With 74 awards in the 2021 Graphis New Talent competition, the Newhouse School led every school in the country. Only six Platinum advertising awards were given worldwide, and Newhouse creative advertising students won three of them. Nineteen Gold, 27 Silver and 25 Honorable Mentions complete the record award total. This is up from the previous Newhouse record of 61 advertising awards won at the 2020 competition.
The impressive award-winning campaigns were created in portfolio courses taught by Newhouse advertising professors Mel White and Kevin O’Neill.
“When students start in their first Newhouse creative advertising course, Portfolio I, they’re in awe of the ads that won in this competition from our school in previous years,” White says. “Then, three months later, they end up creating campaigns that win in this very competition.”
Senior Sam Luo won two Platinum awards and recent graduate Xinran Xiao won the third. Junior Allison Scherger won a Gold and two Silver awards. Seniors Derek Rosen and Jeffery Robie both won two Gold awards.
“Every creative in the ad business shows up every morning committed to having the next best idea,” O’Neill says. “It’s enormously valuable for the students to engage in these competitive exercises because that’s what their careers will demand of them.
Luo, art director, won his first Platinum award for his Best Damn Beard Oil print ad campaign “Tame the Animal.” To create a visual metaphor that communicates how the beard oil can soften even the wildest beards, he shows wild animals in the beards of men whose facial hair has been tamed.
“I had a lot of failed attempts and ideas with this campaign,” Luo says. “I went back to the drawing board three times, but I remember being proud of this idea.
White says “going back to the drawing board” is common and students often come back with stronger ideas. No one should feel like a failure because coming up with multiple ideas until you find the right one is part of the creative process, she says.
Luo won his second Platinum award for his McDonald’s print ad campaign “McDelivery,” which features 3-D renderings of the restaurant chain’s iconic golden arches going through city windows to represent the reach of its delivery service.
“The one thing McDonald’s has that Burger King doesn’t is its golden arches,” Luo says. “I thought of how the golden arch would work in real life and came up with the idea of it arching through windows into people’s homes.”
Scherger, art director, won Gold for her Decibullz print ad campaign “Decibullz Earplugs,” one of her first campaigns ever. She says her campaign was driven by the insight that most earplugs just reduce decibels instead of blocking out sound.
“The campaign I created for Decibullz wasn’t about blocking out sounds, but minimizing them,” Scherger says. “As an art director, most of my campaigns are visual solutions. My idea for this was to take the thing making the loud sound and actually minimize it by photoshopping it to be smaller.”
Professor White focuses on teaching students how to create visual solution advertising, where the concept of the ad is communicated in the visual, usually accompanied by a headline.
Scherger won Silver for her OFF Deep Woods campaign “OFF Deep Woods Print Ad” and Hulu print ad campaign “Hulu No Ads.” Scherger says it was an amazing feeling to receive recognition from Graphis New Talent.
“I felt like all of my hard work had paid off,” Scherger says. “I spent countless hours making adjustments to the campaigns. Professor White was very helpful in giving feedback during each round. And I spent 20 hours just photoshopping each campaign. Receiving my first three Graphis Awards made me feel like all of my work was worth it.”
Rosen, copywriter, shares a Gold award with Joyee Lin, art director, for their Burger King mobile app extension “Rumble Detector.” Rosen also won Gold for his Michelin Tires print ad campaign “Noticeable Benefits.”
For “Rumble Detector,” Rosen and Lin created the digital idea based on a brief from the Young Ones competition to create Burger King digital coupons to delight and surprise consumers. It rewards app users based on the growl of their hungry stomachs. The louder the rumble, the better the coupon.
“We were thinking about what could make people happy,” Rosen says. “We came up with the idea that the hungrier people are, the more food they want. We thought, ‘Why don’t we give them more coupons or better ones depending on their level of hunger?’ Then we thought rumbles from your stomach was a funny way to show this and also fit into Burger King’s comedic and edgy tone.”
Professors White and O’Neill are two of the five Platinum award-winning advertising instructors worldwide in this competition. White won three Platinum, 16 Gold, 23 Silver and 16 Honorable Mention teaching awards. O’Neill won two Platinum, six Gold, six Silver and 10 Honorable Mention teaching awards. According to the Graphis website, the annual competition “presents award-winning work from students whose instructors have inspired and challenged them to achieve brilliance.”
The Graphis New Talent Awards is an international competition that honors the best rising talent in advertising and other communication arts. The Platinum, Gold and Silver winning campaigns are featured in a hardcover book called the “Graphis New Talent Annual,” and the Honorable Mentions are listed. The Newhouse creative advertising winners are also featured on the Graphis website for advertising print and outdoor and for advertising case study videos.
Newhouse creative advertising Platinum winners: Sam Luo (“McDelivery” and “Tame the Animal”) and Xinran Xiao (“Keep Fresh”).
Newhouse creative advertising Gold winners: Talia Adler (“Inescapable”), Emily Babcock and Jordanna Drazin (“Google Mind”), Maia Baptiste and Joe Cutuli (“Cashcan”), Catarina Baumgart de Melo (“Sony Sportable Handycam”), Brian Chau (“All great work starts with a sketch”), Xinyue Chen (“Nomore.org Print Ad”), Rachel Hayashi (“Avoid the Mess”), Benjamin Lin (“Must’ve been a Wrangler”), Joyee Lin and Derek Rosen (“Rumble Detector”), Sam Luo (“Go Wild,” “See Bigger,” “The New E-Golf,” “Go in deep,” and “Exhale!”), Jeffrey Robie (“Bulldog Skincare for Men” and “Spalding”), Derek Rosen (“Noticeable Benefits”), Allison Scherger (“Decibullz Earplugs”), and Jennifer Suhr (“Mophie Powerstation Campaign”).
Newhouse creative advertising Silver winners: Talia Adler (“Flakes Don’t Belong in Your World”), Selin Akyurek (“It’s Better to be Taller”), Emily Bright (“Brita Filter Campaign”), Alye Chaisson (“What If?”), Addie Christoper and Jack Lyons (“Thursday Boots Co. Campaign”), Clare Coey (“Unimaginably Fresh”), Grace Curran (“Ugly Fruit”), Joe DeBlasio (“Perspective” and “24/7, 365”), Shawn Depaz and Spencer Krimsky (“Miller Genuine Draft: No Bull, Just Beer”), Sierra Fentress (“Sierra Club Print Ads”), Olivia Gormley and Sam Luo (“A Step Behind”), Rachel Hayashi (“Snack Healthier”), Benjamin Lin (“Upgrade your Home”), Victoria Lin (“Carry Nintendo Switch Around”), Jessica Mastorides (“Flamin’ Hot Cheetos”), Alex Mayeri (“The North Face: Concrete Jungle”), Sierra Outcalt (“Smells So Natural”), Jeffrey Roble (“Samsung 8K”), Derek Rosen (“Long Lasting Impact”), Allison Scherger (“OFF Deep Woods Print Ad” and “Hulu No Ads”), Lynn Seah (“Haribo”), Yuri Suh (“Evolution of Ideas with Post-it Notes”), Jennifer Suhr (“The Special Olympics Exhibition”), and Ashley Watchfogel (“Finis Duo Underwater Headphones” and “National Geographic Magazine”).
Newhouse creative advertising Honorable Mentions: Megan Adams (“Converse Renew”), Selin Akyurek (“Get. Real. Write it by hand”), Emily Babcock and Jordanna Drazin (“Talk to the Times”), Alye Chaisson (“Spotlight”), Clare Coey and Sierra Outcalt (“BLM x The Economist”), Grace Curran (“The Outcast” and “Ugly Fruit Outdoor”), Joe DeBlasio (“Any Environment.” and “The Bully Project – Unveiling ‘boys will be boys’”), Olivia DeLorenzo and Mike Gaines (“Nike+ #Shutout”), Shawn Depaz and Spencer Krimsky (“Honest Tea”), Sierra Fentress (“Herschel Backpacks Print Ads”), Rachel Hayashi (“The Only Tool You Need”), Kristen Heglin (“Calphalon – Too Slick”), Camille Lavoie (“Ketel One Print Campaign”), Victoria Lin (“Carry Nintendo Switch Around”), Amelia Lytle (“Oberon Brewing Summer Love” and “Trader Joe’s Print Ad”), Jessica Mastorides (“Windex Campaign” and “Vans Campaign”), Maggie de Poortere (“The Loss of Simple Joys” and “Concert Quality Sound”), Lynn Seah (“Adidas x Parley Ocean Plastic Primeblue Sneakers”), Eric Storms (“Ray-Ban: Timeless Confidence”), Yuri Suh (“Prevent Sweat That’s Horrifying to Go Near”), Jennifer Suhr (“This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray”), and Shaoli Yusaf (“The Bully Project – Unveiling ‘boys will be boys’” and “Calphalon – Too Slick”).
Samantha Savery is a graduate student in arts journalism and communications at the Newhouse School.