Close-Up: Adland's next generation take their first steps

Agencies' graduate newbies have been thrown in at the deep end, and their fledgling creations are already turning heads.

Recent media coverage will tell you this is a terrible time to graduate. Those exams you passed are apparently so easy they carry little worth, you've got wallet-busting debts and, due to the financial climate, no-one will hire you anyway.

But beyond the scare stories, you will see it's not all doom and gloom. Agencies are still taking people on and, importantly, these grads aren't just twiddling their thumbs and making tea: they are being given more responsibility than ever and, by the looks of things, can claim great credit for working on significant campaigns. Here, Campaign looks at some of the ads worked on by the latest graduate intake.

VICTORIA DASHWOOD-QUICK - CHI & Partners

Dashwood-Quick has experienced a rapid rise up the CHI ranks since joining the agency in January. Working in account management (she studied management at King's College London), she has been given an enlarged role working on some of CHI's global clients, including Samsung and Vodafone. Most recently, she has overseen a print campaign for Vodafone that promotes the data-roaming offers available from the mobile phone network.

Shot over a week on location in Paris, the four executions aim to show how Vodafone users can bring their home comforts with them when travelling within the European Union.

SAM HAWKEY - Glue Isobar

A Lincoln University graduate, Harding's first experience of glue was an unpaid placement in 2008, working on its Oasis account. He returned to Lincoln that summer to finish the final year of his course, and was asked back by glue when he graduated in June last year.

On his return to the agency, Harding worked on The Sun account, and this year was responsible for creating the campaign to promote "Wrighty's XI", a competition that saw the ex-Arsenal footballer and Sun columnist Ian Wright pose a question to fans every day in the build-up to this summer's Fifa World Cup.

"The aim was to show that Wright was as much a fan as he is a pundit," Harding says, "so we created an online video which showed him telling fans about the competition in his usual animated and over-excited way. A warehouse in Balham isn't exactly the most glamorous location for a shoot, but the ad worked so well that the client saw enough potential to run it on TV during Champions League and Premier League broadcasts, too."

DARREN URQUHART AND TOM SMITH - Ogilvy & Mather London

Having met in their final year while studying creative advertising, also at Lincoln University, Urquhart and Smith formed a creative team and sent off their work to a host of London ad agencies. Ogilvy & Mather soon asked them to come in for a two-week placement, which eventually turned into a full-time job.

Since then, the pair have worked on the Ford UK account, and were recently given responsibility for a campaign for the first time: a TV, print and outdoor campaign to promote the range of features available as standard on Ford models.

The TV ad featured a car driving through a city at dusk, slowing down to focus on objects that had been made into the "&" sign. "With Ford, it's always 'and... ' when it comes to things as standard, so we thought the ampersand would be a great symbol of what the car represents," Smith says. "We shot it over three days. It was quite a steep learning curve, but if you only ever do the little things, you don't learn."

EMILY MEDHURST - JWT London

JWT has always been renowned for boasting one of the industry's top graduate schemes - indeed, both Guy Hayward, the agency's chief executive, and Joseph Petyan, its managing director, started their careers on the course. Medhurst joined in September last year and after "three months of intense training" was thrown in at the deep end to work on Shell, one of the agency's key global accounts.

Having shown promise, she was soon rewarded by being given an account of her very own to lead, in addition to her Shell duties. That account was the National Centre for Domestic Violence, a charity that aims to raise awareness of the problems caused by domestic violence. Medhurst's first campaign for the brand, focusing on domestic violence affecting men, launched earlier this year and ran throughout the summer. The work included a striking outdoor campaign that showed an image of a man who appeared to have no genitalia.

"It sounds cliched, but people don't realise men can be victims of domestic violence too," Medhurst says. "And when they are victims, they rarely have the courage to actually speak up about it. We therefore wanted to create a campaign that showed men that there are people who understand the problems and are prepared to help."

The campaign was created for the charity on a pro bono basis, and was shot by the world-renowned photographer Nadav Kander.

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