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A Golden Opportunity: Fearless Girl in Bristol

Published on Monday, 11th June 2018, contributed by McCann

When advertising graduate Jade Delaney seized her ‘golden opportunity’ by turning up in a somewhat unusual manner on the doorstep of McCann Bristol in an effort to get a job, the agency found itself at the centre of global media attention.

Here, Ellie James, PR and social account manager at McCann Bristol, shares the behind-the-scenes story.

It had been a Wednesday morning very much like any other, until at around midday I looked up from my computer screen to see everyone staring out of the window and pointing. Stood outside was a woman painted from head to toe in gold, standing her ground firmly with head held high and hands on hips – staring down the front door of the building. Amid the commotion, someone asked me to grab my phone and take some pictures for social media. I dashed down the stairs to greet the mystery ‘golden girl’.

On the way down the stairs, Andy Reid, McCann Bristol’s managing director, brought me up to speed with what was going on. Earlier that morning, Jade had messaged him on LinkedIn, stating that she was going to emulate McCann’s famous ‘Fearless Girl’ outside our office that day – a statue that was created by our New York office and unveiled on Wall Street in 2017.

Being impressed by Jade’s creativity and effort to get noticed, we posted photos of her on Twitter alongside a line asking, quite rightly, “Is this the best job application ever?”.

As New York woke up to the news of Bristol’s Fearless Girl, the original tweet was picked up by advertising industry experts and influencers globally, with retweets from New York Stock Exchange and the editor in chief of the Clio Awards.

With hundreds of retweets and likes in the first few hours alone, it was clear that the story of one woman’s drive and ambition to get noticed was resonating with those working in the advertising industry across the world. It was fascinating to watch the story spread and conversation be sparked globally.

Very soon, we were receiving calls from the media, asking to speak with Jade about her stunt and placement. The resulting coverage saw articles published across the UK including the MailOnline, Metro, Campaign and Bristol Post, while online stories popped up globally, from Ad Week in New York to sites in Mexico, Thailand and Australia. Broadcast media also picked up the story, including BBC Points West, ITV West Country News, BBC Radio Gloucestershire and BBC Radio 5 live. However, for me, the pinnacle was seeing Jade’s story appear on NBC News, as the anchor described Jade as a ‘go-getter’ and a ‘fearless girl’.

What made this a global story? I think that Jade’s story resonates with so many of us, whether we work in advertising or not. Getting that first step on the ladder is undeniably tricky and we have to do all we can to help encourage potential applicants and show that it is achievable.

Jade’s stunt was one simple, impactful idea that was executed well – a principle that is often behind the very best advertising campaigns. This effective approach led to her being offered a month-long paid placement on the spot.

London may grasp so much of the industry’s attention and have a magnetising power for many graduates, however Jade’s story also shows that Bristol has the power to encourage creativity on the global stage. She may have been outside our office on a grey Wednesday morning, but soon Jade was seen on the TV screens of many Americans, on the website of the New York Post and provided food for thought for advertising podcasts and columnists across the world. Well done Jade for seizing such a golden opportunity!