YSU student wins 2 ADDY awards

Staff report


Youngstown State University student Chris Leson of Boardman proved he could compete with – and beat out – top advertising professionals throughout the region at the 2011 Akron ADDY Awards.

Leson entered two advertising campaign designs and took home a Gold and Silver Award in the student category and the overall People’s Choice Award at the advertising-design competition.

“This is a big award to win in the advertising industry,” said Michael Pontikos, one of Leson’s marketing instructors at YSU.

The prestigious Akron ADDY Awards event is the first of a three-tiered national competition of the American Advertising Federation, the oldest advertising trade association. Considered the largest and premiere advertising competition in the world with more than 40,000 entries, the ADDY Awards recognize the highest achievement in creativity and excellence in the industry and award winners in 12 categories, such as television, sales promotion, direct marketing, interactive and broadcast.

“I went with simplistic, universal designs,” Leson said about his entries in the competition. “Something that could be understood from anywhere around the world.”

Created out of his personal challenge to design 30 ads in 30 days, Leson’s magazine ad for Volkswagen won a Silver Award, and his campaign design for Purell earned a Gold Award as well as the People’s Choice Award over all entries in both student and professional categories. Each campaign included four designs that were placed in the consumer trade and publication magazine category.

Nearly 250 designs were entered into competition, and only seven students received awards.

Currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in graphic design, Leson graduated from YSU in 2010 with a double undergraduate degree in advertising and marketing. He will be competing at the district level of competition for the ADDY Awards in Dayton in April to compete against regional finalists from several midwestern states.

If he continues on to the nationals, Leson will have a chance to compete for a $1,000 prize and the honor of being named Best in Show. Leson’s accomplishment is featured on the YSU Student Success Stories page at http://web.ysu.edu/studentsuccessstories.

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