Winner Ad Venture Student Competition 2016 announced

The jury of the third round of the Ad Venture Student Competition, organised by the European Institute for Commercial Communications Education (edcom) and EACA, has announced that team Aedion from King’s College London (UK) has won the Ad Venture Competition with their campaign “Your Web Vote”.

Students in advertising and commercial communications from across Europe were asked to create a campaign to raise awareness of the consequences of the use of ad blocking technology. The topic is creating much debate in the industry and has been top of mind to advertisers and publishers, to whom it causes a real threat. The brief was to make internet users aware of how ad blocking technology restricts publishers’ ability to display high quality online content.

The winning team Aedion, represented by Wayne D’Cruz, Mu You, Chi Zhang and Petya Karagyozova competed against 75 other teams from 14 countries answering a brief developed in collaboration with a consortium of European media associations covering television, press and digital.

The three finalists – Aedion (King’s College London, UK), Xense (University of Leeds, UK) and What do you mean Agency (Pantheon University, France) – were selected during two initial judging rounds and were given the opportunity to present their campaign to the final jury and the edcom members during the 9th edcom May meeting at the College of Agora in Zagreb, Croatia.

Team Aedion’s campaign “Your Web Vote” is centered around an online vote wherein users have to pick between two options: ‘free internet with advertising’ or ‘paid internet with no advertising’. The campaign presents two fictional figureheads in Jack LeftSide and Max RightSide who lead their respective campaigns.

The King’s College London students were rewarded for their hard work with travel, accommodation and a ticket to the prestigious Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity which will take place in June 2016.

“The experience of participating in a competition of this scale was both challenging and rewarding. The opportunity to not only meet some of the most esteemed names from the industry but also more importantly to pitch our ideas before them and receive elaborate feedback has been immensely valuable. Furthermore, it was quite enlightening and inspiring to see how other teams approached the same brief. Our biggest takeaway is definitely the ‘can-do’ attitude that this competition empowers you with which has truly motivated us for the future!” commented winning team Aedion.

The final jury, chaired by Marina Vnučec (Degordian), was composed of Townsend Feehan (IAB Europe), Angela Mills Wade (EPC), Luka Dubokovic (BBDO Zagreb), Jan Binar (McCann Prague), Arnoud Versluis (NHTV University) and Nenad Bogdanovic (College of Agora).

Jury chair Marina Vnučec stated that “it was a privilege to be a part of the Ad Venture competition and to be among so many creative young minds. The jury was really impressed by all three top final solutions since each one of them was outstanding in its own way. Congratulations to all the teams, especially to the winner, King’s College London!”

From the client’s side, EPC Executive Director Angela Mills Wade said: “I found the experience very inspiring, to see such talented young people working together to produce very high quality work. The brief was challenging but they got behind this controversial issue of ad blocking with highly imaginative ideas and workable executions. Their commitment and professionalism is to be commended.” Townsend Feehan, CEO of IAB Europe, added that “it was particularly encouraging to see with what conviction the group embraced the brief, although they are all right in the “millennials” age group that is leading in ad blocking usage. Seeing how they would motivate their peers to think twice was enlightening and shows that young people today can see the strategic stakes involved in supporting media independence.” Registrations for the next Ad Venture Student Competition will open in autumn 2016.