A Sneak Preview of 'Coronation Generation' Exhibition at McCann London
Funded by DCMS, The challenge reached students all over the UK with the winning work displayed on billboards donated by Clear Channel
28 November 2023
McCann London with the Ideas Foundation is hosting an exhibition of posters produced to celebrate themes of community, diversity, sustainability, and youth as part of the King’s Coronation celebration. The exhibition will be on display in the office’s atrium from January 8th but a selected audience of young people, creatives, and influencers were invited to get a sneak preview of the work last week. This was the first public exhibition of the work in London, which has previously been displayed in Belfast, with further exhibitions planned for Manchester.
Art directors and copywriters from advertising agency McCann, including IF alumni Ben Conway helped students create huge posters, fit for a King. The winning design, ‘Kingdom United’ was created in a workshop hosted in the McCann London offices. Sir John Hegarty commented "I wish I had thought of that" when he was judging the work. Simeon Quarrie, another judge noted – “It is the beauty of the work but also, it’s simplicity and cleverness of the uplifting messaging that made it stand out.” Ben Conway, who was involved in coining the phrase coronation generation said, "This sort of creative campaigns would take agencies months to create", but the student’s energy and talent working alongside experts such as Clive Booth, Jag Singh, and Hannah Wood, complimented with state of the art professional cameras which were generously loaned by Canon, was exceptional.
The posters have already been displayed nationwide on digital outdoor advertising sites thanks to Clear Channel. Event information can be found at the Ideas Foundation website, where teachers can also find downloadable resources for use in their own classrooms.
Robin Wight, Founder, Ideas Foundation told Creative Salon, "It was an incredible honour to be invited by DCMS (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport of the United Kingdom), to get our young people to come up with ideas to celebrate the coronation. One of our IF alumni, Ben Conway, came up with the brief that we shared with schools and then what made it magical was Clear Channel giving us free posters to display the winning work."
Heather MacRae, CEO of the Ideas Foundation said, "We wanted children and young people to be involved in Coronation celebrations. By sharing their reflections on specific themes, students had an opportunity to develop their skills on a live brief showcasing their work to a nationwide audience.”
Peter Thomas, Former Chair of NATE said, "As with previous projects, the Ideas Foundation sets an impressive standard in motivating young people as communicators, using what they have gained from their classrooms and giving them a sense of agency in relation to major aspects of the world beyond the classroom."
Martin Corke, UK CMO and Europe Marketing Lead at Clear Channel said, “We’re delighted to partner with the Ideas Foundation again to publicly mark this very special occasion in local communities nationwide. Our Out of Home screens will be the perfect canvas to showcase the creative talent of children and young people from across the UK during the Coronation weekend.”
Emma Cufflin, Senior Talent Partner, McCann London said, “Inspirational! A great opportunity to provide the students with their first step into the creative industry and to learn from such trailblazing mentors. It was wonderful to see their reactions to their work being displayed - brilliant future talent to watch out for!”
Ted Smith, Chairman, Ideas Foundation said, "This has been a fantastic celebration of the creativity and imagination of the young people that we have worked with. Many have grown in confidence and set themselves higher aspirations as a consequence of their experience”
Divine Agumba, Student, The Amos Bursary Trust said, "Being part of the Ideas Foundation's Coronation Generation photography challenge has been a transformative journey, igniting my creativity and revealing the power of visual storytelling. Winning with my group was a proud moment, and seeing our work displayed in Belfast and London was surreal. As we anticipate the upcoming exhibition at McCann, the experience reinforces that through photography, we not only freeze moments but connect communities, making our narratives timeless and impactful."