Walter Thompson, a global advertising and marketing company, invited young women from the Drive Forward Foundation, along with women from the Paiwand and the Young Women’s Trust, to take part in their Young Tribes day aimed at explaining the role of advertising in society whilst also promoting the importance of gender equality, diversity and inclusion.

The day began with a delicious continental breakfast followed by presentations from the team leaders across the main company departments including, account management, creative, planning, social and digital. These presentations gave us an insight into the inner workings of JWT and an idea of how an advertising campaign comes to life from the first pitch idea to the billboards, TV screens, Twitter or Facebook pages on all of which we see over 3,000 different adverts a day. The speakers captured our imagination and got us thinking about ways in which we could come up with ideas that catch peoples ever stretched attention. We saw how JWT had made various social media campaigns go viral, such as when they helped send a KitKat into space or used the latest animation technology to bring a tiger to life in a small house.

After these insightful presentations and with all our minds whirring as to how we could create the next viral ad sensation we were given our task for the afternoon. We were split into small teams and assigned with a real-life agency brief. We had three hours to work in our teams, under the guidance of a JWT mentor, to come up with a new branding and advertising campaign for Special K before we would pitch our ideas to a panel of industry experts from JWT and Special K. The brief stated that the campaign needed to rebrand the ethos of special K away from the image of dieting and slimming and instead focus on ways to empower women. However apart from this there was scope to be as creative as we could with our ideas.

Three hours flew past as the teams brainstormed, mind mapped, researched and prepared their pitches. Ideas ranged from competitions and events to worldwide campaigns all delivered across a variety of media platforms but with a particular focus on social. During the feedback, the judges were extremely complimentary of all of the teams and were very impressed with the creativity and variety of ideas. They were also impressed with the presentation skills of all the young people, describing them as “slick and articulate”. They were particularly impressed by the emphasis placed by the groups on inclusivity, diversity and female empowerment. The winning team was chosen because their ideas were creative, had a global reach and a focus on the food industry as well as ways to empower women within that industry. However, the judges were very impressed with the quality of all of the presentations. So, congratulations must go to all those who took part.

Between the pitches we were given one final presentation. This was about the work JWT are doing on their Female Tribes project. The inspiring presentation talked about the world’s largest consumer category, women. The idea behind the project is to change the conversation away from a focus on the responsibilities of women and towards a focus on their aspirations and achievements. The research that JWT has done globally was both fascinating and inspiring, it was encapsulated in a documentary for the BBC called “Her Story” which we watched the trailer for.

All in all, it was a fantastic day that was very uplifting and inspiring and which gave everyone present a great insight into the inner workings of a very interesting company. It also got us thinking about the importance of having strong female role models across all forms of media.