After six months of training, the pioneering batch of Hydrogen candidates presented their final assignments on Wednesday 11th February. To simulate the ad agency environment, the candidates were divided into groups, comprising of an AE, a Strategic Planner and two Creatives.
The mission? To re-position Skol Beer and induce trial with the objective of beating Tiger Beer to be the number 2 brand to Carlsberg.
The brief was given by Abhinav Sharma, Strategic Planning Director of McCann Erickson.
The work was judged by :
• Brian Lee, Director, Corporate Marketing, Samsung Malaysia. He was with Carlsberg when Tiger Beer (Skol's main competitor) was launched.
• Zayn Khan, Managing Director of Ogilvy & Mather.
• And Abhinav himself, of course.
Trainers Agnes Liew-Gan and Peter Gan watch the show while Shahnaz does camera duty.
While the AEs and Planners presented the advertising strategy and creative ideas to this panel, the Copywriters and Art Director presented their portfolios to a group of Creative Directors.
This was an intense face to face grilling where each candidate was seated in front of a CD, explaining the thought processes behind each idea. It was an enriching, enlightening and unforgettable.
The CDs who generously contributed their time and inspiring guidance were :
Jeff Orr, Group Executive Creative Director of TBWA-ISC\Malaysia.
SP Lee, Managing Director & Executive Creative Director of Dentsu Malaysia.
James Yap, Creative Director of Saatchi & Saatchi.
Vincent Chan, Creative Director of GanForHire.
Alvin Ng, Creative Director of TBWA-ISC\Malaysia.
VINCENT CHAN :
"When reviewing the work of 95% graduates, I always expect to be excited, enriched, enthralled and entertained. There's just so much talent and unbound creativity in the work that it's hard to imagine ANY serious advertising student not wanting to be a part of your programmes, which, to me, are a sure-fire way to getting noticed in the industry."
ALVIN NG :
"The students' work was impressive, taking into consideration the kinda crap I came up with when I was a student.
They were well prepared, enthusiastic and confident (thankfully they didn't mix up confidence with arrogance).
Overall, they give the industry a lot of hope for the future and once they get into the workforce, they surely can make a difference... if they want to."
"The presenters both from Account Management and Strategic Planning not only did their homework and research well but also exuded a level of confidence required for the industry they will soon join.
I believe 95% The Advertising Academy is the first in the country to provide not just academic requirements but real life experience for participants to have an accurate feel on what the industry is really about.
This would definitely prepare the Hydrogen candidates to short-cut their ‘freshie’ stage and hopefully have a quicker and quantum leap at the beginning of their career.
I truly believe this will set new heights for the industry."