THE tagline coined by budding copywriter Danny Tan Ju Ngian for a groundnut company reads Wai Kin groundnuts, for the serious nut lover.
Being creative in a “sick” way is definitely the in-thing in advertising, says Danny, who enjoys coming up with witty and humorous taglines.
“The Pagoda groundnuts ad uses Younger nuts are better nuts as its tagline and, believe me, that stayed on the lips of consumers for years. There’s a growing market for sick copy really,” says the 20-year-old Institute Advertising Communication Training (IACT) Diploma in Advertising and Marketing Communications student.
A Star Education Fund recipient, Danny draws inspiration from motoring and men’s magazines, and music from the 1980s.
“I realised that science was not my cuppa tea, neither was I cut out for business or accounting. Advertising allows me to be myself, reach deep into my imagination and come up with something that sells,” adds Danny, who is in his final year.
He says the “very stimulating” programme at IACT hones his talent in copywriting.
Another Star scholarship recipient, Ezra Low Yung Yeu, 20, enjoys the adrenaline rush of working in the advertising industry. “It’s a crazy world out there. You only get about five hours’ sleep a day if you’re lucky, but that’s what I love about it,” he says.
“Hands-on experience is very much emphasised at IACT,” says its executive director Lee Kok Leong.
Students from all disciplines are assigned to local or international companies specialising in various fields in the industry, such as Leo Burnett, McCann-Erickson, Oglivy & Mather, and Dunlop, for experience.
Says Lee: “Real experience comes through working on real-life projects for real clients. The internship helps prepare students to meet the demands of the job market.”
Founded, endorsed and taught by industry professionals, IACT has received accreditation from the International Advertising Association in New York.
Student Rachel Chin Pik Yee believes that women have the edge in the industry as “we are more expressive and have an eye for detail”.
The 20-year-old is also the manager of Creactive, IACT’s advertising agency run entirely by its students.
Creactive offers a wide range of industry-related services, from advertising and public relations to sales promotion and multimedia designing.
Students hold posts that are found in full-fledged agencies, such as marketing manager, accounts director and public relations manager.
Says Rachel: “The experience is priceless. I learnt how to deal with client dissatisfaction, coordination, as well as time and anger management. We have to be very serious about every project we take on as they are not mere assignments. Our clients mean business because they pay us to get the job done.”
Creactive certainly isn’t child’s play and those who expect to be spoonfed will be disappointed. Ezra says juggling three projects at the same time is no joke.
“I conduct drum and guitar lessons as a part time job, so stress is a normal phenomenon for me. I’ve learnt not to break under pressure,” he adds.
The agency’s projects include designing a brochure for a bookshop, and coming up with a logo and corporate image for a new kindergarten.
Besides advertising, IACT offers diplomas in graphic design and creative multimedia.
“The creative multimedia programme offers a solid foundation in various aspects of digital multimedia and interactivity, while emphasising creativity and new media directions,” says Lee.
IACT is affiliated to the Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, where the college’s graduates are allowed advanced standing into the final year of pursuing the Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies or Bachelor of Business.
Other collaborators include the RMIT and Charles Stuart University in Australia, the University of Hertfordshire in Britain, and Northwood University and Hawaii Pacific University in the United States.
For more information on its programmes, call 03-7729 7451 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
IACT is contributing six scholarships, worth RM116,000, to the Star Education Fund 2004. Students can still apply by logging on to http://thestar.com.my/education/colleges/scholarships.html for details and an application form.
You can also send a stamped (40 sen) self-addressed envelope (25cm x 30cm) to The Secretary, The Star Education Fund, c/o Star Publications (M) Bhd, P.O. Box 9116, Kelana Jaya, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, to obtain an application form.