Vietnamese students win at international advertising competition

Vietnamese students win at international advertising competition

RMIT University Vietnam students have once again prevailed in an international creative competition with a Bronze prize at the Young Stars AD Competition 2022.

Organised by the MAD STARS (formerly, AD STARS) Festival, Young Stars AD Competition is a contest where university students from all over the world submit their creative ideas based on a specific theme.

This year’s brief is to create a campaign to help the South Korean city of Busan win the bid to host the World Expo 2030.

As the only team from Vietnam to win this year, Team Nguyen Duo consisting of RMIT  students Nguyen Khac Hai Linh and Nguyen Trong Nhan earned the Bronze award for their idea ‘Unseen Version Of BusaN’, or ‘UV ON’ for short.

Nguyen Trong Nhan (pictured left) and Nguyen Khac Hai Linh (pictured right) won the Bronze award at the Young Stars AD Competition 2022. Nguyen Trong Nhan (pictured left) and Nguyen Khac Hai Linh (pictured right) won the Bronze award at the Young Stars AD Competition 2022.

Their idea is to tell the unseen stories of Busan in a place that is seen by all the 169 countries that will vote to select the World Expo 2030 host city in November 2023 – the expo bid dossier. By printing UV-reactive ink over the original bid book, they shed light on the transformation of Busan that is often overlooked.

Each spread originally shows the picture of Busan before development and reveals the miraculous transformation after UV light is shone on it.

The duo had about six weeks to come up with the proposal and among the formats to present their idea in, they decided to go with a video. To finish the video in time, one took charge of the writing part and the other handled the visualisation.

The duo revealed that they adopted ‘upstream thinking’ in their approach, questioning the brief. Busan has to compete against cities like Rome (Italy) and Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) for the World Expo 2030. So, the duo gathered information from existing research and interviews, and found that one piece of truth stood out: how Busan went from a haven for war refugees to becoming the world’s sixth largest port.

“That’s a powerful transformation that speaks loudly and resonates especially with Vietnam, a country that was also torn by war. Yet Busan's miraculous story of transformation has been often overlooked or untold,” Nhan said.

The team realised that if Busan wants to win the bid, which is decided by the 169 voting members of the governing body Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), then it’s not the common people on the streets that they should be talking to. Their target audience is specifically the BIE voting members.

Linh explained: “We thought the voting members might not pay attention to K-pop or fancy billboards. But an inevitable part of their job is to review the bid dossier that is submitted by every bidding city as a basis for the voting procedure. So that’s when we thought: why not tell the unseen story of Busan in a book that is seen by all BIE members? Then the medium becomes the message.”

Transformation of the original bid dossier (pictured left) into the ‘Unseen Version Of BusaN’ (pictured right) using UV-reactive ink and UV light. Linh and Nhan came up with the idea to transform the original bid dossier (pictured left) into the ‘Unseen Version Of BusaN’ (pictured right) using UV-reactive ink and UV light.

Nhan and Linh are now both in their second year studying for a Bachelor of Communication (Professional Communication) degree.

They met each other in their first semester at university and attended several mutual classes, where their lecturers ignited in them a passion for advertising and an interest in competitions.

Since then, the students have challenged themselves with various competitions, including D&AD and Vietnam Young Lions. However, it was not until Young Stars that they had their first win as a duo.

The team said: “We take every competition as an opportunity to practice our knowledge, hone our skills and get exposure to the industry.

“For this year’s Young Stars specifically, we were super intrigued by the theme. This was the first time we were offered the chance to come up with ideas to promote an entire city and nation. It would be even more exciting if we can apply this experience to promote our dear Vietnam in the future.”

Dr Farida Kbar, Senior Program Manager, Professional Communication at RMIT University Vietnam, said: “The past two years have been outstanding for our students from the School of Communication & Design. They have won five major global awards in addition to several top prizes in the biggest national competition in the creative field.

“This is testament to the great talent that is emerging from Vietnam. The future of the creative sector here is bright thanks to these young people who will keep pushing their boundaries and sharing their brilliant ideas with the global creative community” she added.  

Story: Ngoc Hoang

  • Achievements

Related news