Media Sandbox Michigan State University

ADDY Awards 2017

March 23rd, 2017

Each year, young creatives from the College of Communication Arts and Sciences submit their work in the hopes of winning an ADDY Award. The annual award ceremony is organized by the American Advertising Federation and the Mid-Michigan Creative Alliance and recognizes students and professionals for their work in TV, print, design and digital.

Above: Ad created by Madison Johnson for her brand “Bad Habits Brewing Company,” won her a Gold ADDY and Judge’s Choice award. She won 11 awards in total.

The submitted works were judged by a panel of professional advertising creatives, including Andy Azula, the creative director and vice president at The Martin Agency in Richmond, Virginia; Silver Guellar III, from Van Winkle + Associates in Atlanta, Georgia; and Melanie Wiesenthal, a partner at Deerfield, a branding and design studio that focuses on fashion and beauty in Brooklyn, New York.

Eric Schwartz, advertising senior and Silver ADDY winner, looks forward to the ADDYs each year, as they promote and reward students in the MSU Department of Advertising + Public Relations and local professionals for their hard work.

The ADDYs to me is such a great way to celebrate the work that students do in and outside of the classroom, and the hard work that professionals are doing in the industry just down the road,” said Schwartz. “The students in the creative concentration within the advertising program are small and few, so having an event to celebrate and bring all of us together is really special – it’s a family reunion of sorts.”

This year’s entries included ads for Fruit of the Loom, Walgreens, Best Buy as well as companies and brands created by the students.

Above: Ad created by Madison Johnson, won a Gold ADDY for TV Advertising and an Excellence in Diversity award.

Students stole the show with stunning work

Recent advertising grad Lauren Cutler was awarded a Gold ADDY for work on a brand she created called Lumberjane, with fellow student Matt Richter. The brief they were given was to create packaging and advertising for a brewing company – for women, by women. Cutler also won a Judge’s Choice award for the brand, which she was excited to receive from judge Andy Azula.

lumberjaneThis year’s ADDYs was really wonderful. The student work was exceptional, even compared to last year’s,” said Cutler. “The most rewarding part of the whole experience is seeing your classmates and friends be recognized for the awesome stuff they do and to celebrate all our hard work together!”

A total of 60-plus awards were given to students in MSU’s Advertising + Public Relations program this year. However, if this were the Olympics, senior Madison Johnson would be Michael Phelps. She left the ADDYs as the most decorated student of all time. With 11 awards, ranging in color from Bronze to Gold and a Judge’s Choice, Johnson said she felt very lucky.

The awards I am most proud of are my Judge’s Choice and Best in Show for Bad Habits Brewing,” said Johnson. “I created the project over the summer in the Intensive Portfolio Workshop with Henry Brimmer and Lou Schiavone, but kept working on it afterward which is something that I should do with all my projects. Because I spent so much time on it, refining and adding, it was really great to get recognized for the hard work.”

Another honorable mention includes Tiffany Nagy’s “Coming Out” film trailer, which won gold for Television Advertising.

Above: Ad created by Tiffany Nagy, won gold for Television Advertising.

Celebrating creative work

Ross Chowles, professor of practice in the MSU Department of Advertising + Public Relations, compared having an ADDY award on a resume as “ringing a bell” that the student has something special about them.

You could have a nice portfolio, but having an award starts to ring a little bell that this person is different,” said Chowles. “More important, I guess, is that competitive spirit, that belief in their work. The problem with our business is it’s all of gut feel. It helps
acknowledge your gut feel when someone says ‘Yeah, it’s great’, but even then, it’s the judges’ opinions.”

A Gold ADDY allows the winner entrance into a regional competition and, depending on performance, potentially entered at the national level. We wish our Gold ADDY winning students the best of luck in the upcoming competitions!

View all of the ADDY Award entries on the Mid-Michigan Creative Alliance’s website.


Students Receive Record Number of ADDYs

March 14th, 2016

Students in the MSU College of Communication Arts and Science received the highest number of ADDY Awards in the college’s history at the 2016 American Advertising Awards (ADDY) competition. The ADDYs are the advertising industry’s largest competition recognizing creative excellence. The Mid-Michigan Creative Alliance, the local American Advertising Federation (AAF) chapter, hosted more than 250 individuals at the ceremony on February 25th at the MSU Union.


ComArtSci students took home 12 Gold, 21 Silver and 54 Bronze ADDYs, two Judge’s Choice Awards, and the People’s Choice Award.

The three-tier national competition is conducted annually and all Gold ADDY winners will advance to regionals. Winners of regional Gold ADDYs will continue on to nationals. ADDY award entries were judged by Christian Mommertz (Chief Creative Officer at Geometry Global, Germany), Jason J. Smith (President and Creative Director at Magnetry, Arizona), and Marysia Makowska (Associate Creative Director at The Martin Agency, New York). Many of the MSU students receiving Gold ADDYs this year were first-time entrants in the prestigious competition.

Gold ADDY Winners:

Margeaux Phillips (2)
Lanqi Wang
Amy Ruitveld (2)
Congy Han
Shayna Gross
Sarah Goodyear
Amanda Cowherd
Lauren Cutler (2)
Andrew Deneau
“I decided to enter one of my favorite pieces of work from the past year because many of my advertising friends were talking about submitting things,” said Amanda Cowherd, MSU advertising student.

Cowherd was awarded Christian Mommertz’s Judge’s Choice Award. Her submission was a project for an advertising class in which she created her own wine brand, and a trio of wine labels for “Slow Poke.”

“I had adrenaline going for about a half hour after they showed the video of him talking about my wine labels,” Cowherd said.

This year, the People’s Choice Award was also awarded to ComArtSci student Nicole Nalazek. Her winning submission was for promotional design for the East Lansing Farmer’s Market’s Autumn Fest.

“It felt incredible to have people in the community react so well to my work,” Nalazek said.

Cowherd’s advice for students looking to enter the ADDYs is to “believe in your work and take any opportunity that comes your way. Dedicate time to class projects so they can be standout pieces in your portfolio.”

Nalazek advised students to take full advantage of creative professors and to get feedback on the work they are considering submitting.

All professional and student submissions for the 2016 American Advertising Awards can be viewed online at

Chat with the EIGHTH most awarded creative IN THE WORLD!

January 27th, 2016

After studying architecture and graphic design, Christian started his advertising career by joining the Ogilvy network in 1994.

His time spent in the Ogilvy offices in Hong Kong and Cape Town helped shape his sense for creative standards across national and cultural borders. After four years as a creative director at Jung von Matt, Christian returned to Ogilvy in 2003. In 2010 he joined BBDO as CCO in Duesseldorf.

In 2014 he joined Geometry Global Germany as CCO.

Christian has collected more than 500 awards such as Clio Awards, ADC New York, New York Festivals, D&AD, The One Show, LIAA, Communication Arts, Eurobest, ADC Europe, ADC Germany.

At Cannes he won 25 Lions including 1 Grand Prix.

He has judged Cannes Lions, the Clios, D&AD, The One Show, ADC New York, New York Festivals, Eurobest, Busan AdStars and ADC Germany.

The 2008 Big Won Report ranks him as the eighth most-awarded creative director in the world.
In 2012 Christian was elected as member of the board of the Art Directors Club Germany.
In 2013 Luerzers Archive ranks him #1 amongst Germanys creative directors.


Now is your chance to meet with Christian, who flew all the way from Germany to judge this year’s ADDYS! Be sure to stop by CAS Room 145 at 4:00pm on January 27th!

Michigan State UniversityCollege of Communication Arts and Sciences


MSU Media Sandbox is a creative CURRICULUM and COMMUNITY in the College of Communication Arts & Sciences at Michigan State University.