Year after year Charles Sturt U marketing students win awards: this is how it’s done

A Charles Sturt University team has won the International Advertising Association Australia Big Idea competition, again. Runner-up was another CSU team, again. Advertising lecturer Anne Llewellyn coached the students, also again. And if that isn’t a pattern, consider this – CSU students have won the competition 12 out of 15 years –with six straight wins.

The IAAA competition involves student teams answering a brief from a real-world client with a full-service agency solution. This year they pitched a plan to Adobe, which wants to expand the sales base for its Document Cloud product but had no particular industry in mind

CSU Kajulu Red team identified schools and created “Sheet happens”, a social media campaign targeting teachers pained by paperwork who want to teach more and paper-work less. “Encourage trial, get teachers on side and then influence the decision makers, the principals, to consider purchasing the software,” Ms Llewellynn sums up.

So how did they do it this year? CMM asks. Same as they did it in the others Ms Llewellynn explains;

“Students in their final year work in our on-campus student marketing communications agency, Kajulu. I act as CEO and they work in teams, as in the industry, to respond to live, paid client briefs, including for Telstra, Jim Beam, Foxtel, Coca-Cola, The Australian Institute of Management and Pfizer, and of course the International Advertising Association ‘Big Idea’.

The experience the students gain in this authentic learning environment puts them a long way ahead of most marketing comms graduates from other universities. I treat the students as industry executives in Kajulu and I expect them to act like industry executives. That includes turning up on time for workshops and lectures, meeting deadlines and working professionally as part of a team. As I say to them, if an account executive of mine turned up late, it would only be once.

There is a shift in their attitude in their final year. They do take the Kajulu experience very seriously and they start to understand the very real pressure of the industry. The big idea teams are so motivated that they literally work seven days a week to get their recommendations in. But hey, this is what they will be doing when they get into the industry after they graduate in December.

“I am very passionate about my teaching,” she says. CMM would never have guessed.



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