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Kate Wells, Rosie Clarke and Roberto Cutrera win DMA Breakthrough Award

The judges have spoken and students from Birmingham City University have come up trumps
with a breakthrough way to deliver on the Barclaycard brand promise

One of the most lucrative awards for young creatives trying to get a foothold in the industry has been won by three students from Birmingham City University. Kate Wells, Rosie Clarke and Roberto Cutrera have been named the winners of this year’s DMA Breakthrough Award with their pitch for the Pay Your Way campaign, sponsored by Barclaycard. The winners of the award, which is run in partnership with the Graeme Robertson Trust (GRT), were revealed at the industry night of nights – the DMA Awards.

The DMA’s Breakthrough Award is highly competitive, with the winning team walking away with a cash prize of £1000, the potential to intern at a top agency, not to mention industry clout and, of course, the award. Each year university students battle it out for the chance to impress some of the biggest names in marketing by working on a real creative brief, for a real client or business.

This year’s brief was provided by Barclaycard, who invited students to develop a multi-channel advertising campaign targeted at millennials to build awareness and excitement of Barclaycard’s range of contactless ways to pay. Over 70 students from 13 universities responded to the brief, presenting their best creative ideas, but in the end it came down to just three finalists.

Paul Alexander, Head of Marketing Communications at Barclaycard, said he was genuinely impressed with the quality of ideas on show: “This year’s finalists all did a fantastic job pitching their ideas to the panel. It wasn’t easy, and we took a range of things into account, including: how well students communicated their campaign, their fulfilment of the brief and the creativity and quality of ideas.”

Alexander adds: “Kate, Rosie and Roberto are to be commended for creating a campaign that really cornered the target market – Generation Z, otherwise known as ‘the experience generation’. We wanted the campaign to be about living in the moment and creating moments of unexpected delight. And I think the Bpay: Pay your own way really invoked that spirit. I’m walking away from this experience feeling as if the industry is in safe hands.”

Kate Burnett, MD of DMA Talent, said: “Each year we receive entries from all over the UK.  This year around 40 teams were involved with the competition. It’s great that we’re seeing so much interest in the award, and it only seems increase every year.”

Burnett continues: “At DMA, we try to create as many opportunities as possible for students to get industry exposure. Our message to students is that marketing and advertising is an industry for everyone, there are so many ways in and so many skills sets that are needed, from the analytical to the purely creative. The Breakthrough Award is a great way for students to get a taste of industry life, and from our perspective the Award continues to demonstrate that marketing’s future remains bright.”

Winners of the award, Kate, Rosie and Roberto said the prize would take them a step closer to their goal of working in the industry.

“We’re so excited to be at the Awards tonight. It’s amazing to meet so many people from the industry, together in one room. We genuinely didn’t expect to win, but we really tried to take the feedback from the judges and incorporate it into our campaign. We all brought something different as a team,” said Rosie.

“I think that’s why it came together so well. We all got to express our strengths – that, and we’ve all got a pretty whacky streak! The next thing we really want is a job!” said Kate.

The DMA Breakthrough Award is one of marketing’s leading awards celebrating the next generation of talent coming into the industry. It’s supported by GRT, founded in memory of legendary Brann creative director Graeme Robertson, and is also part of the DMA Talent team that works to help fresh creative talent break into the industry.

Hear more from the DMA