Today started with our last lecture from LSE faculty. As a strong finish to our lecture series at LSE, this morning we heard from Dr. Nick Anstead, Lecturer and Program Director of LSE’s MSc in Politics and Communication. He discussed modern changes and the emergence of technology in political communications. While I normally wouldn’t consider myself a politics nut, I was really drawn in to Dr. Anstead’s discussion about the internet’s role in re-shaping how elections are run in all parts of the world. I had never even thought about how campaigns ran before e-mail and internet polling, or how much those “mundane internet tools” (as Dr. Anstead called them) could impact a democratic election.
After the lecture, we were off to lunch at Byron, a restaurant bearing the slogan “Proper Hamburgers.” While hamburgers are by no means British cuisine, it was cool to see London’s take on an American specialty. I was also really excited we were going to a burger joint since I hadn’t eaten a real hamburger in about seven years (I recently ended a very long stint as a vegetarian).
Upon properly devouring my burger, we left Byron for Universal Pictures. As someone aspiring to work in the film industry, it was eye-opening to learn about the marketing and promotions process that films go through from pre-production to theatrical release. By observing a number of case studies and promotional materials (the details of which are confidential…sorry!), our whole group learned about different aspects of film marketing, such as publicity, creative advertising, and research.
Once Universal’s presentation was finished, Ogilvy & Mather was up next on our itinerary. We took the tube (that’s London’s subway/metro) to Canary Wharf, a jaunt outside of the areas of London we’d previously seen. There we heard from Ogilvy’s many individuals in different departments, including Cheryl Giovannoni, CEO; Gerry Human, Chief Creative Officer; Gareth Ellis in the strategy department; Thea Slevin in production; and Kate Waugh in account management. We were able to learn the behind-the-scenes aspects of advertising and hear firsthand experiences from professionals within the creative industry. We also saw a number of Ogilvy’s award-winning spots and found out how changing technologies and media have affected advertising.
As a great end to our day, Working Title Films was able to provide our group with tickets to Billy Elliot, the award-winning West End musical. I’m a huge musical theater fan, so I couldn’t have been more excited for this last-minute addition to our agenda. Billy Elliot was completely fantastic, and the dancing was phenomenal. I couldn’t believe that a pre-teen (the boy playing the title role of Billy) could be such a skilled dancer, as well as a great singer and actor. When I was his age, I was in the ensemble of Seussical…if only I’d taken dance lessons.
Aimee Hechler is a Junior majoring in Radio/TV/Film. She is one of 20 student participants in the SoC’s Global Media & Communication Seminar (GMCS).