VCU’s Advertising Lions

Virginia Commonwealth University Brandcenter alumni continue to capture global attention for their creative work.

Last week, 12 talented Brandcenter alumni won awards at the International Advertising Festival in Cannes, France – one of the largest global award shows in the advertising industry. The awards given at this festival are called Lions and are distributed in more than 100 categories. The Lions awards levels include Titanium, Gold, Silver and Bronze.

Alumni Jerry Hoak, Ray Del Salvio and Karen Land were part of the team with ad agency Droga 5 New York that created an ad for the Prudential Challenge Lab – an Internet program that helps people plan out their retirement. The ad won a Titanium Lion for its excellence.

Ad Agency Saatchi & Saatchi LA and VCU graduates Avery Oldfield and Adam Wolinsky created an ad for the Toyota Tundra that won not just one but four Gold Lions. The ad features the Tundra pulling the space shuttle Endeavor.

Justine Cotter and Rai Halim, both also VCU alumni, contributed to art direction and copywriting on a JWT New York ad with Macy’s called “Yes, Virginia: The Musical.” Their work won the team a Gold Lion at the festival.

Nick Kaplan and Jeff Dryer were part of the team at agency Wieden + Kennedy New York that created an ad for the American liquor Southern Comfort, and they won a Gold Lion for their efforts.

Ad agency DDBH New York won two Silver Lions for two separate ads for the New York Lottery. VCU Brandcenter graduate Scott Cooney was a copywriter on the team for both ads.

Alumni Luke Behrends and Jared Creason both contributed to the copywriting for a Saatchi & Saatchi NY ad for Tide that won not only a Bronze Lion, but was also No. 2 in USA Today’s “Super Bowl Ad Meter.”

A list of the categories and rules along with more information on the festival can be found at


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