Showcasing the real-life experiences of a branding agency to university students
At NOMON we encourage the collaboration between agencies and universities or business schools. We think it is key to bringing students – i.e. future professionals – closer to business reality. This is the reason we consistently support initiatives that promote the presence of professionals in the classroom, conveying a more practical approach and thus complementing the theoretical knowledge that the students acquire during their academic training.
One of the commitments of our company is to reinvest our knowledge in future professionals. We believe that bringing them closer to the reality and needs of the profession substantially improves their skills.
During the last few months, we have therefore taken part in the Seminar: Role Agency – Advertiser at Blanquerna FCRI, which is one of the standard subjects of the Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations Degree.
This collaboration is in addition to our participation in Blanquerna’s Social Action Lab, at the ESDI School (Escola Superior del Disseny), at ESDAP (Escola Superior Disseny Arts Plàstiques) and at EASD Pau Gargallo.
What is the Role Agency – Advertiser Seminar at Blanquerna FCRI?
For the last 20 years, the subject matter Role Agency – Advertiser Seminar has been one of the differentiating subjects of the 4th grade of the Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations Degree, taught at the Blanquerna Faculty of Communication and International Relations.
It is organised in small groups and counts with personalised tuition. This seminar provides de students with an atypical immersion in the professional world while it also offers the opportunity for professionals to have a space for dialogue and mutual learning.
During the course, students are asked to take on a role: either that of an advertising / public relations agency or that of the advertiser’s marketing / communication department.
The students who act as advertisers then work on a briefing and share it with the agency groups assigned to them. This allows everyone to train their project planning and creativity skills by developing tasks from the point of view of different professional profiles.
Throughout the semester “the agencies” work on the creation and production of the campaigns according to the order received from “the advertisers”. On the other hand, “advertisers” modify and outline both the briefing and the counter-briefing, and assess the agency’s creative proposals, setting up presentations and meetings.
In addition, in the spirit of making students even more familiar with actual business challenges, and allow them to visualise and experience real aspects of the sector, they are asked to assume the role of actual agencies and advertisers. Our assignment this trimester has been to collaborate as a “real” agency in the seminar tutored by Professor Richard Wakefield.
Blanquerna students take on the role of NOMON DESIGN
At the beginning of the semester, we – as NOMON DESIGN – introduced ourselves to the students, allowing them to get to know us a little better. They became acquainted with our work methodology, some of our main projects, but more importantly, we shared our views on how an agency actually functions, how we approach the different types of projects and what actions need to be taken, following the students’ main preoccupations.
With our presentation and feedback, their first task was to take on our identity, reformulate our corporate presentation and create a claim for the agency. A few months later, they had the opportunity to introduce NOMON DESIGN to their colleagues and teachers at the seminary.
For the creation of the new NOMON presentation they worked around two of the agency’s basic elements: the clock and the branding. With these two elements, they came up with the claim “It’s branding time!” which is a way to position NOMON.
For their second task, the students were divided into three groups which would be asked to give a response, as NOMON, to the following three assigned briefings:
Flora: Develop a communication campaign action for the launch of a new 100% veggie product.
Soler & Palau: Develop a communication campaign action for the launch of new air-renewal devices for its distribution network.
Castañer footwear: Develop a communication campaign action for the internationalisation of the company.
This experience has been highly positive and the involvement of NOMON has been magnificent. We have been able to evaluate the work in 4 sessions. Students’ queries have been answered quickly and both Esther and Elisa were invested in the project. The final grades of the students were very high”, Richard Wakefield, CEO of Storytelling Works and professor at Blanquerna FCRI.
“Representing NOMON at our seminar has been a great experience. We learned a lot from them. They helped us build a great team that, later on, was able to defend all the briefings received from Flora, Castañer and Soler & Palau. It has been a few months of hard work, but it was worthwhile. We all have a very good memory of this semester, and it is largely thanks to our tutor, Richard Wakefield”, Ariadna Rivero, a student at the seminar.
Collaborating with Blanquerna (FCRI) since 2017
Since 2017 we have also contributed by putting in our two cents in projects for social organisations that collaborate with the programme Blanquerna University (FCRI) Specialisation Diploma in Communication and Marketing in Social Action.
On the first year, we took on the challenge of developing a graphic awareness campaign for Salut Mental Catalunya (SMC), an extremely intricate entity, due to the large number of organisations it comprises and also because of the context in which it commonly works: the well-being of people with mental health problems, along with their families and friends.
In 2018, we collaborated with the project Acció Social Escola Pia by designing a communication piece. We followed their briefing which intended to enrol their audiences to join in during the participatory day in which the organisation showcased all the projects that are part of their social action plan, and which also aimed to stimulate the collaboration and participation of other audiences. In addition, a solidary race was organised that day.
Last year, we have joined forces with the DAU Foundation, a non-profit organisation which, besides employing people with mental health issues, also offers business services to companies.
Throughout our yearly collaboration with social organisations we are given the opportunity to get involved in social projects, taking a break from our daily tasks as a commercial branding agency, to help entities that need our input and our take on what we know best and what we are passionate about: conceptualising, designing and communicating.
Training ESDi students in Design Management
Since 2015, we have been working closely with ESDI (Escola Superior del Disseny, affiliated with the Ramon Llull University) accompanying future designers. We have specifically been teaching the 3rd grade subject Projects II, in the specialty of Multidisciplinary Integration (Design Management).
We provide students with a work methodology based on real cases and also put them in contact with companies from different sectors. Our courses comprise both theory and practice, following real-life multidisciplinary projects. This allows the students to learn how to best prepare their professional profiles, learn how to understand the clients and acquire the right knowledge to go from theory to action using tools such as observation, benchmarking, storytelling or design thinking. In addition, we get them acquainted with the daily operation of an agency by working on key documents. We furthermore show them through the process of employment searching, so that they are better prepared once they finish their academic studies.
Likewise, during this course we have also collaborated with the school as tutors of the final degree projects.