Each year, New York Festivals ® invites young creative talent from around the globe to take part in the Torch Awards competition. New York Festivals created the Torch Awards as an expression of their commitment to the development and promotion of the next generation of creative talent. The Torch Awards harnesses the power, knowledge, and experience of the World’s Best Advertising® Jury to not only promote the mission of an important international nonprofit organization, but also to help young creatives gain skills that will help them elevate their careers.
2016’s creative competition was the Inclusive Design Challenge. Entrants submitted their ideas for a media showcase presenting the progress of inclusive design and its success stories while supporting the mission of Institute for Human Centered Design (IHCD).
Grand-Winning Team Arigatos came together to create the winning showcase based on the challenge brief for Torch Awards’ 2016 non-profit partner IHCD. The winning entry, “Track-for-All,” was created by team members: Yuki Abe, copywriter; Yuto Fujita, planner, and Marina Kobayashi, creative planner, Dentsu, Japan; and Doh Kim, art director, Cheil Worldwide, South Korea.
“The brief was inspiring to start off with,” said Arigatos team member, Ms. Kobayashi, “… honestly, Inclusive Design was a topic that no one in the team was familiar with before. Learning about the concept was fun and interesting on its own, and through this process, all members of the team naturally began to empathize with the institution’s mission, to ‘build a world where everyone can thrive’ (our Track-for-All strategy, was indeed, inspired by the message of this mission). The brief strongly made me feel that inclusive design was a concept that should be known more by the world, and this feeling motivated me to create a strategy that will not only be educational, but more importantly enjoyable by a wide range of audience.”
“Team Arigatos’ award-winning strategy for “Track-for-All” employed a Rube Goldberg-inspired installation to introduce IHCD and their mission to advocate the use of inclusive design in the 21st century to a global audience. The young creatives strategized to overcome both creative and logistical challenges to earn their award-winning status.
“We made the Track-for-All device on our own, which was also a challenge. Most team members had no experience in arts and crafts, but we all worked together in constructing a Rube Goldberg-like machine that works,” said Ms. Kobayashi. “One member of our team works in Korea, communication was difficult at times, because we couldn’t get together too often as a team. Meetings were often held on Skype, and we had to ensure that all communication was kept transparent, to maintain a sense of teamwork.”
The jury was inspired by Team Arigatos’ dynamic pitch and powerful accompanying video illustrating the team’s prototype design for the “Track-for All” showcase. Following the jury’s selection of the winning team, Valerie Fletcher, Executive Director of IHCD commented, “We enthusiastically move forward with the winning team Arigatos to realize their Track-for-All strategy through an exhibit in Boston.”
The winning team worked directly with the nonprofit to make their idea into a reality. Mission accomplished! Team Arigatos had the opportunity to see their work go live and their award-winning showcase is now a permanent fixture in IHCD’s showroom at their Boston, Massachusetts headquarters.
“Being awarded the honor of a permanent installation has taught my team and I, that passion and commitment will bring along good results,” said Ms. Kobayashi. “We all felt very passionate about this project, so it was very overwhelming for us when we got to know that the installation was going to be permanent.”
Team Arigatos hopes that that the installation will open new doors to more opportunities in the future and that it will continue to inspire people as long as it’s on display. “We hope that the permanent installation will become a certificate for ourselves and the client, which will always be there, to celebrate the hard-work and passion poured into making the Track-for-All idea into shape,” commented Ms. Kobayashi.
The benefits of the Torch Awards are robust. No other competition offers emerging creative talent the opportunity to be celebrated for innovative work created on behalf of a worthy nonprofit, the experience of seeing their campaign utilized in the real world, a mentorship that provides access to advertising’s top-tier of creative leaders, and a life-changing experience that instills career confidence.
“For me and the team, I feel that earning the Torch Award has given us confidence, to have belief in keeping hold of the ideas that we think are great. Earning the Torch Award has also taught us, that hard work, deep thinking, and strong teamwork truly does pay off at the end,” said Ms. Kobayashi.
As a member of the 2016 Torch Awards Grand-Winning Team, Ms. Kobayashi offered her advice to this year’s entrants: “Work hard, feel passionate and have fun!”
The 2017 Torch Awards competition is the Integrated-Mixed Media Challenge. Interested young creatives may enter and submit their idea for tackling the needs and goals of 2017 partner Today, I’m Brave, a registered non-profit that celebrates people performing Brave acts every day and everywhere. For more information or to enter please visit the Torch Awards website.