The popular Advertising Challenge returned once more with this year’s Shell set the challenge of creating a product or service and the plan to bring it to market, culminating in a pitch for business – their ‘Dragon’s Den’ moment. Overall, the day is a great experience for the pupils, allowing them to work within a different context, practising those skills that are key to success in the workplace, teamwork, communication, analysis, and creativity, whilst at the same time gaining valuable insight into business thinking.

To prepare the pupils for the Challenge they received an introduction to branding and marketing from Martin White, current parent and Founding Partner of Blackwood 86 who lectures at Henley Business School. On the day the pupils were then supported by a fantastic team of parents with marketing experience who acted as their mentors through all stages of the process.

Throughout the day the gym was busy with the hum of collaboration between team members and the products and services ideas developed included a platform to optimise sports performance, ethically produced footwear for men and women, a plastic sled to increase the amount of time children spent outdoors, wellness retreats and many more well conceived ideas.

To avoid bias, mentors swapped teams for the judging element, and those who made it through the first round of pitches presented to the final panel in Chapel. The ultimate winners were ‘Sting Stopper’, the fabulous creation of Nick (H), Ava (I), James (D), Immi (K), Eddie (D), Frankie (F), Ange (J) and Miles (G) and credit should also go to their mentor James Miller.

The innovation and creativity shown when pupils were given the freedom of the College to create their marketing materials was incredible. The presentations, logos, websites, marketing campaigns, social media accounts and advertisements pupils created were of a very high standard and they certainly embraced the opportunity.

Congratulations to you all for making Thursday’s Shell Advertising Challenge Day such a success. The energy, creativity and teamwork on display in the Old Gym were palpable and the presentations delivered to the mentors reinforced their engagement and grasp of the task.
Martin White

It was an absolute pleasure to be involved in the Shell Advertising Challenge day. I had a terrific time mentoring my groups seeing their energy, enthusiasm and the enormous fun they had focusing on developing their plans for their business ideas. It was especially rewarding to ‘inform’ them about some of the more traditional communication channels that many of the mentors would be more familiar with. I did try to tell them that the world doesn’t revolve around Tik Tok; however, I’m not convinced that they believed me!

Mark Stevenson

Mentoring at the Shell Business challenge is an incredibly rewarding experience. It’s an amazing opportunity to see the students and the Bradfield community in action. Seeing the way today’s students think about marketing and brands was fascinating; I’m not sure who was mentoring whom.

James Miller

Many thanks to all those who helped Horizons to make the event the success that it was. If you are interested in offering career advice to current Bradfield pupils do register to Be Involved with Horizons and if you have any questions contact the Horizons team directly on