× Home Upskilling the Next Generation Learning Experiences Case studies For Students and Teachers Get in Touch
The Code

Our Digital Curriculum is live! If you are a student or a teacher, sign up and get involved here.
Get Started

Workshops

Upskilling the Next Generation

At dentsu, we want to make sure everyone feels prepared and optimistic about their future. That’s why we’re equipping the next generation of talent with the skills to thrive in the digital economy, through our global flagship schools and early careers programme, The Code.

The Code opens the doors of our industry to students from diverse backgrounds, through immersive workshops, work experience opportunities and apprenticeships.

Through these experiences they gain the technical, craft and strategic soft skills required to succeed in the digital marketing industry. They also work on cutting edge marketing briefs from some of our biggest clients which focus on their biggest sustainability challenges and opportunities.

Founded in the UK, The Code has now launched in 10 markets - including the UK, US, Canada, China, Singapore, Poland, Bulgaria, Denmark, the UAE and Mexico. The Code supports our goal to improve the digital skills of 100,000 young people, and our wider social purpose to create a Digital Economy That Works for All.

Learn more

About The CODE
  • “The Code is a fantastic concept that has a real impact on shaping the reality around us, helping young people to get to know their strengths, learn new competencies, opening their minds and inspiring them. Personally, as a boss and father, I believe that we can inspire, strengthen and equip the next generation with the skills necessary to co-create the digital economy.”
    Slawomir Stepniewski CEO of dentsu Poland
  • “What I really enjoy is being able to come up with our own advertising campaign, because it is something so unique and we’d never get this opportunity otherwise. So it’s really cool being able to come up with something that could become a reality.”
    Student taking part in Rise Up Competition, UK
  • “The Code is a critical initiative for us in Canada, by working closely with our schools and early careers programs coupled with bringing the power of our people and network, we’re aiming to make a positive impact on the next generation of talent and wider society.”
    Leah Wilson VP of Talent Acquisition, dentsu Canada
  • “This programme is life-changing for our students. The group of very diverse students here today are not those who are usually celebrated. It was deeply inspiring and extraordinary for us to see them on stage. This was a huge jump, cognitively and emotionally, for our students, who are not used to this environment or to be told that their ideas matter, that they could have something of value to bring.”
    Teacher and Head of Careers, UK School
  • "Volunteering at DAN is important because it's one way to use our skills to help influence the future generation. For us, it's also a chance to step out of our little bubbles and understand different perspectives from young people."
    Volunteer, dentsu Singapore
  • “This gave me a real experience of what it's like to work on a campaign. It was amazing to learn about the media & advertising industry...this was the best week ever!”
    Student on Work Experience, UK
  • “The thing I liked most is that I had the opportunity to see how the advertising industry works, which only confirmed to me that I’m going in the right direction and I would like to work here.”
    Student on an Insight Day, Poland

Learning Experiences

The Code is made up of different ‘building blocks’ to offer partner schools a range of in person and virtual opportunities for students to engage with the programme

Workshops

Workshops

Our dentsu volunteers run inspiring workshops with student classes to give them a taster of what it is like to work in our industry. Students learn the key ingredients of building a successful marketing campaign, gain insight into best in class case studies, and then go on to tackle their own real-life client brief in teams. Their pitching skills are put to test in the presentation round.

Age group: 13 - 14 and 15 - 18 year olds

Duration: 1.5 – 2 hour workshop

Workshops

Rise Up Competition

Rise Up Competition

Rise Up Competition

We believe that the next generation has the ideas, the passion and the power to mould a better future for our world. We challenge student teams to channel this energy into a digital marketing competition where they create an awareness campaign to solve a societal problem, or tackle the current sustainability focussed marketing challenge of one of our biggest clients. Previous clients we have worked with include WWF, Jaguar Land Rover and Mastercard.

Students go through an immersive workshop, delivered by our people, to prepare them for entry into the competition. Shortlisted teams attend a finale event and pitch in front of a senior panel of judges, with a chance to win prizes such as work experience with our business.

Age group: 15 - 18 year olds.

Insight Days

Insight Days & Work Experience

Students experience the best of our network – the people, the work, the culture – and learn skills along the way. They also put their newfound skills to use by working on a marketing challenge from one of our clients.

Age group: 15+

Duration: 1 day – 1 week

Insight Days

Case Studies

UK United Kingdom DK Denmark BG Bulgaria PL Poland SG Singapore UAE United Arab Emirates USA United States MX Mexico CA Canada CN China
The Code was founded in the UK in 2017. It was introduced to diversify the talent pipeline, focusing on the BAME community and students from areas of low social mobility. They have reached over 11,000 students since 2017.
The UK has partnered with MyKindaFuture and 13 schools across the country to annually deliver a national programme of workshops, Rise Up competitions, summer work experience and apprenticeship opportunities.
Exciting Rise Up digital marketing challenges have been delivered for students with clients including Jaguar Land Rover – challenged to increase the sales of JLR’s new electric car; WWF – challenged to move people from inspiration to action on the climate and Cadbury – challenged to develop a social purpose-led campaign, with the winner championing plastic reduction and supporting biodiversity. The winning ideas have the potential to be professionally produced by dentsu agencies; both the winning and highly commended teams secure work experience.
Launched at Bulgaria's Digital Camp in February 2019, the initiative is a collaboration between dentsu Bulgaria and Isobar Commerce Bulgaria. In March 2019, 300 students (aged 14-15) across seven schools participated in the Rise Up digital marketing competition. Students tackled marketing and e-commerce briefs from clients Mastercard and Mondelez.
In 2020, The Code went digital in Bulgaria and for the first time expanded its reach to provide equal opportunities for schools from otherwise distant areas to take part in the Rise Up Challenge. It reached over 80 students, with one third of the schools from outside of Sofia and two of these schools reaching the finals. Students created a social media strategy for WWF’s most recent campaign aimed at fundraising for the protection of the brown bear species in Bulgaria.
Radoslav Nedelchev, Chief Operating Officer of dentsu Bulgaria and Social Impact Champion said: "This is a great opportunity for us to show in practice how the digital economy can work for the betterment of society. For us, social impact is not the "icing on the cake" but instead a must-do that empowers the future of our business.”
dentsu Poland is striving to improve the digital skills of around 2,300 young people through The Code in 2019.
48 high school students experienced work experience insight days at the Dentsu Aegis Network office in Warsaw, supported by 25 volunteers from the organisation. Students also spent time working on a live marketing brief from Gillette, as well as job shadowing employees to learn more about careers in the industry.
Slawomir Stepniewski, CEO of dentsu Poland, said: “The Code is a fantastic concept that has a real impact on shaping the reality around us, helping young people to get to know their strengths, learn new competencies, opening their minds and inspiring them.”
dentsu APAC launched The Code in Singapore in July 2019. According to the Digital Society Index 2018, almost two-thirds (64%) of people in Singapore are concerned that the pace of technological change is too fast. The Code aims to address this, by helping young people to develop the skills they need to thrive in the digital economy.
65 dentsu volunteers hosted ‘Introduction to Advertising’ workshops, in secondary schools, reaching 400 young people aged 15-16. Students were challenged to bring a client brief to life, promoting a new advertisement for KFC’s sustainability campaign “Say NO to Plastics” and then pitched back their ideas to peers.
A dentsu volunteer commented: "Volunteering at Dentsu Aegis Network is important because it's one way to use our skills to help influence the future generation. For us, it's also a chance to step out of our little bubbles and understand different perspectives from young people."
Delivered in partnership with Injaz UAE and Junior Achievement Worldwide, Dentsu UAE launched The Code in February 2020 through a workshop in Dubai.
300 students from six schools will participate in workshops throughout 2020, hosted by 30 members of the Dentsu UAE team. During the workshops, students will gain exposure to the advertising industry and get the opportunity to work on a brief to promote one of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
Tarek Daouk, CEO of dentsu MENA, said:
"This is an initiative that is close to my heart and I am excited to bring the power of our people and network together to make a positive impact on the next generation of talent and wider society. … We want to encourage the youth of the UAE with new ways of thinking and the ability to adapt to change, something I believe will be vital for the success of future talent and of our business.”
The Code launched in the US in October 2019 – over 60 students participated in Insight Days at our New York, Detroit and Maryland offices.
In 2020, The Code had to quickly adapt to the global crisis that has been COVID-19. What seemed like a setback ended up serving as a chance to reach even more students, by adapting to a virtual format. It also allowed us to connect dentsu employees from the whole nation with the various organizations we work with, including MAIP, NAF, Genesys Works and the YMCA. Thanks to over 35 dentsu volunteers, endless support from our DEI community, and global Social Impact, we were able to reach 522 students from Miami, NYC and Chicago.
Ann Bookout, HR Director, ID&I, said:
“Diversity of thought and voices in our industry is critical so that we reflect society and the various communities we serve. The Code is a fantastic way to educate high school youth across the US about marketing in a practical and accessible way.”
The Code was launched in Mexico in September 2020. Through immersive workshops and tutorials, designed and developed by dentsu experts, 527 students aged 15-18 from 17 different states participated in the largest virtual Rise Up challenge of 2020.
Delivered in collaboration with global non-profit organisation Junior Achievement and with the help of 94 dentsu volunteers, students gained access to the knowledge base of the marketing and advertising industry and worked on a project for client Spin Master.
Sebastian Tonda, CEO of dentsu Mexico, said “this initiative combines two fundamental aspects for the group, one of which is the culture of volunteering at dentsu and the value we place on freedom of thought, creativity and the use of our talents for the good of society. The other is our commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive digital economy, enabling the inspiration and empowerment of young people through technology worldwide.”
In Canada, over 2,000 students from secondary schools and outreach programs across Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto have participated in The Code, learning more about digital marketing through various workshops and careers fairs.
As part of the program, students had the opportunity to work on real briefs from some of our biggest clients, giving insights into what a future career at dentsu might look like.
Leah Wilson VP, Talent in Canada said:
“The Code is a critical initiative for us in Canada, by working closely with our schools and early careers programs coupled with bringing the power of our people and network, we’re aiming to make a positive impact on the next generation of talent and wider society.”
Dentsu China invited local Shanghai university students in for the launch of The Code in China in November 2019.
Welcomed by Dentsu senior leaders, students were given insights on what makes a great campaign, and giving them an opportunity to show their skills. Working on a client brief in groups, and with support from Dentsu staff, the students prepared a pitch presentation on their solution, and an overall winner was announced.
After the workshop, students actively expressed their interested in digital marketing, and we are now working on scaling up the programme for 2020.

For Students

Learn all about the exciting world of the advertising and media industry with The Code online curriculum, a free platform which will teach you the skills to make your own marketing campaign.

Sign up and explore more

For Teachers

If you are a secondary school teacher, we encourage you to make use of our free teaching resources with your students which have been designed to give young people an insight into marketing and media.

Access resources

Get in Touch

Get in Touch

If you are interested in working with dentsu to bring The Code to your school, register your interest below and we will get in touch.

If you are a dentsu employee and interested in hearing about volunteering opportunities, please email us here.

Contact Us