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Opinion and Insight

How An Aspiring Creative Team Devised ‘Black Cab Book Crits’

lbbonline.com, 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Shannon Cripps and Bethany Wood explain how they managed to get their work in front of some of London’s top creatives

How An Aspiring Creative Team Devised ‘Black Cab Book Crits’

We’re Shan and Beth, a creative team trying to make our mark on adland. We’ve done our fair share of trips to London for book crits, visiting multiple agencies and seeing creatives. From coming down to London we have learnt that all creatives are genuinely lovely people and everyone wants to help, but everyone is also extremely busy. 

On our first trip down to London we had six book crits arranged and every single one of them changed time or day from when they were originally meant to be. This was a reflection on what working within the industry is like. Last minute meetings, shoots and unscheduled briefings are all unavoidable events that crop up with little notice in creatives already busy schedules. 

“Most of the ECDs and CDs love giving book crits and lack of time is a major issue. We haven’t done one for years now,” says Ana Balarin, ECD at Mother. We wanted to tackle this problem like a brief. 

How can we get a book crit with the busiest creatives? One thing all creatives have to do is travel to and from work. Most commonly, this involves a claustrophobic journey on the tube. So we decided to offer ECDs, CDs and placement teams free journeys to and from work in a classic London black cab, because who would turn that down? 

Shan and Beth with Ana and Hermeti Balarin

So far we have taken creatives such as Hermeti and Ana Balarin from Mother and Chris Bovill, head of The Firepit at Warner Music, for rides in the black cab. As well as teams such as Elliott and Laura from Drum and Robert Greaves from Grey. 

The ride comes with the small fee of giving us a book crit on the way in the back of the cab. After taking the creatives to work, we began work too. To prove that we could take criticism and act on it quickly, we improved our book based on their feedback and came up with new ideas to pitch to the creatives on their way home. 

Mid-critique with Chris Bovill

The obvious problem with the idea is that black cabs in London are insanely expensive, which is why most people opt for the tube instead. How can two students afford to pay for this? They must be mad! Well we tried our luck and pitched the idea to the head of marketing at Get Taxi (who runs Gett, the app), who loved the idea and kindly offered to sponsor us. We managed to wrangle ourselves £300 worth of cab rides to help fund the project and they even let us use their offices to work in. 

So, how do you get a book crit with the busiest creatives in the industry? Give them a ride to work in a black cab. 


Shannon Cripps and Bethany Wood are a creative team.
Twitter: @shannonandbeth 


The pair with Drum's Laura Clark and Elliott Starr

Shan and Beth with Grey's Robert Greaves
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