BIMA Digital Day 15 at Park High School
BIMA’s Digital Day is an opportunity for digital agencies to inspire the next generation of coders, designers, project managers and CEOs to take up a career in digital. This year we partnered up with year 9 and 10 students at Park High School in Stanmore to take on three digital challenges set by BIMA and get them thinking about how their skills, aptitudes and interests might translate into digital futures.
Once we’d all arrived (doesn’t school start early?) and found our way to the classroom it was time to introduce ourselves. Jim talked about how fun careers in digital can be and also how digital covers a range of skills and abilities spanning both the creative and technological disciplines.
We then introduced ourselves individually, explaining what it is each of us does (designer, copywriter, developer, project manager etc). Including Anneka Gardner, Art Director at Creative Cherry, there were eight of us, so the students hopefully got a pretty good idea of the range of different roles that exist within a digital agency.
Then it was the students’ turn to introduce themselves and, if they knew, to say what kind of career they were interested in. Alongside a few budding aeronautical engineers, lawyers and doctors there were also a few fledging coders and a good number who were interested in working in digital/IT/technology but not quite sure in what capacity. Hopefully we helped them get a better idea over the course of the day.
Before we moved onto viewing the challenge videos – where representatives of Standard Life, Vodafone and Sony Music threw down their digital day gauntlets to our students – Jim also made the point that working lives are long and that, as you get older, finding enjoyment from your career becomes more important than making big bucks.
This year’s BIMA D-Day challenges were a bit more specific than in previous years – each was set by a corporate sponsor with a real-world scenario to which the students were asked to respond.
The Standard Life Challenge
Insurers Standard Life wanted teams to come up with a digital way to encourage young people to save more:
“Britons are currently the worst in Europe at setting money aside as savings, meaning we have little to fall back on or to finance our dreams. This situation is even truer when it comes to young people. A recent survey assessed only a third of younger adults (aged 21-24) as financially literate. Standard Life have tasked Digital Day students to think of a fun, easy and most importantly digital way to help younger adults to save money.”
The Sony Music Challenge
Sony Music were looking for teams to devise a digital marketing strategy for new releases:
“Sony Music have challenged Digital Day teams to plan a digital marketing campaign to help their favourite Sony artist with a new album release. Students need to think about emerging channels they can utilise, how to create a buzz before the release date, engage fans on the day and how to drive downloads and purchases after the release.”
The Vodafone challenge
Vodafone wanted some new features designed for their ‘My Vodafone’ app:
“Participating students will need to go beyond the current ‘My Vodafone’ app features and think about what their phone can do and what it knows about them, and how they can use these features to create something that will drive downloads of the ‘My Vodafone’ app and engage users.”
But first things first, it was time to decide on some teams. As an experiment, Jim asked the class (of around 20 students) to self-organise into three groups. A recipe for chaos? Surprisingly not – within three minutes the teams were selected, seated and ready to begin. Once a quick round of paper, scissors, stone had decided which teams were tackling which challenges, we were off.
After an initial brainstorming session to try and come up with some killer ideas our teams presented their thoughts back to the class for feedback.
First up, the Vodafone team told us of their ideas for combining promo and offer updates into the My Vodafone experience. Next, the Standard Life team shared their plans to use beacons to help young people save money in a fun and interactive way. And finally, the Sony Music challenge team told of how they were devising a digital marketing plan for Little Mix’s album launch which would harness the full power of social media.
Visions and personas
As part of their work we asked our teams to come up with a vision board for their challenge solutions (a la Roman Pilcher) and also to come up with personas to represent their target audience.
The product vision board generates a high-level statement about what the product is, who it’s for, what it does and what value it generates.
While personas help to nail down the characteristics of the target audience by breaking the audience down into segments and representing those segments with archetypes.
Jim Bowes on Digital Day
A little way into the day I asked Jim Bowes why Manifesto take part. Here’s what he said.
— Manifesto (@manifestovstech) November 17, 2015
User journeys and storyboards
Lunch provided a chance for Ryan to sample a school dinner classic: jam roly-poly and custard. Then, with the teams’ visions and personas nailed down, it was time to map out some user journeys, draw some storyboards and generally start working on the creative elements for the briefs. With the teams split up into task-oriented sub-teams, Anneka and our designer Barbara were on hand to help our teams get their visual elements together while me and Colin helped out with copywriting, Paul and Matt with some coding.
The day flew by. At 3.10pm it was time to add the last touches to those screenshots and wireframes, down tools and prepare to pitch, Dragon’s Den style, to the rest of the class.
Vodafone challenge – introducing Vodapoints
The team working on the Vodafone challenge, who were set the task of making the My Vodafone app more appealing, very quickly latched onto the idea of using gamification and rewards. They came up with the ingenious concept of Vodapoints – a loyalty and rewards scheme aimed squarely at 18-25 year olds which would see users accrue points for using the app. These points can ultimately be traded for airtime or even tickets to sports events (tying in nicely with Vodafone’s sponsorship of sports events).
Here they are explaining the concept:
Sony Music challenge – getting weird with Little Mix
The team working on the Sony Music challenge were set the difficult task of coming up with a digital marketing strategy for an album release – a problem the music industry tackles frequently. If the executives at Sony were hoping for some pointers they won’t be disappointed with our team’s response which, as part of a very detailed launch campaign for Little Mix’s new album, invites fans to feature in an official music video by uploading their contributions via Snapchat.
Here’s the team with more detail:
And here’s their entry:
Standard Life challenge – saving up a storm with CoinPal
With Paul and Matt providing help and guidance, as well as team members who possessed astounding HTML, CSS and Photoshop skills, it’s no surprise that the Standard Life challenge team came up with a technically sophisticated response to the challenge of helping young people save more. The CoinPal app, which has its own website already, gamifies the saving process to help young people save individually or in teams towards goals they’ve set themselves.
Here’s the team explaining their concept:
And here’s their entry:
Until next year…
Once again we’ve been bowled over by the creativity, enthusiasm and ingenuity of the students taking part in Digital Day. It’s certainly been an inspiration for us and, as happens every Digital Day, we learned a thing or two. We’d like to give a big thanks to all the staff and pupils at Park High School for making us feel so welcome and for all their hard work throughout the day.