boot Camp 2017 and the best creativity our country has to offer.
Although my team and I came close to a win, my key take-aways are the solid relationships we founded in the few days we were all together and the skills and knowledge, which I’ll forever continue to practice and apply in my future career endeavours.
The One Club Creative Boot Camp was orchestrated by the One Club for young and aspiring individuals who desire to enter the word of advertising. The boot camp also functions as a way to get experience in the field of advertising and is a great start in regards to receiving the full experience of the field.
It started on the 10th of July 2017 with a presentation of what the boot camp is about and they explained the process of how the event was going to be handled over the week, a programme of sorts. The first day we were introduced to our mentors who would see us through the whole duration of the boot camp. We were then placed into groups consisting of five or six people per group (11 groups in total) by way of stickers that had numbers on them.
After groups were determined we split up and got to know one another and to come up with a group name. In the afternoon we were requested to meet in the auditorium where we were briefed on the task that was required of us for the week by the client, Vodacom. The brief was to educate the consumers on data usage and how data works in general, questions were asked and notes were taken, after which we split up and others started right away, however, we still focused on the group name and getting to know each other.
The following day, we met and went to our assigned rooms to brainstorm on how to tackle the brief, and our mentor then came about two hours later to check up on us. He discussed our path, gave us pointers and we integrated and went through a process of elimination and retention of ideas that we could all agree on. This went on for the whole day until later in the day where we got another speaker from FCB to deliver a presentation.
On the third day, we had ideas but nothing felt strong yet, we were wavering between ideas and it felt like we were running out of time. At this point, I personally was afraid that we would go with an idea that didn’t make sense, but we calmed ourselves and looked at our options and in the end we chose one that felt like the craziest. Our mentor helped by way of examples to make it feel like it’s going in the right direction and we took it from there. However, we hadn’t finished it so the timing was tight — we had our name and our logo so we were feeling confident at least. Later in the day, we met for the presentation of the day by two speakers from TBWA.
On the 4th day, we met up and decided who does what, and so we split and started the crafting of the chosen idea. On this day, unfortunately, we couldn’t attend the presentation by the speaker(s) from Network BBDO, because we needed to have material for the big idea. Eventually, we managed somehow and pulled it off and edited everything together.
On the final day, all groups convened to present their ideas to the client, and we had a wide panel of judges to judge our ideas. What was interesting was how similar everyone’s ideas were. They were mainly game-centric to a point where you need to know certain things about data to play the games. I say it’s interesting because we also had a game idea and decided to throw it away, in a weird and fantastic way it felt like we all drank from the same pond or the same glass where the only experience we wanted to give was a fun way to learn. The challenge was, and from this I learned that, language will always be a prevailing challenge.
Language functions on a base level of existence since language is expressed as pressure waves that are transmitted and interpreted in a certain manner to derive meaning. This functions similarly on a visual plane in that images are coded static signifiers that function in place of spoken language in such a way that meaning is derived. Once successful, then worlds are introduced and understanding is possible, however I feel language still needs to be understood, and remains a challenge in all facets of life and profession.
The other thing I learned is that ideas are hard to come up with. However not the idea in itself, I say this because if you are able to convince someone of that idea then the idea can technically be anything. What is difficult is being someone else and look at your idea in that space, this implies unknowing what you know and fabricating synthetic knowledge and experiences in your mind and in that moment say “I exist as this experience” and then try to contemplate your idea. The challenge then, I believe is experiencing your idea as someone else.
In conclusion, the boot camp was amazing! I met different people who came from their own spaces of experience, and I learned a lot from them. I learned a lot from the mentors and from the speakers who presented, the judges and all the fellow boot campers. I would recommend it to everyone who is willing to expand their know-how, it is definitely worth it.
My experience was very interesting, as it had shifted me from my comfort zone in a very intense manner and helped me discover things within myself that I never thought existed.
At first I thought I won’t survive and that I’m not good enough but hey! I later thought let me go for it and oh! It went well.
The boot camp was a great platform to test my skills and discover things about the advertising world, and it is a great opportunity for anyone interested in perusing their career in advertising; like myself.
I really like the way things are done there. The first thing I truly liked is the diversity and the fact that I was with my peers — the millennials, aka “Group Y” — this was fascinating and overwhelming as I have an idea of how wild our thoughts can be. Nevertheless, coming together as teams and agreeing on one idea was hard, as nobody wanted to give in on their idea.
The second thing is being given a BIG job to work on in such a short span of time. I mean four days isn’t enough to come up with a great idea — it’s hilarious I thought, but I thought wrong because we killed it. We were able to blow the mentors and judges away within the short time that was given. This experience made me feel like I can conquer anything that has to do with advertising but I feel like there’s more to learn.
I have learned to believe in myself and never hold back nor doubt my ideas, to push no matter how hard or steep it gets. Be as creative as possible, and that winning isn’t everything. I explored my own creativity. Working with a team is everything.
I also learnt more about the disciplines within the industry, how they work and which one suits me best and which one I would like to pursue. We will disagree before we finally agree, when working with people from different backgrounds, with different personalities, attitudes and passions.
The mentors were awesome and they were very tough on us, as they pushed us to think smart and hard and out of the ordinary. They also taught me to never hold back, but share my ideas and be able to back them up. They also helped and taught me to accept it when my idea gets crushed as it’s not the end of the world. I also learned to suck knowledge out of them, keeping in mind that they are more experienced and they know a lot.
Being wrong doesn’t mean you’re a fool, but it shows that you are eager to learn. Ask as many questions as possible, because the answers come from the why? Most of all, I learnt that “curiosity is the power to endless learning” Other than that, I also learnt that “Diversity is good, Diversity is awesome” & hey! “Its either you win or you learn”.