Business School students ‘Ignite’ fresh approach to come first at national advertising competition

30 Oct 2020

The University of Queensland (UQ) has shone bright at the annual Advertising Capstone Challenge, taking out first place for the second year running, with an innovative pitch.

Five advertising students from UQ Business School – Charlotte Wright, Samuel Jackson, Chelsea Johnson, Tom Clark and Elise Logan formed team ‘Ignite’ to win the coveted competition, hosted live on Zoom.

The competition brings together students, advertising agencies and clients to allow students to pitch from a time-bound brief. This year, clients included Suzuki and Deloitte Digital, with the UQ winning team putting forward a “bold and creative” proposal –as  described by the judges – to connect millennials wanting to experience adventure with the Suzuki brand.

UQ Business School lecturer and mentor of the successful team, Dr Nicolas Pontes said the opportunity to pitch to international clients was a valuable stepping stone for the career of all the participants.

“The opportunity to work with such renowned brands on real time challenges, and pivoting to an online pitch this year is an invaluable experience for students,” Dr Pontes said.

Team 'Ignite' presenting their winning pitch

“Suzuki and Deloitte Digital executives provided a challenging live brief which really tested our team this semester. I’m proud of their pitch, and to see their learning and hard work flourish to produce a well-deserved win – a strong reflection of the calibre of UQ students and advertising program,” said Dr Pontes.

The winning teammates agreed that the opportunity to flex their creative muscles in a real-world setting gave them a vital advantage entering the workforce.

“The opportunity to pitch to a real life client is extremely rewarding, as we have gained valuable insight into potential careers which makes us excited for future endeavours,” said Chelsea.

Teammate Tom Clark agreed. “I'm so incredibly grateful to be able to tackle a real scenario for Suzuki, it's been a really eye-opening experience and I can't wait to use this experience to continue developing my skills and abilities.”

This competition ensures that the future leaders of advertising are prepared for the complex and evolving business environment.

The Advertising Capstone Challenge inaugural competition in 2016 was won by UQ Business School students, with this year being UQ’s third winning pitch.

With over 200 participants from the University of Queensland, Swinburne University of Technology and Western Sydney University, the event was an opportunity for high achieving advertising students to also connect with each other. 

Media: Dr Nicolas Pontes,, 0430232804; Emma Pryor, (07) 3346 4506,