Students’ Big Idea lands them in prestigious competition final

Are millennials just a bunch of lazy drop-outs, who drink and party too much?

Those tired stereotypes about young people were at the centre of an advertising campaign created by Charles Sturt communications students, who made it to the finals of a high-profile nationwide competition this month.

The Kajulu Blue team – Benjamin Breden, Christopher Couper, Charlie Hodgkin, Rebeka Magok, Lucy Pirrie, Pia Priestley, and Mia Scudds – were finalists in the International Advertising Association’s Big Idea Challenge.

The competition asked university students around Australia to come up with and pitch an ad campaign to promote ANZ bank’s financial wellbeing products to young people.

Senior lecturer Anne Llewellynn says Kajulu Blue decided to “re-brand” the negative attitudes about millennials to engage the youth market.

“The idea was to simply present the very positive side of millennials, versus the spendthrift, heavy drinkers and partiers image – which they’re not. It was a clever idea, a clever way to position it.”

And by working together remotely through COVID-19 shut downs, the students came to personify their campaign.

“[Their campaign was] millennials are not the drop-out lot and that they can work hard and they are dedicated, and they are strivers, and they are achievers, and this team proved it.

“Despite everything, they got to the finals and I think that’s fantastic.”

None of the team members were able to meet face-to-face to come up with ideas and work on their campaign.

“It’s just been a strain on the students, it’s been so hard for them,” Ms Llewellynn says.

“We didn’t win, it was great to make it to the finals. They got there under the worst possible conditions and I’m so proud of the fact that they did.”

Many of the students have now found jobs in the industry.

Kajulu Communications is the Charles Sturt student advertising agency for students, and has made the finals of the Big Idea Challenge for 12 consecutive years.

Under the supervision of Ms Llewellynn, they’ve won 13 times out of 18.

She says the key to success is all about passion and treating students like professionals.

“It’s just passion and dedication. I love it. They do get as passionate as I do and I think that’s key.

“In the advertising industry if you don’t have passion, you can’t make it, it’s like an obsession.”