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Design an outdoor ad that will grab students attention to take action!

This challenge is closed and the winners have been announced

Challenge winners
GOLD: Annabel Wright
The gold winner of our LifeStart Challenges is Annabel Wright from Bangor University. She pitched Dynamic Classroom, a great way to facilitate learning by removing the walls of a classroom to implement the benefits of educating outdoors. She won £1000 in cash, £100 Virgin Experience Days voucher and work experience with Think for the Future. Congrats, Annabel!
SILVER: Jack Newton
The silver winner of our LifeStart challenges is Jack Newton from Bangor University. He pitched a clever billboard campaign using jigsaw pieces to motivate students to vote while they commute to uni. The jigsaw pieces each have their own QR code which lead to a website where students can unlock the full picture together. He won £500 in cash, £100 Virgin Experience Days voucher and the opportunity to make this idea happen with JCDecaux. They also get a mentoring session with Virgin Money. Nice work, Jack!
BRONZE: Eva Jenkins, Lore Brosens & Saskia Cillier
The bronze winner of our LifeStart challenges is Eva Jenkins and her team mates, Lore Brosens and Saskia Cilliers from Cardiff Metropolitan University. They pitched an easy-to-set-up banking app that helps you stay on budget with automatic budget updates and a virtual personal assistant. They won £250 in cash, a £100 Virgin Experience Days voucher and an internship and mentoring from Virgin Money. Well done!

What you need to know

The challenge

LifeStart is all about employability, enterprise and financial skills, subjects that are often perceived as very dull and hard to make exciting.

Design or present an ad unit concept for the outdoor advertising medium (e.g. poster, screen), that will cut through and deliver a stand out message that will excite students to take interest and action on a topic that is not usually considered interesting.



JCDecaux is the UK’s number one out-of-home advertising company, part of the world’s leading outdoor advertising company. It is in more than 75 countries in the world, with over 1.1m advertising panels in more than 4,000 cities.

What skills do you need to enter a challenge

What skills do you need to enter a challenge

This challenge is all about understanding what captures attention, concisely communicates a clear message and value proposition that sells your product or service to your chosen customers.

Advertising isn’t just about nice design or fancy artwork. It’s about truly understanding what makes your customer tick and finding ways to cut through the noise of everyday life to get your message across. Creating great advertising communications usually starts with a clear objective and a focused brief based on customer research.

Once you understand your customer and you’re clear on what you want, you will need to engage your creativity and idea generation skills (find help on the LifeStart learning section on this site) to formulate your ideas.

You may also want to come up with a few different “draft” ideas that you can share with your potential customers to get their feedback before you finalise your ad.

Ideas to get you thinking

Imagine what you could do to connect with urban audiences and combine the “3Ds” of outdoor advertising – digital, data and delivery.

Also, have a look at Tips on design and creating an effective ad.

If you’re new to design, there are free tools available online, such as Canva.


Remember, you can be as creative and visionary as you like. We want to see great ideas and innovative applications of new technologies.

Join us