Keira Hastings (right) and Annabelle Nowak (left) represented Australia at this year’s Young Stars Ad Competition at Ad Stars in Busan, South Korea – a three-day festival that took place in August.
Young Stars gives university students a taste of what it’s like to work in advertising by competing against around 40 teams. They are both in their final semester at RMIT in Melbourne: Keira has interned at The Taboo Group; Belle has just completed an internship at Milkbar Digital.
How did you hear about the Young Stars program & why were you curious to be part of it?
We initially heard of Ad Stars through an article posted on Campaign Brief. After talking to our university tutors, we were encouraged to enter our work into the Young Stars program, a competition for university students starting out in the advertising industry.
Can you describe the experience: What does it involve? What did you learn?
Ad Stars is a three-day advertising festival that celebrates university students, up and comers and industry professionals within three different categories. As Young Stars, we were given a brief to work on within 30 hours. This year’s brief asked us to come up with a ‘groundbreaking social media campaign to make Busan known to foreigners’.
Throughout the festival we were invited to attend various networking events. It was incredible to meet so many encouraging professionals from all different parts of the world who are so supportive of those starting out in the industry.
Our entire experience was incredibly inspiring and we would strongly recommend other Aussie students to consider applying.
How did you handle the brief and the 30-hour deadline?
As tourists of Busan ourselves, we instilled our first-hand tourist experience and unique cultural viewpoint to create a campaign that would resonate with Australians. The 30-hour deadline meant that researching and ideating had to be done particularly quickly. With mentorship from Isobar’s Emma Park (Associate Creative Director, Melbourne), we developed a clear idea and worked through the night to produce our campaign. This photo of our desk shows what our setup looked like during the brief response hustle.
Highlights of your trip to South Korea?
After Ad Stars, we ventured to Seoul and explored the fascinating culture of fashion, food and art. However, Ad Stars was such a unique and special opportunity that it has to be the highlight of our trip. The delicious fried chicken and Korean barbecue is a close second.
Where are you studying and when do you finish?
We are in the final semester of a bachelor’s degree in Advertising and we will officially finish up at university at the end of October. Keira has interned at The Taboo Group; Belle has just completed an internship at Milkbar Digital.
What do you hope to do next after uni?
As university is quickly coming to a close, we are aiming to continue to work collaboratively as creatives in the advertising industry.
Now that you’ve experienced your first global ad festival: do you still want to work in advertising & if so why?
Our experience at Ad Stars completely confirmed our love for advertising and further inspired us. The opportunity to attend Ad Stars has really excited us for the next stage of our careers.