We are thrilled to announce The Pitch, an innovative competition aimed at increasing accessibility to advertising careers for young people, which we have launched this week in conjunction with  Your Game Plan, a profit-for-purpose organisation dedicated to bridging the gap between education and independence.

This groundbreaking initiative not only fosters creativity and innovation among young minds but also actively addresses the barriers to entry in the creative and media industry. By offering real-world experiences, mentorship, and work placement opportunities, The Pitch is set to empower the next generation of advertising professionals and pave the way for a more inclusive and diverse industry.

The Pitch is a UK-wide competition, that challenges students to devise media and creative concepts for next year’s JD 2024 Christmas campaign. This collaboration creates a pathway for tomorrow’s talent by offering young minds the opportunity to delve into the world of advertising and gain first-hand experience in creating captivating brand assets.
The winning team will be invited to join the JD marketing team at their offices, where they’ll learn how to create standout campaigns for the global brand. From capturing social content to going behind the scenes at a photography shoot, the winners will get the opportunity to learn first-hand how one of the biggest brands creates a 360 campaign. What’s more, each winner will receive a £100 JD voucher to splash out on a new ‘fit or the latest pair of kicks.

Goodstuff joined forces with Your Game Plan to bring this initiative to life because we believe it is the responsibility of the advertising industry to make it more accessible. We will be using our media smarts to galvanise the industry, and we have secured £300k of media value to promote The Pitch with disruptive adverts. Each of these advertisements aims to prompt the audience to think “Ever wondered who’s behind the ads you see?”, with media value to generate this exposure being generously donated by JD, Meta, Clear Channel, JCDecaux, Pearl & Dean and Channel 4. The Pitch is also endorsed and supported by The Advertising Association, the trade association representing advertisers, agencies, media, and research services in the UK advertising industry.

As well as offering a prize to the winning team, the partners of this initiative are dedicated to offering up to 100 work placements to those who have entered the competition. In a partnership between Your Game Plan, Goodstuff, and D&AD, they will encourage the advertising industry to join them and commit to taking work placements that will vary from paid internships to work experience to raise awareness, diversify talent, and increase accessibility to the advertising industry.

Danny Heath, the Founder of Your Game Plan, said, “As the founder of Your Game Plan, I’m passionately dedicated to forging pathways for young talents, seamlessly connecting education to independence. We are on a mission to break down entry barriers and offer equal opportunities for everyone interested in the world of advertising. And we believe through The Pitch we can do just that. The launch of The Pitch is a pivotal step, offering 14-19-year-olds a stage to unveil their creativity. This collaboration breaks barriers and eliminates nepotism from work placements, ensuring every mind has a chance to shine. My sincere thanks to everyone involved for their unwavering support. Together, we are shaping a future where advertising knows no bounds and is accessible to all.”

Andrew Stephens, Co-Founder of Goodstuff, said, “As someone who grew up in the Somerset state school system and with no links to the advertising industry, I feel very lucky to have stumbled into a job I am immensely passionate about. For many years we’ve been working on a credible and authentic campaign to highlight the wonders of our industry and now, with the support of YourGamePlan and our partners, we are super proud to launch The Pitch to hundreds of thousands of students across the country to allow them to experience our industry and get their name up in lights. This is just the start and I hope other companies join us in ensuring our industry tackles diversity at the source and create a better future for everyone.”

Chris Waters, UK & EU Retail Marketing Director at JD, said, “We’re excited to be working alongside Goodstuff and YourGamePlan to provide mentorship and access for young people looking to get into the advertising industry. The Pitch is a great opportunity for applicants to experience first-hand the work that goes into creating marketing campaigns for a global brand, and we’re looking forward to taking the students through the process this Spring.”

Alessandra Bellini, The Advertising Association President, said, “The Pitch is a fantastic initiative and totally aligns with our industry’s strategy to inspire more young people to think about advertising as an exciting and dynamic career, full of opportunities for talent with a wide range of skills.”

We at Goodstuff are extremely excited to see this being brought to life, and can’t wait to share the results of this pioneering initiative.