LEARNINGS FROM PB6 – By Fat Penguin
By Fat Penguin – The Intake of 2016/17
LEARNINGS FROM PB6
Lauren: PB6 was a big learning for me, in a good way. It was the first time I felt as though we had created something real, something people would respond to – and not because it was an ad telling them to (though of course it was), but because it was something they were emotionally invested in and seemingly unwilling to let go. We called Walkers, we called other crisp brands, we spoke to people, we spoke to mentors, we interviewed experts, we curated a series of conspiracy theories based on evidence and all in the space of a few days. Having never touched After Effects before, I was mildly terrified at the prospect of editing a teaser documentary. But if anything, it was a timely practice before D&AD so I am, in a weird post-stress kind of way, incredibly glad. Augustine lead the way like the goddess she is (despite always eating the crisps before the pack shot). Without her insistent phone calls, ‘sweet lady’ compliments and alarming knowledge of the Illuminati, I’m not sure where we’d be. The project is by no means finished. But the seed has been planted so to speak and plans for an online hub well under way.
Augustine: Trust your gut. Trawl through forums. Research by getting in touch with people. Call everyone. Ask everyone you know for help. It’s ok (exciting even) to totally scrap your main route with a few days to go, if you’ve got a better idea. Think beyond the poster if you have to and then come back to it. Don’t let it command your thinking process. Same goes with being worthy: you can’t always change the world. Sometimes it’s enough to provide distraction or a laugh or entertainment. Sometimes you think through scamping, sometimes you think first. Sometimes getting drunk and doing 10 shit topicals can unearth an idea. Every process is different. You can’t find a formula. Give thanks to your gods that there’s no formula – no chance here of the deadening schematisation of process into stagnation. Every new PB is a new direction, a new way into the problem and new way to think the human. Don’t always make an ad. Don’t never make an ad. When you’ve got your idea, put all your energy into it. Speaking to mentors can dilute that energy. Just telling people your idea spreads that energy a bit further and you need it totally focused, gravitating wholly towards the idea. If you can make something to send out into the actual world, which you’re excited about, birth that mother’ucker. And you’d better hope to God your partner is as dedicated, fiercely determined and delightful as Lauren Peters, who learnt After Effects virtually from scratch in 2 days to make a totally convincing conspiracy theory video. I don’t know what I believe in anymore. Seeing 13s and all-seeing eyes everywhere.
Miranda- Seeing so many fantastic projects across the board has illustrated to me the number of talented people this course holds. It’s also amazing to see how much consistent work can raise the bar in just a few months. Knowing that you are fortunate to be working with anyone in the room in terms of skill, has lead me to realise it is equally important to make sure that you are also emotionally supportive of your partner during the stress of meeting a deadline.
Tomo – There was a big step up in quality. And I think a lot of that had to do with us deciding to have a bit more fun with our ideas. Lee and I did something we had some interest in (football) and we reached insight quickly, made ourselves laugh easily. It might’ve been the first portfolio brief where I really believed in our own idea.
I felt the best ideas across the three briefs were the bigger ideas – things that went beyond just posters but tapped into a bigger culture.
This brief also showed me you don’t have to get bogged down in coming up with a great poster campaign. Your posters can be just one strand of a larger campaign comprising digital, social, TV and experiential.
Which teams win the brief will be a real close call – not because they’re all mediocre but because there are so many good ones to choose from.
Daze: Listen to all opinions but don’t follow them all. We swayed so many times during our PB that we lost some valuable time in the execution of our idea – and looking at the standard this time of people’s videos, that’s a real problem. You can’t please everyone. Polarising people can be a great thing – we didn’t have the confidence to realise that.
Naomi – Well everyone has certainly stepped up their game, the standard of work now being produced is crazy. It’s exciting, for the first time I can’t see who will win the most votes. If we continue like this then we are going to smash portfolio day. Well done penguins!
Sophie – PB6 was the first time i’ve properly had a giggle making something. We didn’t try and save the world – which often happens. We didn’t spend hours trawling YouTube for the perfect clip – we filmed them ourselves. We had fun. PB6 taught me that the moment you relax and enjoy an idea you can push it much further – because you aren’t stressing about it.
Orla – Craft your little behind off.
Flav: script helps putting the entire idea together and defeats holes in it. Is a strategic idea enough or do we need to always be extra creative?
Pjotr – Trust your gut, but don’t forget about executions. Clever strategy is nothing without interesting ways of bringing it to life. Spend more time green hatting. Share ideas with Marc earlier than on Friday. Not always is poster the main medium for communicating the message. Push ideas instead of moving pixels. Creative strategy requires deep research too.
Adeline – PB6 made me angry at myself for not having spent enough time on craft. And by craft I mean the video. Watching other penguins’ ones made me realise from how far we’ve all come which also makes me realise that a ‘meh’ video can ruin and kill a whole idea. Big enough or not.
Kenny: Sometimes the best stories are your own and when you can take a personal experience into your work, the results can be really fun. Even more so, once you settle on an idea quick, it opens up so much time for craft.
Mary: Being able to settle on the script quickly really helped us focus on craft. I’d like to spend much more time perfecting the craft in the future.
Malou: The best ideas won’t come to you while you’re sitting bent over your computer with a messy desk and a brain that hasn’t had fresh air for hours. The ideas will come to you when you’re in a relaxed environment and in a playful child mode.
Sasha: You can’t always use a brand to save the world. Problems are a great way of inspiring a campaign but it shouldn’t be forced and at the end of the day they were just crisps.
In saying that, there is no doubt that the bar was raised this PB. Proud to be a penguin xxx
Ludo: I learned the hard way that it’s all about processes, you can’t skip the early parts of the race because you are scared you won’t finish in time, it’s like trying to build a house with no foundations, eventually it will tumble. Research is vital, it will undoubtedly lead to better work. When we started to engage with processes for the first time (6 hatting on thursday) we realised this, so we had to change our idea, but honestly it was far too late in the day and the work shows. However it was a PB that I will take a lot from. Insights and propositions are becoming much quicker and and scripts more natural to write. Posters are secondary, the big idea and channels should be the primary focus. I can’t wait to crack on with D&AD.
Christine: PB6 learned me how to have a laugh about something that you still believe in. We followed our guts with this one and still managed to spend our time on the right things. As Soph said, we were not trying to save the world, but we are still solving a problem. I spend a lot of that time crafting and using new effects in after effects. Not limiting myself by what i knew i could do but what i wanted to make this video show. And we made it. Even though we changed our ideas a lot of times. It also taught me trusting in your partner. I can be quite controlling but I have to let go of some of that and I think at least I was aware of this and tried much harder this time.
Arthur: Definitely the brief for which I challenged myself the most. Thanks to the product’s background, there was a lot of possible routes and strategy to follow. We ended up going with the harder one, I mean the harder one… It’s the first time that we really created with conviction and belief in our idea. Never going with the wind of arguments fusing from different mentors. We felt it, we did it.
Finally I learned what it means to twist the world around the product. We attempted to bring the product to life in our fictional world. We’ll see if it came across well, or not.
Bunmi: After the idea and time management has been mastered, don’t forget to have fun with it and watch the craft unravel!
Alex: We changed our idea completely for the better and in a more interesting direction but it all came from the case study script. Write one as early as you can to create a story and fill the narrative. Having visiting mentors get the idea and compliment us on it was also a great, unfamiliar feeling.
Kyle: I think this is the first brief were I felt confident with the angle we were taking. Having the product at the centre and creating a world around it was something I really enjoyed. Also working with people you trust and you know have your back is something I have come to treasure.
It’s been a great lead up to D&AD and I think everyone should be really proud of their work, even if it’s not the best it could be. It seems like everyone is getting their MOJO on. You can see people’s style of work coming out and real diversity through executions.
Mona : This is probably one of the PBs I enjoyed the most! I don’t know if it’s because it was probably the last portfolio brief before D&AD, or if it’s the fact that we are finding the strategy part easier and therefore having more time to be creative on the execution part but there was a GREAT ENERGY in the studio! This brief made me realize how important it is to trust your gut and HAVE FUN with the brief.
Rollo: Trust your gut more than anything. Just because someone you trust sees something in your work, doesn’t mean it’s right. Have confidence in your decisions, if you think it’ll work , it’ll work. It’s up to you.