School is in session


Last week we played host to a sixth grade class from The Roeper School, a local school for gifted children that my son attends. Founded in 1941 by German immigrants, George and Annemarie Roeper, after they fled the Nazi regime, the school has gone on to produce some notable alumni – including The Simpsons screenwriter and producer Al Jean and Olympic gold medal ice skater, Charlie White.

Collaboration is key

Toward the end of every academic year, the sixth graders embark on an activity week, which this year focused on the concept of collaboration. So when the school informed parents that the class would be attending Google’s Detroit HQ – which, conveniently, is right next to our office on Willits Street – it seemed like the perfect opportunity to have them pop by and see what it’s like to work at a creative agency.

The aim of the visit was to show the students how creative companies work in collaborative environments and how newer, open-plan working spaces are very different to what they might have imagined. The school also wanted to prompt questions about why companies use these spaces and what benefits they can bring.

Inspiring the next generation

With 50 students descending on us, we split the class in two and enlisted Lawrence and Simon to put on some interactive presentations.

Kids love brands; they wear them, eat them, aspire to have them – and beg their parents to buy them! So Lawrence explained how brands are built and touched on concepts like brand value and reputation.

We also wanted to provide a snapshot of the various creative processes involved in forming brand collateral and campaigns. And what better way to show that than through playful animation? Children watch films and television every day, but they don’t tend to consider what goes into producing the content – like the script writing, the storyboarding, the animation and the production. So Simon demonstrated this with the help of our favorite feathered friend, the Lonely Dodo.

Just as the trip was valuable for the students, giving them an insight into working life beyond the school walls, it meant a lot to us to play a small part in inspiring the next generation. If we helped one student to think about their future differently, then it was a worthwhile activity. And one day, perhaps a Roeper student will walk back through the door as a Frameworker.


  • Branding
  • Culture
  • Education