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Inspired by Ashburton Intermediate

Inspired by Ashburton Intermediate

Late last year we were honoured to be asked by Darren Butler, a gifted teacher from Ashburton Intermediate, if we could find time to talk about marketing and design with a few students in relation to a unique project the school was working on.
The possibility of our professional experience being useful to local young minds is rewarding enough, but we were inspired to do as much as we could once Darren explained the “real world” nature of the project, which involved teams of students working  together over the term to develop, manufacture and market a product which would be sold at a Market Day. 
JFM Senior Designer Nik Sweeney initially spoke with the students about fundamental aspects of good logo, packaging and poster design. Cue: blank stares as to how any adult could get so excited about colours. But with some expert coaxing from Darren, a question and answer session soon revealed that some students had a real gift for the marketing and advertising concepts behind the design. One young lady even raised her hand and confidently asked what she should be studying now to get into marketing. True story. Her JFM business cards are being printed as we speak.
To our delight, Darren reported that the students felt they had learned a lot from our presentation. We were even asked to continue our involvement with the project by “judging” the resulting posters, packaging and stall designs. Easier said than done. Upon seeing the clear effort each student team had put into the design and marketing of their products, it became apparent that picking the best of the bunch was going to come down to tiny degrees of difference. With such a close race we felt the only fair reward was an Olympic medal system. The resulting gold, silver and bronze certificates included an explanation of what unique efforts we recognised and made the entry more successful than the competition. 
Visiting the Ashburton Intermediate Market Day itself was a heartwarming revelation. Each team had developed a product based on a different country and the students had entered into the spirit of the event by dressing to match their product. The stall decorations were outstanding and the quality of the student sales people would put any Melbourne or London market to shame. The only fault Nik could find was that he arrived too late to sample all the international foods.
The stalls, happy students, cheerful noise and (no doubt sugar fuelled) atmosphere had visitors totally engrossed in the experience. By all accounts, the culmination of the project was a great success for the students and teachers. Here’s the final word from Darren Butler;
“Thank you for your time and effort as it has made it extra special having a professional give some insight about marketing and critique their hard work.  The event was more successful than anticipated with food selling out by 12.30 (and we had a lot at the start) and many of the stalls just about selling out also (must have been that great marketing advice).  We made about $4600 towards Ashburtion’s cancer society + Cole Beeman raising a similar amount by himself to shave his head, so hugely successful. Thankyou and the team.”