Meerkats' Thuijs awarded Best Presentation at 2017 APG Planning Idol competition

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Screen Shot 2017-11-14 at 8.02.21 am.jpgMeerkats' junior strategist Simon Thuijs (third from right) was awarded Best Presentation at the 2017 Planning Idol competition, announced on Monday night.

The Brief, set by Red Cross Australia, was a complex one. Almost one million Australians are currently suffering from deep social exclusion, which is a form of entrenched loneliness that prevents people from fully participating in society. 

The APG Planning Idol participants - all under 30 - were challenged to develop a strategy that Red Cross could implement to address this issue meaningfully and practically.
Belinda Dimovski, director of engagement and support, Australian Red Cross said: "Deep social exclusion is where an individual is locked out of fully participating in society because of the multiple, complex challenges they face. Reducing deep social exclusion will not only save and improve the lives of millions of Australians, it will also make our entire nation healthier. We commend the APG and The Communications Council efforts in partnering with us to help solve this difficult and often overlooked issue.

The presentation ceremony took place following a day of judging when the 16 shortlisted finalists presented their strategies in person to a panel consisting of Joseph Smeaton (DDB), Kate Smither (Saatchi & Saatchi), Laura Phillips (UM), Scott Matyus-Flynn (Republic of Everyone), Belinda Dimovski (Red Cross Australia), and APG Chair Angela Morris (J. Walter Thompson). 

Thomas Cleary from SapientRazorfish Sydney emerged as the winner of the 2017 competition. 

Dimovski said judging the fantastic entries was truly difficult.

"All of the finalists had commendable ideas, but Thomas Cleary of SapientRazorfish Sydney stood out as truly having analysed and researched the various contributing factors that can lead to social exclusion in communities. Not only was he able to demonstrate a workable solution but also had thought out a comprehensive end to end strategy. We're very excited about the potential of bringing his idea to life." 

The award was presented by Dimovski and Sam Geer from UM, the previous Planning Idol winner, who said the competition had opened many doors for him. 

The full APG 2017 Planning Idol Awards
•  Winner APG Planning Idol - Thomas Cleary, SapientRazorfish,Sydney 
•  Highly Commended - James Bennett, Cummins & Partners Melbourne 
•  Best Insight - James Bennett ,Cummins & Partners Melbourne 
•  Best Use of Research - Grace Espinosa, UM 
•  Best Written Paper - Isabelle Zacharia, M&C Saatchi Sydney 
•  Best Presentation - Simon Thujis, Meerkats Perth 
•  Best Student Entry - Ariana Manning, University of Otago "BrandBach" 

Angela Morris, chair of judging and the APG said: "APG Planning Idol has become an important biannual event for nurturing young planning talent in Australia - it is rare that young strategists get the opportunity to take such leadership over a big, live brief and expose those ideas to a range of industry leaders. There were some fantastic insights and unexpected approaches to solving what was a challenging brief. All of our finalists should be very proud. Congratulations to Thomas and our other award winners for their outstanding work."

1 Comments

Wils said:

Congrats Simon.

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