U of C student wins ad rodeo

By Bonnie Leung

Imagine an anvil sitting on your mantle.

On Fri., March 24 at the Ad Rodeo, University of Calgary student Dave McLean and Mount Royal College student James Stangroom won the Anvil award for the best student ad design. The Ad Rodeo is the awards ceremony for the Calgary advertising industry.
Held at the Jubilee Auditorium, the attendance was about 800 to 900 people. The student component was a small part sponsored by Calgary advertising company Ogilvy & Mather.

The Anvil Award is the first prize, along with $2,500, for Ogilvy & Mather’s annual student contest. Second place entries received $1,000 and third place entries got $500. Students submit ads which are forwarded to the Ad Rodeo judges, who are from all over North America, said Ogilvy & Mather Production Supervisor Catherine Grenwich.

"We work with a charity every year to figure out what kind of a message they want to send out," she said. "Then we advertise to students: here’s a charity, here’s what we need. What would you do?"

This year’s charity was the Calgary Action Community against Violence.

"The Calgary Action Community against Violence [is] a non-profit organization against youth violence," said Stangroom. "The ad was targeted towards adults with contact with teens. The concept was about how people don’t tolerate violence at work, so why should kids tolerate it at school?"

McLean and Stangroom’s winning ad will be advertised in post-secondary schools in the Calgary area. This win will also aid McLean toward his goal of working in the industry.

"When you’re [a communications major], you have to do other things, get jobs outside of school," he said. "I look at it as an opportunity to work in the field. I knew the opportunity at the awards would be extreme if I won."

This is McLean’s second year competing. He placed third last year. This year, McLean feels excited about his win.

"It’s a great feeling knowing you can excel at something," he said. "It was nice to know something I created could win."

For Stangroom, winning the awarded open opportunities to meet with other advertising executives at the ceremony.

"It was tough to approach people [before the winners were announced] because we weren’t anybody," he said. "As soon as we got [the award] people approached us. More or less, it was a big break for us."

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