Impatient man in queue behind student eats sandwich

For those of you who don’t know, Hyper Island have recently opened in Manchester with Crew 1 graduating last year. I’ve been working with the school in different capacities now for many years, and was privileged enough to be asked to develop and lead the first team-based module called Creative Problem Solving, for Crew 2 (now a Masters rather than a Bachelor level course like last year).

So, what did they solve? We were able to work with our Post Office clients to unlock a brief for the students to work on – one that looks at how to make the experience of going to the Post Office easier. Where do people get frustrated? In the queue. We were after ‘ideas that could be advertised’ – innovation, events or products that get to the heart of the issue and give the Post Office proof points to potentially hero. We were joined in Manchester for the day by our Post Office client and Dare’s Client Services Director Gav, where we briefed the students as a group before splitting them into teams.

Week one and six student teams were coached by industry experts from AMVBBDO* and LBi* (as well as our good selves) in the basics of both brand strategy and experience planning. This culminated in a clear audience, insight and strategy that was presented back to the group and industry representatives. They then raced to swap their strategies in a deft game of office rowing, spurred on by poet and unicorn enthusiast Chris Clarke of LBi*.

Week two and the teams had a presentation from Plan B Studio* around Hunch vs Data, and a project crit from Work Club founder Andy*, as they worked hard pulling together tight presentations for a final showcase in front of our clients the following week. I was lucky enough to be in Manchester for the final 48 hours as the teams worked frantically in ‘art jail’ to get everything polished and rehearsed.

On the final day, both clients and Gav were back to assess ideas alongside Principal Lecturer Warren Harrison from Teeside University (Hyper Island is accredited to this University in the UK.)

The outcome? Six incredible ideas and brilliant presentations, some very happy clients up for taking the ideas further and an enormous smile on my face. And of course, a party afterwards to welcome Crew 2 to Manchester (from 16 different countries) that had just the right amount of Swenglish style.

I learned a lot from the experience about myself as a Creative Director and how to approach work and teams, and was blown away by the quality of the ideas and the dedication the students showed. And I hope the students learned a little too!

*Thanks to Raj, Chris & Chris, Little Chef and the Sandoz (and Dave and Lewis at Hyper)

You can check out one of their responses (that made it to PSFK) “QueueHacker” below.

This post can also be found on the Dare blog here. You can follow Hyper Island at @hypereverything.


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