Apprentice 2021: Ready, Set, Action!

Published on August 11, 2021 by Alex Eade

After being unable to continue our Apprentice Challenges for the past 18 months, Director Tom Bowden has brought the team back together to compete in the Footprint Digital Apprentice Challenge once again! This year the team has split into three groups: Shaak To The Future, Baker’s Dozen, and Scan The Team That Can. Feast your eyes on the glorious account of how this challenge went for the teams. To the winners…glory. To the losers… you’re fired!

With new team members under Footprint’s wing, not knowing the whirlwind experience of the Footprint Digital Apprentice Challenge, the new announcement was met with curiosity and excitement, as well as competitiveness from members who had previously been through it all before. However, this challenge started off a little differently… 

The Highly Anticipated Announcement 

A week prior to the challenge, Tom B surprised us with a meeting announcing the teams and the tasks involved. In true Covid-19 fashion, we all jumped on Google Meets, eagerly awaiting the news. 

With ‘The Apprentice’ theme song playing in the background, Tom welcomed us all to another year of the Apprentice Challenge. In true Tom form, he was elusive as to the details. Instead we were shown a clip of the most beautiful shots in movie history. Some of us were worried if Tom had a grand idea of turning us all into feature film directors! 

After watching, the three teams were announced and the task document was shared with us. Everyone suddenly went quiet as they looked down the intimidating list of tasks we had to complete…

The task was about project management and teams had one week to prepare for a video creation challenge. Looks like Tom wanted us to be film directors after all! 

Teams had to create: 

  • 1x Customer Journey Video (2-3 mins)
  • 5x How To Videos (1-2 mins each)
  • 5x Tik Tok Style Videos (30-60 secs each)
  • 1x per person Meet The Team Video (1 min each)

Teams had to create these videos and they would be judged against a set criteria. We had to showcase everyone on the team, demonstrate Footprint’s fun culture and finally, it must be suitable to use on Footprint’s website and social media channels. 

The three teams cracked on right away meeting every evening for planning and brainstorming ideas. 

It’s D-Day!

It was finally D-Day – Directing Day – and we all made our way to the Signals studio, just down the road from our Colchester office. Competition was heavy in the air as we sat in our teams, scanning our opponents at the other side of the room, wondering if they felt intimidated. (Probably not). 

Jamie from Signals gave us the plan for the day and our three teams quickly re-grouped, huddling tightly together so other teams wouldn’t steal their plans! As we started storyboarding and planning videos for the day, things got a bit heated as all teams wanted to film in the Footprint office – an attractive destination, of course. A truce was declared, and each team was given an hour slot to film there. 

Each team structured their day differently, some using cafes and streets to film, others using parks and interviewing members of the public. One team even carried a large red couch to Castle Park for their filming!

As filming time began to close, there was a panicked rush to edit videos with everyone congregated in the Signals studio. Fingers were tapping furiously on keyboards, mice were clicking crazily on laptops and eyes were focused on phone screens, creating TikToks. As the seconds ticked away, teams were trying to edit and export their videos to get those precious bonus points. 

The countdown began and suddenly Tom cried “TIME! That’s it, all done now!” Some people were looking nervously at each other, others were proud and confident. 

We huddled together to view and judge all the teams’ videos…

The Fantastic Footprint Premiere 

The lights went off, and conversation hushed.  We were all waiting for Footprint Digital’s collective directing debut on the big screen. 

As the hypothetical reels were rolling to show the videos, many laughs and giggles were shared with each teams’ videos. Unfortunately due to time constraints, we couldn’t watch all the videos but the ones we did watch were comedic gold and very informative. Here are some of them: 

Imaginative Introductions 

For the Meet the Team videos, all three teams had very different creative directions. ‘Baker’s Dozen’, led by Team Captain Rosie Baker, started off with a humorous, silly, quick-cut video to get to know members of their team.  Shaakir Ahmed’s ‘Shaak To The Future’ team created an exact replica of the intro from TV show ‘Friends’, and ‘Scan The Team That Can’ led by Michael Scanlon had a more relaxed, subtle comedic style to their meet the team video in a Colchester cafe. 

Handy How Tos 

Baker’s Dozen started off their How To videos with a professional, informative approach about Google Ads but the final video showed Head of Content and Conversion, J, playing the character of what can only be described as a hybrid between Ali G and a cockney geezer with bling talking about SEO. Finally, Shaak To The Future started off their How To’s with a hesitant cameo from Boris the tortoiseshell cat (who is actually a girl), then going into an educational guide about PPC. 

Trendy TikToks

Surprisingly, all teams were able to keep up with the Gen Z TikTok styles,  making them entertaining and creative.  Baker’s Dozen had fun outdoors as they played a trendy TikTok game and created a video about different types of people in the office. Shaak To The Future went international as they flaunted Footprint’s Shoot The HiPPO book around the UK and in Rome (thanks to our resident Italian, Raffaele!) Scan The Team That Can had a little fun at the bar (it’s never too early) as they explained what clients think they do versus what they actually do.  

Creative Customer Journeys 

Each team had their own topic to pitch for clients. Baker’s Dozen had to target potential clients and explain the benefits of our Digital Marketing Audit, Shaak’s team created a video of potential partners, showing them the partnership pack, and Scan The Team That Can created a welcome video for new clients.  

 Although we couldn’t watch every single one, the ones we did see were great fun to watch. But alas there can only be one winner! … or can there? 

Judgement Time

As the final curtain was drawn, it was time for the judges to vote for who their favourites were. All teams were anxiously waiting for the results, tense glances were passed around and soft whispers could be heard speculating on who would win.  

Finally, Tom was ready to announce the results. Third place went to…

Scan The Team That Can!  Well done to the team for a great effort! Everyone congratulated them and they graciously accepted their honourable bronze place. 

Now for the moment of truth. Who will be the long anticipated winners of Footprint Digital’s Apprentice Challenge 2021? Will the physical labour of moving couches be worth it for Shaak To The Future or will Baker’s Dozen blaze through with their fun, comedic videos? 


The winners are…. 


Shaak To The Future AND Baker’s Dozen! 


Both teams scored the same points from the judges and have thus tied for first place. Well done to all teams and everyone from Footprint for taking part! 

We can’t wait for the next challenge to see who will be the – one and only – winner. Maybe Footprint Digital will take on the Oscars next? Do you want to work in an environment where you are supported to do the best work of your career? Please check out what it is like to work at Footprint Digital and contact us to apply for a role.


Written by Simran Kabotra, Copywriter