Doing our bit to nurture tomorrow’s talent

One day. 160+ advertising and marketing students. 50+ ad industry mentors. Six judges.

It has to be Two+Two.


Two+Two is a day-long collaboration event for advertising and marketing students built around a competitive pitch process.

The event is the brain-child of Julie Ollerton, MD of Creative Resource – co-ordinating a panel of judges chaired by Monica Tailor, Head of Digital, McCann Manchester. But, for us, more importantly it also included our very own Head of Creative, Rob Gale.

This year, the brief was set by Millie’s Trust, a North West charity which provides free or low-cost paediatric first aid training.

Creative Lead, Alex Moran and Copywriter David Billcliffe from Ashfield Digital & Creative’s Concept Team represented the agency as mentors – helping to keep all the students focused and passing on their experiences of working on real-world pitches.

Two + Two is unique – because its format is different to the usual, purely creative, shoot outs. Each team of four students was a more representative mix from marketing and business courses as well as creative talent.  So there were, in effect, 40 mini agencies – all with a balanced blend of skills and knowledge. (And this meant, from an agency perspective, we could talent-spot a wider range of candidates.)

Only winners. No losers


It was a long, full-on day for us mentors (never mind the frazzled students,) but we all felt it was a worthwhile and enjoyable experience.

And the winning team (which was one of those mentored by our Copywriter, David) were given the chance to see their pitch-winning work brought to life with Millie’s Trust.

We’re also still talking to some of the students we met, with the potential for placements within our Concept Team on the cards.

This is important; as we believe getting new talent into the specialist world of healthcare comms as soon as possible makes a huge difference. It’s so much easier for the students to grow and learn with science alongside them – rather than cutting their teeth on ads for half price fish fingers and then having to start from scratch all over again.

In fact, that’s really what Two + Two is all about. Real-world experience. Which is why we were all more than happy to donate our time. And, of course, Millie’s Trust does amazing, important work too – so anything which helps them has got to be time well-spent. (Incidentally, if this article has spurred you on to do your bit and donate to help this life-saving charity, you can find out more here)

The Two+Two initiative will be back in 2021, get more background on the event and show your support here