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IAA ’Big Idea’ 2017

National Student Marketing Communications Competition


Comments from students and educators who participated in IAA ‘Big Idea’ 2017
“Taking part in the IAA’s Big Idea competition has been an invaluable experience. The most rewarding and challenging part was working on a brief for an incredible and respected client with such a short time frame. As a student preparing to enter the workforce, it has taught me a lot about working intimately with a team and working under pressure, and our success has motivated and empowered me to begin making my mark in the communications industry. The panel of judges and guests were incredible; having the opportunity to present to, and talk with, them is something I never envisaged for myself so early in my career. I am extremely grateful and excited for the experience, motivation, and opportunities this has brought for myself and for my team.”
Mary Hall, Account Director/Team Leader, Kajulu Red, Charles Sturt University


“I selected to apply for The Big Idea because I wanted to be challenged and pushed to learn in an environment where this was fostered. The Big Idea did not fail to live up to that expectation.

The Big Idea experience enabled me to more deeply grasp the importance of storytelling in communication and also helped cement advertising processes.

Working so closely with other students enabled me to learn a lot about myself. I learned how I interact with others in stressful situations. When you are exhausted your politeness often falls away and it was good to understand how to deal with myself and also others in these situations. The Big Idea highlighted my strengths and weaknesses and allowed me to more accurately assess the most practical career path.

Other important things that the Big Idea taught me were that: the small things count big, to organise others you have to be first organised, all work can be fun if you want it to be, hard work prospers.”

John Ryan, Account Director/Team Leader/ Kajulu Blue, Charles Sturt University


“Every year, the real world experience gained from the IAA ‘Big Idea’ contributes significantly to preparing our graduates for the transition from university to professional practice. This year was particularly challenging. The brief was to develop a B2B communications strategy to create leads to sell Adobe Document Cloud to a specific industry. The task required the teams to recommend and rationalise a suitable target market as well as to develop the integrated marketing communications campaign. The value of coming up with a response to a brief from such a high calibre client has been immeasurable. It allowed our students in their capstone year to apply everything they have learnt throughout their degree; work integrated learning at its best. The International Advertising Association strives to inspire excellence in marcoms graduates. The ‘Big Idea’ challenge does just that.”

Anne Llewellynn, Charles Sturt University Faculty Advisor


“Competing in the IAA Big Idea Competition was the ultimate constructive experience. Working as a team on a real client pitch under high pressure, we realised our limits and were pushed, by ourselves, by our teammates, by our teachers, and by our competitors, to exceed them. As a result, each one of us has developed invaluable, intangible skills that will guide us through the many trials to come.”

Lucy Sheaves, Team Construct Member – University of Canberra


” ‘The competition experience was a good, fun challenge for our whole team. I enjoyed taking my knowledge from university classes and applying them to a real client brief. The nature of the event encouraged a good-natured competitive spirit that drove us to do our best. I loved seeing the creative ideas developed and presented by the other teams, learning how they interpreted the brief and their subsequent creative executions. Overall, it was a worthwhile experience that gave us a taste of the advertising industry.'”

David Kopka, Team Construct Member – University of Canberra


“‘We always look forward to taking part in the Big Idea competition. The competition amalgamates the teachings of our course allowing our students to put theory in to practice. It provides the students a mini-agency experience further extending the opportunity to be job-ready graduates. This year the brief being from a commercial client was exciting. The team took on the challenge with high enthusiasm and it was eventful and proud to see their creative progress in developing their campaign pitch along with strong group cohesion. Being selected as a finalist was a key highlight and having the opportunity to present in front of a panel of industry professionals was a privilege for the team. Here’s to an educative and hands-on competition and we look forward to the next one!’

Shara Ranasinghe, Team Construct Faculty Advisor – University of Canberra


“The IAA Big Idea competition was an experience. From where we started when we first received the brief, to what we presented on the day makes me incredibly proud of my team and what we were able to achieve. The brief provided us with many challenges along the way that pushed us to further develop our skills. I have learnt so much from this experience that will stay with me throughout my career.”

Freya Barsby – Boomerang Two Team, Edith Cowan University


“The knowledge I gained from being a part of the IAA Big Idea has been incredible. Having a client like Adobe really set the standard as they’re such a well known brand for creativity, it pushed all of us further with our approach to the campaign and whilst it came with a lot of challenges, the rewards far outweigh them and I’m forever grateful for being able to take part in this.”

Adam Prandalos – Boomerang One Team, Edith Cowan University


“The IAA’s global education mission is to provide opportunities for the next generation of talent to practice and prove themselves as vital future employees. Competitions such as IAA Australia’s Big Idea offer students that opportunity to compete amongst their peers and showcase their learnings to industry. It’s a practice fostered globally by all IAA Chapters to encourage and endorse the practical application of theoretical learning.”

Diane Slade – IAA Global Vice President Education