IAA Big Idea 2023 winning team announced

The International Advertising Association (IAA) held its annual ‘Big Idea’ challenge this year, with the University of Canberra’s team UCREATE announced as the winners.

IAA’s annual competition calls for teams of undergraduate university students to create marketing solutions for a real-world client.

UCREATE (University of Canberra)

The challenge’s purpose is to simulate an agency-style work environment, offering participants the chance to experience what it is to work in a professional marketing setting. The students are required to engage in various industry practices, such as strategy development, research and more.

The teams have their work judged by an expert panel, with four finalists chosen to pitch their submissions at a formal event. The winning team – dubbed the ‘National Champion Team’ – receive a certificate, trophy, 18-month, free memberships for ‘IAA Young Professionals Chapter’ (one membership for each team member) and complimentary tickets to a Mumbrella event.

(L-R): BOOMERANG ONE (Edith Cowan University), Heather Leembruggen (IAA Chair)

For 2023, the client partner, insurance organisation Youi Insurance, asked participants “to create an innovative, high impact campaign” that spotlighted Youi as an insurance provider like no other.

Teams were tasked to raise awareness of the company’s benefits, insurance options and network of call centres.

“Youi Insurance is thrilled to be partnering with the IAA for the 2023 Big Idea Challenge,” expressed Youi chief marketing officer Angela Greenwood.

“As one of Australia’s leading challenger brands, we believe in the power of creativity to fuel exceptional customer experiences and business growth. We can’t wait to see what the next generation of talent can contribute to our next chapter.”

Submissions consisted of three main elements: a report, PowerPoint presentation and video presentation.

This year, of the seven teams who registered for the challenge, the following were named as finalists:

  • BOOMERANG ONE from WA’s Edith Cowan University
  • COMMANDSHIFT from NSW’s University of Technology Sydney
  • NEWISH CREATIVE from QLD’s University of Queensland
  • UCREATE from ACT’s University of Canberra

Officially beginning at 2:00pm and ending by 5:30pm, the aforementioned teams took to the stage at WPP in North Sydney to pitch their work before a judging panel made up of delegates from Youi, marketing transformation company Lution (strategy partner), Mumbrella (media partner), MultiConnexions Group (planning partner) and WPP ANZ president Rose Herceg as chair.

COMMANDSHIFT (University of Technology, Sydney)

Drawing upon their industry expertise, judges analysed the submissions according to a criteria covering concept, campaign effectiveness, communication and strategy.

Presentations were judged based on creativity, content, argument strength, design and new insights.

While each team tackled their briefs with gusto, and gained valuable experience that will serve them well into their careers, UCREATE were chosen as this year’s winners.

“The International Advertising Association (IAA) is really happy that IAA Big Idea 2023 has given over 200 undergraduate students all over Australia, the opportunity to develop marketing communications programs for a real-world client with a real-life project,” shared Heather Leembruggen.

“IAA Big Idea offers an exceptional career-ready learning experience which the students have embraced with enthusiasm and passionate commitment.”

For Herceg, the talent, creativity and work ethic displayed by all teams proved that the industry has a bright future ahead of itself.

“Seeing the quality of submissions and the commitment to developing a great campaign for Youi was evident in every presentation. The future of our industry is in excellent hands,” she said.


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