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APG Young Strategist Essay Award won by MA Advertising graduate

Rights Managed - Jacob Sacks-Jones/,
Written by
Jake May
Published date
25 April 2018

MA Advertising graduate, Min-Hyung Choi, was recently shortlisted for the APG Creative Strategy Awards’ Young Strategist Essay prize.

Min-Hyung received a special commendation award for the essay she submitted, which addressed the topic; ‘what is transformational thinking and how should we use it?’ The APG is a not-for-profit organisation run for and by its members: primarily account planners in advertising agencies, but increasingly the wider community of communications strategists, including media, channel and digital planners.

Min-Hyung told us: “I am the kind of person who loves going to the cinema early to not miss the adverts before the movie. Advertising always intrigued me and I think I naturally got into it and that has clearly impacted my choice of studies. Being challenged to make advertising better is what keeps me motivated. As long as that makes me happy, I will continue to do it”.

We got in touch with Min-Hyung to find out more about her award and what she’s been up to post-graduation…

Min-Hyung and her guest at the APG Creative Strategy Awards 2017

Hi Min-Hyung, congratulations on your recent award! How does it feel to win?

Thank you very much! I felt very honoured to receive the award.

How did the opportunity come about?

It was actually one of the planning directors at my agency who told me about the awards. I have two different skill sets: graphic design and planning, which are both very useful for my job today, so I thought I should write something about the two areas.

I believe we all have an ‘and’ that we can find and develop. It is very important for me to bring as many diverse approaches as possible to our job. Otherwise, it would always be the same strategy, the same idea, the same advertising. That is why I chose to study and work in the creative field; because I am scared of routine.

Can you tell us about the work you submitted that won the award?

We had to answer to one question: What is transformational thinking and how should we use it?

To me, ‘transformational thinking’ is a very complicated term for a different way of thinking – to get to unexpected ideas that impact the world. To me it is about ‘the power of and’ and how planners can deliver transformational ideas by creating collisions between unexpected elements.

Aside from this award, you were recently involved with an incredible campaign on refugees. What inspires the work you create and your pursuits?

Recently, a lot has changed in advertising – the rise of ‘femvertising’ and more engaged brands – hoping to change mentalities and create some new debates. When you think about it, brands make a lot of noise. But if you can challenge them and convince them to be courageous and speak up on important topics, advertising will be able to have a better image amongst the wider public.  When they take a risk and it’s done well, it can positively impact our society.

Two years ago, Always Mexico made a campaign that created new words for women’s reproductive organs and thus break a taboo in the process and saved many lives. That’s pretty inspiring.

What is a typical working week like?

I never really wanted to have a typical working week. My goal is not about finishing a day, it is just to make sure I put my energy in making interesting ideas.

How did you find the transition from education into working life?

After I graduated, I probably spent around a year doing lots of different little jobs – from freelance projects to internships and babysitting. It wasn’t a smooth transition, but I am in a very happy place.

What advice would you give to those who are about to or going through that transition?

Well, as I said in my essay, try and find a unique path to create the life you want. Be different. Don’t waste your time copy-pasting emails to people who won’t read it anyway –  yes, that’s a sad truth.

Try to build your network instead and don’t be afraid to show off a little bit sometimes. I mean, it is important to know your own values and know how to defend them – if not you, who will do it? Certainly not Linkedin.

Has studying this course at LCC changed your perception of advertising or the industry at all? If so, how?

During the MA, I’ve learned many things about how advertising works, different new mediums, and new trends. But also, the course pushed us to think about some of our industry issues such as the role of advertising and its implication on society today and the question on data privacy for instance. I still really like advertising but the MA made me think more deeply about our role and our responsibility as advertisers.

Quick Fire Question Round:

The best televised advert ever made… Sony Walkman – Monkey from 1989.

The one that should never have made the cut… The extremely sexist print ad that Yves St Laurent made last March. Unfortunately, there are still too many degrading images of women in advertising.

If I could create an advert for anyone it would be… EasyJet extends flights service to the Moon.