Rick Boost
Jun 1, 2018

Teamwork, mentoring and initiative on show at MediaWorks 2018

The winning team won in part by thinking (and venturing) outside the event venue.

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The 2018 edition of MediaWorks, Campaign’s battle of the media professionals, came to a close in Bangkok on Saturday.

Chaired for the sixth straight year and 12th time overall by Torie Henderson (CEO of Southeast Asia and India at Omnicom Media Group), the 13th edition of MediaWorks pitted 95 young professionals—from across the region and from a range of marketing roles—against each other on a brief from Chinese tech giant Huawei.

MediaWorks acts as a hyperreal training simulation spliced with a traditional conference. Over a four-day period, teams under the guidance of experienced mentors, work on a real-world client brief to craft a pitch that will hold up to the scrutiny of a exacting judging panel.

Jan Harling, Huawei's global media investment director, and Jonathan Ye, its APAC head of digital, presented a real-life media brief to the assembled delegates for the Huawei Porsche design luxury smartphone. The focus was on combating consumer perceptions of Chinese tech products and extolling the advanced technology and design features of the device.

Campaign Asia-Pacific thanks all the mentors who gave of their time, expertise and enthusiasm this year:

  • Torie Henderson, CEO, Southeast Asia and India, Omnicom Media Group (chair)
  • Benjamin Condit, chief strategy officer, Mindshare
  • Adam Good, chief digital officer Dentsu
  • Rosemary Lising, Asia managing director, Columbus
  • Charlie Newbery, APAC head of media, Digitas
  • Clay Schouest, APAC chief strategy officer, Carat
  • Ranga Somanathan, CEO, Singapore and Malaysia, Omnicom Media Group
  • Chris Stephenson, APAC head of strategy and planning, PHD
  • Jason Tan, head of strategy, Zenith

Team Blue took the winner’s crown for its pitch. Led by team mentor Adam Good (chief digital officer for Dentsu), the group gained acclaim with its assertive approach. On top of impressive plans for a sponsored reality-format series, what really got the judges' attention was an expedition Team Blue made into Bangkok itself, interviewing users of the newly released device.

“The thing that’s the biggest challenge is just 12 people coming together in a very short amount of time to present a very coherent response to what was a very good brief," Good said. "There’s a lot of commitment, there’s a lot of willingness to learn. There’s tremendous talent across this region.”

In addition to this scramble for strategic superiority, the event also featured presentations by industry experts explaining what really goes into crafting a successful pitch. Sponsor representatives Neil Stewart (head of agency for APAC at Facebook), Matt Harty (SVP Asia at The Trade Desk), John Williams (vice president of advertising sales for South and Southeast Asia at BBC Global News), and James Rothwell (APAC director of marketing at Netflix)  all lent advice to the attendees. 

“Mediaworks, in my opinion, is probably the best training ground and opportunity for the industry to get together and develop talent," Stewart said. "So we’re committed to supporting the development of people. It’s a great opportunity to be involved in such a fun and prestigious event within the agency community.”

The members of the winning team were:

  • Sanket Sasane, iProspect
  • Helena Elise Bayaborda, OMD
  • Seul Gie (Rebecca) Sun, Vizeum Korea
  • Thi Nha Chi Tran, Havas Media Viet Nam Company Limited
  • Cattleya Chan, PHD Thailand
  • Juan Sebastian Bayona Jaramillo, Dentsu Aegis Network - Carat Content
  • Thi Thuy Tran, Aegis Media Vietnam
  • Si Min Samantha Lee, Carat
  • Sanna Elfriede Britsman, Mindshare
  • Salleh Nurfaizah, Grapeshot APAC
  • May May Wong, Carat Media
  • Janet Shen, Havas Taiwan

The 95 delegates who took part came from points of origin including Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Thailand, South Korea, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan, Japan, Philippines, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Australia, and Myanmar. They represented Dentsu Aegis, GroupM, Havas, Omnicom Media Group, and Publicis, as well as a few from independent agencies. This year 35% of the delegates were male and 65% female.

Sanna Britsman, luxury strategy director at Mindshare China, and a member of Team Blue said on her win, “This [MediaWorks] is the chance to step back and see this is what media could be, should be, and how exciting it really is.”

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