Continuing our collection of interesting side projects by creatives, we spoke to unfortunately-named creative duo Beard & Bender about their campaign to convince ad agencies to sell the Big Issue

As they’re currently in their third year at Bucks Uni, we asked Beard & Bender (real names Tom Reas & Chris Hill) to tell us a bit about the idea, and what it means for placement teams to have creative side projects in their books these days.

CC: So where did the idea come from?

B&B: The Idea for The Big Day Off came whilst we were on placement over the summer at LBi, walking past Paul (the good morning guy in the video) every morning got us thinking about the seemingly tireless work he puts in, and the similarities it bears to the industry’s efforts at attention-grabbing turned into sales. What really caught our attention was how many people just ignored him, to say good morning back would only be a small gesture, even if you couldn’t afford to buy the paper. This idea came from the lack of respect that the Big Issue vendors get, so we wanted people to appreciate their perspective. We thought that the skills people in Advertising possess could be transferred very successfully to the street, and that it may, perhaps, be harder than it seems.

CC: So what made you go out and do it, and not just leave it as a scribble in a layout pad?

B&B: We decided to actually make it happen after getting a brief from BBH through the university. We figured it answered their brief nicely, and it seemed like a good opportunity to transform The Big Day Off from an idea, into a ‘thing’. We’d received good feedback from people we had mentioned it to and it appeared to make sense to focus our efforts onto it, while representing a good cause at the same time.

CC: And do you think it’s important for student teams to have side projects in their books?

B&B: In our limited placement experience (looking for more!) side projects seem very important. They serve as an expression of the type of work we would be doing free of ‘real world’ constraints. This cheeky side project also helped us get back to actually making things -we’re told time and time again that an idea will receive more support and enthusiasm if they are more than a thought on a page.

If you or your agency would like to take part in The Big Day Off, give the guys a shout over at their Facebook Page.

And if you have a side project you’d like to tell us about, just drop us a line at