In late 2018, leading local car dealership Hills Ford and Worcester-based marketing specialists Market Link Creative Marketing approached RGS Worcester with a business learning opportunity for students aged 16+ interested in following Media, Marketing, Film, Photography or other relevant creative subjects to collaborate in developing online content for the all-new Focus ST-Line car being launched in early 2019. It was one of several initiatives Hills Ford was considering to celebrate its 10th Anniversary year in business, having launched in Worcestershire in 2009.
A fun project, it also offered the young people taking part the chance to be involved in a real life marketing scenario with work that would actually be used by the car dealership in the local launch of the new car. As well as giving the young people an insight into modern marketing practice, it would also serve as a point of difference, through the experience gained when moving on into further education or employment. Not many young people would have working on a new car marketing launch – with evidence of the results – on their CVs.
This was far more than an educational opportunity for those taking part. The finished creative work would actually be used by Hills Ford in its local marketing activity to launch the new Focus ST-Line through its Kidderminster branch. Richard Hill is joint Managing Director of Hills Ford: “This was a really interesting exercise for us, being able to see some new ideas from today’s ‘young marketeers of the future’ in action,” he says. “A big thank you from us to Mr Pitt, Headmaster at RGS, Sofia Nicholls, Head of Careers and Enrichment and Mr Morgan, Drama teacher at RGS for their support and input to the project.”
Stuart Murray is Market Link Creative Marketing’s Managing Director: “We’d like to thank the students who took part in the Focus Challenge. Their involvement, dedication and enthusiasm was a joy to witness every week of the six weeks we were involved in driving this project from the initial briefing through to the unveiling of three excellent treatments of the launch through video at the recent Careers and Higher Education EXPO held at RGS in April. It was a pleasure to be involved and the outcomes were, for the timeframe involved and the tools available to them, quite exceptional. It was a really worthwhile project for everyone involved.”
Mrs Sofia Nicholls, Head of Careers and Enrichment was enthralled by the project and what it has given to the students in the way of practical experience: “Very often we are inevitably dealing with created scenarios when our young people are participating in projects, so to be involved in a real life scenario, with a very real new car to launch and the opportunity for the work delivered to be used in the real world by the car dealership we’re working with, offered our students a very different level of involvement. It’s been a pressurised experience – just an hour a week, for just six weeks to think through the treatment they proposed, to film and edit the end product. However, the three groups that participated all came up with exciting and very professional treatments that have impressed everyone who has seen the finished videos. Knowing that the work you produce will feature on social media – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – as part of the launch activities for Hills Ford, makes it a very special project with the opportunity for family, friends and the wider public to see the quality of the work you have been involved in. And of course, it gives these young people something tangible to show universities or potential employers at interviews – something that will be pretty rare and help them stand out from their peers.”
Such has been the success of the project that a follow up next year is being considered already. The videos made by the three teams from RGS will begin to be seen on social media this month and next month. Thank you to Hills Ford and Market Link Creative Marketing for giving RGS Sixth Form students this unique experience.