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About The Award

The Marketing Society is a global network of leading marketers. We encourage our members to become bolder leaders, helping them think differently about the challenges they face. In the 55 years since we began, we’ve become one of the most influential drivers of marketing in the world.

In Scotland, the Marketing Society has a thriving community dedicated to promoting the value of enlightened marketing. We pride ourselves in building a world leading community, supporting and nurturing talent in the industry and fostering links between the creative and marketing industries. Our annual Star Awards offer the opportunity for marketers to have their achievements over the past year recognised and rewarded as well as providing a stage for future stars to shine.

The Aspiring Creative Award, previously The Star Creative Student Award, was introduced to encourage the next generation of creative disciplines to get involved in marketing and consider the opportunities a career in that direction might offer. In previous years, this award was applicable only for students currently enrolled in a course related to the creative industries. For the second year running, we are opening the award to a broader spectrum of new creatives. It is now open to anyone aspiring towards a creative career in advertising.

The winner of the award will be offered a paid placement at Union Direct - a worthwhile chance to gain relevant experience as well as an opportunity to impress.

All the finalists get the opportunity to attend the Gala Awards where the winner is announced, along with a year’s membership of The Marketing Society Scotland.



This year the brief has been developed in partnership with the Scottish Government Marketing team and Fairer Scotland.
For many years now Scotland has been committed to fighting for gender equality – striving to ensure that Scotland, and the rest of the world, is a better, fairer place for women. As part of this dedication, Scotland recently became the first country in the world to offer free period products to students at all levels of education in Scotland.


Over half the population experience periods for a considerable part of their lives. They’re highly unpredictable and inconvenient. They can take you by surprise, be heavy, light and everywhere in between, mood altering and energy sapping, cripplingly discomforting.
The one thing they have in common? They’re something we suffer in silence.
Even though they’re a perfectly normal and natural occurrence, very few menstruating people feel comfortable to talk openly about their periods. They’re still something of a taboo, surrounded by embarrassment, awkwardness, and sometimes even shame.
The impact of silence is real. It’s not just the inconvenience of leaking or having to skip school. It can lead to serious consequences like missed signs of a health condition.
So isn’t it time we ended this silence, and removed the stigma? We need your help to normalise talking openly about periods. Whoever you are. Even, and especially, if you wouldn’t normally talk about periods.


Enable people to feel comfortable to talk  openly about periods


Principally 16-20 year olds of all genders in Scotland. They’re either at school or college or university or will be looking for work. They’re open to new ideas and changing the status quo.
But here’s the key: men are a vital audience. Interestingly, they have never been brought into the conversation about periods, but that hasn’t stopped them having something to say.
Research suggests that much of the stigma and period shaming comes from male partners, friends or peers. Think gags about ‘having the painters in’ or about ‘moody’ colleagues and siblings. Unless we make it possible for all genders to discuss periods openly, ignorance will prevail.


Most of our target audience aren’t yet ready for an overnight behavioral change. However, with some encouragement, they might feel more able to ask a colleague for a pad when their period arrives early, and not feel obliged to smuggle it to the bathroom like a Class A drug. And their male partners should feel as blasé about buying a box of pantyliners from Tesco as they would a meal deal.


The world is your oyster. You can go as big or as targeted as you like – it’s up to you to choose which formats show off your idea best. It can be a film, a billboard on the side of the road, a song, an event, a product, anything in-between, or all of those things. As long your Big Idea that holds it all together shines through, there are no restrictions.

But there is one small catch: you have to submit a 60 second TikTok video as part of your campaign.

Please submit your idea within an A4 two-page PDF along with a 100-word explanation to accompany your entry. You can include links to videos, additional files or animations to support your work.


A good place to start is getting your head around what exactly the scope of your brief is. It’s up to you to choose the story you want to tell, and who you’d like to tell it to.

You might want to keep your brief very open and share a headline-grabbing, thought-provoking message with all young people in Scotland.

You might want to hone in on one individual audience – perhaps specifically target men and any misconceptions they have around periods.

Or maybe you want to shine a light on the most invisible stories – think for example how suffering in silence might affect people with painful conditions such as endometriosis.

Once you’ve decided on your story, put yourself in your audience’s shoes. Think about what would stop them in their tracks, make them take note, or simply stay in their minds.

In terms of formats, think disruptive. Anything that breaks the silence, that can permeate the everyday and everywhere is ideal. 

Find your story, empathise, craft your message and then go make some noise!


The judges will be looking for a powerful message, executed well. Ideally, we’d like your submission to include three key sections: Research, Insight, and Big Idea. A great entry will also cover the following points.

THE BIG IDEA: Original thinking and a unique, honest idea and story that’s told well.

CREATIVE EXECUTION AND IMPLEMENTATION: A well structured submission that tells a story from start to finish.

LIKELY IMPACT: The winning entry must hit an emotional note and bring widespread awareness.

RESEARCH: A well researched subject matter conveyed in a way that’s simple to understand.

WHAT DOES SUCCESS LOOK LIKE? Your idea should be doable and make a positive impact on Scottish society.


This competition is open to any aspiring creative star who is keen to develop a career in advertising and marketing communications.

There is no age limit and you don’t have to be in college, university or school. As the winner will undertake a paid placement at Union Direct, we’ll be looking for someone who’s ready and enthusiastic about starting their career in a creative agency.

You can already have experience in or be currently working in an agency environment, as long as it is not a creative role. We won’t consider entrants who are currently working in a creative role in advertising/creative industries.

A shortlist will be selected for interview in April/May. If you are shortlisted, you’ll have the chance to further expand your idea and present it to the judges. The winning entry will be announced in June

Entry Deadline 7th April 2022

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Chairman’s & Champions Category Partner

Event Partner

Creative Partner

Digital Partner

Print Partner

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