Our thoughts on the climate strike – By SCA intake 2019/20

By SCA intake 2019/20

Our thoughts on the climate strike 


On Friday 20th September 2019, SCA marched at the global Climate Strike. Our brief: to create a placard that would get shown on mainstream or social media. 

Gigi: I think we are going to have to give Marc some credit here. He managed to orchestrate us so that we arrived early, just when the media was still actually interested in taking photos of people. Following the initial grouping, we led the troops towards Westminster. Won’t lie- it felt badass as anything. I think I’ve caught the protest bug. I could definitely take up active activism as a side hustle. I think my favourite thing was the sheer presence of young people at the rally. Gives me tingles to think that Boris and the climate change deniers are going to be toppled by St Luke’s primary school and a bunch of 14 year olds handing out cards on what to do if you’re arrested. Brilliant, just brilliant. 

Tommy: I was also impressed by the youth turnout. One group of 15 year olds were so environmentally conscious they were even trying to sell me some green.

Alfie: 3 hours of placard making later and my monstrosity was unveiled. It was too large to be constrained by simple duck tape luckily I had brought a hammer and nails, which with vigour I set about using to make my Frankenstein. The protest was fun we managed to get in front of the crowd and into several newspaper outlets. My placard was obviously not PC enough to go viral but c’mon forsaking my principals just for more impact on social? Ridiculous. 

P.S Tweet @alfsuit for discussion of the above literally anything you want to say just tweet @alfsuit and please retweet my tweets! See you soon love xxx #alflyf #eatpraylove

Elle: Earth, Wind and Fire: September- Climate Change Version

Do you remember the 20th day of september?

love was changing the mind of the pretenders,

while we protested for climate changeeeggeeee.

Our hearts were ringing,

in the key that our souls were singing.

as we danced in the streets,

remember – how we made the front of the Guardiaaannaannnn

yeah yeah yeah.

Hey hey hey,

ba de ya – make yourself a placard

ba de ya – come to central London

ba de ya – it’s time to make a positive changeeeggeee

Ba duda, ba duda, ba duda, badu

ba duda, badu, ba duda, badu

ba duda, badu, ba duda

Phillip: I have to admit, I was a little disappointed with the lack of energy. Three times I tried to get a “Green on three” chant going, but the seven year olds I was yelling at just stared at me with their dumb little faces. I needed Charles’ spongebob placard. Other than that though, what a success! I had friends and friends of friends sending photos of our placards around. Short of creating massive parks in Sims games, I’ve never done more to stop climate change. It may not have been much of a “march” while we were there, but boy did I boogie to the smooth sounds of Calico Jack. This was a simple brief, we didn’t have to go all out, but we did. I love that even the smallest of tasks we attack with the greatest of ambitions. Gives me a lot of hope for what’s in store.

Aaron:  A looming buzz blanketed the studio last Friday. The time came and our part in the environmental rebellion began. However, in SCA fashion, our mission came with a twist, we needed to get noticed by any media and have our signs plastered across the spider web of technology. Marc guided us all to a spot, where I suspect he knew, those news photographers were ready to take some snaps of protesters. We marched down to Victoria tower gardens and were greeted by fellow activists of all ages. We stopped and scoured our phones for any sign of our presence for public consumption. Success, we made it to more outlets than any of us ever thought! Now, when my grandkids ask why snow hasn’t fallen on Earth since their parents were kids. I can look back and say – at least we tried.

Holly: Are protests meant to be this fun? I feel bad. 

Oliver: This was my first protest and I enjoyed it immensely. When individuals come together and decide to make a change, amazing things can happen. Can’t wait to go to the next one. We ended up on a bunch of media outlets this time, next time let’s aim for primetime CNN (Fox News if we push it). 

Alice: The march was so important and it was just great that I could be a part of it. I do regret my x-rated sign a bit as I realised too late that the mainstream media would probably never show it. I also felt bad holding the placard in front of all the awesome kids who were there to protest. What have I learnt? Think about the audience and who is going to look at it. Other than that, it was a fantastic day!

Munraj: Having attended SOAS University of London, I’m used to attending protests. This one though… Everyone’s energy and hilarious puns, coupled with the sheer scale of it all, made it a lot more enjoyable than any I’ve attended before. Maybe there’s hope after all…

Ellie: What do we want? Trees! When do we want it? Trees

Alex: Embrace the cliches. Aggressive Gammon on the tube? Breathe in hate breathe out love. No Planet B? Thankfully there’s a planet SCA.

Eva: I’ve been to many climate change protests, but this one was far out my favorite. It’s amazing what really good placards can do. I’m not sure if I want to get into advertising. But selling a placard for a protest is definitely something I want to do. And luckily SCA is the kind of school that teaches you that. 

Sam: My mum was so proud that we made the news. Thankfully, the mainstream media cropped my sign out of most of the published images – I don’t think she would have appreciated being called a bitch in national tabloids for not recycling. To set the record straight, she is most certainly not a bitch, and boy does she recycle. Love you, mum.

Bastien: I felt pretty enthusiastic when I woke up on Friday morning knowing that our SCA troops would be fighting the good fight, in just a few hours. After a quick briefing and some last minute preparations, we headed to Pimlico. The soldiers were ready to march! We could feel the excitement, the pride and the courage that our squad had to offer. Ready to get out, and do what was necessary… And in the end we did!


The sun was shining and the sky was blue. 

Mother Nature fought on our side this morning. After a checkpoint and a motivating speech, we walked to the park, ready to join forces with the rest of our squad, who came to battle the enemy. What a lesson it was to see so many children on the street, brandishing messages and yelling with their heart, for the Earth! These young kids were armed for warfare in their most important mission yet. Their chief commander was 16 year old Swede, Greta Thunberg, who marched in New York and lead 150 other countries towards the line of fire. It’s unbelievable because these kids are at an age where they should be at home enjoying cartoons… But this was about their future, our future, and the planet’s future! There was no time for distractions because pollution does not take commercials breaks.

Rolly: Slightly embarrassed by my sign at certain times but felt proud overall. It was a pretty cool experience. 

Katie: What. A. Whirlwind. I felt like an over-excited child on her first proper school trip. “Look! It’s MI5!……Look! Westminster!….Look! A man running!” I regretted not bringing a bag packed with protest essentials. Elle was on it, she had a bumbag, great idea. We were missing snacks I think. It was also HOT so a flask of water wouldn’t have gone a miss. I was happy to be carrying my little sign, I could poke it into places – it was like carrying a magic wand. 

There was such a buzz. How lovely to be amongst such a great crowd – families, teenagers, the young, the old. There were so many dogs. It was amazing to witness how quickly images started popping up on social media and exciting to be in the very thick of it. Well done team.

Ivan: This was such a great way to execute a brief and see it in action! I love that we got to go out of school and be a part of a larger movement. Walking back to school with my two signs, I realized it would be silly to just take them back to the studio and trash them. So instead I gifted them to some girls on the street, who were signless! They were a bit confused by Captain Planet placard in 2019, but after explaining that it was a 90s show they accepted my gift. 

Elisa: I have been to protests before but I have never made a sign. That will change in the future. It was so much fun thinking of puns we could use to get our point across. I loved how supportive everyone was helping each other stick our posters together until the last second. Well done everyone! When we arrived at the start location of the march we were immediately surrounded by photographers. Just minutes later, one of the pictures made it to multiple cover pages. What a success! Well done Katie for hitting all major newspapers and Reddit’s front page with your sign! In SCA, there is so much enthusiasm for every single brief. It is truly amazing and I love how motivating this is for everyone. I genuinely feel I’m in the right place. 

Marley: This was without a doubt the coolest school trip I have ever been on. I found it really refreshing to take a step out of the advertising bubble for a second with my classmates and to take a look at a bigger picture for a bit. The biggest picture. We don’t have much bigger to fight for than the planet. It was as humbling an experience as it was inspiring. 

Chloë: “End consumerism, now!” shouted the speaker on stage at the protest. The crowd echoed her passionate cry.

“Yikes.” I said, standing amongst the future titans of advertising. “Not right now.”

Sean: My second protest in just a month; this carries on I’ll leave SCA a liberation leader. With “Save our democracy” so last week, and potentially so next week, this week it’s the real existential crisis of climate change. The challenge: an original message whose execution adheres to its own environmental principles – whilst still trying to bring down the government. 

Having nipped off to buy a canned (i.e. not plastic) drink at Pret I almost didn’t make it back for the press melee. Some people liked my placard, some didn’t get it. 

One elderly gentleman railed against a placard’s use of expletive as lazy, whilst failing to praise its young maker, strapped in bags of ice, for cause shivering commitment. A poignant climate moment laid bare: the old forces quagmired in the aesthetics of polite debate, the new recruits going over the top, serving us visceral discomfort for the pain of full-blown suffering. The takeaways: Advertising, like modern politics, evades consensus. Everyday may be an interview day but live by the values of your message.

Pierre: When I was going to protest in France it was mostly for the adrenaline. Playing mouse and cat with the cops is very funny when you’re a young kid in highschool. I remember that one protest when everybody entered the train station “Gare du nord”. 

I wasn’t that thrilled about going to a protest in the U.K but I was amazed. I was amazed on how well the protest was covered by the media. My smartphone kept on ringing because of the notifications from the protest. In the meantime, all the smart ideas on the placards struck my eyes. From my classmates, of course but also from the young people that were there. That was maybe a better feeling than in France, maybe not but anyway. 

Keep on fighting ! 

Rachael: I’m not sure what I expected from my first march, but it was far more peaceful than I expected. I had emotionally prepared to shout and be shouted at by bigots with opposing views. Instead, I had to enjoy talks from educated women who deeply inspired me even though I couldn’t see them through the sea of witty and gripping placards. 


It was one of those briefs where I was banging my head against the wall. I left the studio with Bastien to connect some dots at a hidden art store. The minute I had my giant black packard and white paint I was set. A huge thank you to Ivan for painting the sign with just minutes to spare, the night before. I thought we’d have more time on the day to get our shit together but we didn’t. I thought about how seeing is believing. And so I became the ‘Ice Man’ and literally melted with every step I took on such a hot day. It was a surreal experience. I was absolutely shivering but it was for the best cause. Let’s overlook the single use plastic on my body that held my blizzard suit in place. My bum was extremely wet #NOTFUCKINGCOOL – A huge thanks to Bastien for inspiring me and proving how much we can really get done in a day. Bastien made an incredible brown tree with green cut out leaves. The man also saved me twice during the week by helping me with some art direction. He is a living legend. Top week. 

Scarlet: I’m on Rankin’s Instagram. Life = Completed.

Camila: I truly enjoyed my first Climate strike experience. From the creation of our placard to the actual march. 

Seeing everybody’s sign (from SCA and outside) was very inspiring and creative. I felt really good and more than everything I cannot imagine having spent my time in a better way. I also appreciate the initiative from SCA to sensitive us to this kind of manifestation. 

David : Friday was my first protest experience. And it felt great. Being part of so many engaged people for the cause. And it felt even better having all those great signs standing out and getting everyone’s attention. Even though I got associated to Phillip’s sign on ViceUK.

Maeva: Friday I participated in my first protestation. It was a great experience, I had the feeling to belong to a community.

I enjoyed seeing a lot of creative signs!

The afternoon was a bit more difficult, but I appreciated the way that the class was given.

Christopher: Education doesn’t just end in the classroom or studio, and I can say I learnt a lot about getting noticed on national media outlet social media accounts. 

Lawrence: It is great to work on a brief and actually see it in the real world instantly. It was great seeing reactions from the public. Often while studying projects are only seen by tutors and your peers.

Luce : Being in a strike for Climate Change felt a little bit like being a wolf in a house full of sheep. Especially when people at the mic talked about big changes, revolution of the way we consume. Advertising is one of the consuming society weapons so we’re basically learning about going in the opposite direction than this Climate strike. If the media had known that all those cute young faces were actually in an advertising school it probably would have made a different impact. But apart from that I felt great energy and it’s nice to see such faith in the future. 


Marc: let’s get famous

Marc: brief: get traction, get online. 

SCA class 2019: homepages of The Guardian, BBC, Independent, Evening Standard, Vice…

That’s how to smash a brief, guys! Did Marc orchestrate that, does he have his fingers in the press association? It was extraordinary, though not the first time this course has confounded expectations. 

As protests go, I was astounded that this mass coming together of people was organised not by governments or corporation but by 15 year olds. That they had enough organisation to be handing out cards telling us what to do under arrest and who our press contacts were was nothing short of inspiring and gives me much more optimism in this generation than those previous. 

As a brief this was an interesting one for me in collective strategy. I went for a bold shiny luxe slogan, but was balled over by tools used by everyone and the multiplicity of messages, that en mass painted a real portrait of us. That photograph of us I absolutely love. I think this was what got us on international media homepages.

 And yesterday taught me that it isn’t always the biggest, cleverest, loudest message that is the most effective, indeed on the day it was the smallest ad that reached the largest audience.

(Well done, Katie!)

Jay: Sunny Siberia made it to vice. I knew Alfie was right about taking out the Dante’s inferno line. Less is more!

Leanne: Highlight of the day Chris’s 3 interviews and about 10 people coming up and saying his placard was the best.

Issy: Thought it was funny we left basically soon as we got in some news channels.

DJ: I found out too late that the protest wasn’t about Brexit.

Carly: The biggest protest I have been to before Friday was when we ran out of chocolate in Bermuda. The whole island! All five of us protested!!

Charles: Staying up till 5am, fishing through the recycling bin for empty bottles, working till the eleventh hour and purchasing Waitrose entire stock of sponges! It was a long 48 hours but it was worth it for the greatness that was (apologies.. is) Sponagebob…now what am I going to do with him?! 

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