Even the cloud of coronavirus has the silver lining of a better future
Dean of the School of Communication Arts, Marc Lewis, believes more enlightened times in a post-Covid world means more diversity in our industry is needed. Here, he explains why, and also announces an SCA and shots partnership which provides a £400 discount to attend the school.
At some point in the future our children’s grandkids will look back and judge us as if we were monsters, freaks or idiots.
This is not a contentious point of view; I have friends who are certain that our ancestors will believe us to be cruel sadists for the ways in which we farm animals. My daughters find it difficult to understand that our two closest friends would have been locked up for being in a gay relationship not very long ago. But times change, and those two friends now have four beautiful children.
When ideas are allowed to flow freely... and knowledge is easily available and accessible, enlightenment will always follow.
I am convinced that advertising agencies (and society at large) will look back to the years PC (Pre-coronavirus) as a relic of less enlightened times, when we hadn’t yet discovered how easy it is to collaborate with colleagues online, so long as the right tools, purpose and culture were in place. Of course, when ideas are allowed to flow freely and from anywhere, and knowledge is easily available and accessible, enlightenment will always follow.
Advertising... has suffered from a lack of diversity in the notes available for it to make its music.
Before enlightenment, agencies mainly recruited from expensive portfolio schools like the School of Communication Arts (SCA). Although SCA is more diverse than most portfolio schools thanks to a high ratio of scholarships, it is based in central London, which is the world capital of advertising. This means that our students can be accused of living in a bubble, whilst studying to work inside a bubble. Most Portfolio Schools exist in advertising capitals.
In music, harmony is created when different notes come together with one purpose, one culture in mind. Advertising is no different, except that it has suffered from a lack of diversity in the notes available for it to make its music. One reason why advertising often looks the same is because the people who made it are all singing from the same hymn sheets. It’s time to change the record.
What I love about the promise of a world AC (After-coronavirus) is that we are learning to become more inclusive.
Black Lives Matter has been in the news a lot recently, and rightly so. Our industry is starting to realise that it must work harder to bring people of colour in, make them feel valued, and be ready to invest in developing them into tomorrow’s leaders. What I love about the promise of a world AC (After-coronavirus) is that we are learning to become more inclusive.
When lockdown was happening we desperately needed to give our existing students the level of support that we have become famous for, which led to an online platform that has been designed for creative collaboration. In doing this, we accidentally created an online course that mirrors the high quality of London. As a result, we now have a programme that anyone, anywhere, can enrol on, and that is as good as the best programmes in the world.
Apply to the school using the word SHOTS400 and you will get a £400 discount.
This is transformative because it enables a very creative young adult who is trapped in his bedroom with muscular dystrophy to study the course of his dreams. His voice is desperately needed in order to help brands speak authentically. It is a commercial fact that websites and apps designed for people with disabilities in mind are, by their very nature, more usable and more commercial.
This is transformative because it empowers an articulate 23-year-old girl from a farming community to benefit from the recent investment in fast internet, plugging herself in to the creative economy after a morning on the farm.
This is transformative, because it removes many of the financial barriers that prohibit a single mum from achieving her dream of hearing one of her catchphrases being chanted in her children’s playground.
It is a commercial fact that websites and apps designed for people with disabilities in mind are more usable and more commercial.
When I said all this to our friends at shots in a catch-up call during lockdown, we started to chat about how we could work together to make a difference for as many people as possible. Someone, somewhere came up with the idea of a campaign called I Deserve My Shot and here is how it works:
First, if your dream job is as a creative, making ads or getting people talking about a brand, then apply to the school using the code SHOTS400 and you will get a £400 discount. As part of the interview process we will ask you to tell us how you think studying at SCA might change your life in some way.
If yours is our favourite story, shots and SCA will cover your entire fees.
So if you want to be one of the new voices in a changing industry, take that first step here.