Each year, the Switzerland-based Golden Award of Montreux competition includes five advertising student winners from around the world. Newhouse creative advertising alumnus Sam Luo ’21 is the only Gold Medal winner from an advertising school in the U.S. He won in the print/poster subcategory for his “McDelivery” print ad campaign, created while he was a student at Newhouse.
“No one from Newhouse has won this before, and the show is dominated by art and portfolio schools,” Luo says. “Seeing my campaign prevail as one of the five winning entries from around the world and represent both Newhouse and the United States is absolutely unbelievable.”
The global competition celebrates creative and innovative student work in the categories of film, print/poster, design, digital/social and use of media. According to the competition website, the competition honors “the creation of excellent advertising” that reflects how “communication is part of the global world of creativity.”
Luo is grateful for his two creative advertising professors, Mel White and Kevin O’Neill, for helping him become a stronger art director during his time at Newhouse. “They work so tirelessly to teach and empower students like me to create the absolute best work that we can, and it paid off,” he says.
The appreciation and admiration go both ways, as White says Luo constantly impressed her with the work he created.
“Sam was one of those rare students who is constantly creative,” White says. “He was creative non-stop throughout the semesters, school breaks, in between the semesters and in the summers. He lived, ate and breathed creative advertising. He is naturally curious and works hard to create the most outstanding campaigns possible. He treated his Portfolio courses as times to grow and push himself to create solutions to advertising problems that are innovative and award-winning. He volunteered for any creative opportunity that presented itself. And he is very good at listening to feedback and using that to push his ideas even further. This is one of the secrets to creating great advertising, and one that Sam mastered. He’s also the most awarded student we’ve ever had.”
O’Neill says he agrees with White’s sentiments about Luo. “At the risk of ruining Sam with high praise, he really is a once-a-decade talent for us at Newhouse,” O’Neill says. “He’s an explosive combination of visual imagination and relentless dedication to his craft. It was a privilege to have him pass through our classrooms.”