Destroying the Box: Young Creatives Challenge

“It’s always good to have fun but winning is much better!”

Whether you slept the recommended 8-hours or are running on 3-hours of sleep and enough coffee to open your own Java branch, the morning excitement on the day of the competition is always the same. With a hint of nervousness of course.

Competitions and healthy rivalries force us to morph into our ultimate state. They help us discover our best selves and push us past what we thought we were capable of. So how much more is it for competitions that force us to think beyond ‘the box’?

Not just outside the box, but ideas that break the walls of the box and turn it into a raft that will sail us to an exciting new place.

What about the Young Creatives Challenge?

Young Creatives Challenge (YCC)

Vibrant. Creative. Youthful

These three words holistically describe the YCC’s environment.

YCC is a creative marketing-communication challenge, that seeks out young innovative minds who battle it out to prove their solution is superior, in front of a panel of A-list judges. The challenges given are real life marketing challenges, ranging from releasing a new product to the youth audience or improving on a current product and make it more appealing to a wider audience.

Participant on stage painting their idea

During the contest, the participants are not only given a platform to showcase their brilliant ideas, but also an opportunity to network, discover new inspiration from other participants and judges, and most importantly, have fun.

Participants often compete in teams of two.

In the past, participants of the contest have been young creatives like copy writers and graphic designers, already in the advertising industry. Recently however, university students, bloggers, vloggers and even upcoming musicians have joined the exhilarating battle of the creatives.

“It was a beautiful experience and I’m grateful Cindy (partner) chose me to work with her. Actually, it was my first-time taking part in the YCC. My friend really trusted that we’d make a great team and that motivated me even more to give it my all. There were days I had to get home in the evening from a long day at work, commuting to and fro to meet the requirements of the competition i.e., designing the logo, rectifying it and making other visual representation of our ideas.
Because of it, sometimes I am inspired to keep making art and expressing myself through it.”
~Edmond Nonay, Team Kalinay.
Freelance audio-visual artist doing sound design poetry graphic design/digital art. All round artist.

Maybe you’ll join to?

As all contests have it, there has to be a winner. The top 3 duos are awarded cash prizes, often varying depending on the main sponsors, while first place is also awarded an attachment from the named sponsor.

Maria Mukobi presenting
As one of the only student teams, I felt intimidated by other teams’ advanced experience in the industry, art and ideas. after shaking the negativity off, I felt I belonged. I came to realize the best ideas are born out of simplicity and fun! It made me see an idea and think, “I can do that and make it better!” Before, I had never described myself as a creative, but now? It’s one of my favourite self-descriptors.”
~ Maria Mukobi, Team DGK.
Student, Creative.

Mentors, sponsors and associates of the contest can range from media houses to marketing agencies and even tech companies. Names like East African Breweries Ltd (EABL), Royal Media Services (RMS), WPP Scangroup and Mookh Africa Ltd, often make ‘more than a mere appearance’ at this competition.

The solid foundation for this competition however?

International School of Advertising (ISA).

ISA has been the rock that holds this contest together. As the lead organizers, ISA ensures that the contest always runs smoothly. In the face of the dreaded pandemic, they switched the contest from physical to online. Providing bundles for those who didn’t have and walking both participants and judges through the process, so no one was left behind.

Clearly the participants aren’t the only quick-thinking creatives around.

A panel of judges from renowned companies, the best environment to impress and network with them, new rivals to force you into your best shape yet, the competition high and indescribable fun.

Do you really want to be left out of the next Young Creatives Challenge?

“The marketing communications industry is evolving. Great communication is shifting away from a traditional advert to a story and a true connection with the consumer. This therefore means it’s not restricted to the domain, of a man or woman, but one who can connect with the sentiments of the audience. The YCC provides young emerging creatives and brands an opportunity to connect with audiences. Through the seasoned mentors, participants are provided with the thinking structure within which to present their ideas, giving them an opportunity to learn, apply and enjoy the world of brand communication.”

~Susan Makau, ISA Managing Director.


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