The social election

With one of the most unpredictable elections approaching, Art Director Matty was invited along to a breakfast with our friends at Bircham Dyson Bell to learn how social media is set to influence the votes.

Elizabeth Linder from Facebook headed the talk. Her role is to jet around the world, speaking to different governing parties about what they should be doing on social. Pretty cool, right? She’s found that a staggering one third of 18-24yr olds say social media will affect the way they vote this year. That just shows what an incredible tool it is to reach a generation of non-voters.

Obama was famously one of the first to put a lot of weight behind his online presence, and this time round the UK are following suit with two thirds of our parties making sure they have a voice online. That’s a big contrast to five years ago when only one third believed it was necessary.

It’s a time where parties have a chance to be human. They once had to rely on being interesting enough to make the news in order to be seen, but now they can have real conversations with real people to win votes.

Although it doesn’t look like 2015 will be the first digital election, it certainly will be the first conversational one.

Vicky McGarvey and Matt Burrows

Time travelling

It doesn’t seem long since I was throwing my graduation hat up in the air, breathing a big sigh of relief and wondering ‘now what?’ – quickly realising that no amount of partying can prepare you for the big wide world. I’ve blinked and somehow four years have flown by. With university seeming like nothing more than a hazy dream, Matty (the sketch pad to my sharpie) and I decided it was high time we took a step back and gave our much-loved lecturers and the current students a visit.

It gave us a great chance to reflect on what we’ve achieved since uni, the best bits, the worst and what we really wish someone had told us while we still studying. So here they are – Matty and Vicky’s top tips in all their glory:

  • It’s not all about ads. You’ll get stuck into everything from smashing-up tins with bricks to making a mini race track and writing tweets for a fish
  • None of your friends or family will ever understand what you do at work
  • Recruitment agencies can help you – even if you’re an intern (thanks for hookin’ us up, Farzana)
  • Prepare to have your soul crushed at book crits. No matter how good your work is – there will always be someone who will tear it apart
  • Do something to stand out. A team came into Pepper and called themselves ‘Cake for crit’. They had thought about the whole experience. They had their own branding, their cakes came in a lovely box and even made sure they had an online presence. In return Andy gave them a crit and we’re still talking about them now
  • If you’re a writer – have a blog. That’s how our very own Dan got his job. He interned for a bit and then went off and did some other cool stuff. In the meantime Andy kept tabs on his blog and when a job came up, he knew just the guy
  • Whether you’re meeting your Creative Director for the first time or presenting your millionth idea – treat your work like gold. Don’t just shove crinkled pieces of paper in front of his/her nose or put them on the floor. Pin them up on the wall. Give them a black border. You’ve spent a lot of time on your ideas so give them the credit they deserve
  • If you have the chance to own something in the agency then grab it by the horns. Before we started, Pepper didn’t have an Instagram account. Matty stepped in and now the agency has 2000 followers. It’s led to new business opportunities, meeting a pop star and ultimately getting Pepper’s name out of the office and into the world

So there we have it. Everything we wish we’d been told as we left the university bubble. And if you’ve got any tips that top ours, let us know – we’d love to hear what ad lessons you’ve learnt.