Archive for 2010

Scottish Technology Prize

We don’t really need to elaborate here, as the new new super-duper website we’ve just created for Thales explains all about the Scottish Technology Prize. Suffice to say, it’s helping Thales (hugely successful 13 billion Euro company) to interact with the brightest technology talent working in and coming out of Scotland’s University.

With a BIG cash prize and a lot of kudos, we’re already sending out information to the relevant Technical departments and faculties. If you know of someone who would find tens of thousands of pounds quite handy, send them this link.

Fae Central College, tae Central Park!

Louise Brown is our super-slick student placement from Central College in Glasgow. When she told us that her tutor had arranged a trip for her and her classmates to visit some of USA’s finest Advertising and Communications firms, in ‘The Big Apple’ we were MORE than a bit inquisitive to find out more. Louise kindly wrote us a nice blog on her ‘Mad Men’ experience. What an opportunity for a teenager!

If you’re in the least bit interested in Advertising and Marketing, prepare to be very jealous!

“For a change I felt excitement on a Monday morning, waking up to head to the Airport for New York City!  First day I arrive  I head  straight for the typical hot dog stand and order  my Dog with ‘Ketchup’. On the way to the Ferry trip to Staten Island I catch a glimpse of my first of many noisy, honking yellow cabs in the City. On the Ferry going by ‘The Statue of Liberty’ I managed to encounter a  typically ‘Scottish’ moment, where an angry seagull tries to home-in on me on the Ferry – nice.

First Agency visit on the schedule was BBH – Bartle Bogle Hegarty.  This was a great agency to visit first, they really made a statement.  It gave me a real insight into the real world and I especially enjoyed all the different individuals we got to meet from BBH. The one thing I took from BBH was their theory on ‘Planning’.  Instead of the general focus groups, questionnaires and standard methods, they go out and talk to people and find out what is going on and exactly what people want.

Visit two – TBWA, introduced us to some of their creative team who were all fantastic.  I enjoyed hearing what they get up to on their typical working day and also each of their journeys before joining TBWA.

I would like to thank them for our gifts, Skittles & Starburst  (the way to my heart) and the book ‘The art of the idea’ by John Hunt.

Next on the itinerary was Ogilvy PR who laid-on an amazing breakfast for us hungry Scots.  They gave us a great insight into the PR industry & use of media. My favourite quote from Ogilvy PR: “The more you ask someone to do something, the more they won’t do it”. The view from the rooftop at Ogilvy PR was incredible – must be great fun, celebrating with clients in the summer.

Visit 4: JWT, the space and layout of the building was just phenomenal. Now I know why there’s ‘security’ before even entering the office! The Trendspotting team were interesting with their creative approach to research, separating trends from fads. A highlight was getting to meet Greg – Ex video producer who had produced a music video for Eminem!

DDB visit number 5, had to be my favourite. I just loved the overall vibe in this place.  Here we got to meet with some of the designers, who showed us the manipulation that is advertising, and how certain images are made. Carlos & Aron, the creative team made my trip. What inspired me was the fact, that they are old friends who always wanted to work together in the industry. They were so ‘real’ and gave us a proper insight into the advertising industry. They gave us great tips for our portfolios and creative ways of progressing ‘outwith the office’.

Visit 6: AAAA, located in the iconic ‘Chrysler building’. My favourite part of their chat was on ’Project management’ side of agencies and the line “Know what you don’t know”. Although it was a more academic visit, it actually turned out to be extremely intriguing and is bound to be helpful for the future.

Last but most certainly not the least was a visit to The Green Team. The energy the minute you walked into the agency was just so relaxing and homely, I loved it.  The Scottish Flag on arrival Guys– nice touch!  I like their ethos and how they stick to what they stand for.

My non educational moments in NY were amazing, from getting my picture taken with a real Oscar to watching the lovely men playing football in Central Park and following strangers to comedy clubs in basements – probably not my smartest choice in life!  I’ve taken things from New York that I will definitely use in the future.  These are:

  • Be relentless
  • Be up to date with changing technology – Twitter, FB, know it all.
  • Make myself known with Foursquare
  • Remember that ‘Good is the enemy of great’
  • Be passionate and be yourself.
Louise with her Oscar

Louise with her Oscar

This trip for me was not about shopping and the buildings, it was a place that opened up my mind and reassured me that the communications industry is where I see myself in the future. I definitely think that if anyone can make it in New York then they will indeed, make it anywhere! It was a trip that truly inspired me and one I will never forget. I’d just like to thank John Heuston for organising it for the students at Central College!”

Re:wiring Scotland-it might make a difference!

A number of the Dunning team attended the Annual SCDI forum, which took place last week in St Andrews. Whilst we didn’t ‘Re:wire’ Scotland as the topic of the forum in the Fairmont Hotel suggested, we feel we’ve now helped to turn-on Scotland’s digital capability and the event certainly got a few people pulsing!

A few hundred of Scotland’s entrepreneurs, political hotshots, rich and successful people and general movers-and-shakers got together to listen and contribute-to a broad debate on the future of Scotland. Bold Thinking, Tough Choices and Clear Focus were the three sub-plots for discussion and although there were a number of avenues not investigated (not surprising in only a day-and-a-half) there was a great deal of food for thought and, we feel, a large amount of forward momentum created.

Chief protagonists and those with the most forthright opinions and we thought the most interesting opinions were those who could best be described as ‘ex-pats’. People who had gone abroad to rise to exalted positions in their chosen field. Those more in a position to ‘see oorsels as ithers see us’ and comment on Scotland’s Global position, in a more enlightened and definitely, a more frank, honest way.

One of these ‘ex-pat’ speakers, Mike Murphy, who heads-up Communications giant Grayling and is now based in London seemed to think Scotland lacks a cohesive ‘identity’ and suggested the creation of a joined-up ‘Scotland’ brand is what’s required. Members of the audience reflected on the ‘Scotland The Brand’ initiative of the 1990’s which was ‘ahead of it’s time’ or a complete fiasco, depending on which point of view you thought was relevant.

Was it time for a bit of unity and a holistic message to be sent out by one, unified National promotion body? Basically, he hinted at an amalgam of government bodies quangos and others?

Another speaker, Professor Russell Greig – President of SR One, Glaxo-Smithkline’s venture capital arm, he suggested that creating ‘The University of Scotland’ might be another way to help us punch above our weight.

The University of Scotland would be one holistic, sophisticated, ‘Super-University’ consisting of all the existing, University ‘jewels in the crown’ . Would the coming together of one, multi-campus seat of learning excellence be a ‘dream ticket’ or would it simply be creating a monolithic, slow-moving monster?

He compared Scotland, not with other Countries but more realistically, (and rather unflatteringly for Scotland) with an American State! He showed how, on a like-for-like basis, we badly lagged behind the State of Massachusetts (chiefly Boston and its environs), when it came to a number of basic but fundamental economic measures. It made for very sobering listening, particularly for those of a ‘wha’s like us?’, ‘Braveheart’ standpoint.

Political speakers, Jim Murphy and Alex Salmond were both understandably ‘pre-election-cagey’ and didn’t really cause any controversy or add that much to the debate, in our opinion. They both explored a common theme though and echoed a voice that ran through the entire Forum. Their common thread was expressing the importance of ‘renewables’ as a building block for Scotland’s energy-generating future. Our new ‘oil’ is Scotland’s wind and water, which could be capable of providing 10 times our power requirements, according to Mr Salmond.

However, there was concern expressed that a lot, if not most of the technology to harness this power was being developed outwith Scotland, mirroring what happened in the 1970’s. Are we going to see firebrand students with button badges bearing the legend “It’s Scotland’s Water!” in the future?

The Forum also featured the ‘Scot 10‘ (see above) a panel of respected ‘been-there-done-that’ individuals and ‘leaders’ who had only ONE MINUTE each, to map-out their vision of Scotland. This was a hugely entertaining aspect of the Forum and one which demonstrated that sometimes, ‘less is more’, particularly when it comes to oratory opportunities!

All-in-all, a fascinating 48 hours and we’re looking forward to seeing just what form the ‘forward momentum’ we mentioned will take. We think Re:wiring Scotland was an event that just might make a difference!