UEL launches student-led advertising agency Creative Wave
Creative Wave will provide advertising and communications services pro bono to groups that otherwise could not afford them
East London charities and small businesses can now take advantage of some of the freshest young advertising minds in town.
The University of East London (UEL) has launched Creative Wave, a student-led creative agency which will offer advertising and communications services pro bono to local groups which otherwise would not be able to afford them.
Allan Taylor, a lecturer on UEL’s BA (Hons) Advertising course, said, “We want to foster longer-lasting links in the Docklands area so that the community trusts UEL and UEL students, and the students feel like they are contributing and they are citizens of this area.”
Mr Taylor said conversations with local not-for-profit organisations convinced him they were experiencing a skill gap in areas such as advertising, marketing and promoting. Creative Wave is a unique way to offer them help, he said.
In return, UEL students will have the opportunity to gain real-world experience and bolster their portfolios with projects that have a measurable impact.
Mr Taylor said, “What I hope happens is that the students take that sense of civic engagement which is so important to us at UEL and really make it their own and become active citizens of the east London area.”
Creative Wave will be overseen by Mr Taylor and Dr Eleni Kasapi, a senior lecturer on UEL’s advertising degree course. Both are seasoned professionals with decades of combined experience in the field.
Creative Wave builds on ongoing work which UEL’s advertising programme already does with local groups. In the past year students have collaborated with the Royal Docklands Learning and Activity Centre.
The start-up costs of establishing a more formal agency are being paid for with a grant from UEL’s Civic Engagement Institute.
Ben Kippen, a first-year advertising student at UEL who designed the Creative Wave logo, said he was drawn to the project by both the prospect of gaining valuable design experience and a desire to “help the little guy”.
Ben said, “I’m from a small town. I know what businesses struggle with. To be able to come to a big city and home in on the little guy, it feels nice.”
Business owner Farooq Mohammed said he wanted to learn more about how Creative Wave could work with his company, Extended Services and Projects, which helps businesses compete for government contracts. Mr Mohammed said he was especially interested in areas such as social media, marketing, video and the general online experience.
He said, “We’re open to using this new agency and testing it. I’m a great believer in new ideas and innovation, and there’s no better place than from university students.
“They will help us see ourselves, our brand, what we do, in completely different ways than how we see it. We need some external fresh, innovative ideas, and that’s what I think we’ll get here.”
Creative Wave is set to become part of the advertising course curriculum. Eventually, the goal is for the agency to expand to include UEL students on other courses and to provide services throughout the University community and across London.
Mr Taylor said, “People usually see advertising as a big, bad thing and what I wanted to illustrate to the students was that they can use their skills to do something good for the community.”
For more information, visit the Creative Wave website.