Published: 14th Nov 2023

Every day is a school day

After the success of last year’s IPA Advertising Unlocked Day with Gordano School, true decided this year to participate in BIMAs Digital Day instead. We wanted to continue our partnership with Gordano School, so requested to be paired with them again.

Tim Jones - Founder & Director

The big difference this time around, we're going back to school. 

It was our first time participating in the Digital Day, and the team really enjoyed contributing and helping the students on the day. This time we worked with students from year 7 all the way through to year 12, under the direction of Deputy Head, Mr Beesley, who’s enthusiasm was infectious and seemingly never-ending! 

The students were set an exciting brief from Vue Cinemas - How can we use technology and digital solutions to incentivise more young people to choose cinema over other entertainment sources? 


A great brief at a challenging time for the cinema business. 

The students were really engaged with the challenge, and a wide range of perspectives on the issues holding back more young people going to cinemas more often were discussed. There were some great ideas developed from Cinema Clubs to VR escape room events. It was awesome to see the passion with which the students threw themselves into the challenge. 

But, given we were the ones back in school, what lessons did we learn from the students? 

1. Seniority and experience don’t make your voice more important 

We’ve all been in meeting situations where senior people can over-dominate, and be reluctant to take more junior team members ideas on board. Each of the working groups had students from year 7 to 11/12 within them. It was so refreshing to see how well mixed age and experience groups worked together. The older students were very respectful, supportive and open, and as a result the younger students felt safe and confident to fully participate and put forwards their thinking. We could all be reminded of the importance of that once in a while.   

2. It’s absolutely ok challenge the brief 

Interestingly, quite a few of our groups really challenged the fact that the task of getting more young people to cinemas is a digital marketing problem. Many saw it as a product challenge – too few relevant films, pricing or access, and explored ideas to help address that. Undoubtedly a lot harder to change, and make happen, but very valid observations. If the students feel empowered to challenge a brief aged 11, 12, 13, we should remind ourselves that we always are too. 

3. Storytelling can give you the edge 

Sometimes it’s not the best idea that wins, but the most well-told story to communicate the problem and idea. We can all get caught up in the race to the solution, and don’t examine and explore the issue enough. Being able to construct a compelling and joined up narrative from problem to solution is critical. It’s the ‘why’ behind our ideas. The students who worked hard to bring some theatre and storytelling to their presentations did well. Despite the clamour for the answer, we’d do well to always consider how our idea connects to the problem and how we can help it land effectively.  

It turns out every day really is a school day! 

Well done to all the students who took part and thanks to Gordano School for helping make it such a great day. We hope to be back soon.