Down wiv da kidz!

by Julian Westaby.

Down wiv da kidz

Down wiv da kidz

When Mr Westaby was a lad, he didn’t get the chance to interact with the concept of  ‘Speed dating’. He simply went to the pictures when courting, to see the new fangled ‘talkies’ which were all the rage, way back then.

So, when Julian told us he was to  introduce over 50 schoolkids from Dunbartonshire and Helensburgh to his cookie concept of ‘Speed-Branding‘, to gauge their perceptions of branding and marketing, we were a bit sceptical. “Aren’t 16-18 year old kids a bit of a lost cause, the so-called ‘hoodie-generation’ we keep reading about in the ‘Red Tops’?”, we said. Well, we would have said that, if we’d been suckered-into believing everything the tabloids spew out. Truth be told, we do a fair amount to help Schools and Colleges, so we get to know (as does anyone in the education process) that’s it’s not doom and gloom. Kids today aren’t all Facebook zombies. They’re bright, inquisitive and being brought up in an environment where they’re subjected to LOADS of images and messages. Okay, not all of these messages are good, but it could surprise you just how discerning and sophisticated someone in their mid-to- late teens can be. They know LOTS. It’s not all a mad ‘Kevin and Perry’ type-scenario, as certain sections of the media would have you believe.

However, having said that, when Dunning Director, Julian Westaby gave an assortment of kids, from an assortment of Schools in the Glasgow-shire area a brief to create a new Energy drink’, he wasn’t really sure what to expect. Especially as his totally bonkers rules, for his new  ‘Speed-Branding’ concept dictated they all had only 20 minutes to create an outline concept, a marketing campaign and a presentation for this newly-invented soft drink!

As the pic above shows (Julian is the guy in the pink shirt, obviously) it was full-steam-ahead and unbridled enthusiasm which ruled the day in the classrooms.  Lots of ‘creative spark’ (see what we did there?) and a vast amount of clever thinking meant Julian left being somewhat astounded at the quality of joined-up thinking and strategy he’d encountered. So much so, that there was one particularly sound idea that had one of the kids asking Julian if he’d like to part with a few quid of his own money, to back the young and thrusting entrepreneur in question. This ‘kid’ wanted to take his drink idea to market! Nice try young man. We’ve tried to squeeze a drink out of Julian as well, it’s not quite that easy!

So there you have it. Kids,  ‘Young Adults’ …call them what you will, there’s hope! Learning can be fun, kids can have great ideas and even a man in a pink shirt and a pinstripe suit doesn’t put them off. We think Julian blew his chance to become a Red Bull-type drinks magnate, with his own Formula 1 team!

To see more of Julian’s lovely pink shirt and find out about entrepreneurial Scottish Schoolkids, check out this link http://www.yes.org.uk/dunbartonshire-masterclass-2009

As we mentioned, we like getting involved with Schools, Colleges, placements, lecture opportunities because we like the sound of our own voices. Eh? No, sorry, that should read …because we think it’s great for our Industry and Scotland’s future. Yes, that’s what we meant to say. Whitney Houston said “I believe the children are our future” …but then again, she also said “My name is not Susan” so don’t take too much notice of her. Take it from us though, if you want Scottish school and University leavers to have creative, business minds, it’s up to us, in  creative businesses to help them achieve this.

Right, sermon over, we feel better for that.