By Owen Hunter Jenkins
It’s a pretty hard word to define, but it has come up a lot over our first three weeks at SCA.
Before we even arrived at the school, Marc set us a ‘passion project’ assignment. The brief was intentionally broad – ‘Who are you?’. The output was mixed, everything from cracker company start-ups, boy band tribute videos, and a Cribs-esque tour of a camper van toilet. They were all pretty different. They weren’t adverts, they were just interesting things that people had done. It was the last of an exhausting list of ‘must completes’ that Marc sets any new intake, and to be honest, I didn’t see the point in it.
But after seeing them all, the reason was clear. We were finding out who our classmates were – what tickled their pickle.
And this was Marc’s intention.
Adverting portfolios are important, but it’s a given that you should have a great one. Bu that isn’t enough.
An agency needs to see what you’re about, and as a ‘creative’ you should always be creating.
You should always have a passion piece, always have something on the go beyond ads.
Last week this statement became even more true. We got the chance to visit Stu Outhwaite at Creature. Beyond telling us some great home truths such as “your first book will be shit – so get over that now” and “this industry attracts a lot of twats, so work hard on not being one”, he also had great pride in his agency’s own ‘passion projects’. He made it clear that they aren’t just PR stunts that play second fiddle to the ads – they’re as important. They’ve created award-winning theatre productions, produced their own honey from bees on their roof and are planning a music festival as we speak.
They seem to be a true ‘creative’ agency because they’re always creating, unrestricted by the medium. And because of such, everyone in that building was passionate.
Marc told us last week that there’s a second passion project brief. It starts now, doesn’t stop and will be reviewed as and when he decides.