Last night Instagram announced the winner of this year’s Marketing Challenge at a ceremony in the heart of London, hosted by the Data & Marketing Association’s Talent division.

The Winning team ‘GEMM Agency’ included Eliz Ustusoy, Marika Modzelewska, Giulia Rovai, and Marketa Ruzickova, all students from the University of Greenwich.

Team members were presented with the top prize for their outstanding response to the brief set by Instagram back in 2018.

£1,500 cash prize

They also take home a cash prize of £1,500, along with the prestige and experience of working on a task set by one of the world’s most influential brands.

GEMM Agency was up against 260 students from universities and colleges across the UK for the 2019 crown, all putting forward their own marketing plan to Instagram.

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They were tasked with creating a campaign to prove to marketers that Instagram Stories drive business results.

The team clinched victory after a live pitch against the other three finalist teams in front of a panel of marketing experts, including Amy Horne (EMEA Business Marketing Lead for Instagram), Chris Wilson (MD, Earnest Agency), George Sanders (Client Director, Earnest Agency), and Kate Burnett (General Manager of DMA Talent).

Strategic thinking

Upon announcing their decision, the judges reiterated how impressed they were with the winning team’s strategic thinking, in-depth research into the project, and both their creative tactics and execution of the campaign brief.

“I have been incredibly impressed by the standard of entries, and the level of confidence and professionalism that the students all exhibited throughout this challenging process”, said Amy Horne, EMEA Business Marketing Lead for Instagram.

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“The final decision was made based on which campaign we believed was not only inspiring and innovative, but who also understood our brand’s positioning and how Instagram engage with our business community.”

Kate Burnett, MD of DMA Talent, said: “Our mission at DMA Talent is to inspire young people to join the data and marketing industry.

“Initiatives like our Marketing Challenge provide students with that all important link between education and the workplace, enabling them to gain valuable work experience while honing key skills such as creativity, analytical thinking and problem solving.”

The Marketing Challenge works with higher education institutions to give university students the chance to work on a challenging and real-life marketing brief, provided by the supporting client.

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The process offers students priceless, practical experience and, for the finalists, the opportunity to meet leading marketers and to win the top prize.

The brief is also used by lecturers across the country as a valuable teaching aid on marketing and business courses.

“Instagram strives to make a positive impact within the community and the DMA’s Marketing Challenge is just one area that we’re working on to help source and develop future marketing talent”, Instagram’s Horne said.

The Instagram team also praised the other three finalists. Runners up, ‘GMT Agency’ team, also from the University of Greenwich, put forward a fantastic proposal that made it an extremely tough decision for the judges.

Members included Alexandru Ibu Andrei, Yelda Ismail, Stefan Codreanu, and James Lee.

There were also two excellent proposals from teams studying at the University of Northumbria in the final four, ‘Be Seen’ and ‘Beyond Digital’.