A super simple concept to highlight the lack of graduate jobs

A super simple concept to highlight the lack of graduate jobs

The majority of graduates struggle to find a job in the field they studied for at university.

In fact around 48% of UK graduates end up in job roles that do not require a degree. This frightening fact prompted Joe + Cat to mock up some ominous black and white statement adverts for an OOH campaign we’ll probably never see in real life.

“The inspiration behind it was that since leaving university we have had a long journey trying to get in the ad industry with no breaks,” Joe + Cat told Creative Moment. “Before Joe and I partnered, we were with other partners straight out of university and I remember going for my first crit the day after submission which was in May. Throughout that summer I would have one to two crits a week and plenty of build-ups to lead to disappointment.

“Me and Joe partnered in September and it’s been similar since. There were times we felt like we were the only people going through this struggle, but after talking to numerous people we found so many were in the same situation, which made us realise it’s something so common but rarely discussed among those going through it. It’s definitely something that graduates need more support with as people often leave university with no sense of direction.”

Motivated by catharsis, the pair highlighted gov.uk’s helpful careers advice on its website, with accompanying slogans including “My parents are so proud that I got First Class Honours and still live at home” and “I studied so hard to pay my bills”.

Our take

In 1963 Albert Einstein said “everything in life should be as simple as possible, but no simpler”: a deceptively complex maxim that all great campaigns adhere to.

Canadian communication theorist Marshall McLuhan would, just a year later, opine that ‘the medium is the message’, influencing the advertising and PR mediums forever.

Apple is arguably the pinnacle of Einstein’s philosophy. Anyone who remembers MP3 players before the iPod (yes, those of us who lucked into the pre-recessionary job boom) will recall the cumbersome, inelegant button design, and how using the device for the first time was a ‘Eureka’ moment.

Apple’s iPod expresses the ‘medium’ of music in its purest form, and it was a bit of a winner, in hindsight.

We’ve drawn attention to a fair few ‘less is more’ campaigns lately: the V&A’s brightly pleasing poster series, for example, and Dior’s literally minimalist figurines.

Einstein’s hot take however, doesn’t necessarily infer that maximalism is ineffective. 

Fortnite’s busy and knowingly disorientating immersive Alzheimer’s campaign is testament to this. Indeed, if it were any simpler, it would’ve arguably been less effective.

Similarly, some experiential ‘creative’ efforts fall absurdly on the ‘too simple’ side of things: look no further than Willy’s Chocolate Experience infamously baron misstep. 

Joe + Cat got the right idea with their concept, however, by realising that - while the medium is important - sometimes allowing the message to speak for itself is what counts.

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