Tours, Tea, and Time to Go Home: Jimmy takes on London Week 4


For the final week of my study abroad trip, we had some more tours! I also unfortunately got sick again but I was able to have fun and make the most of my last week. 

Monday, July 16 – We toured UNLTD Inc., a creative venture agency that wanted to do something different. They advised brands, invested in startup companies, as well as launched their own products. Dave Buonaguidi, the founder of UNLTD, was very humorous and eccentric person who was very experienced in advertising. He had started another agency before and left his own company to begin UNLTD. The conference room we were in was booked for a video shoot so we relocated to the rooftop! Never would I have imagined having a presentation/tour on a roof before, but anything is possible in London! It was a beautiful day and there was an amazing view of the city.

Tuesday, July 17 – Today, we toured Virgin. Virgin has over 700,000 employees across 5 continents. Their goal is to disrupt mundane industry sectors and focus on the customer. They want to be the world’s most irresistible brand by building and investing in companies that can change business for good. It all started when founder Richard Branson opened Virgin Records. He was then inspired to start Virgin Atlantic airlines because his flight was cancelled last minute and could not get any bookings. Other Virgin services include Virgin Trains, Virgin Mobile, and the most recent venture of Virgin Galactic, focusing on tourism in outer space. They focus on 5 industry sectors: Travel & Leisure, Telecom & Media, Music & Entertainment, Financial Services, and Health & Wellness. We had an opportunity to work in teams to create a pitch on a new service for our given sector. My team had Financial Services and we came up with a casual bank/cafe catered toward college students/young adults new to banking. It was an amazing experience hearing everyone’s different ideas and getting feedback on our pitches.

Wednesday, July 18 – We visited Paddington Station where they filmed Paddington 1 and 2 as well as passed by the Paddington Statue on our way to our company tour. We visited adam&eveDDB which was the agency I had to do a company pitch to my class before we went. It was my new favorite agency as they produced creative campaigns for important social topics as well as being very successful for being such a new agency, just now celebrating their 10 year anniversary. They created the Skittles, “Give the Rainbow” campaign where Skittles gave up their rainbow in honor of Pride and had all white candy. Their Social Media, Strategy Planner, and Creative Directors all presented to us and explained the difference between each aspect. I was so inspired by each presentation as well as the examples of campaigns they showed us. They have offices in London and New York and I would love to work with them one day!

Thursday, July 19 – Today, we visited an agency called FCB Inferno and had a presentation from Chris Baker from their Strategy team. He explained to us the anatomy of a powerful strategy which was a clear objective, killer insight, lateral thinking, highly calculated risk, and a creative springboard. He then explained insight and the seven sources of it: consumer, communication, category, culture, channels, conversations, company, and client. He showed us some campaigns such as Change Please Coffee, training homeless people to be baristas using the insight that people will easily spend money for daily coffee but won’t donate for homeless people, as well as an ad for Cravendale Milk, that the milk was so good, the cows want it back.

Friday, July 20 – On our final day before we had to fly out, we had a reception with tea, sandwiches, and cake. It was a great time reflecting on how fast the 4 weeks went by and everything we did in that timespan. After having tea and hearing each professor award certificates for the most studious student and for the student who embraced London culture the best, we took some pictures in the garden, We all looked so good in our best attire. Later that night, I started and finished packing. It felt so surreal that I would be leaving soon.

Saturday, July 21 – My flight was in the afternoon but I woke up early for our one hour ride to the airport and to get through security. When I boarded the plane, I watched so many movies such as The Greatest Showman, Tangled, Game Night, and Paddington 2, which made me tear up as I reminisced and recognized the different parts of London. I missed London already!

Overall, the study abroad trip was an amazing experience which showed me a different global perspective when it came to advertising, environmental and political issues, as well as culture. I would love to visit London again and do the things I didn’t get a chance to when I was sick such as Kew Gardens and the London Zoo.