Canberra students win 2018 IAA Big Idea challenge

University of Canberra students have won this year’s Big Idea challenge, the annual competition for university undergrads to hone their communication skills with a real world client brief.

Held by the International Advertising Association, this year’s competition saw more than 150 uni students from five states compete to deliver a high-impact campaign for Nestle’s Uncle Tobys Plus cereal brand.

The judging panel at the 2018 Big Idea challenge with the IAA’s Heather Leembruggen (centre) and Mumbrella’s Victoria Seymour (right)

University of Canberra’s “Ignite Team” won the competition with the Boomerang One team with Edith Cowan University’s Boomerang team as runners up and University of Technology Sydney’s “The Mill” in third place.

This year’s challenge was sponsored by Nestle as client partner, Think TV as insights partner, Adobe as technology partner and Mumbrella as media partner.

Michelle Katz, head of marketing at Nestle, and also a jury member said: “Nestle was thrilled to be a part of this year’s IAA ‘Big Idea’ award.  The calibre of the students and their professional responses to our brief was very impressive.

“Congratulations to the winner ‘Ignite team’ who displayed strong insight which informed their memorable creative idea and execution.  The future looks bright for this group of students.”

Clemenger BBDO deputy CEO, Gayle While, as jury chair summed up the judges’ verdict: “IAA Big Idea always sets a high benchmark, but the standard of this year’s finalists was inspiring. All the teams demonstrated insightful and creative ways to drive a commercial outcome in response to a challenging brief from Uncle Tobys. It was exciting to see the passion and talent about it enter the industry. Congratulations to all finalists. “

The IAA ‘Big Idea’ is a national marketing communications challenge specially created for student teams from Australian universities and colleges with courses in advertising, marketing, media and communications to foster the professional development of then upcoming generation of communications practitioners, which is central to the IAA’s ongoing mission and commitment to education in the industry.

Along with While and Katz, the jury for this year’s competition included; Megan Howard, Adobe head of campaign marketing APAC, Danielle McWilliam, Think TV marketing manager, Victoria Seymour, Mumbrella’s sales director and Ian Perrin, Speed’s chief accelerator.

Commenting on the IAA ‘Big Idea’ challenge, IAA Australia chairman emeritus, Heather Leembruggen said: “In this 16th year of the IAA ‘Big Idea’ challenge, we are very proud that this is highly valued by over 150 university students each year who are about to embark on a career in marketing communications, proving this competition equips them with a hands-on, career-ready, real-life learning experience that will stand them in good stead.

It is also immensely gratifying for the IAA and all the teams, who contributed so enthusiastically, to have the opportunity to provide innovative ideas for an iconic FMCG brand like Uncle Tobys Plus, generating concepts that can be taken to market. My congratulations to all those who participated in the IAA ‘Big Idea’ 2018 challenge – they all all won an amazing experience!”


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