By Eleftheria Parpis
Eight finalists competing for four 30-day agency internships had four minutes each to present ideas to a panel of judges in an American Idol-styled competition called "The Big Ad Gig" on Thursday, part of Advertising Week. The brief was to create a campaign for the American Heart Association promoting "Hands-Only CPR," an initiative designed to get bystanders involved in medical emergencies without requiring them to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. (Hands-Only CPR involves calling 911 and pushing hard and fast in the center of a victim's chest.)
Avi Truzman, a copywriter from Florida, won the event with a presentation that positioned Hands-Only CPR as "100% saliva free." Truzman wins a monthlong job at Crispin Porter + Bogusky and will see his idea produced by the American Heart Association and the Ad Council. "It's a great opportunity to do great work, that's what I wanted more than anything," said Truzman, a Miami Ad School grad who has been looking for work for the past eight months. "I'm ready to work."
CP+B co-chairman Alex Bogusky was one of the judges. We caught up with him after the competition to find out who he was channeling most—Paula or Simon. Read more about the other winners after the jump.
The three other winners were Anna Lippert, who won a job at Atmosphere Proximity; Jaime Walker, who will be working at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness; and Matt Koulermos, who will be at Ogilvy & Mather. All of the finalists were rewarded for their participation with an Xbox 360 from Microsoft.
In addition to Bogusky, the other judges were Tham Khai Meng, worldwide creative director of Ogilvy; Helayne Spivak, chief creative officer at Saatchi Wellness; Priscilla Natkins, evp and director of client services at the Ad Council; Andreas Combuechen, chairman, CEO and chief creative officer of Atmosphere Proximity; and Jamie Wells, director of global trade marketing at Microsoft Mobile Advertising.
"To have to do this in such a short period of time and to have to present to all of us, the work was amazing," said Spivak. "When you have a little time, these few people and a clear brief, we just went for what really brought the idea to life, and to tell you the truth my heart was won over by '100% saliva free.' "
The Big Ad Gig was presented by The New York Times and moderated by its advertising columnist, Stuart Elliot.