I got into advertising after growing up with a Father in the creative industry. It was the only job I’d seen first hand after accompanying him in his studio as a child and since I enjoyed the vibe and was always completely transfixed by the adverts on the television, I decided to make it my career.
That’s how basic my reasons were for getting into this industry but now I am here I realise the power that comes along with it. I see the three years at university as my superhero training to be able to go out and fight crime in the real world.
We learned how to come up with creative, innovative solutions to real problems which was then teamed with the knowledge of how to market those ideas to huge audiences with zero media spend thanks to social media. This means that brands no longer have the monopoly on mass messages reaching around the world. People like you and I can have an idea, create it and have a huge impact on the world all thanks to the democratisation of marketing.
I always had a social conscience and grew up with an urgency to use my creative superpowers for good (something I will give my Mother credit for). In November 2015, I launched CRACK + CIDER which allows the public to buy useful items for London’s homeless and we distribute the items to those most in need. After running the project for 18 months alongside my day job at AMV BBDO, I have learnt a few things about why it’s been successful. I hope they inspire you to do something incredible because after our superhero training, we truly are capable of it.
Tip 1: Passion
When launching your own social impact project we firmly believe your passion for solving the problem will strongly equate to your tenacity: an essential trait to ensure success. As with creating anything, there are going to be hurdles on your journey: funding, time constraints, trolls, the list is endless. Our personal connection to the effects of homelessness helped us overcome each and every hurdle we encountered.
Tip 2: Simplicity
It’s easy to get excited about how big a project can get. To feel as though you have a global solution and a roll-out plan to execute by the end of the month. We have found that, in-fact, the best way to have the most impact is to start small. Where complexity is paralysing, simplicity is catalysing. Just get that ball rolling and the momentum will keep you going.
Tip 3: People
It’s not just a cheesy Oscar speech – it’s the people around you who will help you get there. Although 99% of the people you tell might think you’re mad, the 1% who don’t will likely be instrumental in making your vision come to life. We certainly couldn’t have launched, let alone got to where we are today, without photographers, producers, PR professionals, designers, sponsorship managers, event organisers (the list really is endless) The good news is that if you follow rule 1, finding that 1% should be easy. Passion is magnetic.
Tip 4: Bravery
The biggest shortcut to success is bravery. Our name was a brave decision but it was ultimately what lead to people talking about us which lead to us having a greater impact.
Tip 5: DIY
A side project is a journey of personal growth (mainly thanks to YouTube tutorials). In our day jobs we’re put in boxes labeled with a certain skill-set which doesn’t make you feel particularly empowered. With a side project you do EVERYTHING which is a training course money can’t buy.
Tip 6: PR! PR! PR!
People say that if an idea is good enough people will talk about it. This is not true. We PR’d the crap out of our idea until we accidentally ended up on prime time BBC News. Since sharing that our side project has gained $100K in public donations with an average spend of £29, people have approached us feeling inspired that our simple use of e-commerce has made people more generous. Using our bold and perhaps provocative project as a case study it showed our audience that becoming your own client is empowering, catalysing and, most importantly, it works.
Charley Cramer and Scarlett Montanaro who set up Crack + Cider