Agency of the year

DMA Breakthrough Winners: Our Time at Proximity

As our first placement together working as a creative team, it was to be expected that we were a little apprehensive. That mixed with the excitement of starting something new and living in London, seemed to make the first 7am start quite bearable. After having attended events hosted in the building a few times before, it was not a surprise as to the sheer size of it. What was a surprise however, was that we probably got given some of the best office seats in the house…a view worthy of a few Instagram posts to say the least. Being able to take the time to gaze out at the view however didn’t last for long, we were soon given two briefs to work on within our first week.

Being in-amongst the agency buzz made it even more fun and exciting to come up with ideas. We threw them back and forth with creative directors, working on feedback and advice until we perfected them. It gave us an invaluable insight into the workings of an agency, and the feel of what it would be like working there full time. This was mainly down to the high level of respect we were treated with by everyone we met within the agency. There is always the apprehension of ending up as the coffee runners for the duration of the placement, but this was far from our experience (despite drinking our way through a lot of coffee). Everyone was more than happy to spare some time for us and help along the way, including being given the lowdown on chocolate Fridays, to the when and where of the free end of week drinks.

Within our second week we were given the opportunity to work on a live brief from the Economist which was a huge privilege. It was exciting not to know what we would be working on, or doing from one day to the next. Aside from the briefs we spent time working on within the agency, we were also able to get some great feedback on our own portfolio and the briefs we were currently working for D&AD and YCN. This gave us an insight into what agencies actually look for in a student book, making us eager to start work on perfecting our own.

From our time spent at Proximity, our attitude towards what makes a good piece of creative has completely evolved, now knowing the importance of keeping it clear and simple. We knew this was to some degree important with it being drilled into us at uni, but now we see the significance of it and how it works in practice. Perhaps also a key skill we worked on in our time spent in the agency was our ping pong abilities, although there still a working progress. The whole experience has made us feel a little more prepared for leaving the comfort zone of uni, knowing how to work as a creative team within an agency, and knowing what is considered a good idea and why…and now at least we know if we don’t make it in ad-land, then there this always table sports to fall back on.

Alis and Amy