Tips and Tricks for an SCA scholarship. – By @EllieDag

By Ellie Daghlian


Tips and Tricks for an SCA scholarship. 


It’s official. SCA has launched the first scholarship competition of the year, with the promise of more to follow.

For anyone scouring the internet in search of tips, I thought I might share what I learned from last year.

1. Get obsessive.

Before the competition begun, I was stalking all past winners and their entries. By the time it launched, I had near encyclopaedic knowledge.

I also know what each of them have gone on to do since, and read any blogs they’ve left online to guide their successors. Have a bit of a google. Search ‘scholarship’ on the SCA blog, you’ll find them.

A few things stood out to me, from this research. Winning entries either featured people doing something bonkers, getting in the papers, or making something brilliant. Sometimes all three.

These, I thought, were things I too had to do.

2. Put yourself right out your comfort zone.

This follows on from the bonkers thing above. And as an introverted introvert I wasn’t thrilled by the idea of getting out on the street talking to strangers dressed up as a submarine. But you gotta do what you gotta do.

Was it as crazy as jumping through airport security wearing a thong? No. Was I still having heart palpitations doing it? You know I love a heart palpitation.

What I would say is that if you are terrified of people and the open air, you can only submit a two minute video anyway, so you can be sneaky about it. I only spoke to people for about ten minutes before I went home and cried (I’m kidding) (ish), but that gave me more than enough content to chop up and fill my entry with.

3.  Aim for fame.

I definitely fell short on this one, but for inspiration hit up Sophie’s entry from HUSH, and Joe’s dead fox bit. I realised too late in the game that my story just wasn’t news worthy. Probably needed some sort of huge stunt. But I did manage to get it in a couple of local papers, as well as getting a few people chattering about it online. Which I think was better that nothing.

4. Ask for help.

If you can, hit up the industry and tell them about your idea. Creatives love to hear about wacky side projects, and they’ll probably want to help. Huge shout to Ant who helped me make the narrative of my stupid idea make sense. And gave me a bunch of contacts in the press. Total hero.

5. Ignore them all.

I know, that doesn’t make sense? But something you learn at SCA is everyone has an opinion, and they don’t all match up, and eventually you have to go with your gut.

On the day before submission, two people from the world of ads told me my video (done like a silent movie) was too jokey, not serious enough, and that I should redo it like a normal case study.

I didn’t agree. But what did I know? A not-yet-maybe student desperately looking for advice. But I had spent so much time crafting this thing, and I was really proud of it, and I really thought it showed character. Which as we all know Marc loves.

Now to be fair I was pretty exhausted at this point, so I’m not sure I had capacity to redo it anyway, but in a moment of panic a friend asked me a brilliant question.

Would you rather fail on your own terms, or someone else’s?

Mine. Always. Which I’m trying to hold onto as we go into the madness of D&AD.

But yeah, to any future students reading this. Go do something that makes you deeply uncomfortable and tell the press all about it.

Good luck.

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