by Herman Manson (@marklives) Cape Town ad school Red & Yellow has set in place a firm foundation for growth and renewal in the new year, when a brand refresh — the first in a number of changes for the school — will be revealed.

Red & Yellow logoIntegrated thinking

Red & Yellow was acquired by Quirk Education in August 2012, with the objective of the merger being to update the traditional educational curriculum for advertising and marketing graduates and prepare them for a job environment that requires integrated thinking.

In the past, Red & Yellow produced more traditionally skilled agency recruits, while Quirk Education (which operates separately from the agency with which it shares a name; both are part of the same holding group) was known for its digital-marketing-centric, distance-based e-learning programmes.

Red & Yellow has retained its brand and managerial independence, says MD Di Charton, to ensure sufficient distance between itself and what is essentially an agency brand in Quirk. Charton looks after both the Red & Yellow and Quirk Education brands.

Serve the broader industry

The school aims to serve the broader industry and not simply the Cape Town market, and a Johannesburg expansion will occur in either 2015 (dependent upon approval from the Education department). It has also achieved accreditation for its courses through 2017 — a step up from relying on annual accreditation as it has to date. In 2014, accreditation for several new courses and curricula will be applied for, and these should start in 2015.

The knowledge base of Quirk Education has started filtering through to Red & Yellow students and the industry can expect closer integration between the two institutions going forward.

The school is also investigating expanding past Johannesburg and into the rest of the continent. It has a five-year plan in place in which to achieve this goal, which won’t be solely built around distance-based education.

Up-skill marketing staff

In her conversations with marketers, Charton has found that agencies have a particular need for skills relevant not only to digital integration but also to project management, presentation skills and applicable strategic insights.

Charton is also engaging with organisations to encourage them to use Quirk Education’s digital platforms to up-skill marketing staff (and to provide incentives for staff to do so). Distance-learning courses will become much broader than the current digi-centric courses on offer by Quirk Education.

About half of Red & Yellow graduates move into the client sector, while the other half goes to agencies. This year, the graduate-class showcase will not only feature ‘creative work’ but also projects from the marketing students.


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