The results are in for the American Advertising Federation’s Fifth District student ad competition- and the winner is the University of Kentucky. These students will get to go to San Francisco in June for the National competition and square off against teams from across the country. The client, Postal Vault, of Dallas Texas, was the first “small client” in the history of the competition and they gave the students a taste of a real world, with changes halfway through the assignment and some odd requests in the brief. As in all things advertising, the campaign presentations ran from the bad to the very good.
I’m in a position to know- I was selected to be the client representative on the panel.
The competition is still going on in some districts, so I will limit myself to say that reviewing the planbooks and presentations by 9 teams is a lot of work- but very rewarding. Often times in advertising we search out young talent to give us a fresh perspective on our business- and while I saw some incredible talent today- there is much to be said for the wisdom that comes from years of experience.
Watch this space in the near future for a tip sheet for building effective planbooks for this competition- and for making an effective presentation. For now, I just want to say it was an honor to be a judge, and that the process served as a reminder of how and why I love this business. If you ever get the call to be a judge on one of these competitions- I highly recommend it- even if it will mean missing sleep and a day or two of work.
Not only will you be giving something back- you’ll walk away with a creative battery recharge that will surprise and delight you.
Congratulations to all the teams- I hope this was a good introduction to our amazing field.

David Esrati

Joining me in the judging were:

Michael Gersin, CRMC
Greater Media Detoit

Lou Es Greene
L2 Marketing Research, Ltd.

Matthew Oates
Greater Lafayette Health Services

Daniel Schlegel
Schlegel Creative Resources

The other winning schools:
2nd. place Western Kentucky University
3rd place Ohio University
4th place Youngstown State

John Carroll University, Marshall University, Mount Vernon Nazarene University, Murray State University and Xavier University were the other participants.