Missouri School of Journalism students bring home 40 American Advertising Awards at district competitions

  • Five students holding an award
    Team Menagerie won one gold and four silver ADDY’s for their Sour Patch Kids Campaign “No Filter”. From left: Maddie Hawes, Elyssa Gerstel, Lauren VerBrugge, Maddie Schuck, McKenna Neef.

March 23, 2023

Students from the University of Missouri School of Journalism won a school record 40 awards last month in the American Advertising Federation’s 2022-23 American Advertising Award shows in Kansas City and St. Louis, nearly doubling the school’s total of 27 awards in the last five years combined.  

“When I heard the number that we had won in the competitions, I was more proud than surprised,” said Jon Stemmle, a professor of Strategic Communication and co-director of MOJO Ad, the School of Journalism’s student-staffed ad agency covering the youth and young adult market. “I am always blown away by the talent our students show in the classroom, and it was thrilling to see the judges acknowledge that excellence with these awards. This was a special year for the J-School.”

Most of the awards recognized work from students in MOJO Ad, which serves as a capstone course for seniors studying strategic communication. The winning students now advance to the district competition, where they will compete for a chance to attend the national finals, which will include work from students and professionals in Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas. 

This year's submissions included work developed by MOJO students in the fall for Mondelez International’s candy brand Sour Patch Kids as well as entries from the Spring 2022 semester of MOJO Ad, where students created their annual State of the YAYA research report. State of the YAYA, or SOY, submissions brought home a total of 14 awards, 12 of which came from Team Olio’s report “Intertwined in Denim”. 

Katrina Troy, art director for MOJO Ad’s Team Olio who graduated last May, flew in for the event from New York City where she is a junior creative strategist at CSM Sport and Entertainment, a global marketing agency. She accepted her team's awards, which included four gold, eight silver and a judge’s citation. The award show was also an opportunity for Troy to support the current group of MOJO Ad students. 

“The best part of the night was seeing the other student teams win awards for their incredible work,” Troy said. “A lot of the students in MOJO now are close friends of mine that I mentored during my time at Mizzou. It’s a sweet, full-circle moment to cheer them on and see their work recognized.”

Additionally, students were encouraged to submit their individual work from their journalism courses. This year, 13 ADDY’s were given to individual students, including senior Annabelle Cook, who took home four gold and one silver AAF Award, as well as a Student Best in Show, for her Rent the Runway “Play With Style” campaign. Her favorite part of the evening was having a red-carpet moment of her own. 

“Getting to have my Hollywood moment felt fabulous, from getting dressed to the nines to going on stage to accept the awards” Cook said. “Aside from all the glitz and glamor of the evening, it was heart-warming to get to see my fashion advertising work hung in a gallery and celebrate with some of my closest friends and family.”

Story written by Samantha Novak

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