Creative students at UCEN Manchester collaborate with industry on high-profile campaign

Photograph of two UCEN Manchester students presenting in a classroom to representatives from the Intellectual Property Office.

Thanks to a unique partnership with the Intellectual Property Office, B.A. (Hons) Creative Media and Visual Communication students at UCEN Manchester, along with Content Creation, Digital Film and Broadcast students from The Manchester College, have been given the chance to work on a campaign that could potentially have a huge impact on the counterfeit goods market in Manchester.

Representatives from the Intellectual Property Office visited UCEN Manchester’s brand-new City Campus Manchester, a state-of-the-art facility in the heart of Manchester city centre, to watch a presentation from the Level 6 students.

The campaign aims to highlight the consumer risks associated with buying counterfeit goods, an illegal trade, which alongside piracy, costs the UK economy billions of pounds every year.  The project will also highlight the impact that the trade has on society and the people that suffer as a result, whilst celebrating Manchester’s array of fashion, high street and independent stores.

The third-year UCEN Manchester students shared eight creative concepts for the campaign and each idea was supported by examples of how it could be used in future advertisements.

The students also explained how their research, which included focus groups with people that the campaign will be targeting, had driven their suggestions and shone a spotlight on some of the misconceptions surrounding the counterfeit goods market.  Notably, that it’s a victimless crime.

Tutors Alexandra Jackson and Paolo Feroleto were on hand to offer their support throughout the meeting and couldn’t be prouder of all the students involved.  Alexandra said: “The students demonstrated confidence, creativity and professionalism to make insightful recommendations that address the challenges the Intellectual Property Office, and the organisations they work alongside, face.

Working on a high-profile live brief has provided the students with some invaluable experience as they prepare to meet the demands of the creative industry when they graduate in summer 2023.

Paolo Feroleto added: “The project has enabled the students to utilise the broad-range of skills they’ve learnt during their time at UCEN Manchester and the experiences they’ve enjoyed over the last two years have provided them with the foundation to tackle the brief head on and with confidence.”

Following the presentation, which was led by students Jeremi Reid and Alice Edwards (pictured), representatives got the chance to share their feedback and all four panellists were delighted with what they’d seen and commented on the high standard of the work.

Catherine Davies, Senior Campaigns Manager for the Intellectual Property Office said: “The Intellectual Property Office is delighted to partner with UCEN Manchester and its talented students to help develop messaging and raise consumer awareness about the harms of counterfeit goods.  This presents the students with a golden opportunity to work with industry on a live brief, as part of the collaborative work between UCEN Manchester and other partners to help tackle this issue in the Manchester area and support the city’s innovative and creative industries."

"An understanding of intellectual property (IP) - the collective term for patents, trade marks, copyright and designs - is a key skill for almost all creative jobs today.  As these learners enter the job market, they need to understand how to protect and make the most of the IP in their own creations, and how to use the IP of others legitimately.  With a curriculum heavily focused on creative industries that rely on IP – such as Computing, Digital, Creative, Performing Arts, Hospitality and Visual Arts – UCEN Manchester is a great partner for the Intellectual Property Office to help promote awareness, understanding and respect for IP rights."

It is a pleasure to collaborate with UCEN Manchester and its students on this crucial work, which has already generated some incredible insights and ideas, and bodes well for the brightest of futures.