Student campaign to lead The Jakarta Post writer’s festival

Student campaign to lead The Jakarta Post writer’s festival

Advertising students have worked with Asia’s leading English language daily newspaper, The Jakarta Post, pitching innovative digital campaigns for the paper’s annual literary festival.

Students from RMIT’s Master of Advertising worked in teams to develop advertising campaigns for the multi-award-winning paper’s annual literary festival, The Writers’ Series.

In a 72-hour challenge, students responded to a real brief from the paper’s storytelling arm B/NDL Studios, a creative studio that produces narrative campaigns and storytelling.

They then pitched their ideas to senior creatives, art and design consultants, and client partners before receiving critical feedback in a masterclass led by The Jakarta Post’s Chief Operating Officer, Maggie Tiojakin. 

Tiojakin is also an alumnus of RMIT’s Writers Immersion and Cultural Exchange (WrICE) program.

Tiojakin said she was thrilled with the winning campaign ‘Unjumble the Chaos’ which would serve as the backbone of this year's communication strategy for the festival.

“The concept is ideal because of its simplicity and elegance. The team has taken our brief a step further by challenging the nature of online events through a shared gaming experience,” she said.  

Member of the winning team, Somya Shadilya, said the use of puzzles and games represented a bringing together of different perspectives.

“By reassembling different pieces together, we are trying to show that perspectives towards this strange life can be reshaped,” she said. 

Sketch of the winning campaign ‘Unjumble the Chaos’.

RMIT’s writing and publishing discipline has previously participated in the festival, which brings together speakers from a wide range of writing disciplines from around the world, as part of its Asia Pacific engagement program.

RMIT studio lead and advertising lecturer, Dr Michelle Aung Thin, said this latest project was a live example of working creatively to turn COVID-19 restrictions into an advantage.

“Our original concept was to travel with students to Jakarta, but because we were working online instead, we were able to work with partners all over the world,” she said.

“In our digital reimagining, students took part from cities in China, India and of course Melbourne. This is also consistent with our research focus for this year which is digital creativity.”

The project also included students from France, Denmark, the UK, Mexico and Mauritius, with several continuing to work on the literary festival and extend their industry experience beyond the intensive. 

Associate Professor Francesca Rendle-Short, Associate Dean of Writing and Publishing at RMIT, said she was looking forward to extending RMIT’s partnership with the paper into 2021.

“This global work integrated learning project is a perfect example of how a university, students, and a creative industry partner can come together to bridge cultural divides and make a difference,” she said.

“Students responded enthusiastically to this real-world creative exploration by highlighting what they learnt: resilience, trust, confidence, faith in teamwork and effort and how ultimately, boundaries don’t matter.”


Story: Ali Barker 


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