Tuesday: Crossing the pond
On the 19th of May Louise and I (and WonderMonkey of course) gathered up our presentation things and a bucket of courage and we travelled to New York. When we arrived we were greeted by an unexpected heat wave – I got sun burnt on the way to our rented apartment!
Wednesday: Pitch day!
The next morning we made our way to Omni Berkshire Place to prepare and present our pitch. We met with the other teams and our assigned mentor from creative agency giant AKQA – Duan Evans, Executive Creative Director at their London office. After a few last minute tweaks to the Powerpoint we were first in the boardroom to pitch our idea!
Our overall concept was to shed a light on human flaws by showing that just because a person appears uninterested in helping others doesn’t mean they are – “You don’t have to be good, to do good.” We take the viewer through a day in the life of Chris, a generic twenty-something office worker. Chris’ top priority appears to be himself, and this is portrayed by the things he avoids doing: holding the lift for a co-worker, spending time with his parents or chipping in for a colleague’s birthday. By the end of the ad it’s clear that Chris donates money to the Project Solution and is actually a good guy. We discussed that we would back up the spot with a social media campaign encouraging people to use the #mybad and confess their bad deeds and then redeem themselves by donating to The Project Solution. I was quite nervous about presenting as it was my first commercial pitch, but it went really well! The panel of 4 judges was far less intimidating than the panel of 10 that we were originally promised.
Chris: the main character in our 60-second spot (extract from storyboard)
After a well-earned pint to celebrate we did some sight-seeing around the city and sampled some real American chilli-fries and grilled cheese sandwiches in Brooklyn – yum!
Thursday: Award Night!
We strolled through Times Square to Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall where the New York Festivals: International Advertising Awards were being held. We met up with the rest of the teams and after taking advantage of the free bar we took our seats to find out the winners of the Torch Awards and the International Advertising Awards. Team Ohayo (Dentsu, Japan) were declared the winners for their concept involving stop motion origami dollars, kudos to them! We all went backstage for team photos with Broadway and screen star Charlotte d’Amboise, who presented the Torch Award. Then we snuck back into the theatre to watch the rest of the awards (the winners can be found here: http://advertising.newyorkfestivals.com/).
All in all, it was a fantastic experience and I would recommend that everyone visits New York at least once in their lifetime (and the Advertising Awards, if they can!).
WonderMonkey made some new Virgin Atlantic friends
Goodbye for now New York!
Written by Vicky