Alex Beach, McClane Gill and Lucas Brandt (left to right) of TheBackRow earned two gold awards, one silver and Best of Show for their work on a Jolly Time Popcorn campaign. Group members not pictured include Jimmy Huisman and Abby Johnson. Photo courtesy of Michael Wigton
Alex Beach, McClane Gill and Lucas Brandt (left to right) of TheBackRow earned two gold awards, one silver and Best of Show for their work on a Jolly Time Popcorn campaign. Group members not pictured include Jimmy Huisman and Abby Johnson. Photo courtesy of Michael Wigton

Greenlee students take home top honors at 2018 American Advertising Awards in Des Moines

AMES, Iowa - Students and recent graduates of Iowa State University's Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication received five awards and Best of Show honors on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, at the American Advertising Awards Student Competition in Des Moines.

The award ceremony, presented by the Des Moines chapter of the American Advertising Federation, recognized six Greenlee students at the Des Moines Embassy Club.

"Every agency in the country knows what an ADDY is and wants to win one," said Michael Wigton, Greenlee lecturer. "It is the largest competition in our industry. For our students to win one is important because it makes them stand out among other candidates for agency jobs. It is also a great showpiece for their online portfolios."

Students and faculty represented Greenlee at the 2018 Addys, left to right: Associate Professor Jay Newell, Alex Amoa, Jordyn Harrison, Austin Romanos, McClane Gill, Lucas Brandt, Alex Beach, Lecturer Michael Wigton. Photo courtesy of Michael Wigton
Students and faculty represented Greenlee at the 2018 Addys, left to right: Associate Professor Jay Newell, Alex Amoa, Jordyn Harrison, Austin Romanos, McClane Gill, Lucas Brandt, Alex Beach, Lecturer Michael Wigton. Photo courtesy of Michael Wigton

Alex Beach ('17 advertising), Lucas Brandt (senior in advertising), McClane Gill (senior in advertising), Jimmy Huisman ('17 advertising) and Abby Johnson ('17 advertising) received several online/interactive category awards for their work on a campaign for Jolly Time Popcorn. Their Simply Popped web banner ads earned a gold award and Best of Show honors in the student division. The team also received a gold award for their Simply Popped social campaign and a silver for their Simply Popped Snapchat filter.

"I thought we came up with a lot of really fresh, new ideas for Jolly Time and were able to put our research and data into work by not only making a visually appealing campaign but one that had a meaning and analysis behind it," Gill said.

These students, known as TheBackRow, created the campaign as part of their Advertising Campaigns (ADVRT 434) course, taught by Wigton. The class simulates an agency environment with students working together in teams on all phases of campaign development, including planning, research, target audience analysis, media planning and objectives/strategies/tactics for advertising and public relations.

"We thought of the Jolly Time Simply Popped Campaign through persistent, incessant brainstorming and creation of many, many ideas, good and bad," Brandt said. "We really tried to understand popcorn through the eyes of our target: the millennials. All of our group members worked very hard and as a single unit, and we created some outstanding marketing ideas."

Wigton organized the opportunity with Jolly Time Popcorn for his fall 2017 campaigns course, and students presented their work as directed by the client.

"Working with real clients in class is the next best experience to actually working in an agency on a client's business. Understanding the process and planning of an advertising campaign, as directed by a client, gives our students an edge when competing for jobs," Wigton said.

Beach also took silver in the film, video and sound category for his video advertisement for Death Wish Coffee Company, an assignment completed for Advertising Creativity (ADVRT 334), another Greenlee course. Beach's video featured a tired young man who drank Death Wish coffee and became alert to finish his extensive to-do list quickly.

"My classes at Greenlee helped in so many ways," Beach said. "From the planning process to creative techniques, the amount of things I learned in classes cannot be counted."

Riley Dunbar ('17 public relations) received gold in the sales and marketing category for her work in Happy Strong Healthy magazine. The category looks at the design of a magazine from cover to cover.

Iowa State University students and recent grads took home three gold awards, four silver awards and Best of Show honors from the 2018 American Advertising Awards, presented by the Des Moines chapter of the American Advertising Federation. Photo courtesy of Michael Wigton
Iowa State University students and recent grads took home three gold awards, four silver awards and Best of Show honors from the 2018 American Advertising Awards, presented by the Des Moines chapter of the American Advertising Federation. Photo courtesy of Michael Wigton

Other Iowa State students earned recognitions for their work with Model Farm, the Iowa State Daily Media Group's student-run creative agency. Lauren Johnson, a 2017 graphic design graduate, received a silver award in the elements of advertising category for her Shipwreck Remains of the SS Monte Cervantes. Chelsey Crile, a 2017 graduate in biological/pre-med illustrations also received a silver award for her work, Voices Website Illustrations, in the elements of advertising category.

The American Advertising Awards Student Competition, sponsored through the American Advertising Federation, annually recognizes all forms of creative advertising, in all varieties of media, created by all sizes and types of entrants in a three-tier nationwide competition. The student advertising competition is held concurrently with the professional competition and is the largest of its kind, according to AAF. Student work is judged by professionals in the field.

The Greenlee gold winners will compete March 17 in one of 15 district competitions, along with the winners of about 200 local competitions across the country. District winners will advance to the national finals in June.