72andSunny LA 4-Day BootCamp - Hear from Three Students that Took the Challenge

San Diego Portfolio Studio students took part in this year’s One Club Creative Boot Camp. Held at LA advertising agency, 72andSunny, the 4-day immersive event was created to encourage more diversity in the field of advertising. Advertising, like the film industry, lacks representation from women and multicultural groups. Events like this aim to change that.

San Diego Portfolio Studio students spent day and night, with other team members from schools throughout the nation, building ad campaigns to present to the 72andSunny expert judges. Here’s what they took away: 

Zach Russell, Flora Kim and Brooke Hugus on presentation day at 72andSunny 

Zach Russell, Flora Kim and Brooke Hugus on presentation day at 72andSunny 

Zach:

We were immersed in a four day creative powerhouse that allowed deep exposure to the advertising world. The intensity started day one, immediately following an in depth creative brief. After being split into groups which consisted of aspiring copywriters and art directors from around the United States; we were tasked with expanding one of 72’s existing campaigns. From there, we spent the next four days procuring a big idea, writing, designing and building a comprehensive campaign.

While copywriters and art directors worked together, we were heavily supported by creative mentors who guided us through ideas and fostered “out-of-the-box” thinking. When the mentors came around, like Vincent Barretto, a 72 art director, I was really nervous that our ideas wouldn’t be good enough.  In reality, it was more like a jam session. We would voice our ideas and he would offer questions and suggestions to lead us back to one great message.

After three days of frustration, coffee-fueled late nights, and creating, presentation day arrived. The judging process was an extremely positive experience. Each critique was insightful and constructive. You could tell the judges gravitated toward off the wall ideas that had legs. They were really looking for creative outliers who weren’t afraid to get weird.

The judges table

The judges table

All in all, this event taught me that hard work and fun can coexist.

Oh and also that 72andSunny has black toilet paper.

Flora:

With 72andSunny as our gracious host, we got to work within the confines of one of the most influential ad agencies around. I had just kicked off my first quarter at SDPS when this exciting opportunity was offered to us students, and I didn’t think twice about applying. As the date approached however, I grew intimidated about the thought of participating in a team of talented creatives for my first time. I reframed the intimidation into taking on a challenge that’ll only leave me with more insight and connections in the advertising industry, and that’s exactly what was made possible for each participant.

Team made up of Rohan, Jessie, Imari, Megan, Flora and Herb

Team made up of Rohan, Jessie, Imari, Megan, Flora and Herb

On the first morning of the boot camp, I was assigned to a diverse group of designers, fellow writers, and creative thinkers. As the five of us excitedly started brainstorming for our client, I forgot that I was ever intimidated and our ideas and presentation flourished over the next few days with the guidance of top mentors in the industry. Insight from various advertising professionals and accomplished creative directors, such as Luis Camano of Grupo Gallegos and Eduardo Marques of 180LA, led us to streamline the importance of having a solid idea that reflects a human truth as a basis for developing an enticing campaign.

Throughout those four days, I also came to learn that working in a team only serves to benefit the final campaign and our own ways of thinking. We naturally encouraged each other to explore various perspectives without getting too attached to any one idea before several others are contemplated and eliminated with good reason. As a team, we became confident about our campaign when each of us were fully convinced by our final idea- after all, five minds are a more accurate reflection of our collective society and target demographic than just one.

On presentation day, I was amazed by each group’s ingenuity and gained further insight into the industry with each round of the judges’ feedback. Going through the processes that professional creatives experience daily and sensing this future right at my fingertips made me more eager than ever to turn this sneak peek into a living.

Brooke:

It was interesting to see the variety of viewpoints and ideas in response to the same brief at the Creative Boot Camp, especially when teams had just days to formulate and present our campaigns to a panel of industry leaders.

To remain productive and calm, my team developed a project timeline early on. We wanted to be sure that on presentation day we had a clear and memorable presentation. Additionally, this helped us stay motivated as we achieved our mini-goals along the journey.

I learned that sometimes the most exciting ideas can come from combining two seemingly separate ones. Whiteboards work well for this, and 72andSunny literally painted them on the walls throughout their buildings. It is incredibly useful to write and draw out those different ideas in a space where they could be mixed freely. This allowed for easy interaction and sharing between group members. Creative collaboration was key.

Robin Fitzgerald of Crispin Porter advised us to keep our presentation focused by using a clear, key visual and a brief description for each execution.

Brooke Baty of 72andSunny reminded us to keep asking questions. When considering solutions, we had to keep in mind how an idea could reach new buyers and how it could scale nationwide or even worldwide. How accessible or discoverable was an execution? What would motivate people to engage with the brand? These questions helped us narrow down and expand on our ideas.

Brooke presenting with her team

Brooke presenting with her team

The Creative Boot Camp gave me tangible experience in developing a campaign with a group. It pushed me to my limits mentally and creatively.

It was awesome.

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When it was all said and done, teams were selected as the winners including one student from the San Diego Portfolio Studio, Flora Kim. The grand prize for these teams’ winning ideas included access to The One Show in New York and a personal interview at 72andSunny.

San Diego Portfolio Studio is dedicated to building young, creative portfolios and seeking out unique opportunities like The Creative Boot Camp for its students. Thank you to all of the members from The One Club and 72andSunny for putting so much effort into the education of young creatives.