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Jul 27


Four students from SA's top brand school Vega, a brand of SA's largest private higher education provider, The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE), are reeling with excitement after receiving two coveted D&AD Pencil awards for their respective group submissions to the competition's New Blood category.

The D&AD New Blood Awards category recognises young creative talent with the goal of helping them take their first steps into the industry of their choosing. Pencils were awarded to Jenny Groenewald and Raphael Janan Kuppasamy for their 'Earn Your Stripes' campaign for adidas, and to Bernice Puleng Mosala and Kyle Marais for their 'Embody Your OS' campaign for Microsoft.

"This will be the 2nd consecutive year that students at Vega have brought home a D&AD Pencil award in this category, which above all else is testament to their own talent, creativity and innovative problem-solving abilities," says Christiaan Graaff, 3rd year Navigator at the Vega Johannesburg Campus.

Students formed groups and formulated their own concepts from scratch with the help of their course navigators based on a brand brief.

Earn Your Stripes

Groenewald and Kuppasamy were tasked with creating a campaign for adidas in keeping with the brand's belief that sport has the power to change lives. The pair chose to conduct research into London's youth and found that, along with being relatively low on disposable income, millennials who live in London don't volunteer much despite having a fair amount of time on their hands.

"We then created a campaign called Earn Your Stripes, which will give adidas consumers (specifically 17-25-year-olds) the opportunity to earn a reasonable discount off their next adidas purchase, by volunteering at specific sports-based and non-sports-based NGOs and NPOs in London," said Groenewald and Kuppasamy.

The pair added: "Knowing that we have an international D&AD New Blood award to our name is still surreal, because of how big of an accomplishment this is. We both feel that our work and ideas are good enough for the industry."

Embody Your OS

Mosala and Marais' Pencil-winning 'Embody Your OS' campaign came off the back of a brief that required the team to create an inspiring, forward-thinking short film featuring the Microsoft Surface.

"We chose to focus on human experiences that are relevant now, which include gay rights as well as black and female empowerment," says Mosala. "We then expressed the human truth through spoken word, which is popular at the moment because poetry is an authentic art form that is based on human experiences."

When asked how they felt about their D&AD win, the team agreed that the sleepless nights were all worth it to be acknowledged for award-winning work and prove that they are industry ready.

"This award will provide the necessary stepping-stones and exposure for my future in film," says Marais, adding, "As a creator passionate about film this D&AD award shows I've got what it takes to create enjoyable and motivational content."

"We salute this year's group of students for their commendable achievements, as being recognised on a global platform like the D&AD awards is no small feat and look forward to seeing where the rest of their careers take them in the future," says Graaff.

For more information on IIE qualifications available to study at Vega and other career-building opportunities, visit


Vega is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE). The IIE is South Africa's leading and largest private higher education institution and is internationally accredited by the British Accreditation Council (BAC).

Vega's teaching philosophy is built on the mantra of wisdomwithmagic, creating an academic environment that is based on experiential learning where creatives are trained in strategy and strategists in design-thinking. As South Africa's only brand focused school, Vega aims to inspire a new breed of thinkers with the expertise to generate meaningful brand ideas that link business profit to adding value to people's lives.

The IIE Vega students graduate at a work-ready level, with 95% of 2016 graduates employed within 6 months of completing their qualification. Vega was also ranked first in the national Loerie Awards Top Educational Institutions in 2017, maintaining its reputation as a leader in the South African higher education arena.

Students can enrol for IIE undergraduate and post graduate degrees, diplomas, higher certificates and short courses in design, brand communication and brand management, at The IIE Vega campuses across South Africa.




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