Completing the IPA Foundation Certificate

After months spent tirelessly revising in the evenings, reading cue cards to each other at lunch and surviving on a diet of caffeine/sugar (which hadn’t yet worn off in the photo above), last February, Dom, Jess and Will finally took their IPA Foundation Certificate exam.

The course covered topics such as strategic planning, agency structure, relationships with clients and behavioural economics. For anyone beginning a career in advertising, you could say that this is the best foundation to build your professional skills on. 

Looking back at their time spent studying for the qualification, here are the top 3 most important things they learnt:

  1. Evaluation is the top dog. The IPA did a study which revealed that a staggering 84% of clients believe that evaluation was as important as good creative work.
  2. The value of planning and thinking about a problem before finding solutions. In the course material, the IPA quoted Einstein, who said that if he had an hour to save the world, then he would spend 55 minutes defining the problem. In marketing, this stance can often lead to great creative insight.

    When Foster’s spent some time soaking up pub atmosphere, they realised that a lot of drinkers spent their time discussing day-to-day problems, with humour playing a big part in the support friends offered each other. This led to the ‘good call’ campaign, which saw Brad and Dan offering cheeky advice to British men. It’s estimated that for every £1 spent on the campaign, £32 of revenue was generated.
  3. The benefits of finding a ‘Single Minded Proposition’ or unique selling point. This could be finding a metaphor for the brand, e.g. Pot Noodle – Slag of all snacks or using facts about the brand which could inform the campaign, for example did you know that Ribena is made from 90% of Britain’s blackberries?

Dom, Jess and Will have emerged from the IPA course with a much broader appreciation of the industry, ideas for improving their work and on the road to overcoming caffeine/sugar addiction.