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MEC launch apprenticeship programme and broker TV sponsorship first for Volvic with Channel 4

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In the same week that the global media agency was named as one of the 100 best companies to work for by the Sunday Times (for the 6th consecutive year), MEC announced the launch of Evolution; an innovative apprenticeship programme that will provide a formal qualification and life-changing career opportunities to entry-level talent. This new, market leading 12-month programme, created in partnership with Creative Pioneers Apprenticeships, is available to anyone with GCSE Maths and English Grade C and above. The apprentices will be placed in entry level posts within MEC UK. They will work with teams across communications planning, audio visual, display activation, performance planning and activation, research, and campaign management to learn about the business as part of a team.

This programme offers the brightest candidates a specially created training programme and industry recognised qualification to help them achieve their career defining moment at MEC”

The programme is unique in that MEC’s apprentices will study for an industry-recognised Level 3 Diploma, and either a Level 3 Technical Certificate in Creative & Digital Media or Digital Marketing & Social Media, depending on the department they are placed in. Successful candidates will also participate in a ‘reverse mentoring’ programme whereby they will mentor a member of the senior management team to help them to better understand the needs and viewpoints of the younger generation. The MEC Evolution training programme is designed to be holistic and to focus on personal growth and development, to help talent thrive. It will provide participants with learning modules around self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management to help them be the best they can be.

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Sarah Hennessy, Managing Director at MEC said: “Attracting a more diverse talent base, is key to our future success. This apprenticeship programme offers the brightest candidates a specially created training programme and industry recognised qualification to help them achieve their career defining moment at MEC.” Clare Alger, MEC’s Director of People and Culture, added: “Today’s launch of our new Evolution programme reflects the commitment we have made to offering our people innovative and leading edge development opportunities to help them thrive and achieve both personal and professional success.” Candidates can apply via the MEC UK website before April 1, 2016. MEC will be announcing further details on how to apply via a major recruitment event in April. This will be announced later in March.

Volvic – Eruption

In related news, Channel 4's 4 Sales team and MEC have announced a new seven-figure sponsorship deal with mineral water brand Volvic. The deal, which runs until the end of the year, represents the first time Volvic has sponsored programming on TV and the first time it has supported its natural water and flavoured Aquadrinks sub-brands with masterbrand advertising. Volvic will sponsor Unstoppable Moments on 4, a brand new programming strand that will run across Channel 4 programming and will feature new series from Guy Martin, the brand new series of The Island and the upcoming reality survival series Eden. Unstoppable Moments also includes a number of popular E4 shows such as How I Met Your Mother, The Inbetweeners, and new episodes of The Goldbergs and 2 Broke Girls.

This strategic partnership has been carefully designed to land Volvic’s unique positioning and megabrand approach”

The sponsorship will be complemented by the launch of a new epic TV campaign for Volvic by Y&R Paris. The new “Eruption” film brings to life Volvic's belief that everyone has a volcano inside them waiting to awaken, telling the story of a young boy fighting his demons on the football pitch. The new copy will be aired across the Channel 4 network using a combination of 60s and 30s edits. Each sponsorship ident depicts a series of dramatic scenarios, such as a best man preparing to deliver his speech, a girl about to ride her bike without stabilisers for the first time or an exhausted jogger about to get his second wind. Linking to the water brand’s volcanic roots, each ident is intercut with a volcano sequence with shots of flowing lava, a thunderstorm and finally an aerial shot of a smoking crater. Y&R collaborated with Ignition on the idents.

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Tom Hickton, Volvic UK Brand Lead, said: “We are thrilled to be partnering with Channel 4 and E4 to launch this exciting new campaign for Volvic. We feel C4 is a great fit, enabling us to reach our millennial target audience, partnering with relevant shows throughout the year. We believe this campaign will not only drive year round awareness for Volvic but will also start to associate Volvic with those everyday moments when you feel truly unstoppable.” Aimee Chalcraft, Account Director at MEC, added: “This strategic partnership has been carefully designed to land Volvic’s unique positioning and megabrand approach. The unstoppable moments programming strand has been selected to seamlessly tie in with the creative message that everyone has a volcano within them.”

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