Next generation of advertisers working with M&C Saatchi and Tourism Australia in Advertising Capstone Challenge 2021

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Next generation of advertisers working with M&C Saatchi and Tourism Australia in Advertising Capstone Challenge 2021

Advertising students from Swinburne University of Technology, the University of Queensland, and Western Sydney University will compete in the annual Advertising Capstone Challenge (ACC) 2021 for the opportunity to pitch their advertising campaign solutions to executives from Tourism Australia and M&C Saatchi.


Tourism Australia, an Australian Government agency, has been historically tasked with bringing international travellers to Australia. It will be exciting to see what direction this new generation of advertising professionals will take Tourism Australia, especially in the wake of a global pandemic where tourism has significantly declined.

Says Sarah Gallon, general manager – brand, creative and media, consumer marketing at Tourism Australia: “While Tourism Australia’s marketing is traditionally focused on attracting visitors from overseas, for the immediate term our focus is on supporting the tourism industry by encouraging Australians to travel domestically. In particular we also want to encourage travel to those destinations most affected by the loss of international visitors such as our cities. One of the ways of getting travellers back into the cities is by urging people to share their travel experiences and who better to do that than students from all across the country? With their insights and fresh perspectives about the cities closest to them, these students are uniquely poised to rise to this challenge of the task ahead and we’re really looking forward to seeing all their ideas.”

Says Mandie van der Merwe, executive creative director M&C Saatchi Sydney: “The Australian tourism industry is facing some really hefty challenges. To be able to see how the next generation of creative thinkers tackle these issues, is not only incredibly exciting, it’s also a great privilege. I can’t wait to see what they bring to the table. “

This prestigious competition allows final year university students to network and connect with the advertising industry through collaboration and competition. In previous years, the ACC has given students the opportunity to pitch to clients from Suzuki Australia, McDonald’s Australia, Lion (Dare Iced Coffee), 7 Eleven (Slurpee), and Cricket Australia.

Says John Greig, co-chair of the ACC and Advertising Lecturer at Western Sydney University: “It’s amazing to have such a great creative agency like M&C Saatchi supporting our future leaders in both advertising and marketing and to have Tourism Australia come onboard and support us in what would be one of their most challenging periods, is just inspiring!

The ACC Virtual Cafe that brings students and industry professionals together for weekly deep dives will run again in 2021 including planned presentations from executives at Mother London, McCann Prague, Ogilvy Singapore and Dentsu McGarryBowen New York. Each student in this year’s winning team will secure internships, and mentorships with M&C Saatchi, providing an ongoing opportunity to learn from some of Australia’s best creative minds.

To find out more about the ACC, go to