At this time of year, the winners of Cream, The Talent Business’ annual competition for emerging creatives, would usually have been preparing for the prestigious show, where they would have had a chance to meet industry leaders, who likewise would have been on the lookout for the next breakthrough talent. But 2020 threw a spanner in many plans, including Cream’s event, which was cancelled this year due to Covid-19.
To ensure young creatives still got support and exposure despite the coronavirus crisis, The Talent Business partnered Campaign and Creature to form the Cream Collective: an initiative connecting students with mentors who are professional creatives. With the guidance of their mentors, the entrants competed by answering a brief set by Creature: “Turn new hope into new action.”
The winners were selected by creative leaders from around the world [full list of judges below]. In lieu of a physical event, Campaign is showcasing all the Cream winners here.
Creative talent trying to break into the industry now – during a global pandemic and recession – are facing great challenges. But this is a moment for celebration and recognition of some of the brilliant talent who can help this sector enter a new era.
Katriona Fraser, European managing director and head of creative at The Talent Business, said: “Emerging talent is the lifeblood of the creative industries so it’s imperative that the industry continues to support young talent so that 2020 doesn’t become the year of the ‘lost generation’. We are incredibly grateful for the continued support that Cream has received, even through these challenging times.”
Stu Outhwaite-Noel, co-founder and chief creative officer at Creature, added: “The Cream Collective has brought out the very best of advertising in so many ways. Quite literally hundreds of creatives have got involved and given up their time to a generation that need it now more than ever. In searching for a new breed of creative genius we've discovered a new kind of creative generosity. Heartfelt thanks to everyone who got involved.”
Akansha Prakash and Diti Golder
We're Akansha (24) and Diti (24), both originally from India. We met during our master's course in creative advertising at Napier University. When not stressing about cracking the brief, you can find Akansha binging reality TV shows and Diti reading tarot with a cup of tea.
Our idea repurposes Instagram's viral "Stay at home" sticker to help users empathise with the fact that not everyone has a home in which to socially distance. This collaboration between Shelter UK and Instagram seeks to raise funds and awareness, aided by influencer marketing and PR stunts.
Alex Binding and Sinead McDonnell
Course: Watford and University of the Arts London
Mentor: Cyndall McInerney, TBWA\London
Before their creative love story began, Alex was ridin’ solo as an art director on the Watford course while making her dad’s eyebrows famous on Insta, and Sinead was an ad grad gone freelance copywriter. When they met through advertising’s equivalent of Tinder, they instantly bonded over their love for quirky ideas and cheesy pasta. So they took the plunge and tackled Cream as their first brief, winning their first award. Now they’ve finally united to write poems about pubs, shorten people’s selfie reels and fill up on the fusilli.
Course: D&AD Shift (Non-ad school winner)
Mentor: Rosie Arnold
Good me: We need to write a bio for Campaign.
Bad me: They're awkward.
Good me: Don't you want to show our personality?
Bad me: Let's just say we're more impressive in person.
Before creative, I worked as a production assistant at Adam & Eve/DDB and before that, I was a video editor/camera operator. Oh, and I'm proud winner of a shiny Bronze DMA *certificate*, for Best Digital Performance.
Our experience of lockdown has given us greater empathy, with 70% of us making more calls to elderly relatives and neighbours than we have in years. We can turn lockdown into a silver lining, by encouraging people to sign up to Age UK’s "Become a telephone befriender" scheme.
Christoffer Vejlo and Emma Søgaard
Course: The Danish School of Media and Journalism (DMJX)
Here is a digital version of Chris and Emma, a creative duo just graduated from ad school in Copenhagen. We are now taking our first baby steps in the grown-up ad world as young professionals.
In the real world, we are both super sweet, super funny and super, super hardworking, but that can be quite difficult to express in 100 words, so check out our portfolio to see our greatest hits. We are super open for business.
Elle Bellwood and Gigi Rice
Course: School of Communication Arts
Mentor: Sarah Hardcastle
A playwriting socio-anthropologist met a fashion communications masseuse in the hell fires of SCA 2.0. Fast-forward a year with a global pandemic to spice things up, The Headline Girls (as we are affectionately referred to) are aspiring PR creatives. We love nothing more than a juicy story with more tension than the British Royal Family.
"Beanz meanz gainz" aimed to re-invent the cupboard staple as the new must-have exercise/health item. By creating a baked-bean protein powder, kettlebell fridge pack and sponsoring Britain's Strongest Man, the nation can emerge from lockdown fitter than ever before.
Ellie Daghlian and Elisa Czerwenka
Mentor: Andrew Bevan
Elisa is an Austrian art director originally trained in design. Ellie is a British copywriter who used to write sales letters peddling investment advice. Their favourite work makes the world better through dark, dark humour. Things like vigilante pandas, and a card game about evil brands.
After graduating from the School of Communication Arts in August, they spent 14 days at creative-rally.com working on every continent in the world, including agencies like Colenso BBDO and Lew Lara\TBWA.
Emilie Haugelund Larsen and Sabrina Dinh
Course: The Danish School of Media and Journalism (DMJX)
Mentor: Thorbjørn Kragh Liljegren and Christine Jensen
We are Emilie and Sabrina, a creative team from Copenhagen. We like to break rules, fix problems and drink fermented grape juice. Sometimes all at once. We disagree on stuff like whether cocoa powder or milk goes in first, but we agree on important stuff like the fact that we could live exclusively on bread and cheese if we had to, and that we want to make stuff that actually makes a difference.
Many new actions were taken due to Covid-19, one of which was the acrylic screens that were set up in stores, restaurants and everywhere you have face-to-face contact. But the thing is, acrylic glass can't be recycled or melted into something else when we (hopefully) don't need them any more. So we wanted to help the ones who are usually left behind – the homeless and rough sleepers. We designed a shelter made from six pieces of acrylic glass, that can be folded into a shelter, a safe place to sleep, a seat during the day, or maybe a doghouse for your loyal four-legged friend. Höme Anywhere by Ikea is an initiative that helps both those in need and our planet.
Solomon Bednall-Greaves and Emma Parkinson
Non-ad school winner
Mentors: Nicola Woods and Andy Forrest
Sol is an illustration and visual media grad who spent a year living and working in South Korea before coming back to London. Emma didn’t go to university, instead moving to London to work in casting, production and eventually creative.
In lockdown we saw communities come together through cooking for each other. We wanted to encourage people to carry on the kindness in their neighbourhoods by restating what has been proved to us this year: cooking is kindness.
Holly Georgious and Lawrence Slater
Mentor: Aidan McClure
We are a pair of plant-based creatives with heaps of meaty ideas to sink your teeth into. Lawrence, aka Loz, started life as an illustrator. He fancies himself as a bit of a whizz on the football pitch and in another life he would be a rapper. Oh, and he also loves his dog Lacey. Holly, aka Holz, was an account (wo)man for her sins, until she saw the light. She's an all-singing, all acting (never really grasped the dancing) queen. She’s a proud North Londoner and she isn’t bad with words either.
Lockdown has made work more accessible for people with mobility problems. Through our "home works" scheme, we want to encourage employers to diversify their workforce.
Isabela Moran Ferrer
Course: Bucks New University
Hola Carin~o! I’m Issy, originally from the smallest country in Central America, El Salvador. I like to think of myself as an art-influenced creative who gets inspired by museum exhibits, paintings, music, Instagram art… but also, if I can make an idea punny that’s fun too. I adore Taylor Swift and the way she puts so much detail into her craft. That inspires my work and makes me want to push ideas as much as I can and try to make them clever but still simple enough for people to get them.
My entry is a Unidays for key workers. I wanted to create a product and a campaign that would help show genuine gratitude from the community towards key workers (not just NHS staff but also bin men, grocery store employees, delivery men and so on). I thought it would be nice to have discounts, events and special offers available all together in one single place.
Mentor: Ben Hooper
I'm Isabelle (or Issy). I enjoy figuring out why people respond to certain brands and creating campaigns that stick in people’s heads. Having survived a year of SCA, I’ll thrive anywhere. I’m a cultural sponge who aspires to Jack Dee’s sense of humour and always carries a Sakura Pigma Micron 02 fineliner. As an art director with a knack for a good headline, I’ll save you three metres of desk space and one junior creative salary. I have a sharp radar for bullshit – especially my own.
The Green Line is an initiative to incentivise walking in cities. Tap in at walking routes to get points that contribute to money off your Oyster card fees for those journeys you need to make.
Course: Brixton Finishing School
Mentor: Anna Arnell
I have been interested in the advertising world since the age of 15 and have since worked towards finding a way in. I get super-excited about working on new ideas creatively and strategically with a team to showcase to the world. I am eager to learn more wherever I can and I am always up for new adventures. Both Cream and Brixton Finishing School have been incredible experiences that have reinforced my love for this industry, making me more determined than ever.
Through lockdown, there were environmental benefits globally. In just six months the skies cleared, waters were clean and our wildlife thrived everywhere. I wanted everyone to see the difference they made and to commit to #savethechange.
Lauren Postlethwaite and Lloyd Potter
Lloyd is a Norfolk man who enjoys barbecues and sniffing out old cookery books. You can often find Lloyd sketching his dream food truck while a Gordon Ramsay show plays in the background.
Lauren is from the Midlands but wishes she was Dolly Parton. When she’s not working through a pile of podcasts, Lauren loves creating artwork for the Bloody Good Period charity and upcycling old fabrics.
Together they share a passion for using their skills to support the movements and ideas they feel matter most. Always learning and often failing, they tackle problems head on.
We wanted to tackle the education attainment gap that has been exacerbated during lockdown. We created Google Forest to give inner-city, working-class children – who, educationally speaking, have been most negatively impacted by lockdown – the chance to play in nature, learning and developing their brains as they go.
Course: University of West London
Mentor: Laura Clark
Originally from the UK, with a South American and English heritage, I grew up in Singapore and Spain and currently groove in the anarchic melting pot of London. Growing up I experienced so many different cultures that opened my eyes to the endless possibilities that the world has to offer. This inspired my creative soul, so I came to London, one of the most innovative capitals of the world, and got my diploma in graphic design. Now I am happy to describe myself as an energetic and passionate content creator and social-media strategist working towards becoming a creative director and following my dream to one day start my own company for multi-creative entrepreneurs.
I wanted something that would reflect the issues that people are concerned about in the current situation. During the pandemic, people started to become more aware of their carbon footprint as they saw pollution levels go down. In regards to fashion, it was safe to say that trends such as loungewear and tie-dye became the official uniform of the pandemic. #WEWOREASOS aimed to bring both concepts together while appealing to a wider demographic and showing how their efforts could be rewarded by contributing to sustainable fashion.
Course: University of the Arts London
Mentor: Carole Davids
I am a copywriter with a love of strategy. Currently I'm pursuing my master's at the University of the Arts London, and previously I worked at M&C Saatchi in New Delhi for two years. As an incessant "people watcher", I enjoy finding the cultural nuances between UK and India, which helps me create work that is relevant for a global audience. I like to create work that gives brands a purpose and inspires a behaviour change for good. I love the nutty pursuit of advertising because I learn something new every day, about people or even myself. Memes are my favourite source of inspiration because they say so much with so little and never fail to make me laugh.
Turning lockdown behaviour of appreciating nature into lasting change.
Mentor: Trevor Webb
I am a creative and strategic thinker from south London. I graduated from Norwich University of the Arts with a degree in illustration and graphic design. I’ve been described as having a “sociological imagination” and have always been interested in advertising and media. As a multi-disciplinary creative breaking into the advertising industry, I was accepted to be a part of Brixton Finishing School 2020. This was a life-changing opportunity and I hope to continue creating great work, while learning and growing with the help of professionals in and around the industry for years to come.
My idea is called “Unite”, a campaign that brings together the start-up business ideas of people who have been made redundant due to Covid-19 and matches them with big brands across different sectors, creating product lines where a small percentage will go to support the scheme.
Sam Collins and Ivan Stanojevic
Mentors: Dan Kelly, Duncan Brooks and Nick Hutton
Sam and Ivan are a pair of good old-fashioned troublemakers – the type to ask for forgiveness rather than permission. As far as they’re concerned, there’s nowhere near enough great comedy in advertising and they’re intent on doing something about it. Their tone has been described as a blend of modern-day Monty Python and 1990s sitcom sass.
Together, among other things, Sam and Ivan love writing in the third person as it gives them the freedom to massively exaggerate their stature. With a Chip Shop Award, inclusion in the D&AD New Blood Ones to Watch and Cream Winners – all in 2020 – Sam and Ivan are a pair of busy bees with sweet dreams and lofty ambitions.
Our idea for Audible, “Epic trails”, links audiobooks to the locations they're set in. Walking routes will guide users along trails that pass real locations contained within stories – offering a new layer of immersion to both walking and storytelling. Listeners could enjoy Jack the Ripper’s rampages on a spooky midnight wander in Whitechapel, or hear Robin Hood steal from the rich on a woodland excursion through Sherwood Forest.
Scarlet Pughe and Chloë Gray
Mentors: Adam Newby and Will Wells
Scarlet is the child your parents always wanted. She brings the art, the heart and the class. Chloë is the child your parents always warned you about. She brings the words, the humour and the sass. Together they bring out the best in each other. Since partnering in November 2019, when they realised both of their names had colours in them and would make a badass future agency name (Scarlet & Gray), they’ve won a Chip Shop award, a D&AD Yellow Pencil, Cream 2020 – and now they want to win you over, too.
With masks preventing deaf people from lip-reading, TikTok's “TikTalk” uses well-known songs with conversational lyrics to introduce users to the basics of sign language.
Yama Noorzad and Matt Luke
Non ad school
Mentor: Zac Ellis
One Afghan Liverpool FC fan, one Devonshire metalhead. Three years ago, we turned up to this industry with no ad degree and zero experience. What we did have was a tonne of support, a push in the right direction and a thirst for creativity and ideas. Since then, we've experienced a string of awesome agencies and won a D&AD wood Pencil. A huge thanks goes out to our mentor Zac on this brief. He's the best.
A social media algorithm that responds to racism with powerful quotes from Black Lives Matter audiobooks.
Youmna Hazzaa and Esther van Vliet
Course: Edinburgh Napier University
Mentor: Rosie May Bird Smith
Once upon a time, an Egyptian and a Dutch person walked into the pub and became creative partners. We’re two award-winning creatives from completely different cultures, united under the love for great ideas. While we're graduating in unprecedented times, we've lived together throughout lockdown and made the most of it. We’ve managed to get our first ad aired on STV for Blood Cancer UK, receive a Wee Nod for a campaign made in just two days, and work on a remote internship. When we aren’t working, we like to go back to the place where we became friends before partners.
On our one walk a day in lockdown, we saw how the homeless were provided with shelter. But once restrictions were lifted, we saw them return to the streets. This got us thinking. Homeless people need money to afford a home but need an address to get a job.
There are approximately 320,000 homeless people in the UK in need of an address to get a job, yet Ikea has about 550 showrooms that are simply just for show. So we registered each showroom as a permanent address and assigned each one to a homeless person searching for a job. Once they get the job, we reassign the address to the next job seeker. And just like that, it's a "wonderful everyday" for everyone.
The Talent Business would like to thank this year’s judges:
Lynsey Atkin (ECD, 4Creative); Vicki Maguire (CCO, Havas London); Jayanta Jenkins (Global ECD, Cheil); Helen Rhodes (ECD, BBC Creative); Ana and Hermeti Balarin (CCOs, Mother London); Catherine Nygaard (design director, Airbnb London); Caroline Pay (CCO, Headspace LA); Laura Jordan Bambach (CCO, Grey London); David Kolbusz (CCO, Droga5 London); Richard Brim (CCO, Adam & Eve/DDB London)’ Lauren Connolly (EVP ECD, BBDO New York); Stu Outhwaite-Noel (CCO, Creature London); Chaka Sobhani (CCO, Leo Burnett London); Danny Brooke-Taylor (CCO, Lucky Generals London); Anna Arnell (creative consultant); Sue Anderson (head of creative, Facebook San Francisco); Kazim Rashid (founding partner, Loud – Mixcloud); Caspar Williamson (design director EMEA, TikTok London); Laurent Simon (CCO, VMLY&R London); Amy Ferguson and Julia Neumann (ECDs, TBWA New York)