Adding to the impressive list of students from the BFA Advertising and Graphic Design Department who have placed in premier international competitions for advertising this summer are alumnus Sungkwon Ha (BFA 2009 Advertising) and current student Michael Oh. Ha and Oh were one of five teams named Future Lions at the 2009 Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. The competition asks participants to advertise a product from a global brand in a way that was not possible five years ago. Ha and Oh’s winning concept, Starbucks Be Steady, makes use of the Apple iPhone Application system, Google Earth, Facebook and Twitter.
Both Oh and Ha were students in faculty member Frank Anselmo‘s Unconventional Advertising class. “One of the things I encourage in my class is teamwork,” said Anselmo. “Sungkwon Ha and Michael Oh are a glimmering emblem of the word teamwork. They only gave out five Future Lion awards in the world, and Ha and Oh were the only team from America to win. I am beyond proud.”
Oh spoke with the Briefs about their winning campaign.
Tell me about the Starbucks Be Steady campaign.
We wanted to achieve a large amount of press and publicity through a promotional stunt while giving consumers an incentive to participate in the promotion. We created a game application for the iPhone that allowed players to ‘carry’ a cup of coffee that would swoosh around the cup using the iPhone’s motion-sensor technology. Then, the rules are quite simple: walk at least 100 feet to your nearest Starbucks location without ‘spilling’ and win a free cup of coffee. Player rankings and updates would be uploaded to Twitter and Facebook to attract the interest of friends and followers.
What was your experience collaborating with a fellow student, as compared with projects you have developed on your own?
In an industry where it’s very easy to become egotistical, I feel that it is extremely important to be humble and not let one’s ego get in the way. I’d be foolish to say that we would have been capable of producing the idea that we did without earnestly listening to each other’s honest critiques.
How has Frank Anselmo’s Unconventional Advertising course influenced your work?
If Frank Anselmo is not the archetype of an instructor who is truly passionate for his students and their work, then I don’t know who is. If there’s one one way that Frank has influenced me as a creative thinker, it would be that he drives me to approach my work with the same tenacity and never-ending energy as he does.
Image: Sungkwon Ha and Michael Oh, from Starbucks Be Steady, 2009.