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Creativity in The Ever Changing Advertising World

Advertising is changing; In fact, it has changed so much in the last decade – Accessibility to internet via smartphone technology makes sharing of media content a lot easier, so is having an advert reaches the targeted audience! With search engines like Google and Yahoo gathering user data like age, location, interests and browsing habits, advertisers can now do more targeted advertising! Social media platforms are also slowly taking over the traditional advertising medium, making advertising content a lot more diverse than ever!

For over 40 years, IACT College has been about preparing students for the advertising and creative communication industry through their well-known diploma and degree programs. How does a Creative Communication Specialist college like IACT College make sure the training provided to her students stay relevant in this ever evolving industry? What makes both, teaching and learning creative communication at IACT College different from the rest?

“What’s unique is the way we deliver our material. We use Project-Based Learning (PBL) as a method for our students. Students are assigned real-life projects, many of which come from our industry partners. Be it a marketing or brand development project, or an integrated advertising/marketing communications campaign, or a PR campaign, or a video production, or a journalism feature, or a market study of a contemporary and current issue, they are all real life projects.” Lawrence Chan, Chief Operation Officer and lecturer in Advertising shares.

This opens the student a window to what is going on in the industry, and helps them build better industry connections even as they study in IACT College. Students are trained to not only better at their area of studies, but also in dealings with their future employers and customers! “All in all, these real-life projects more than prepare our students for the real world of communications.” Lawrence Chan adds.

Besides Project-Based Learning, IACT College also prides itself by training sharp and creative minds. With its’ tagline “Creativity Begins Here”, the college values creativity and encourage students to think out of the box, and push themselves further in generating ideas for marketing, advertising and communications. ”Creativity is a set of skills and knowledge to solve problems; When a problem occurs, it motivates an innovation. That whole process to me is creativity”, advertising student Ethan Cheang shared. “In IACT College we learn to let our creativity flow by going through what we call ‘the incubation process’. I found this process useful and crucial because what I want to do here is to relax my brain in order to trigger my subconscious mind. Usually when my subconscious mind starts calling me, it is when my brain illuminates.” It is such ideas that sets an idea apart from another! Creativity is, no doubt, THE skill to master in this ever changing industry!

Founded by the advertising industry in the 1970s, IACT College has an unbreakable bond with the creative industry. Besides having guest lectures from the industry, practitioners are also invited to assess the subjects offered every now and then to maintain industry relevance. “This practice is another thing sets us apart. We cannot afford to teach our students one thing when what is going on out there in the real world is something very different! Guided by their lecturers and industry mentors, our students gain valuable in-depth knowledge and practical experience of their subject, while learning the value of teamwork and collective problem solving.” Lawrence Chan says.

Another advertising student, Hilmi Mustaffa, who won Champion in United Nations Creative Expressions Competition with his idea “First Aid Biker” said, “A fool-proof method to learn in IACT College is to have consultations with the lecturer and ask for their guidance, after all they are from the industry and are happy to guide, and they are here to ensure that our creative work is up to professional standards. Besides that, I also subscribe to various sites and forums like adweek, adage, and adporn from reddit to name a few, in order to keep myself in touch with what is new in the industry. These are my main sources of inspiration and motivation!”

Hilmi Mustaffa and Ethan Cheang from IACT College

Hilmi Mustaffa (L) and Ethan Cheang are outstanding advertising students from IACT College

This article was published on The Star Newspaper on 4 May 2017