Scouting, real fun outside of the digital world!

Have you seen the SCOUTS SA billboard? If not … check out the image to the right or take a drive past the PWC bike park in Sandton. “Learn by Doing” is the fabulous new awareness campaign being promoted throughout Gauteng by SCOUTS South Africa in partnership with DDB SA.

The team behind the campaign comprises of DDB’s Head of Strategy Gerhard Sagat, Creative director Liam Wielopolski and creative team Katherine Glover and Ryan Allman. We chatted to Katherine and Ryan about the why’s and how’s of the campaign and found two young professionals with Scouting spirits and giving hearts.

Katherine Glover. Image by DDB SA

As busy advertising professionals, what motivated you to take this on and to approach your colleagues to get the billboard built? “As an advertising creative, we love ideas, and we love to see them brought to life, and do well for our clients’ business. This was very much a team effort, all parties – the agency, the Scouts, the outdoor company and the production company – came together to create a piece of work that we all really believe in.” explains Katherine. “Also, Scouting has a place in the memory of many of those involved. Everyone really wanted to make sure that we gave back”, Ryan adds. Ryan was a member of the Scouting Movement himself as a child.

Ryan Allman. Image by DDB SA

The concept of the campaign is “Learn by Doing” which has been the Scouting methodology for decades. Why this concept for the campaign? “When coming up with ideas, it’s always good to base them off insights, learn by doing is a really strong insight. Children today, don’t really do much. They tend to live in a digital world, which although it can teach you a lot, there is a lot they miss out on. We believe that Learn by Doing is something that children need to go back to, to make them better rounded individuals later on in life, and what better way to do so, than by joining the scouts!”

When asked how relevant this is our modern society, Katherine replied: “It’s very relevant. Every generation refers to “when I was a kid we would….”, as they tut about how children act today. We are no different, yet I think if we compare the advancements between when our parents were young, to that of when we were young, to when our children are young, the changes are tenfold. It’s not just about playing outside anymore. It’s about the way we socialize, how we learn practical skills, how we interact with people and so much more. I think there is a lot the youth of today – as my granny would say – are missing out on.”

The SCOUTS SA billboard is placed in a very prominent spot in PWC bike park. Why this venue? “We wanted a spot that would get attention, and would be seen. We identified the corner of Sloane and Main as such and then approached the PWC bike part. Being an outdoor adventure organisation, they were very keen to get involved and support the Scouts, therefore happy to let us use the space. As this is a permanent structure, they also get use of the billboard going forward.”

Did this project make you reflect on skills you learnt while doing and if so which ones? Katherine smiles “Definitely! Every time you do a project like this, you can never really predict the final outcome. I think we were learning throughout the process, how we could do better and what really worked. I also learned what a frapping mallet is, and what a square lashing looks like!” she quips.

When asked if she considers herself an outdoor adventurer Katherine laughs and says “Not at all! However my husband is. We are expecting our first child in June, and after going through this process with the Scouts we are both very keen that he should be part of the Scouts from a young age, as we want him to learn the values and enjoy the experiences that they have to offer, after seeing how much good it has done to the scouts I interacted with.”

DDB SA often gives back to organizations in support of communities. By being on site it was clear to all that you have a heart for helping others. What drives you to be of service to others? “We think it’s important to use your skills wherever possible to make a difference. In advertising, where we spend out days trying to convince people to buy things they may or may not need. It’s nice to use our skills to convince people to do something worthwhile for themselves, their children and essentially the future.”

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