Marketing and communications students at the University of Wollongong in Dubai were recently given the opportunity to experience the highs and lows of taking part in a competitive marketing agency pitch thanks to Abu Dhabi based communications agency Brands and Beyond.
The experience, organised by UOWD’s Dr Nermeen Mustafa, saw eight teams of students work around the clock on a live brief to create a communications strategy, creative treatment and media strategy for a low calorie sweetener brand looking to enter the UAE market. The teams were then given the opportunity to present their ideas to a panel headed up by Samer Moussa, Chief Executive Officer of Brands and Beyond, in an environment mimicking that of a competitive agency pitch.
Facing a series of gruelling questions, the teams battled hard against each other to be crowned pitch winners, persuading the agency, whose impressive client list includes governmental organisations, Abu Dhabi Airports, Porsche, the Department of Finance, Abu Dhabi Munipality and ZADCO of their ideas.
Two teams of students, Frederick Abeyerathe, Jincy Pachamparambil, Omair Zahid, Sasha Kannan, Tatinna Cornilova, Tatjana Stepanova, Sonam Mehta, Reshma Philip, Bashar Ayyad and Aria Totonchi, impressed the panel with their professionalism, sound knowledge of marketing theory, creativity and in-depth communications and media strategies to share the top spot.
Commenting on the experience, winning team member Tatiana Cornilova, a Master of Strategic Marketing student said: “It was an incredibly insightful project to be a part of. It’s important to get feedback from professionals who have a thorough appreciation of the amount of work that goes into preparing a pitch. It’s given me a great insight into the world of marketing and I will take the uniqueness of this experience with me for years to come.”
Dr Nermeen Mustafa added: “Whilst it is extremely important that our students achieve advanced knowledge of marketing and communications theory, the world doesn’t run on theory alone. Our students need to combine their theoretical knowledge with practical experiences. This project allowed our students to experience both worlds, marrying creative ideas with theory based strategy.”