In summary

  • Swinburne has won the Advertising Capstone Challenge for the third year in a row 

  • Four students designed a fresh campaign for Bonds Bloody Comfy Period Undies

  • The team won a coveted internship, ongoing mentorship and access to special courses

A period care campaign has landed Swinburne a third consecutive win in the 2023 Advertising Capstone Challenge.

‘Thrift Media’ was designed by students Sean French, Shannon Kruss, Ruby Neal, and Lucy Wallbridge-Hall, who were tasked with creating a brief for Bonds Bloody Comfy Period Undies, targeting people with periods aged 13-20 in the absorbent underwear category.

Special Australia and client Bonds teamed up to give the students a real-world brief. The successful team won a two-pronged prize,with Special providing a coveted internship at the agency and ongoing mentorship with senior industry leaders.

Winning teams also receive access to 42courses, the education partner of this year’s challenge. The 42courses platform features leaders such as legendary UK creative Sir John Hegarty, who founded BBH (Bartle Bogle Hegarty).

Revolutionary period care

Group member Sean French felt highly encouraged to get involved in the challenge due to the inclusive terminology Bonds and Special Group used in reference to period care.

“Identifying as Non-Binary/Fluid my ears sparked, as the market is overly feminine. Being immersed in the drag scene within Naarm, I have a lot of friends who are Drag Kings and/or identify as Trans Masculine. 

“Even prior being given the brief I had known about the popularity of Bonds Bloody Comfy Period Undies within the trans community, as it lessens the feeling of gender dysphoria when experiencing periods. We reached out towards the queer community within Melbourne and Geelong and we got an overwhelming response of what people wanted to see within period advertising.”

Pushing boundaries

The Challenge connects students with real clients and industry partners, to provide an authentic learning experience unlike any other in Australasia.

Sean says the support by team mentor and Swinburne advertising lecturer David Reid to pursue this path was instrumental in its success.

Reid says it has been an exciting capstone challenge. “It’s wonderful to see Thrift Media secure the win with a clever, engaging, emotional pitch that highlighted the complex needs of the target in a gender diverse world.”

“It was a unique brief for Bonds and had increased competition for the students with eight teams making the finals.”

Sean says that pitching an Australian Institution that is Bonds as well as Special Group helped them to constantly push their work that extra step further, regardless of the submission of an assignment. 

“I've been studying since 2019 and never felt ‘ready’ enough to go into the industry. I'd always thought I'd just want to be a Graphic Designer, but it was my tutors at Swinburne VET who encouraged me to peruse advertising and design.”

Sean says that winning the Capstone Challenge and the internship at Special Group is a complete dream come true. “It’s confirmation that I am ready to go into the world of Advertising and Design.”

“I can't imagine a better group of friends to be sharing this mammoth achievement with.”

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