A scholarship to the SCA – by @joelpbuckley

Joel Buckley

By Joel Buckley


A scholarship to the SCA


As a general rule I don’t really like writing things that start with a caveat, but this is my exception. This post isn’t a brag, it’s a ‘this is how I did it and it turned out okay’ post. 

I won two scholarships to the SCA last year to be part of MOSH, here’s how I approached them…

For the main competition

  • I set out to win from the moment the brief was released. It consumed me completely, it was all I thought about and talked about. I knew that if I didn’t win, I couldn’t afford to do the course. I HAD to win.
  • I researched previous winners. The year before Marcella, Adam and Will won and I dissected what was brilliant about each – Marcella made something in real life (Which is always a bonus) and the craft on her video was beautiful. Will’s idea was just nuts, so original and very funny. Adam pushed the boundaries way out with what he was prepared to do, and his copy was compelling. Studying these entries gave me an insight on what made scholarship winners.
  • I volunteered for events at school and got to meet students who gave feedback on my idea and advice on how to push it forward, I also read all the SCABs to try and get insights on anything that may be relevant.
  • I read the books on the reading list and applied some of the ideas, most notably Made To Stick and the acronym S.U.C.C.E.S. and in my case study video I made sure this was obvious (watch 1:30-1:34) I wanted the people judging the entries to see that I’d covered all the bases. Be blatant, and be tactical!
  • I learnt Adobe Premiere. I’d never touched video editing before doing this, and it was painful. But nearly a year on, it was well worth it.
  • I pulled in a favour from a mate who I’d supported on a Kickstarter music project a few years prior. He produced the soundtrack for me; it’s a small thing, but never underestimate the power of the soundtrack.
  • I considered every angle of the idea and made it all real. I started a business, got suppliers, got product, got branding, got packaging, got a website, got a social media presence, got on the radio, got in the papers, got in the shops and the café’s. And I made sure I filmed every stage of the process. Not all of it made it to the 2 minutes, but it meant I had a lot to choose from when it came to making the film.

My entry –


For the Dan Wallace scholarship.

Dan was a student of the SCA who, during his time at school was diagnosed with cancer.  By all accounts he was a nutter, a creative genius and a hugely loved guy.

Sadly, he died on the 30th April 2013 aged just 22.

His friends, his family, the school and supporters have created a scholarship in his memory,  which last year was to take 100 hours to approach a business and make something happen. Bookmark the website, because this year’s brief will be announced in a couple of months time.

  • I found out all I could about Dan. The guy was incredible, some of the stunts he pulled were inspired. He was rebellious and maverick, but always with a cheeky edge and for a specific goal. He was entrepreneurial, a left field lateral thinker, and destined for greatness. This brief was about showing that same spirit.
  • I REALLY wanted to win this. This competition is a level playing field, people had different amounts of time they could have assigned to the main competition, but with this one we all started together. It also means a great deal to be the first Dan Wallace scholarship student.
  • I managed my time. 100 hours is not long to come up with an idea, approach a company for permission to promote them, execute the idea, film it, and then edit the film. There is no time for procrastination and paper shuffling here.
  • I kept pushing the idea. I made the website for real, but more importantly I actually went out and did shit. I went out and risked looking like a bit of a tit in public, and on camera, but so what. Dan would’ve done that, so I can too.
  • I didn’t back down.  £12.5k is a lot of money

My entry – /

I hope something from this SCAB helps someone working on this years brief, but if it hasn’t, maybe this will…

At the start of every term an invoice is sent to students for their fees. At the bottom of scholarship winners invoices it says Amount Due £0.00.

The best ad school in the world for £0.00.

Related SCABs

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