New creative talent sought by Irish advertising industry

By: July 3, 2015
ICAD Upstarts Elaine McDevitt, ICAD's managing director with Jake Walshe, ICAD President

‘Advertise or rebrand a Pet Rock* or a similar useless item of your choosing’. That’s the entry brief for this year’s Upstarts programme by the Institute of Creative Advertising and Design (ICAD).

Now in its 10th year, Upstarts gives new talent the chance to work with companies in Irish advertising and design. To date, 168 people have taken part in the programme with many eventually making a name for themselves in advertising and design.

Each year up to 24 of the applicants – a maximum of 12 each on the advertising and design strands – are chosen to work with the top advertising agencies and design studios over a period of six weeks, with each assigned a mentor.

A different brief is assigned each week to give participants the chance to develop their portfolio while working alongside potential future peers. This year the programme will end with an exhibition of participants’ work as part of Design Week 2015.

“This industry is a particularly good one for nurturing young talent,” says Elaine McDevitt, ICAD’s managing director. “I’d really encourage anyone starting out in the industry to apply – whether a final year student, a recent graduate or someone just cutting their teeth.”

To be considered for Upstarts, applicants need to answer a specific brief and submit it to ICAD together with a €20 application fee and an existing portfolio and / or personal website. The deadline for applications is Tuesday 14th July and full details can be found on the Upstarts section of the ICAD website.

*The Pet Rock was the brainchild of advertising executive Gary Dahl. Dahl had the idea for the perfect “pet” – a rock. A rock would not need to be fed, walked, bathed, or groomed; and would not die, become sick, or be disobedient. The perfect, albeit useless pet. Dahl marketed ordinary rocks as if they were live pets and sold 1.5 million units during a 6-month period, making him a millionaire.