Archive | April 2017

Foundation Degree in Policing Studies – A Mythbuster

At The Sheffield College we offer a number of university level courses; including Foundation Degrees, HNC/Ds, BA Hons, Top-up courses and professional qualifications. What a lot of people aren’t sure about is the difference between studying here or at a university. We clear it up below for our Policing Studies course…

You have to go to university to get a university level qualification in Policing, don’t you?

No. The Sheffield College offers the following:

  • FdA Policing Studies

But a degree at a college isn’t a ‘proper degree’ is it?

Of course it is. Our Policing Studies Foundation Degree is validated by Sheffield Hallam University meaning that it meets the exact same standards that have to be adhered to by all universities – it’s just less debt for you!

Ok, well surely employers prefer degrees from universities?

Not true. Employers rank work experience, an impressive CV and the actual qualification over prestige. The Policing Studies Foundation Degree focuses heavily on employability and involves intensive and consistent work-based learning with employers.

How are your links to industry?

As mentioned above, this course is heavily employability focussed. We will help you to apply to the Police Specials or work within an actual criminal justice work placement. Placements could be with a number of local organisations including South Yorkshire Police Special Constabulary, Sheffield Youth Offending Service or Victim Support.

Aside from visits and talks from the police and the criminal justice system, our lecturers are also former police officers who have inside knowledge and advice to pass on from when they were in the industry. Previous students who have gone directly into employment have found this has made the course and the transition into work easier.

What if I want to top-up to a full honours degree?

Our course enables learners to internally progress on to a full Honours Degree in Criminal Justice Practice at Sheffield Hallam University.

What facilities does the college have?

Our well-stocked library has just been stocked with a vast new range of criminal justice books ready for next academic year. We also dedicated university level area within college with a common room you to spend time in.

If necessary, you will also have access to Sheffield Hallam University as an associate student. This will grant you access to their library, including books and journals, as well as a quiet study area you can book.

What do you study on a policing degree?

  • Police Procedure
  • Introducing Criminology
  • Criminal Justice System
  • Psychology and Crime
  • Knowledge of offender management
  • Contemporary Police and Policing
  • Criminological Theory
  • Work-based Learning in Policing and Criminal Justice
  • Policing and Legal Frameworks
  • High risk and serious offenders

Will a policing degree actually get me in the police service?

Unfortunately, as with any degree, nothing is guaranteed.

However, you will learn much more about the role, it will show determination and focus on your CV and allow you to mature whilst learning relevant information for your chosen career – all whilst getting a degree at a reduced cost!!

If you are interested in our Foundation Degree in Policing Studies, please click here for more…


Gordon Ramsay Just Loves Judging People’s Meals

Perennial potty-mouth, Gordon Ramsay, knows a bit more than a thing or two about cooking. Once he solves all our kitchen nightmares he nipped across the pond to sort theirs out too. Now, he’s taking on the world of Twitter by providing a critique of meals he’s sent. Needless to say he only speaks the truth – but my, he does it so very well!

Here’s some of our favourites:











Don’t let Gordon rinse you on Twitter. Get yourself on our Professional Cookery course at The Sheffield College today! 

Wait – A David Attenborough VR Tutor is coming?!

It’s possible that you, like us, have always harboured a secret ambition to be best friends with David Attenborough.

The soothing voice, the look of grandfatherly kindness, the stories of tracking rare species in remote corners of the globe — that’s BFF material right there, isn’t it?

Well, the bad news is you’re probably never going to get your wish.

The good news? You can at least make friends with his hologram.

On Thursday, Sky announced that they’re partnering with the Natural History Museum to create a virtual reality experience which will include a 3D hologram of Attenborough.

The Hold The World experience involves guests handling VR fossils and bones under the legendary TV presenter’s expert tutorage.

“I have enjoyed helping people to discover more about the natural world, and Hold The World offers people a unique opportunity: to examine rare objects, some millions of years old, up close,” Attenborough said in a press release.

“It represents an extraordinary new step in how people can explore and experience nature, all from the comfort of their own homes and I am delighted to be able to help users uncover some of the treasures the Natural History Museum has to offer in a thrilling new way.”

As great as David is, you’ll not be able to carry him everywhere or ask him questions. One of our Animal Care and Management courses, however, will give you an in-depth knowledge of the Animal Kingdom. Click here to find out more…

This Twitter account rounding up local British news is hilarious

We’ve all seen them. They make you shudder, chuckle, text your mates a copy. But the reality is terrible headlines and news stories will always exist. Exist in a realm of local news where something needs to happen in the sleepiest of villages.

As such, news that isn’t really news but just a bit daft ends up becoming legend. Forever fabled into print. Here are some of our favourites from @craplocalnews!


View image on Twitter

Record Store Day 2017 – A Guide To Sheffield

Music revellers, rejoice! For today is Record Store Day. The 10th Record Store Day. A day dedicated to feeling the needle hit the groove. Get out there, support your independent record shops and keep an eye out for those limited edition 12″. This is Our Favourite Places’ guide to Sheffield 2017.

Spinning Discs

Chesterfield Road’s Spinning Discs are teaming up with their neighbours to bring you a full day of live music, tasty food and refreshing beverages. The shop opens at 9am and if you spend £50 in store you’ll get a free tote bag, if you spend £100 or more you’ll get a Pete McKee Record Store Day t-shirt (while stocks last). After you’ve stocked up on records, Wah Wahs (the Mexican restaurant next door) will be hosting a day of live music between 12pm and 7pm with Sheffield indie lads High Hazels headlining the event with an exclusive stripped back set.

Record Junkee

Record Junkee on Earl Street will be partying on through the night this Record Store Day with a whole host of guests. During the day there’ll be exclusive acoustic in-store performances (bands to be announced) as shoppers hunt through the racks of vinyl. Once the doors have closed there’ll be live music in-store (line up to be announced) until 11pm when John ‘The Rev’ McClure from Reverend and the Makers will take to the decks. If that’s not enough, the shop is also hosting local band October Drift’s official after party. You’ll need tickets for entry after 8pm.

Bear Tree Records

Now in their larger, more stocked space in Orchard Square, Bear Tree Recordshave released a huge list of RSD releases they’ll have in store on the 22nd – you can find it here. They’ll also be hosting a blind-buy charity sale with prizes including signed records from Richard Hawley, Drenge, Milburn and Sleaford Mods, with all the money going to The Cathedral Archer Project. As well as this, they’re releasing some limited edition tie-dye Bear Tree t-shirts and new colour tote bags designed by local artist Tom J Newell. If that’s not enough, there’ll be FREE CAKE for all shoppers! Bear Tree opens at 8am and be prepared to queue earlier than that if you want first dibs on the RSD releases.

Tonearm Vinyl

The always cheerful and excellently stocked Tonearm Vinyl are teaming up with Walkley Beer Co. to host an afternoon of live music, DJs and beer this Record Store Day. In-store DJ sets will come from Sheffield’s Mads n da Bads DJs and Macho Music Is Stupid, while the live music will be provided by Tony Nicholson, Charles MacDonald-Jones and Mugshots Of Criminals across the road in Walkley Beer Co. As a special RSD offer, customers will receive £2 off every £10 they spend in Tonearm Vinyl.

Record Collector

Sheffield oldest record shop and national haven for vinyl addicts Record Collector has had two pallets worth of RSD stock delivered. Their long RSD list features everything from Aqua to Bowie to Goat – get down for when it opens at 8am and keep an eye on Twitter for updates as stuff sells out.

LP Records

Arundel Street’s LP Records is also taking part in RSD. More details coming soon.

If you’re bang into your records, why not check out one of our music courses here at The Sheffield College and learn more about the process that goes into making a record. Click here for more…

‘Today is the most exciting time to be in the biological sciences’

It’s a pretty exciting time to be involved in a lot of things with technological advancements keeping on coming at a rate of knots.

Often when you think of new techs you think of gadgets; laptops, smart phones, virtual reality and such. How many of you have thought about how technology is going to improve healthcare, though?

This article from Business Insider UK, though from an American company, gives a fantastic insight into the sort of work they are conducting and what it’s like to be in the forefront of going where nobody else has before, saving lives in the process.

Daria Hazuda, Merck’s vice president of infectious disease discovery and chief scientific officer of MRL Cambridge Exploratory Science Center, is a 25-year industry veteran.

That means the researcher has been in drug discovery — the earliest stage of the drug development process — long enough to see her fair share of successes, like the development of treatments for HIV, as well as failures.

But of all the years of innovation and cutting-edge ideas she’s experienced, she told Business Insider that right now is the best time to be in the field.

“Today is the most exciting time to be in the biological sciences,” she told Business Insider.

That’s for a few reasons, she said.

  • There’s been an explosion of new research on the microbiome, or the microorganisms that live in and on our bodies that play a role in our overall health, compared to five years ago when there was just a trickle of new developments.
  • Then there’s CRISPR, the groundbreaking gene-editing tool that could one day manipulate cells to create new therapies.
  • There’s also been better research on the immune system, which in turn is helping build a better understanding of infectious diseases, Hazuda said.
  • Research in to infectious disease biology, the research Hazuda works on, is now expanding beyond pathogens (the bacteria, viruses or other organisms that cause disease). Now, Hazuda and other researchers are learning more about entire “constellations of organisms,” such as mosquitoes or zebra fish. These external creatures could be an important piece of human health, even if they’re not inside the body, she said.

But even with these developments, there’s still a lot we don’t know about the biological sciences, Hazuda said. It’s why her employer Merck set up a video in which the company asked people what inventions they can’t wait for. Very few mentioned new ways to treat diseases.

“It’s important for people to understand that there are still amazing discoveries that are yet to be made,” she said. “What looks crazy today will become routine in the future.”


At The Sheffield College you can gain a degree in exactly all of the above, Biological Sciences. To check out the course contents, please click here.

28 things that make the Masters the quirkiest golf tournament

It’s been absolutely everywhere this weekend, The Masters. No escaping the coverage, no escaping the action. It’s out on it’s own as (probably) golf’s biggest tournament. But what makes it so different? Business Insider UK explain…

Food prices are ridiculously low.

Tipping is banned.

Tipping is banned.

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Source: NYT

Cell phones are prohibited at all times and cameras are not permitted during the tournament.

Cell phones are prohibited at all times and cameras are not permitted during the tournament.

Andrew Redington/Getty Images

It’s one of the only places in the U.S. where there are long lines for payphones.

There’s a huge fence around the course to keep out animals. There has been one deer sighting in the last 65 years.

There's a huge fence around the course to keep out animals. There has been one deer sighting in the last 65 years.

Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Source: NYT

Only four minutes of commercials per hour are allowed during the broadcast.

Only four minutes of commercials per hour are allowed during the broadcast.

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Source: ESPN

TV commentators are not allowed to refer to fans as “fans” or “spectators.” They are to be called “patrons,” and the rough is to be referred to as the “second cut.”

TV commentators are not allowed to refer to fans as "fans" or "spectators." They are to be called "patrons," and the rough is to be referred to as the "second cut."


Source: The Age

The Masters banned CBS broadcaster Gary McCord in 1995 for saying, “They don’t cut the greens here at Augusta, they use bikini wax.”

The Masters banned CBS broadcaster Gary McCord in 1995 for saying, "They don't cut the greens here at Augusta, they use bikini wax."

Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Source: SI

Players had to use local caddies provided by Augusta until 1983.

Players had to use local caddies provided by Augusta until 1983.

David Cannon/Getty Images

Source: ESPN

Players are allowed to use their own caddies now, but they have to wear the Augusta uniform — green hat, white jumpsuit.

Players are allowed to use their own caddies now, but they have to wear the Augusta uniform — green hat, white jumpsuit.

Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Like many golf courses, there is good fishing at Augusta National, but the players don’t like to talk about it because it is forbidden.

Like many golf courses, there is good fishing at Augusta National, but the players don't like to talk about it because it is forbidden.

Scott Halleran/Getty Images for Golfweek

In 2011, Monte Burke of Forbes interviewed golfers about the best fishing spots on the PGA Tour. When Augusta was brought up, he described their responses as “squeamish” and they only admitted to hearing there were some good spots.

A former caddie was willing to tell Burke that the best spots are the creek in front of the 12th hole (“full of bream”; seen above) and the pond at the 16th hole (“brimming with bass”).

Fans … oops, we mean patrons … patrons aren’t allowed to wear their hats backwards.

Fans ... oops, we mean patrons ... patrons aren't allowed to wear their hats backwards.

Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Source: NYT

Patrons can bring collapsible chairs to sit on, but those chairs are not allowed to have armrests.

 Patrons can bring collapsible chairs to sit on, but those chairs are not allowed to have armrests.

Matt Slocum/AP


Running is not allowed, unless you are a player.

Running is not allowed, unless you are a player.

Harry How/Getty Images

Grounds crew members used to wear hard hats.

There is an odd myth that the grounds crew at Augusta packs the azalea plants with ice if spring comes early. The idea is that this will keep the plants from flowering too soon before the tournament.

There is an odd myth that the grounds crew at Augusta packs the azalea plants with ice if spring comes early. The idea is that this will keep the plants from flowering too soon before the tournament.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Read more: This year’s Masters may help disprove a bizarre conspiracy theory about the tournament and its flowers

There is a house located in the middle of the Augusta National parking lot because the owners refuse to sell it. The family has reportedly turned down “millions.”

There is a house located in the middle of the Augusta National parking lot because the owners refuse to sell it. The family has reportedly turned down "millions."

via Google Maps

Read more: A family keeps turning down millions for their house next to the Masters golf course

You can’t apply to become a member at Augusta.

You can't apply to become a member at Augusta.

REUTERS/Mike Segar

It’s nearly impossible to become a member at Augusta.

You have to be be nominated by a current Augusta member, and new initiations generally aren’t accepted unless someone quits or dies. The total membership hovers around 300.


Augusta is closed in the summer to keep the course in pristine shape.

Augusta is closed in the summer to keep the course in pristine shape.

Harry How/Getty Images

Even the press conference podium is immaculate.

Even the press conference podium is immaculate.

David Cannon/Getty Images

Players are given brand new Mercedes for use during the week.

Players are given brand new Mercedes for use during the week.

Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Golf cart drivers who are hired to drive the players around Augusta National also pick up the golfers at the airport in the Mercedes they will be using. The cars also have a number in the back window so that employees can always identify the players by which car they are in.

Read more: What it’s like to drive Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and other pro golfers around at the Masters, according to one woman who did it

Tickets are dirt cheap; only $325 for a four-day pass. But you have to win a lottery to buy them.

Tickets are dirt cheap; only $325 for a four-day pass. But you have to win a lottery to buy them.

David Cannon/Getty Images

You can go to jail for selling tickets.

You can go to jail for selling tickets.

Getty Images

Twenty-four people were arrested outside Augusta in 2012 for trying to scalp tickets.

The course is insane about who it lets into the tournament and it’s illegal to sell tickets within 2,700 feet of the gates.

You can only ask for autographs in one part of the course.

You can only ask for autographs in one part of the course.

Harry How/Getty Images

Fans always line the ropes at big tournaments in hopes of getting a signature. But this is tougher to do at Augusta.

You can only try and solicit an autograph on the Washington Road side of the clubhouse, near the practice facilities.

The bunkers at Augusta are filled with mining waste.

The bunkers at Augusta are filled with mining waste.

Harry How/Getty Images

You know those pristine white bunkers?

They’re actually composed of waste product from the mining of aluminum, according to

Basically, there’s this company that mines feldspar (rocks) for aluminum. This process produces waste in the form of really bright, pure quartz — that’s what Augusta uses.

The old media center was enormous.

Augusta opened a new media center this year and it is gorgeous.

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter


The course used cows as lawnmowers in the 1940s.

The course used cows as lawnmowers in the 1940s.

A close-up picture of the fairways at Augusta.@DaveTindallgolf

Augusta is its own universe with a tenuous connection to the outside world (see: all the ridiculous anecdotes in this slideshow).

But WWII affected Augusta just like it did the rest of the country. During the war, Augusta didn’t have the manpower to maintain the course, so they set 200 cattle loose on the grounds in hopes that they would “trim” the grass by eating it.


If you’ve been glued to the golf all weekend, why not take a look at our Sports offer. From short courses to Foundation Degrees, there’s something to meet the needs of everyone! Click for more…

20 common cooking mistakes you’re making without even realising it

Bad habits, if left to fester, easily transcend into common practice. From top chef to kitchen caterer, it’s easy for bad habits to become the norm. Here’s 20 of the most common mistakes you’ve been making so you can stop!

You’re using the wrong oil

You're using the wrong oil

Experiment with other oils besides extra virgin olive oil.InaTs / iStock

Extra virgin olive oil works well for cooking many things, but not everything. If you’re cooking something that requires particularly high heat, you’re better off using a different oil, since EVOO has a low smoke point — i.e. it starts to burn at a low temperature.

Click here to see a breakdown of cooking oils »

You’re cooking meat that’s not at room temperature

You're cooking meat that's not at room temperature

Let your meat sit out before cooking it.Frédérique Voisin-Demery / Flickr

Meat that’s at room temperature will cook more evenly than meat that’s coming straight out of the fridge. It’s best to let meat warm up for about 30 minutes before cooking it to ensure that all parts of it cook all the way through.

You’re not using enough water when boiling pasta

You're not using enough water when boiling pasta

Make sure to use enough water and your noodles won’t stick together.nosonjai / Shutterstock

Are your noodles sticking together? Contrary to popular belief, adding olive oil to your water won’t help.

What will help is making sure you’re cooking your noodles in plenty of water — probably more than you think you need. For every pound of pasta you cook, you should use about five quarts of water.

You’re using dried herbs instead of fresh herbs

You're using dried herbs instead of fresh herbs

Dried herbs are more potent than fresh herbs.Monstruo Estudio / Unsplash

Dried herbs are more potent and will add more flavor to your cooking than fresh herbs will. If you do end up having to sub dried for fresh, use only about one third of what the recipe calls for when you’re working with very fragrant herbs.

For more mild, less fragrant herbs, use a little more than a third.

You’re not tasting food before serving it

You're not tasting food before serving it

Make sure you like what you’re serving.vadimguzhva / iStock

Sitting at dinner surrounded by your guests isn’t the ideal time to be tasting the food you’re serving for the first time. You want to make sure you like what you’re serving and that you’re confident in serving it to others before you put it out on the table.

If you taste your food as you cook, you can make small adjustments along the way, which will most likely lead to a finished product that you like.

You’re not cutting your meat the right way

You're not cutting your meat the right way

Slice against the grain, not along it.Steve Johnson / Flickr

Slicing meat along the grain seems logical, but in reality it will only get you chewy meat. You’ll enjoy your piece of meat a lot more if you cut across the grain, laterally.

You’re cooking garlic for too long

You're cooking garlic for too long

Add garlic into your pan last.Matthew Pilachowski / Unsplash

If garlic is the first thing you add to your pan, chances are it’ll probably be the first thing to burn as well. If you know you’re going to be cooking minced garlic over high heat, try adding it in last instead.

You’re trying to cook too many things in one pan

You're  trying to cook too many things in one pan

Avoid covering the whole surface of your pan.Bob Peters / Flickr

One pan meals are efficient, but cooking too many foods in too small of a vessel can prevent those foods from cooking the way you want them to.

When the whole surface of a pan is covered, heat becomes trapped, which leads to steam. Steam prevents browning, which is essential for keeping foods juicy and flavorful.

Instead, cook in multiple pans at once, or cook in batches.

You’re cooking scrambled eggs over too high heat

You're cooking scrambled eggs over too high heat

Too much heat will result in dry eggs.robynmac / iStock

Cooking scrambled eggs over high heat means that your eggs will be done quicker, but it also means that they’ll most likely be dry.

To ensure that you end up with moist, fluffy eggs, scramble them over medium low heat, and remove them from the heat just as they’re starting to look done. They’ll continue to cook even after you remove them from the stove.

Adding a little water can also help to make sure you get the right texture.

You’re flipping your food too often

You're flipping your food too often

Let your meat cook before flipping it.Oleksandr Briagin/Shutterstock

This especially applies to steak. Cooking steak at home can be difficult, and if you flip the meat before it’s ready, you might not get the sear you were hoping for. The fewer times you flip it, the better.

You’re boiling when you should be simmering

You're boiling when you should be simmering

A simmer and a boil aren’t the same thing.Ivana P. Nikolic / Shutterstock

Boiling and simmering are not synonymous. If a recipe says you should let your bolognese sauce simmer, that means only one or two bubbles should pop up occasionally. Boiling, on the other hand, means lots more bubbles popping up a lot more frequently.

Follow directions, or risk ending up with some very tough meat.

You’re not reading the recipe completely

You're not reading the recipe completely

Know what you’re getting yourself into before you start cooking.Kenneth Lu / Flickr

No matter if you’re making something for the first time or the fifth time, it’s always a good idea to read the recipe completely, so when it comes time for cooking, you know what you’re doing.

Read it before you even go to the grocery store, that way you know what you’re getting yourself into, and you won’t be in the middle of cooking only to find out that you’re missing a vital ingredient or need to let something marinate for a few hours.

You’re not using a meat thermometer

You're not using a meat thermometer

A meat thermometer won’t be wrong.Christina Xu / Flickr

Looks can be deceiving; you might think you’re pulling your steak off the grill at the right time, only to find out that it should have stopped cooking long ago.

Do yourself a favor and get a meat thermometer; it’ll take human error out of the equation.

You’re not adding enough seasoning or adding too much

You're not adding enough seasoning or adding too much

What is a “pinch” of seasoning, exactly?p_ponomareva / iStock

Seasoning too much or not enough is easy to do; does anyone really know how much a “pinch” of salt is?

To avoid food that’s over or under seasoned, make sure to sample what you’re cooking as you add seasoning to it.

You’re not preheating the pan before cooking

You're not preheating the pan before cooking

Make sure your pan is hot before adding anything to it.Steven Depolo / Flickr

You should be heating up your pan for a few minutes before adding any food to it. Otherwise you’ll end up with soggy fish or meat that’s not properly browned.

You’re not letting meat rest before cutting into it

You're not letting meat rest before cutting into it

Be patient and let your meat sit before digging in.Nitr / Shutterstock

As you cook meat, its juices converge in the center. Letting the meat rest after it’s done cooking gives the juices time to spread back out across the meat.

Resting time differs depending on how large your cut of meat is. For a full bird, 20-30 minutes is a good amount of time. For a chicken breast or piece of steak, five minutes is enough.

You’re not cooking your hard boiled eggs for the right amount of time

You're not cooking your hard boiled eggs for the right amount of time

It’s all about timing when it comes to boiled eggs.Joseph Gonzalez / Unsplash

No one likes a hard boiled egg that’s too hard and dry or too soft and liquid-y. Before you start boiling, decide what you’re going for — soft boiled or hard boiled.

If you’re looking for soft, try cooking for six minutes. If you’re looking for hard, try nine minutes.

You’re chopping vegetables with a bread knife

You're chopping vegetables with a bread knife

A bread knife isn’t for vegetables.Wollertz/Shutterstock

There’s a reason a bread knife is called a bread knife — it should be used to cut bread. For vegetables, stick with a chef’s knife. It will give you more leverage and control.

You’re not drying your greens before sautéing them

You're not drying your greens before sautéing them

Your greens should be dry when you put them in the pan.Logan Ingalls / Flickr

Excess water on greens or vegetables (like mushrooms) when you’re cooking them in oil in a pan is not a good thing. Besides splattering everywhere, water will cause steam, which will result in soggy veggies.

You’re not using an oven thermometer

You're not using an oven thermometer

You should always know what temperature your oven is really at.djedzura / iStock

Unfortunately, not every oven is as reliable as you would like it to be, which means the temperature your oven is telling you it’s at isn’t always its actual temperature.

An oven thermometer, however, is much less likely to show an inaccurate temperature.

There’s so much you can do to improve your cooking and not all of it requires drastic changes. From implementing the tips above or enrolling on our Professional Cookery course, it’s time to make the change!

Here’s how Amazon decides which TV shows and movies to make

It’s the same for any television channel, film company or, more recently, online platforms such as Netflix and Amazon; someone must decide what goes on there. The who, how and why is answered by Joe Lewis who oversees Amazon’s comedy, drama, and VR.

Amazon is a data juggernaut, but there are limits to how useful that is when deciding which movies and TV shows to make for Prime Video, according to Joe Lewis, who oversees Amazon’s comedy, drama, and VR.

Listening to audience data can be helpful but also hurtful if used in the wrong way, Lewis explained at a recent MipTV panel.

The big problem is that when you are making a TV show, you aren’t looking for what people want to watch today. It just takes too long from concept to full season. Instead, you are trying to answer the question, “What do people want to watch in a year or two?”

Often, in that quest, you have to look for something that might not be a slam-dunk in the moment. “If you can’t find anything risky about an idea, one to three years later it’s usually behind the curve,” Lewis said. That fact can mean it’s hard to use audience data to validate a particular idea.

The obvious exception to this is with reboots, which Amazon rival Netflix is pumping out at a staggering rate — “Full House,” “Gilmore Girls,” “Arrested Development,” and so on.

But when Amazon uses data, especially when commissioning an entire series versus a pilot, it’s often about assessing the strength of the writer-director, not the concept.

“There are just some people who are right more often than not,” Lewis said. “That’s the kind of data you can look at.”

Live plus 20 years

What is Amazon looking for in that data?

Lewis came back a few times to the idea of “live plus 20 years,” or what people will want to watch over and over again, and will stand the test of time.

Lewis is “only interested in making things that people will watch, and watch for a long time,” he said. If Amazon can rack up a number of these types of shows, its back catalog will continue to get more valuable over time.

That perspective is useful in understanding some of Amazon’s shows that have gotten critical acclaim, like Golden Globe winners “Transparent” and “Mozart in the Jungle,” but haven’t snagged the massive audiences of some of Netflix’s streaming hits.

Amazon is in the business of having people sign up and continue to subscribing to Prime, and there are many metrics the company looks at besides pure audience size. “Transparent” was not the most-viewed pilot for Amazon, but it had an “incredibly high completion rate,” the “re-watch rate was significant,” and the critical feedback was good, Lewis said.

When you are looking for a show that will continue to give you value for decades, those are the right signs.

So it’s about making things that are good. Things that are good now, good then and good in 20 years. Check out our Creative Media, Film, TV and Special Effects course today for your first step in the industry! 

From Pepsi to Nivea: Some of the worst advertising fails

It’s been a bad week for adverts. A bad, bad week. They’ve been getting pulled and panned, crossing lines of sensitivity and trivialising serious incidents.

The BBC reports Pepsi apologised and pulled the ad after accusations that it trivialised recent street protests across the US. But it wasn’t the only company copping flak for poor creativity this week.

a screenshot of the advert: a woman is pictured back to camera in a white robe with the words 'white is purity' and an image of the can.Image copyrightNIVEA FACEBOOK
Image captionThe advert was posted to the brand’s Middle East audience, and has since been removed

German skincare brand Nivea also said sorry over its “white is purity” deodorant advert that was deemed discriminatory and racially insensitive.

Meanwhile, in the UK, the Co-op supermarket was accused of “outrageous sexism” in an advert for chocolate Easter eggs that encouraged parents to “treat your daughter for doing the washing up”, while Cadbury was criticised after dropping the word “Easter” from its egg hunts.

These campaigns have now taken their place in the pantheon of bad advertising. Here are a few more picks from recent memory.


Screenshot of the controversial 'Get Some Nuts' video by AMV BBDO from their websiteImage copyrightAMV BBDO
Image captionThe “Get Some Nuts” campaign was created by the AMV BBDO ad agency

Here’s another one that left a sour taste. The Snickers TV advert featuring Mr T as BA Baracus from The A-Team was pulled after it was accused of being insulting to gay men.

Mr T is shown firing Snickers chocolate bars at a man who’s speed walking in tight yellow shorts, while yelling, “You are a disgrace to the man race. It’s time to run like a real man.”

Confectionery giant Mars, which owns Snickers, released a statement saying the advert was intended to be funny but that “humour is highly subjective”.

Dunkin’ Donuts

Thai passengers walk past a Dunkin' Donuts advertising campaign featuring a woman with black face make-up displayed at a skytrain station in Bangkok on September 3, 2013Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

In the US and most of the West, this poster would have caused outrage and accusations of racism.

But in Thailand, an image of a woman in blackface and bright pink lipstick to promote a new “charcoal donut” wasn’t deemed a big deal.

The chief executive of the Thai franchise – whose daughter was the model – reportedly said at the time: “I don’t get it. What’s the big fuss? What if the product was white and I painted someone white, would that be racist?” But a spokesman for Dunkin’ Brands apologised.

The use of blackface – which historically was used by non-black performers to represent a black person – is still used in some Asian countries. Last year, a company in China used it to promote a laundry detergent.

Ford India

The US carmaker was forced to issue an apology over a poster that featured three gagged and bound women in the boot of a car.

It also showed former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in the driver’s seat grinning and flashing the peace sign.

The advert for Ford’s new Fido hatchback was posted online soon after India passed a new law on violence against women following a fatal gang rape.

Singapore’s ‘own goal’

World Cup anti-gambling advertisement at taxi stand in Singapore. 9 July 2014Image copyrightREUTERS

This anti-gambling advert deserves to be ranked in the Hall of Fame (or shame) for the amount of jokes it generated.

It was released to coincide with the 2014 World Cup and featured a boy complaining to friends that his dad had bet his life savings on Germany winning. The trouble is… Germany won.

Singapore officials updated the ad but not before it got lampooned around the world.

French faux pas

It takes quite a lot to shock in France, a country many consider to be one of the most liberal in Europe.

But a 2010 anti-smoking advertisement featuring teenagers and oral sex innuendos did just that, with one minister calling it an “outrage to decency”.

Critics said the highly suggestive pictures trivialised the sexual abuse of minors.

Thankfully we’ve since moved on to pictures of diseased organs to put people off smoking instead.


There wasn’t any cheering when the US department store Bloomingdale’s released its Christmas catalogue two years ago.

The photo of an attractive, well-dressed woman being eyeballed by an unsmiling man looked innocent enough…

Until you read the creepy caption that said “spike your best friend’s eggnog when they’re not looking”.

The online backlash was swift with many interpreting it as supporting date rape. Bloomingdale’s admitted the ad was “in poor taste”.

United Colours of Benetton

Benetton 2011 advertisement showing American's Barack Obama and China's Hu Jintao.Image copyrightBENETTON
Image captionThe 2011 posters showed half a dozen world leaders locking lips, including China’s Hu Jintao and America’s Barack Obama

Benetton’s “Unhate” campaign (which still exists) had good intentions when it launched in 2011.

But on one of its images the Italian clothing company clearly took its photo-editing skills too far.

It received a warning and the threat of legal action from the Vatican for a “totally unacceptable” image of Pope Benedict XVI kissing an Egyptian imam, and subsequently withdrew the ad.

The Vatican said in a statement that the ad was “damaging not only to the dignity of the Pope and the Catholic Church but also to the feelings of believers”.

The White House also disapproved of the images featuring then-President Barack Obama but Benetton kept those.

So what can brands do to avoid this?

We live in a time where race and gender and sexual orientation remain highly sensitive topics. So what can brands do to generate buzz without offending?

Screenshot of Pepsi apology on TwitterImage copyrightPEPSI/TWITTER

David Meikle, who founded marketing consultancy Salt, doubts that Pepsi will suffer from any long-term damage from the Kendall Jenner ad fiasco.

“Pepsi seems to have managed the retraction and apology quite well. Most importantly Pepsi was swift and decisive in its response to the feedback,” he says.

Simon Kemp, a marketing expert with almost two decades of experience, agrees that Pepsi has handled the fallout well but says all eyes will be on its next campaign.

“I think Pepsi has built sufficient goodwill over the years that their core customers will forgive them this time, although they may not forget as quickly as the brand would like. The real test will come when the brand launches its next campaign though, and Pepsi will need to tread carefully for that.”

Learn more about what is, and what isn’t, acceptable to put in an advert and the marketing of a product with one of our Business courses here at The Sheffield College. Click for more.