Winning the B-Hive Creative Competition, Birmingham

For my University module I was encouraged to enter local and global competitions and was directed to B-Hive Creative, who were running a competition that gives a brief with four different categories you can enter.


These were Advertising, Public relations, Marketing and Graphic Design. The brief this year was for the C2C train line that runs from London to Southend. The aim was to create a summer campaign to promote leisure travel and summer bookings, as well as to emphasise the brand value, which is ‘Find Another Part Of You’. This could be done by creating collateral and exploring designs for all digital and print channels (this varied slightly depending on which category you wanted to enter).

Whilst completing this brief, I was on placement at Imaginate, and managed to book an hours worth of time in the boardroom to get some ever so essential advice from the Imagineers on how to approach the campaign. This feedback was extremely valuable and helped light that bulb over my head, and I suddenly had my bright idea moment: ‘Today You Are’. This concept did not push consumers to buy with C2C, but instead encouraged them in a motivational campaign to discover who they are today, and more importantly, who they want to be today with C2C. It allowed the public to make decisions for themselves and transport themselves somewhere else other than their day job.

I was thorough with my research and most importantly wanted to be able to connect with the target audience, which I believe I successfully achieved. I handed in my submission into all of the categories apart from PR, on a whim assuming I would increase my chance of being shortlisted for one category, and I found out a week later I was shortlisted for all three!

I now had to create more in depth presentations and completes a pitch in front of three sets of judges, who were all professionals in their creative fields for the marketing, advertising and graphic design categories. The presentation went through my research, conceptual thinking, brand design, collateral, campaign rollout, campaign materials, digital design, social media platforms, app development, email incentives and rewards, television advertisements and radio advertisements.

Over two days I completed three pitches at Fazeley Studios in Digbeth, Birmingham. I was absolutely terrified and hadn’t completed a presentation like this before. I didn’t know what to expect and felt ill when I was called through for each presentation despite having previously done one or not. The staff at both Pitch and B-hive were so welcoming and reassuring however, and tried their best to steady any nerves.

Walking in the room was a huge shock as I expected to find three or four judges but instead walked in to a panel of at least 7 all lined up at a huge boardroom table. I remember starting my first presentation and my throat drying up, having hot flashes, hearing my shaky voice and tapping my foot nervously. After having a quick subconscious ‘pull yourself together woman’, I soon started to find my feet and actually started to enjoy doing them. It was hard to gauge the opinions of the judges through their facial expressions during my presentation but I got a laugh out of them half way through and managed to build my confidence from there.

Despite my fears, I had great feedback from each panel of judges, complimenting my thorough design, breadth of thinking, advertising concept and presenting skills. I also received a lot of constructive feedback and criticisms that will aid me in the future. All of the judges were friendly and engaging with my work and I thank them for taking the time to listen to my presentations.

At awards night, I won in both the advertising and graphic design categories and earned myself a total of 7 weeks worth of paid work experience placements at various creative agencies. This was an amazing opportunity for me and has allowed me to build my experience and improve my skills for working with clients and freelancing in the future. I couldn’t have done it without the on-going support of Imaginate, cheering me on whilst I stressed, scamped and designed. I have had a huge confidence boost and I look forward to completing these placements and for the future of my creative career!

Hard work pays off!


Abi Bills,
Junior Designer

wordsmeg egan