Torie Henderson, president of global account management for Omnicom Media Group and chairperson for the event, now in its 11th year, opened MediaWorks with an anecdote.
“I heard someone say MediaWorks is like jumping into a bath full of ice after being in 50 degree heat,” said Henderson. “I’ve also heard them say that only the strong survive.”
Under the guidance of senior industry mentors, MediaWorks aims to replicate real life, challenging teams to pitch for a client with a real brief in real time.
This year’s event has attracted 108 trainees from across Asia-Pacific. The participants have been split into 13 teams, each with a designated mentor.
The mentors are:
- Anathea Ruys, Head of Fuse APAC, Omnicom Media Group
- Lee Smith, President, Annalect APAC
- Charlie Newbery, Regional Head of Media, Red Fuse Communications
- Chor Mui Lee, Head of Communications Planning, APAC, ZenithOptimedia
- Tomonori Inasaka, Communication Planning Director, Dentsu Media
- Nathan Cook, Head of Trading, Asia Pacific, Maxus
- Steve Garton, Proprietor, Steve Garton Consulting
- Amrita Randhawa, CEO, Mindshine China & Hong Kong
- Lyndon Morant, Head of Strategy - Japan, Korea and Taiwan, Mindshare
- Navaneeta Das, International Client President, Carat Asia Pacific
- James Spendlove Hawkins, Chief Digital Officer, Dentsu Media Asia
- Rosalynn Tay, CEO, Dentsu Aegis Network Singapore
- Paddy Crawshaw, Head of Strategy, OMD APAC
Opening the event, Henderson offered the delegates some words of advice. Then Bulgari was revealed as the client.
- Edouard Leng, regional client services director, ZenithOptimedia (client chair)
- Boris Barboni, International Marketing Director, Bulgari
- Cristiana Cucco, Global Media and Advertising Director, Bulgari
Before Bulgari presented the challenge to the delegates, a panel of senior industry leaders shared their journeys in the media industry and offered some invaluable advice on approaching the client brief and MediaWorks experience.
“Make sure you ask the questions behind the questions in the brief,” offered Gerry Boyle, chief executive officer of Publicis Media Asia-Pacific. “Be a team for the next 66 hours and enjoy it. Make sure you have a line of sight between the strategy and the outcome for the client.”
Amrita Randhawa, CEO for Mindshare China and Hong Kong, advised teammates to lift each other up. "The teams here [delegates] come from diverse markets and disciplines," Randhawa said. "Take advantage of that and add to what each of you are saying. It’ll be the best product only if you do that.”
Rosalynn Tay, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network Singapore added: “I think you all [delegates] need to get some sleep so you can think clearly. Plan properly and be mindful of what you do. Eat well and rest properly.”
Henderson, echoed the advice to get some sleep, ahead of a busy four days. “One of the most important things to remember is to listen and ask questions. The mentors are not here to do the work for you, they are here to guide.”