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Two+Two ’23: young minds, fresh ideas

Nurturing the next generation of marketing talent.

Do you remember your first creative brief? 

More than likely, an exciting and nerve-wracking moment. Finally – the chance to set your marketing mind in motion to conjure a campaign that would win hearts, capture imaginations, and seriously deliver for a client. 

For Foxes, that excitement never goes completely, but the heady first-time experience is worth reliving now and again. Four of us (Liam, Paul, Bill and Alastair) did exactly that recently when we were invited to mentor marketing students taking part in the Two+Two competition. 

The premise is simple, but the scale quite something. 250 budding marketers compete in teams of four, tackling an identical brief, to deliver a single idea. The prizes on offer include coveted placements with marketing agencies and the chance to work on their idea with the sponsoring client. 

A prime opportunity 

For Fox Agency, it’s a chance to give a little back to students who are much like we were back in the day – full of bright ideas, looking for an opportunity to let them shine. Being an agency originating in the Northern UK, at an event on our patch, supporting students from universities across our region, how could we not lend a hand? 

Fox is big on career development. We also saw Two+Two as an opportunity to hone our coaching and mentoring skills. Always having an eye for future talent, it was a great chance to build our presence and connect with universities and other creative pros, and support us as we build our future talent programmes. 

Turning green into gold 

And so to the brief. This year it was from StockportCAN, on the topic of sustainability. Stockport is looking to go carbon neutral by 2038, and wanted ideas on campaigns to get local people to think a little bigger, and beyond recycling. 

Our team spent the day moving from group to group, sifting through ideas, guiding progress, offering feedback, honing output, and keeping the teams on course to deliver. 

It was extraordinary to see such diverse approaches. And as for the team dynamics… With each group comprising a blend of personalities and skillsets, no two were alike. It was surprising how often the quieter voices, with a little encouragement, came through with the strongest insights. 

Every possible avenue of sustainability was explored, from saving energy to swapping clothes, walking rather than driving to powerful anti-establishment events.  

The tension mounts… 

After seven hours of brainstorming and refining, six teams were finally selected to present their ideas in just four minutes each to judges and the entire gathering. 

After much deliberation, the winners were announced: the Pink Horses team, brilliantly mentored by our own Bill Lyne. Their idea was ‘More wear, less water’ – a wonderfully simple proposition that by getting people to wear clothes more when they don’t need washing, we can all save on water usage. It was a multi-channel campaign that would work across outdoor, web and social media. The lucky four will get to work up their idea with APS Group and StockportCAN.    

It was an enthralling day, and the Fox Agency team got out every bit as much as we put in. We fully expect to see some of the students we met gracing the agency scene in the coming years. We can’t wait for 2024.