MediaWorks, Campaign Asia-Pacific's four-day online training experience for young media professionals, concluded late Friday (March 12), with a team called !N winning the simulated pitch. The team's proposal, in response to a brief from Colgate (see "How Colgate plans to connect its optimistic brand to sustainability activism"), centred on positioning young people to drive eco-conscious changes.
"Their proposal sought to motivate consumers and build in them a habit of choosing eco-friendly products for one’s daily routine, starting from oral care," said Sharon Soh, APAC head of strategy at UM and the mentor of the winning team. "Their aim was to get young changemakers who are passionate about the environment, but are overwhelmed by their daily tensions, to take a lead in incorporating sustainable habits into their daily lives, by educating how simple and fun sustainable living can be, therefore supporting these young changemakers in powering a movement in their communities."
The members of the winning team, known as !N:
Lyndon Morant, regional director of integrated marketing and communications for Colgate-Palmolive, praised all the teams for working and collaborating effectively over the four-day virtual event. As for the winning team, he noted that it was "switched on" from the word go and added that the team's choice to assign clear roles, as if it were an actual agency, proved effective.
"With the clarity and consistency of the message across the presentation, and the way that everybody was playing a role, I think everyone in that team was contributing to something greater," he said during the program's final online assembly Friday. "And we really got the feeling that this is an agency speaking. You could go away tomorrow, found an agency, and probably do a pretty good job."
Amrita Randhawa, chair for the event (who made news herself yesterday; see "Amrita Randhawa leaves Mindshare to join Publicis Groupe") said the team's focus made it stand out. "That old pitch truism of telling the story, telling it again and then telling it just once more was what gave them the edge," she said. "From their positioning as an agency to the depth of their data and insight-led thinking, to their ideas, they reinforced a singular story, which made them memorable and a team you wanted to work with."
In addition to assigning clear roles, the team also came out the gate with a value proposition encoded into its name; the '!N' stood for insight, innovation and integration, Soh said. "My belief is that the team and proposal won because they used data and analytical thinking to understand the challenge and the consumer, and developed a strategy and ideas that not only addressed the challenge but were coherent throughout."
Morant agreed the team delivered on the three "in" words. "You lived up to that from from the first slide all the way through the insights section and the strategy, the way you deep dived into how the three different markets perceive the sustainability challenge, and how generation Z are picking up on that as well," he said. "You focused your ideas, so you didn't have too many going in at the same time. It made it really easy to remember and give feedback. And overall, it's just a pleasure to receive that presentation."
Campaign Asia-Pacific thanks the MediaWorks mentors and thought leaders who gave their time, expertise and enthusiasm.
Randhawa had praise for all the teams. "I have sat in remote pitches this year and seen seasoned teams struggle to get the chemistry across sometimes," she said. "But so many of the teams at MediaWorks this year were such live wires, bristling with chemistry, that it knocked my socks off. The future is bright with talent like this in the industry."
Soh agreed. "There were many strong ideas across board and the solutions came across as well integrated," she said. "Many of the teams also demonstrated a lot of energy and passion as well as had great presentation styles and showmanship. As a mentor, I’m amazed at the breadth and depth of talent that we have in media. Whilst the virtual environment no doubt has its limitation, fundamentally, what the programme achieved this year was still very much in line with the core spirit of Mediaworks. It brought together our next generation of media talent from different cultural backgrounds, areas of expertise, and life experiences, and gave them the opportunity to inspire each other and learn from one another, and of course also from the mentors and clients."