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BYU Ad Lab turns Doritos into Gold by winning national ADDY

ADDY Awards is world's largest advertising competition

UPDATE: June 29, 2010 -- The Ad Lab has just won a first place award from the D&AD competition in London for the Doritos Guardians spot.


The BYU Ad Lab has combined ferocious critters with Doritos-eating folks to win a Student Gold ADDY Award, one of the top advertising prizes awarded in the country for student work.

Ad Lab adviser Jeff Sheets and Ad Lab students picked up their hardware Saturday in a ceremony in Orlando, Fla. The Ad Lab landed the ADDY for their creative work on an advertising campaign and commercial created for the Doritos “Crash the Super Bowl” contest.

“To be recognized in the largest ad competition in the world, alongside the best advertising professionals in the business is a tribute to the level we have built the BYU Ad Lab and the advertising program,” Sheets said.

The Ad Lab’s campaign features Doritos-eating people with wild animals (hawks, badgers, wolverines) as pet guardians for their beloved chips. The commercial hilariously shows a hawk attack a Doritos-stealing friend.

BYU’s national student ADDY will now join the 12 state and nine regional ADDYs the Ad Lab has received this year. The Doritos Guardian campaign, as the Ad Lab has named it, has also won an international D&AD award.

“To be able to a part of something so large, and for people to see my work and admire it for its artistry and creativity, helps me to know that what I’ve learned in school at BYU and the experience I received in the Ad Lab have made a real difference for my professional development,” said recent grad Devin LuBean, art director for the commercial.

The campaign was 100 percent produced and created by BYU Ad Lab students, who partnered with the film program for the filming. All the students who produced the piece have accepted major offers from large ad agencies, including Ogilvy New York and Leo Burnett Chicago.

Ad Lab students who worked on the ADDY –winning commercial were LuBean, Patrick Koelling, Nathan Wigglesworth, Derek Pueblo and Brad Hall.

“Sometimes you develop these insane ideas in your head, you convince someone just as crazy as you to shoot the spot, and then you start showing it to people,” Hall said. “That first time, you’re just holding your breath. You don’t know if they’re going to laugh hysterically or walk out of the room. Lucky enough for us, they decided to give us some trophies.”

The Ad Lab will learn if they pick up the international D&AD hardware on June 29 in London.

This year’s ADDY competition had more than 60,000 entries and a record number of student ADDY applications.

“It’s pretty normal for a group of students to come up with a crazy idea, in fact that’s advertising,” Sheets said. “But it’s pretty remarkable for that crazy idea to actually have a real strategy and to be able to execute it and see it all the way through to production in a world class way. And this group did it and then some.”



The ADDY award is just the latest notch in the belt of major projects the BYU Ad Lab has been involved with. Ad Lab clients include NikeiD, Burger King, L’Oreal, EA Sports, Nestle and Volkswagen.


As a volunteer agency with the Ad Council, BYU has produced projects for the Library of Congress, the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the Coalition for Healthy Children and the American Cancer Society.


“As a student run ad lab, we’re not just competing, we’re contributing just like the professionals,” says Ad Lab Adviser Jeff Sheets. “We are as professional and capable as any other group.”

Peggy Conlon, President and CEO of the Ad Council:

“The work that these incredibly talented college students have produced on behalf of our campaigns has been first rate across the board. I look forward to continuing our partnership and have no doubt that the future of advertising is in very good hands.

Kristi VandenBosch, President of the ad agency Tequila:

The BYU team came back with insightful, creative, innovative ideas – and show-stopping presentations. Their passion and creativity was boundless, while their practicality and poise showed me they were ready for the ‘real world.’ BYU’s program is truly cultivating the next generation of advertising leadership.”


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