Category Archives: Student Projects

Check out these outstanding advertising student projects.

Take a video… it will last longer!

They say a picture is worth a thousand words… well then what’s a video worth?

Last year I snapped a picture of a little girl I met in India called Angel. On paper, her story is all kinds of tough. After sleeping with someone outside her cast, Angel’s mum tried to drown her as a newborn. Although only three days old, Angel put up a fight and her little heart refused to stop beating. After her failed attempt to murder her newborn child, Angel’s mum gave Angel to a local rescue home and has never seen her since.

Whilst reading about my sweet Angel you feel for her, but its just text on a page, you will probably never think about her again. However, after seeing a picture of her sweet smile, you feel a deeper level of connection and more emotions are evoked as the story grows on you… a picture is worth a thousand words.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is a video worth? Videos are powerful and enable the viewer to transcend space and time. Whilst it brings me so much joy to gaze at Angel’s sweet face in her picture, I feel like I am back with her when I see a simple video of her. I have a video of Angel in her school uniform jumping up and down on her bed laughing and calling out to me, ‘Ukka Ukka,” which means big sister. The picture of Angel tells me a thousand words, of who she is, what she is like and who she will become; however, the video transports me back in time. Back to my Angel.

I can hear her voice and her laughter, I can see the excitement on her face and I can feel the love I felt for her right in that moment. The video is what I treasure. After months of not seeing Angel, her contagious laugh, which was once so loud in my ears slowly, softens, the memories of hours of jumping on the bed fade and hearing my name called over and over becomes a distant memory. Despite the time apart, it only takes one play of the video to make me feel like I am back with her. Maybe a video has the ability to make us feel those thousands of words in a picture.

Text can tell a powerful story, a picture is worth a thousand words but a video has the ability to transport us through time. Videos engage our minds like nothing else, they have the ability to unpack complex concepts quickly and evoke stronger emotions than any other medium. Videos have the ability to transport us through time and space and quench our mind’s thirst for information and interaction. Since video appeals to both sight and sound, it has the ability bring back our memories, beautiful memories of our journeys, memories like my Angel.

By Nina Gaukrodger (Bachelor of Digital Media student)

Digital Design Goes “Hands On” with Positive Education

Macleay College is the only Australian Higher Education institution running a Positive Education program. As well as teaching our students industry based skills and practical theory, we also address their personal development and mental health through positive psychology.

This holistic approach in learning, is aimed at enriching the student’s wellbeing and emotional intelligence through tailored individual support and encouragement.

It gives the student a better understanding of themselves, their passions, their strengths and their goals. It helps them to better manage their life, relationships and  future careers through a greater understanding and use of empathy, gratitude and other positive emotions.

In a nutshell, the program aims to increase the student’s confidence, sense of wellbeing and happiness.

As part of the program, Macleay College has installed PosEd Kits in many of the classrooms across our Sydney and Melbourne campuses and students in the Digital Design Unit have been putting them to good use in Term One of the Advertising & Digital Media course.

One of our tasks was to take the free VIA Character Strength Test. This is a short ten minute assessment that takes students through a series of questions to determine their top character strengths. Armed with this list, the students are then asked to step away from their iMacs and use their hands to construct or draw visual representations of their favourite strengths.

The PosEd Kits are full of great stuff to get them started like Play Doh, feathers, buttons, coloured fabric, wood and paper. There are also ample large rolls of paper and Sharpies.

To begin with, the students had a lot of questions and curious looks. As they started to move around the room and choose their materials the noise levels increased and they were off and running.  There were lots of comparing notes on each other’s different strengths with most agreeing that the VIA Test had done a good job.

As I moved around the group, there were some initial awkwardness with speaking about their strengths but they were encouraged to start thinking beyond that and  how their personal brand could be visualised into an abstract object or pictorial form.

There was a sense of enjoy in the room so I popped on some music and spent the next hour watching their creations unfold. The next part of the workshop was to take their physical objects and turn them into a digital piece of artwork. The students could take photos, load them up into Illustrator and use this as a template to create a kind of personal logo.

This was the first time I’ve been involved in a workshop like this so there  is some tweaking I’d still like to do but it was one of the most enjoyable sessions I’ve run. It was  one of those days when you get home, put your feet up and smile!

Jason Gemenis is Macleay’s Digital Ninja
lecturing in Digital Design, Advanced
Digital Design and Visualisation across Macleay’s
Dip Advertising & Media, Dip Digital Media,
BA Advertising & Media & BA Digital Media.

And the Winners for 2016 are…

We are proud to announce the winners of the Advertising & Media Showcase Awards for 2016 for the best student work from the advertising and media diploma and bachelor students at Macleay College in both Sydney and Melbourne. Well done guys!

As part of Macleay College’s Hype End of Year Showcase held in December last year, the 2016 Advertising & Digital Media Faculty Awards where handed out to students that achieved the highest grades for their work throughout the year.

And the winners for 2016 are…

Best Print Ad: Michael Lamb “One Pair of Sneakers” Converse Shoes

Best Typographical Poster: Teresa Solaese “Dachshund”

Best Photographic Project: Chloe Geggus “Savvy Brides” Bridal Dresses

Best Copywriting: Daniel Koublachvili “Link 4 Change” Children’s Charity

Best Outdoor Campaign: Rowan Slade “You’re Not That Guy” Gun Control Campaign

Best Radio Commercial: Brooke Demenezes “Gymbaroo” Child Care

Best Video: Cassandra Sabin “One for One” Tom’s Roasting Company

Best Video: Caitlin Thomas “Super-Tough” Dr. Martens Boots

Best Social Media Project: Ellen Rafferty, Michael Lamb & Aislin Mcleod “Social Studio”

Best Marketing Plan: Daniel Fitzsimmons “Chanel”

Best Cross-Media Campaign: Alicia Sanarko “All Eyes on You” Chevrolet Corvette

Best Portfolio: Cassandra Sabin

TypePlay® at Macleay

Inspired by Jessica Walsh’s AGDA keynote presentation Play by Your Own Rules, and Jessica’s design workshop by the same name, Julieann Brooker ran a TypePlay® workshop for our Creative Process students at Macleay College.


The client:  Pacific Artisan, a new online shop that sells ethically sourced and produced fair-trade products handmade by women from countries in the Oceania region and indigenous Australia.

The biggest advertising related problem:  How to promote yet another online shop in the Australian market, with a minimal budget. No real promotion has been done yet other than infrequent Facebook and Twitter posts.


The creative task:  To develop branding and advertising to target socially aware women, aged 35+, and persuade them that the relaunched online shop will provide an easy way to buy unique hip cool products made locally by women living ‘off the beaten track’. To use creativity and design to do good.

Why TypePlay®?  Let’s get serious about play. In Dr. Stuart Brown’s 2008 TED talk, Play is more than just fun, he shares how contemporary innovation and creativity has been impeded by the reduced use of our hands. In fact, it’s currently a condition of employment, in problem-solving roles at NASA and Boeing, to have worked with one’s hands.

Play is boosting creativity and innovation for young and old, across several domains, (Brown, 2009), and studies indicate work and play are complimentary, (Staw & Barsade, 1993). Hence, it’s an ideal practice for developing branding and advertising.

“Play is nature’s greatest tool for creating new neural networks and for reconciling cognitive difficulties.” (Brown, p. 127, 2009).

The students made their own rules and played.  

PA_4 of prep

Constraints included materials, limited words, and time. They split into groups of 2-4, selected words and brand statements to portray, sketched ideas and tested materials. From a wellbeing perspective, play is an excellent conduit to integrate our lives and ourselves, and especially useful in building trust, a valuable commodity for group work!

The cohort regrouped for a quick critique, then photographed and recorded their work as pics to be used in marketing, the website, and social media.

PA_brookeOne team used the products and some props to create a stop motion piece of an island village.

PA_3 of Village

“Nothing lights up the brain like play”, Stuart Brown, 2008. 

The rewarding project continued in the Social Media and Digital Design units, and the bountiful creative concepts presented pitched to a panel of judges at Publicis Mojo.


You can browse the Pacific Artisan story, and purchase their authentic range of off-the beaten-track products here.


Advertising student Brooke Demenzes writes about developing a new brand and advertising campaign for a live brief  for ‘Pacific Artisan’.

IMG_040913 students were given a baby. A baby without a face.

Her name: Pacific Artisan.

Over the next few months, it would be to their discretion in moulding what they think would be a clean, fresh look for this baby before handing her back.

Before enrolling in advertising, one would imagine that working with a real client would be amazing. Get a real taste for it, experience first hand what it’s going to be like out there in the real world, really peacock the hell out of yourself.

IMG_1540Then you get the brief. Suddenly your ideas role over one night and ask for an annulment. They just pack up and leave and suddenly, they’ve move in with the opposition. You hear from a few people that they are really happy together and they’ve made an idea of their own.

So you’re alone. You even have to start shaving again just so you attract a new idea. But nothing. It starts to feel like you’ll come up with something brilliant after the assignment is already over. Then something amazing happens…

You immediately scan the room in search of the person you want to share the stress with. Done! Together the ideas start flowing. Pacific Artisan_1

So in a nut shell, Macleay Advertising students had to put together an entire look for the brand; give it some personality. Pacific Artisan as a brand has always been to make and distribute beautiful hand made products from a struggling demographic overseas, but to show no emphasis on the dire needs of these people, and more on the celebration on what the future holds for them instead.

It was our job to bring this brand identity to life. We needed to create a logo, colour schemes, mood posters and give the fonts we chose personality descriptions…Picture2

We eventually got there.

The day came when we finally finished and let me tell you, it was a beautiful moment.

Now, to tidy it all up over the next few weeks before presenting….

Stay tuned for the wrap up.


By Brooke Demenzes, Diploma of Advertising

Ad Students create new commercial for MyDish

Macleay College’s advertising students recently had the opportunity to develop and produce a commercial for the home cooking service ‘MyDish’.

From the development of the concept, copy and storyboard, the students then filmed and edited the commercial. Each took on a different production role, from production manager, to casting, styling, locations, camera assistant, gaffer, grip and editor.

Check out the results below.

Owner Tim O’Donohue was thrilled with the results:

A huge thank you to the advertising students of Macleay College, for My Dish’s new 60 second advertising film. After meeting with the head of the advertising faculty and video production lecturer, Ian Thomson at Macleay College’s Open Days with my son, My Dish was offered the opportunity to brief 2015’s advertising students on our business, products  and services in order for a TV commercial to be created. Following the briefing, the students developed a detailed analysis of the target audience, a key message for the advertisement and storyboarded the whole video. To create authenticity, the filming was done at our home with the cast consisting of family and friends. On the day, we were all blown away by the professionalism of the students who were in charge of everything, from set, food styling and costuming to lighting and sound. Five weeks after the briefing, we were presented with a polished and professional TVC, edited by the students themselves. We couldn’t be happier with how everything went, and are thankful to Macleay College for the service they provided to our small business. We can’t wait to put it out there and see the reactions from our existing customers, and our target audience!

Thanks, The Team @ My Dish”