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By the time final exams arrive most students are searching deep inside for that extra spark of energy to propel them forward to the end of the semester. However, for several students in Professor Bridget Camden’s advertising courses, they didn’t have to look any further than their inboxes to find that extra encouragement needed to push them through their final projects.
This year’s One Show Student Competition, the premiere international advertising award show in America, and one of the top three award shows globally, recently announced that VCU Mass Communications’ advertising students had won seven awards in a variety of categories, including print media, logo design, viral interactive media, non-traditional advertising and television.
“There’s an intensity to the student projects because of the competition,” said Camden. “It’s really exciting and a privilege to see what the students are able to create.”
All seven of the student awards (12 students in all) will appear in the December 2012 publication of the One Show Annual, a large book that lists each winner’s name along with their winning campaign, and is sold at major bookstores nationwide.
“The students will always be in this book,” said Camden. “No one can take that away from them. The One Show is a who’s who of the advertising world, and people’s careers have been made because of their work that was published in this book.”
The award-winning Mass Communications’ advertising students, all led under the creative direction of Professor Camden, were one of 41 undergraduate, graduate and portfolio schools to win, including one team who won the coveted One Show Pencil (one of the top three awards available). Out of 3,000 entries worldwide, the School’s seven finalists were among the top five percent awarded by the One Show.
“Bridget’s incredible,” said Patrick Merritt, winner of the Pencil and senior creative advertising student. “ I’ve had her for three semesters, and I knew from the first second that I had my class with the right teacher. She cares about the students and the major, and she drives us to make sure we’re putting in 100 percent.”
Merritt and his partner, senior creative advertising student Kimberly Ronan, earned their Pencil for a television commercial produced for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Their concept all began in January at the VCU library where Merritt and Ronan would meet to brainstorm names and images of horses that would illustrate the unethical treatment of racing horses.
“The commercial is called ‘The Horrors Behind Horse Racing’,” said Ronan. “After we thought of our ideas for the campaign, we made a script and just kept going. It took us forever to get the names and the script just right, but wining the Pencil makes all the re-editing and meetings worth it.”
The One Show is not only the most competitive of the advertising awards worldwide, but it is also peer reviewed by the leaders in the advertising industry.
“I saw the name of our print campaign for PETA listed under VCU School of Mass Communications on the One Club’s awards list, and I was ecstatic,” said Austin Campbell-Cohen, merit winner of the One Show Student Competition and senior creative advertising student. I just stared at my computer for a minute in shock and then called my partner, Mike Kennedy, to give him the good news.”
Campbell-Cohen and Kennedy’s original idea for their print advertising campaign for PETA came to them when they least expected it.
“The initial thought came to me when I was either sleeping or half asleep because when you’re working that hard, ideas just start to invade you in your sleep,” said Campbell-Cohen. “My first thought was what do the Florida Marlins and Miami Dolphins have in common? My reaction was that by 2048, they’ll have to get new mascots, and what’s Miami without the Dolphins?”
Each year, the international competition has continued to grow, with this year’s winning work coming from ten different countries, including Sweden, Canada, Republic of Korea, Italy, United Kingdom, Brazil, Germany, Spain, France and the United States. However, competition continues to remain strong within the U.S. attracting entries from many of the top graduate schools in advertising and the top communications programs throughout the country.
“With 3,000 entries from around the world, it’s pretty amazing that we won one of only 23 Pencils awarded world wide,” said Merritt. “I’ve never won an award this prestigious before.”
The depth and breadth of the Mass Communications’ students’ awards from the One Show is a testament to the quality of the School’s advertising program and a direct reflection of the students’ abilities to adapt and keep up with the endless changing landscape of advertising communications.
“Advertising is a really difficult and competitive filed, and the School of Mass Communications did an incredible job this year,” said Merritt. “It’s a great class, program and teacher. I’m really proud of Kim and I for earning this achievement.”
Previously, Mass Communications’ advertising students’ work has appeared in the prestigious One Show Annual publication a total of seven times since 2006.