Knowledge Express 2016

Last week, OMD UK’s graduate training programme, Knowledge Express, culminated in five groups fighting it out to win Pitch Week. The winning team tell the tale of their victory.

There are only a few exceptions to the old saying “It’s not the winning but the taking part that counts”; the Oscars, any game of FIFA, and OMD UK’s Knowledge Express Pitch Week. Each year a group of hopefuls put their bodies and fledgling careers on the line in a week of painstaking research and gruelling brainstorms, culminating in a 20-minute presentation in front of OMD’s board. Many have tried, few have succeeded. We are here to tell our story…

On 8th October 2016, 35 recent graduates came together to embark on a three-month crash course in every aspect of the media world – from lectures on finance, strategy and out-of-home, to immersion days on creativity and insights. Pitch Week represents the summit of all of this and required us to call on all of the skills and knowledge we had absorbed during the course.

After being split into five randomly-selected groups on the preceding Friday, we were presented with the brief and given until Monday to mull it over. What followed was two days of deep-diving into the science fiction universe and questioning the notion of reality (so a fairly standard weekend to be honest).

Our team’s approach involved sticking to the OMD FLOW framework religiously, with Joe Easter (David Cameron’s stunt double) reigning us in whenever we jumped the gun and Michael Jimenez critiquing every idea harder than Simon Cowell on the first series of Pop Idol. The insight discovery phase took longer than anticipated but paid dividends down the line when we came to forming our big idea.

Countless energisers and brainstorms had our creative juices sizzling, but a tough four days took its toll on each and every member; in particular Jamie Kenyon who required surgery on his shoulder after some over-zealous spider mapping compounded a pre-existing injury.

Rumours that Arianna Recupero and Emma Myers stayed up the entire night on Thursday formatting our Powerpoint are yet to be dispelled.

After a morning of back to back pitches from all teams, the entire agency gathered in reception to hear the outcome. The tension was palpable, clinging to the air like the smog blanket in Mexico City. Dan Clays peeled back the envelope, “team 5” he announced. Michael, heavily inebriated after just one beer at lunch, was unsure whether this was his team. Joe let out a triumphant yell, laying Michael’s tired and weary mind at ease; we had won.

Or had we? For all we know, reality is just a point of view…

By Joseph Easter, Michael Jimenez, Jamie Kenyon, Louis Monckton, Emma Myers, Emma Naef and Arianna Recupero.


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