Media Design School students recognised in non-professional category at Ad Stars this year

Media Design School students recognised in non-professional category at Ad Stars this year

Media Design School students have won big at this year’s AdStars in Creative eCommerce for WikiBlocks and in Social & Influencer for The BiOlympic Tattoo.


Says Kate Humphries, programme director for creative advertising at MDS: “We’ve had a few very well-received ideas this year that tackle NFTs and digital currencies in creative ways, and they’ve put both students (and their lecturers) on a very steep learning curve.

“So, it’s great to see student team, Maria Masniak and Callum Batley, showing the fruits of all that learning with their big win for WikiBlocks in this year’s non-professional category at AdStars.

“An Olympian-sized-cheer also for student team Bayleigh Way and James Greig, whose win for The BiOlympic Tattoo made it into the top 12 AdStars wins worldwide in the non-professional category. With only 47 student wins out of the thousands entered, the final round of judging was incredibly tough and vigorous this year. So, both teams should be feeling really chuffed about their results.

The AdStars competition is the only one that coincides with the Southern Hemisphere academic timetable, so it’s a really important training ground for MDS students-with many of them going onto win big at AdStars once they’ve entered industry.

Adds Humphries: “Proving precisely that, we were thrilled to see 2017 MDS grads Jack Gravatt and Till Dimmers winning Gold, Silvers and Crystals this year for Special’s ‘Meddle in the New Zealand Election’; and 2018 AdSchool graduate Guy Trengrove winning, with art director Kiah Nagasaka, the 2021 AdStars New Stars Award. In fact, we were so pleased when Guy got in touch to tell us the news, we invited him into our video call so he could share the winning joy with Maria, Callum, Bayleigh and James.

“As always, we owe a big thank you to industry for helping to critique and feedback on all the students’ ideas ahead of their entry into AdStars. So, a big cheer to Michael Tam, Global Design Director @ iBM IX in Hong Kong for workshopping all the initial ideas (and clearly you called it 100% correct from the get-go for BiOlympic Tattoos!); a huge thank you to Jerome Kelsey, founder and systems design lead at for the generous feedback and learning you gave us on NFTs and Cryptocurrencies; and some hearty-socially-distanced-back-slaps for all the feedback from our industry panelists Dave Shirley (FCB); Adam Thompson (Augusto); Jacob Newton and Joseph Jover (DDB); as well as Justin Butler, Letizia Bozzolini and Tom Johnson (Special).

“To all our student finalist winners this year at AdStars-a big congratulations, you have had some stunning ideas. Lockdown may not be where you want to be right now, but tomorrow it’s spring and in two weeks-time mentoring begins! And on that jolly note, Media Design School and The Comms Council will be doing our yearly shout out to industry for mentors at the end of this week-but if anyone from industry wants to put their hand up right now for mentoring a team, you can cut to the chase by contacting me directly at”