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B-Hive 2015: investing in the talent of tomorrow

Posted about 9 years ago by Rob Markwell

1 brief, 3 categories, 18 judges and 28 contestants: B-Hive 2015 was a creative hive of activity for two bzzzy days!  

For those of you that are currently unaware of the exciting B-Hive scheme, the project was founded in 2009 as a platform for students to get their foot in the door of the marketing and creative industries by winning paid work placements; it also aimed to bring together leading agencies and brands within the region. Students submit their creative responses to the brief; we review all of the entries and shortlist the best for in each category and invite them to present to a Dragons-den style panel of judges.

The B-Hive competition rewards the very best thinkers, it’s not an opportunity to giveaway work placements; the awards are based entirely on merit and the judges have high expectations. There are usually five categories (Advertising, Digital, Graphic Design, Marketing and PR), however this year we made the difficult decision to eliminate the PR and Marketing categories. The students fell into the unfortunate trap of submitting textbook entries containing reams of brilliant research, which included finely detailed descriptions of the channels of engagement to generate brand awareness but did not present the core creative idea that the judges are looking for.

We are aware that it’s an interesting and often difficult process balancing the depth of academic theory with the creative solutions that the commercial market seeks. B-Hive is committed to developing future creative talent and will work closely with Universities moving forwards in order to bridge this gap. We will endeavour to accurately define what it is that the judges hope to see and actively encourage the participation of Marketing and PR schools next year.

Each year we set an entirely fictitious brief – this is created to inspire and challenge our entrants and this year’s was certainly no exception. The students were tasked to launch a luxury hotel brand by the name of “Odyssey”. We saw some truly exceptional presentations across the course of the 2 days and the judges commented that the standard was higher than ever!

Our winning contestants received a whopping 72 weeks placement in total, awarded across the 3 categories (Advertising, Digital and Graphic Design). An extremely competitive category, Advertising received a record number of entries, which made the shortlisting job for us, really tough! The digital category proved to be more creatively led this year, which was an interesting shift from last years where entries were slightly biased to digital strategy over digital design. As always Graphic Design was hotly contested – all in all, the judges were really impressed with the confidence and thoroughness with which all of the presentations were delivered.

Overall category winners:

-       Advertising: Laura Miele (BCU) won a total of 7 weeks, at McCann, WAA, Chapter and Connect

-       Digital: Steven Roberts (Cov Uni) won 6 weeks at Freestyle and LHM

-       Graphic Design: Douglas Abelino (BCU) won 6 weeks split between GRIN, Vital and Alive

We’d like to thank each and every one of our entrants and congratulate our winners – you all did a fantastic job! We’d also like to thank to the local Universities for their on-going support of the B-Hive initiative: Aston University, Birmingham City University, Coventry University, DeMontford University, Staffordshire University, University of Birmingham and Warwick University.

An enormous thank you to our judges for sparing their highly valuable time to take part and also to offer paid placements at their prestigious agencies, helping the next generation of creatives to begin their careers.

If you’re a student, lecturer or business owner and you’d like to get involved with B-Hive, please drop us a line at

– and perhaps we’ll see you next year for B-Hive 2016!