Jake Ausburn, content executive at social media agency Society, was named winner of the AWARD School Pop Up at Semi Permanent on the weekend.

Ahead of 13 finalists, 12 of whom travelled from Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, Ausburn walked away with the major prize of a full scholarship to next year’s AWARD School program, which nurtures aspiring copywriters and art directors.

Three runner up prizes were also awarded to Jeffrey Seeff, Owen Kane and Benjie Wales.

Overall, 256 people registered interest to the AWARD School Pop Up, with applicants asked to respond to a brief for Ronald McDonald House Charities, to increase the public’s understanding of the offering and to increase motivation to contribute.

Responses were judged by DDB Australia chief creative officer Ben Welsh, plus AWARD School heads Brendan Willenberg (creative director Clemenger BBDO) and Niccola Phillips (head of art M&C Saatchi). On the day, finalists were mentored by DDB’s creative partners – Jade Manning, Nicolas Smith and Damian Martinez – as well as Shaun O’Connor, creative technology director, DDB.

The finalists were asked to develop their original idea further, ready for a 4pm pitch to DDB Australia’s Welsh.

Judges praised the runners up and winner for creating an emotional connection, delivering work that was ‘campaignable’ and ‘on-brief’, with good use of imagery, insight and purpose.

AWARD School’s Willenberg said: “The progress we saw in the finalists’ thinking from 9am when they arrived, to 4pm when they presented, was phenomenal. Under the expert guidance of senior creatives from DDB, they turned their ideas into amazing campaigns and then presented them to Ben Welsh like seasoned pros. The future is bright!”

DDB Australia’s Welsh added: “If hunger, talent and hard work are the hallmarks of great creatives then it looks like a few more will be popping up in our industry very soon.”

The Communications Council CEO Tony Hale commented: “AWARD School Pop Up offers a rare chance for the future creative leaders of Australia to work directly with some of the country’s best agencies, and on some of our most iconic brands. By offering a scholarship to AWARD School 2018, we are able to provide aspiring creatives the opportunity to embark on the first step of their future careers.”

Running for more than 30 years, AWARD School is a 12-week intensive industry course about idea generation and the creative thinking process. The program is run by more than 40 senior creatives, and accepts around 200 students each year across NSW, VIC, QLD, WA, SA, TAS and NZ.