Creative advertising students raked in an astounding 195 awards in one year, setting a new school record

Creative advertising students at the Newhouse School set the program record by winning an impressive 195 awards in one year.

“What most impressed me about the awards the Newhouse creative advertising students won was not the amount but the range,” says Taras Wayner, former chief creative officer of Wunderman Thompson in New York and an alumnus of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. “The design and clarity of the ideas covered the complete spectrum of modern media solutions that will attract the attention of every agency in the world.”

“I’m so proud of all of our creative advertising students, who can use these opportunities to show what they have learned, and more importantly, what they can take to industry. This is a wonderful way to spotlight their creative advertising work as well as the level of education you get here at the Newhouse School,” says Mark J. Lodato, dean of the Newhouse School. 

“The Newhouse advertising department is uniquely positioned to ensure that our students succeed at the highest levels,” Lodato says. “There is a wonderful mix of faculty with deep, professional experience and some strong scholars who bring an additional level of research and innovation. Together that makes for a very powerful curriculum and support system for our students to be able to perform so well at these national and even international competitions and in the industry.”

“It’s an amazing achievement that creative students have won 195 awards within a year,” says James Tsao, chair of the advertising department. “Only one word could summarize the remarkable achievement—pride!”  

All award-winning work was created in the Portfolio I, II and III courses taught by professors Mel White and Kevin O’Neill as part of the creative advertising track. Students in those courses are training as art directors and copywriters. 

At the One Show Young Ones Brief competition, the Burger King campaign created by art director/copywriter team Rachel Hayashi and Jessica Mastorides, “Have it the Real Way” (video), earned one of the most prestigious advertising awards: Newhouse’s first Silver Pencil. The humorous campaign flaunted real Burger King food in its imperfect glory through posters featuring floppy cheese and smushed buns and clear sandwich packaging to show the always real, never fake food. The campaign even capitalized on Burger King’s rivalry with McDonald’s. Using AirDrop, McDonald’s customers were prompted to scan their burger in the Burger King app. Then, Google Lens would search for McDonald’s ad and calculate the percent difference between the actual burger and the way too perfect-looking one in the ad. The percentage became a whopping Burger King discount for the customer.  

Newhouse earned two additional One Show Young Ones Brief awards. Art director/copywriter team Brian Chau and Alye Chaisson received a merit award for their Spotify campaign, “Drive into Your Daily Drive” (video), which evolved Spotify’s “Daily Drive” commuting playlists for road trips in response to the sharp drop in commuting during the Covid-19 pandemic. Next to a state’s “Welcome to” sign, digital billboards display a song selected by a famous musician born in the state and airdrops the celebrity’s curated “Daily Drive” playlist to your phone for a one-of-a-kind road trip experience.

Art director Sam Luo’s WhatsApp “On Hold” (video) earned a shortlist award for its innovative integration of mental health and technology through cell-blocking “On Hold” towers in high stress areas, automatic away messages and mental health scans through facial recognition. The campaign also included streetwear printed with barcodes that, when scanned, would take users to the WhatsApp On Hold app for mental health support.

The One Show Young Ones ADC competition earned Newhouse the coveted Silver Cube, another program first. Art director/copywriter team Sarah Sek and Jessica Miranda created the award-winning LEGO campaign “Infinicoaster”(video). The interactive campaign combined digital and physical play with a LEGO set that allows kids to build and experience the roller coaster of their dreams. Hi-tech bricks outfitted with ultrasonic sensors allow kids to ride their coaster creations on the LEGO phone app using virtual reality.

Newhouse also received three merit awards at One Show Young Ones ADC. Art director/copywriter team Cerinn Park and Marta Lala won for P&G “uTINTsil” (video), a set of color-changing utensils for kids designed to detect different allergens in food for a safer lunchtime. Kelsi Ryan and Chloe Greenwald, an art director/copywriter team, were awarded for Apple x Glaad “Deadnaming” (video), an Apple software update that adds preferred pronouns to contacts and uses AI to autocorrect digital deadnaming and misgendering. Luo’s “McDelivery” earned the third merit award.

The record-setting continued at the Clio Awards, where Newhouse ranked among the top five most-awarded schools worldwide, winning a record-breaking five Clio awards. Luo earned four of the five awards including a Bronze Clio for “McDelivery.”

In Luo’s print campaign, the famous McDonald’s golden arches swoop through late-night cityscapes to land in apartment windows, showing off McDonald’s delivery service. 

Luo also won Clio shortlists for Hermes “The Silk Definition,” capturing the luxury of the brand’s signature scarves through sweeping landscapes crafted by silk, and Jeep “Go Wild,” mimicking adventurous landscapes through extreme close-ups of zebra stripes and giraffe spots for Jeeps to explore. Luo and copywriter Olivia Gormley secured another Clio shortlist with Amazon + Connect4Climate “Amazon Greenscreen” (video), an integrated campaign featuring an Amazon search filter that displays eco-friendly products; an in-app camera scanner to find more sustainable alternatives to everyday products; and a scoring system to track personal progress towards a greener lifestyle. 

Maia Baptista and Joe Cutuli, art director / copywriter team, won a Clio Shotlist with their Coca-Cola “Cashcan” (video). The idea was created during a 10-minute brainstorming exercise in the Portfolio III course. The duo’s concept focused on helping the Coca-Cola company incentivize its consumers to recycle its products by creating high-tech CashCan recycling bins conveniently placed on city blocks. These bins would scan bottles’ barcodes and, using Apple Pay, transfer money into the user’s bank account.

Newhouse students took home three gold National ADDY awards. Luo earned two of the three gold awards. Luo and Gormley won for the “A Step Behind” campaign for Girls Who Code which emphasized the need for STEM education among young girls. In the campaign, various race tracks are shown with one lane’s start line set behind the rest. This racing position, paired with taglines like, “Behind before she even started,” conveys the disadvantages girls face when they aren’t given opportunities to explore STEM skills at a young age. 

Luo’s second National ADDY gold was for “Go in Deep,” a print ad campaign for Oral-B Glide Floss featuring a scuba diver, mountain climber and parachuter traveling between two massive teeth to show just how deep the floss can go. 

Art director Allison Scherger won a National ADDY gold award for her “Decibullz Earplugs” campaign. Scherger’s ads feature people wielding common noisemakers, like trumpets and chainsaws, scaled to miniature size with the tagline, “Minimize big sounds.” 

At the Golden Award of Montreux, Luo won one of only five Gold Awards given worldwide to students and was the only student award winner from the U.S. He won for his “McDelivery” campaign.

At the Communication Arts Advertising awards, Newhouse students won four of the 18 awards worldwide. Newhouse also earned three shortlists.  Luo and Gormley won two of the awards for their “A Step Behind” and “Greenscreen” campaigns. Luo also received an award for “Go Deep.” Park and Lala earned the fourth award for P&G “uTINTsil.” The four award-winning campaigns were also featured in the Communication Arts Advertising Annual November/December 2020 issue.

Luo received one out of only 11 Communication Arts Student Showcase awards given globally. Three of his campaigns were featured in the Communication Arts March/April 2021 issue.

Newhouse was the fifth most-awarded school out of advertising schools worldwide at the New York Festivals Advertising Awards. Students earned 26 awards, consisting of eight finalists and 18 shortlists, shattering the previous Newhouse record of nine awards. 

Seven Newhouse campaigns earned awards at the Lürzers International Archive Students Contest. Six winners were published in the international publication and one additional campaign was pre-selected.

At the Graphis New Talent awards, Newhouse won the most awards out of all schools worldwide, dominating the competition. Newhouse earned 74 student awards for their print and outdoor and video advertising with three platinum awards, 19 gold, 27 silver and 25 honorable mentions.

Newhouse creative advertising students took home 13 awards at Creativity International, one of the first female owned and operated advertising award shows in the industry. Students won one Platinum, three Gold, five Silver and four Bronze awards.

Ads of the World, part of the Clios network, selected and published 20 Newhouse campaigns.

The Newhouse School won the most awards overall in the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) Best of Design, Advertising Division. Each school was allowed five entries, and the five Newhouse campaigns won six awards total: Judge’s Choice and Second Place for “Girls Who Code”; Third Place for “Have It the Real Way”; Best in Experiential for “CashCan”; Best in Print for “McDelivery”; and Best in Interactive and Social Media for “Protect Asian Lives PAL”(video) for Apple by Mastorides and Hayashi.

Complete list of 195 creative advertising awards won by Newhouse students in the 2020-2021 school year:

Katherine Kiessling is a graduate student in the arts journalism and communications program at the Newhouse School.