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Advertising students win top industry award

Two advertising students from the University of Gloucestershire have won the prestigious DMA Breakthrough Award 2016 – one of marketing’s leading awards celebrating the next generation of talent coming into the industry.

Alis Hâf Rees and Amy Armstrong-Jeffery, both BA (Hons) Advertising students at the university, were presented the award in front of senior figures from across the marketing industry at a glittering ceremony at London’s Old Billingsgate on Tuesday night (6 December).

The 3rd year creative team, both 20 years old, took home first place, leaving with a cash prize of £1,000, a paid internship at a top agency and the DMA Breakthrough Award.

The duo were up against students from 11 different universities from across the UK, all responding with their own creative advertising campaign for The Economist, this year’s Award sponsor. Their ‘To be read’ campaign was victorious thanks to their understanding of the challenge set out in the brief and presenting a campaign to the judges that they felt could genuinely be used by The Economist.

Alis said: “I can’t believe it! We were so excited to be shortlisted, but to go on and win the Breakthrough Award is a real honour. The awards night was fantastic and we were able to network with industry contacts which could help us get a foothold in the advertising business.”

Amy said: “Our lecturers were so supportive of our entry for the awards and I think that because our course is so industry-focussed – it’s all about getting industry contacts and building your portfolio – it really gave us the confidence to pitch our idea to the experts.”

Cordell Burke, joint chair of the Graeme Robertson Trust (GRT), explains: “This year’s finalists all really excited the judges, showing maturity far beyond their years. However, the winners showed an ability to understand the brief, respond to feedback and questioning, and presented it in front of the panel of industry experts with aplomb. Ultimately, they understood what their campaign needed to do and they did it.”

The DMA Breakthrough Award is one of marketing’s leading awards celebrating the next generation of talent coming into the industry. It’s supported by GRT, founded in memory of legendary Brann creative director Graeme Robertson, and is also part of the DMA and IDM’s joint Employability team that work to help fresh creative talent break into the industry.