A week of London agency visits

Last month this year’s newly foreign recruited Future Media students repacked their bags for a three-day trip to the hub of British advertising and where it all happens: London. Six very different agencies, from award winning giants to small independent start-ups, had generously invited us to visit them and see for ourselves what agency life is all about.


With every student coming from a different background and prsuing a more creative or more strategic career, our opinions varied as we tried to define our key take-way of this trip.


Nelson Barnica, Honduras

“15 students, 6 agencies, 3 days and 1 take-away…sounds like the intro to a reality show. At the end of the 3 days we all survived (pun intended), and I think everybody got something out of it, be it positive or negative. In my case, my key take-away was a reassurance that I made the right decision for my career path but also left one thing clear: if I want to be in advertising and in the UK, I have to work, work and work at it but also have fun.”


Eva Witschi, Switzerland

“The four days we spent in London were intensive and interesting. On the one hand, it was very insightful to see how these different agencies work; be it their methodologies, the work they produce or the atmosphere in their office. On the other hand, we got a glimpse of the advertising market in the UK. Of course, we have only seen a handful of agencies, which is in no way representative, but for me it was interesting to see the difference between Switzerland and the UK. Seeing as the UK advertising industry is one of the most creative and renowned in the world, London week has definitely encouraged me to stay here for a while.”


Halldís Guðmundsdóttir, Iceland

“After our agency visits in London I learned a lot about how agencies work and I enjoyed seeing some of the projects each agency had done and hearing about the development of the idea and work; how long the whole process took, how many people worked on each project, how it was executed etc. Visiting these agencies kind of made me want to take courses that would help me get more into the tech world and understand it better, since it is clearly the present and future in agencies.“


Han Xiao, China

“Throughout the whole week, I realised that advertising and marketing are significantly dependent on each other. The fancy and interesting creative commercials audiences watch on TV are based on a lot of research, data and evidence. To be able to work in the advertising industry doesn’t only require creative thinking, but also logical analysis and the use of methodologies to reach the most essential audiences and position for brand. In this case, I think the one takeaway I value the most is the importance of research behind every campaign.”


Halinh Truong, Germany

“If I had to describe London week in one word, it would be “inspirational“. Every single agency took their time to welcome us into their world and I was overwhelmed by their great stories, passion and the love they put into each project. What inspired me the most was their ability to turn simple data into successful campaigns. AMVBBDO and Red Bee Creative, for example, impressed me with their willingness to go beyond the pale and take campaigns to the next level. Found, as a digital performance agency, gave us so many useful and interesting insights and Seenit welcomed us with their young and fresh spirit. Getting behind-the-scenes of it all, definitely fuelled my passion for the creative industry.”


Bianca Pryce, England

“Agency week was very insightful – visiting some of the agencies reinforced the importance of having a strong grasp of the clients’ brand. Although obvious this ensures consistency since the creative process doesn’t stop. Consistency is the key to the success of a brand and creates longevity. One thing that resonated with me personally was that it’s ok to use failures as leverage to re-create an idea or access opportunities. Both Ed of Seenit and Luke from Found touched on this; I will certainly bear this in mind as I pursue my career.”


Kaurwakki Gautam, India

“The importance of having the right work environment was one of my key take-aways. Lambie-Nairn for example told us that they value all-inclusiveness in creative brainstorming sessions, from the admin to the strategy department. They believe everyone’s creative opinion can spark a successful campaign. Freedom is one of the necessary elements to creative thinking.  Certainly, spending more than a few days with an agency would be extremely useful as it would give us the opportunity to be a part of inspirational ideas. And for me personally, this would be a dream come true.”


Alejandro Lopez Manzanera, Spain

“The London Week was a very interesting experience that I would recommend to anyone. All the agency and company visits helped me to get a glimpse of how things are done in advertising here in Britain. These agencies are at the cutting-edge compared to their Spanish branches and learning more about their methodologies was really illustrative. I’m looking forward for our next agency visit, hoping to see a more Mast of Science approach on them to help me in deciding my path.”


Marie Adeyelure, Nigeria

“My one takeaway was that the ‘BIG IDEA’ doesn’t just happen; it’s a result of some serious research and strategy gathered and executed using strategic methodology to drill down to what is really important. Every agency we visited had its own specific methodology which it used to  produce the creative execution of ideas that blow us away when they’re rolled out in TV ads, social media and experiential marketing campaigns. One thing was clear; while good creative work looks like magic to the viewer, there’s a science to it.”


Yasmin Ibrahim, Somalia

“It was very interesting to see how these big agencies work… well some more than others!! My two favourite agencies that we visited were FOUND and Seenit. FOUND gave a very informative presentation in what they do and why- I noticed that smaller agencies have more passion towards what they’re doing and I really liked that. My main take of the whole trip is that if I had the opportunity to choose between working in a big or small agency, I would pick the small one.”


Fanny Tacheny, Belgium

“During our London week, I collected great memories. My favourite one was certainly the presentation at the start-up „Seenit“. Hearing the founder herself talk about her vision was above inspiring and built up a desire in me to actually start my own business in the future. I enjoyed all the agencies and the presentations, but the passion and love at Seenit and the idea to create something from scratch – that is what I am looking forward to. Maybe someday, I will have the opportunity to welcome students myself and tell them my own story.”


I-Hsuan Liu, Taiwan

“This is the first time I was involved with the digital marketing industry in the UK. It was a nice experience to visit real agencies in London. We could understand more about local advertising, culture and campaigns. I am interested in their work and work environment. Some had entire departments to create their innovative products and satisfy client’s needs. Visiting different agencies inspired me to further deepen my understanding of the use of technology in advertising.”


Eleni Los, Germany

“Being one of thousands of marketing students in the UK can be quite intimidating at times. Carefully peering at other student’s creative portfolios and work experience makes you question your own abilities on a regular basis. But when asking these ad agencies, including major players such as Ogilvy, what skills they were looking for, they didn’t talk about adobe cc or your postgraduate degree. Without exception everyone replied that first and foremost “you have to be a peoples person”. Because no matter how talented you are, you’re going to work together with other people constantly and if you’re unsure about how to do something, someone else might know. And that is something that really stuck with me.”


Yu-Wun Wang, Taiwan

“It was a definitely an irreplaceable experience for me visiting these six agencies in London. We didn’t just look around their office, but we had a chance to gain a further understanding of their work. Because they were so different, it was really great to hear their core values and the methodologies they are applying. Additionally, this experience inspired me to learn more about digital marketing to get a chance work with them in the future.”


Tape Thititorn, Thailand

“L – Lucky
O – Opportunities
N – New
D – Dimensions
O – Of
N – Nonstop
W –  Wealth
E –  Education
E – Excellent
K – Knowledge

London Week 25-27 October 2016”