Ad students pitch for a sustainable future


The advertising students at Macleay have come together with the social issues lobbying group, GetUp!, to develop creative advertising campaign solutions encouraging Australia to focus on a sustainable future with renewable energy.

The project aims to inform energy users about the facts surrounding the current energy debate and the Renewable Energy Target (RET) in Australia and encourage them to switch to renewable energy suppliers, leaving behind Australia’s largest three energy providers who primarily generate “brown” energy through non-renewable fossil fuels.

Macleay College Head of Advertising, Ian Thomson, said: “There has been some fear-mongering going on in the energy sector, particularly surrounding the government’s Renewable Energy Target (RET), that has led to some miscommunication of the true facts to consumers. GetUp! and Macleay’s advertising students would like to address those misconceptions.”

The brief for the project from Paul Oosting, Campaign Manager at GetUp! was: “Origin, AGL and EnergyAustralia have launched an attack on Australia’s Renewable Energy Target, doing everything they can to push Tony Abbott and the Liberal Government into weakening the renewables target so they can continue to get the majority of their energy from dirty fossil fuels. GetUp! aims to motivate our movement’s collective consumer power to send a clear message. Let’s leave the ‘Dirty Three’ behind and switch to better power today.”

Nine groups of Macleay College advertising students came up with creative campaign solutions to encourage consumers to make the switch to renewable energy providers, such as the Victorian based Powershop. The solutions included print ads, storyboards for television commercials and web-banners, which the students presented to a panel of judges, including:

Mark Connolly – Campaign Director, GetUp!

Claire Snyder – Head Of Community, The Climate Council

Peter Slee – Managing Director, Motion Picture Company

Dan Ilic – Director, Motion Picture Company

The winning campaign by advertising students Patricia Tamayo, Jessica Germino and Sarah Zaait, featured a direct-to-camera concept, where your best friend lets you know the energy companies have been deceiving you.

“It was great to see such a variety of ideas,” commented Peter Slee, Managing Director of Motion Picture Company. While Mark Connolly, Campaign Director at GetUp!, added that: “The winning entry showed a good understanding of GetUp!’s target audience.”

Claire Snyder, Head Of Community at The Climate Council said: “The concept was somewhat confronting, but I can image that a direct approach could work very effectively, particularly with all of the discussion in the media surrounding this issue at the moment.”

The winning students were each offered an internship opportunity at GetUp!’s production company, the Motion Picture Company.

Ian Thomson further commented that: “Live projects like these underline Macleay College’s hands-on approach to industry relevant education. These are fantastic learning experiences for the students that offer real world skills, which they are not likely to achieve at a University or TAFE.”

More information about the initiative can be found under:

Macleay College welcomes those interested in studying Advertising and other industry-related courses to its Open Day on 23 August, with further news and updates available on the newly launched student blog,

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