Ikon Communications strategist and account planner Vince Usher has been named Top Dog at Miami Ad School’s most recent account planning course.
Usher, who worked in teams throughout the course, also won three ‘Best Campaign’ awards for his work on live briefs by craft beer client 4 Pines, Tourism Australia and Ford.
His team partner on Ford was fellow student Anish Bhattacharya, and for Tourism Australia and 4 Pines, Usher teamed up with Monil Nisar.
Taught by Rob Dougan, head of planning at Clemenger BBDO Sydney; and Ben Clare, creative director at TBWA\Sydney, ‘The Pitch’ class works like an agency pitch where teams create campaigns based on live briefs and present them throughout the course in a competitive setting.
Dougan said Usher has consistently been the most interesting and engaged thinker of the students.
Clare added: “Whether you’re an aspiring creative or planner, the Miami Ad School boot camp throws you straight into the deep end of ideation and strategy.
“And week in week out, Vince impressed us with his creative, impactful thinking. I’ve no doubt that whatever he takes away from the course, will take him forward in his career.
Andy Marsh, brand manager of 4 Pines, said “I was very impressed with the quality and polish of the thinking. They are a bunch of very talented humans.”
Commenting on the accolade, Usher said: “This has been one of the most transformative and rewarding experiences of my life. It was a massive deal for me financially, emotionally, even physically.
“Holding down a full-time job, I worked myself to the bone to win the Top Dog award and the pitches. It’s part of the reason I’m here, not only to take part, but to compete, to win, and to use it in order to boost my career here and internationally.”
The 12-week account planning boot camp consists of four weekly courses and workshops taught by Sydney’s top agencies after hours. It is designed to accelerate the career of planners, strategists, creatives and account managers.
Participants acquire strategic and creative skills taught in hands-on sessions by Sydney’s leading planners and creatives. The creative strategy workshops are conducted by:
- Iona MacGregor – chief strategy officer, Saatchi & Saatchi
- Ryan O’Connell – head of strategy, Ogilvy
- Dom Hickey – planning partner, DDB
- Sam Geer – national strategy director, Initiative
- Ian MacDonald – strategy director, McCann
- Alexandra Roubine – social media director, Leo Burnett
- Dominique McCarthy – head of qualitative research, The Leading Edge
- Julia Vargiu – New Business Methodologies
- Darren Woolley – director, Trinity P3
- Robert Harding-Smith – planning director, Clemenger BBDO
- Karl Bates – executive planning director, BWM Dentsu
- Jack Spicer – planner, BWM Dentsu
- Richard Spicer – marketing consultant
The ‘Creative Toolbox’ class is taught by Will Edwards, creative director at Team Red; and Nico Smith, senior art director at CHE Proximity.