Enjoying the creative slack: ad school graduates impress in 2013

Without the stifling requirement of client approval or the pressure of appeasing creative directors, students at ad schools have a longer creative leash than they’ll have during their careers in industry. And judging by the work published by the young bloods enrolled at Media Design School (MDS) and AUT Adschool in 2013, it seems that they were hell-bent on making the most of this slack while they had it.

A hair resurrection machine with a religious twist, grotesque jetboat smiles, map-making Land Rovers, a nostalgic yearning for milk as it once was, Google searches that can’t find tigers, smudged secret recipes, apologetic chocolate bars, a husband only seconds away from a becoming bloody mess and a moustache-timing guide were among some of the standout student projects displayed at the 2012 end-of-year shows at the respective ad schools.

And the students’ efforts didn’t go unnoticed. Paul White, the senior lecturer/creative director at AUT’s Ad Creativity Course, says that representatives from fifteen agencies, including ColensoBBDO, DDB, DraftFCB, Special, Sugar & Partners and Ogilvy, turned up to the year-end event to peruse the work on display. And they liked what they saw, because nine people enrolled in the course have already been picked up by agencies.

See the AUT Adschool projects:

MDS course leader Kate Humphries gives an equally glowing account of the response to her students’ work, saying, “Around half [of the students]are already placed and three more teams are deciding between competing offers.”  

See the MDS projects: 

Given the creativity that’s churned out of schools every year, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to imagine the advertising schools acting as ad-hoc agencies that engage with brands on a commercial basis. But while Humphries acknowledges that idea has merit, she says, “We’re completely open to doing creative work under the umbrella of an agency, and with small clients who are absolutely sure that what they want are creative solutions, [but]our priority is to continue growing the students’ creative abilities and willingness to experiment.”

White concurs with these sentiments, saying, “It’s something we’ve thought about and we’d be keen to explore the idea of collaboration with the industry… But our first job is to turn out the best people we can so that the New Zealand ad industry stays one of the most admired in the world.”

And, as the MDS and AUT graduates move on to join the agencies that wooed them, their still-warm seats will be taken by a fresh batch of hungry students eager to outdo their predecessors.

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