Atomic London and its client, Homebase, have partnered for an initiative that will reward a creative duo at Leeds Arts University with a placement at the agency and free London accommodation.
Creative Roots – a scheme that aims to inspire, train and support new talent – gives final-year students on the university’s creative advertising course a chance to pitch to Homebase in response to a brief created by Atomic.
Through the initiative, 16 creative duos will be given feedback on their ideas from Atomic creative partners Dave Henderson and Guy Bradbury before going head to head.
The pair who show the best use of creative and strategic thinking that works well across brand and activation channels will be offered an eight-week placement at Atomic. In addition to Homebase, a panel including AAR managing partner Martin Jones will sit on the final pitch and judge the work.
The placement includes further training and pays the London living wage, which is at £10.55 per hour. To help attract talent from diverse backgrounds, Atomic is also covering up to £2,000 towards the cost of accommodation in London.
Following a beta initiative last year, Harriet Bradley was hired as junior strategist at Atomic.
Fabio Fragiacomo, creative advertising course leader at Leeds Arts University, said: "Creative agencies are missing out on so much talent these days because the next generation of talent simply can’t afford to tour their book around London for up to two years.
"The initiative by Atomic London gives teams that essential face time with ECDs. It’s by far one of the most exciting briefs my students will work on all year – the one that guarantees a tangible outcome for the winning team and measurable experience for all."
Henderson and Bradbury said: "As a creative industry, we must support talent from every background if we want to truly represent our client’s brands, not just talent from privileged backgrounds.
"We’d love to see every ECD going back to their ‘creative roots’ to do the same and truly support the next generation of talent, giving them time and training at a grassroots level."
They added that they have plans to "draw up a list of the top 25 ECDs and the universities and colleges they went to and invite them to reconnect with the course lecturer".