WCB Students Win Ad Futures Contest

NEW YORK Students from William Cullen Bryant High School in Long Island City, N.Y., won the Advertising Futures competition at Advertising Week.

The contest paired teams from 28 New York City public high schools with advertising agencies to create PSAs for the Ad Council urging kids to stay in school.

Challenged to come up with an ad fitting the campaign theme “Boost up,” the winning team worked with Averett Free Ginsberg, New York, to create an ad that prompts teens to “Be a daisy, boost a life.”

The ad, which will run in The New York Times in the coming weeks, is based on the true story of one of the high school students who, after considering dropping out, changed her mind due to the encouragement of her friend, Daisy. It pictures the two girls hugging and smiling in front of a blackboard that reads, “How A Daisy Saved My Life.”

“It had a great story,” said Rick Boyko, managing director of the Richmond, Va.-based VCU Brandcenter, who led a panel of judges that included Penny Schildkraut, campaign director at the Ad Council, Susan Kim, creative director at AOL’s Platform A, John Travis, vp of brand marketing at Adobe, and Laura Langdon, vp of marketing at the Times.

Queens Vocational and Technical School, Long Island City, and DraftFCB, New York, came in second place with an ad that showed a close-up of a teen’s sneaker that has “Boost Up” written on it inside the hands of another teen giving the student a lift.

The third-place winner was In-Tech Academy, the Bronx, and Avenue A, which produced an ad that tells kids “If you quit school, you’re quitting a lot more.”

The Advertising Futures program, a partnership of the Ad Council, the New York City Department of Education and Virtual Enterprises, is in its fifth year and pairs up teams of high school students with agencies for a monthlong tutorial.