Alumna Wins National ADDY for Her Work as CAS Student

Posted on: June 16, 2014

Leah Cranston ADDY winnerAdvertising alumna Leah Cranston has won one of the top awards bestowed upon the advertising industry - a national ADDY award - for the work she did while a student at MSU.

"To win a national ADDY is like winning an Oscar or an Emmy of the advertising world," said Advertising Instructor Dave Regan, who had Cranston in his class where she produced the ADDY award-winning work.

Cranston took Regan's Integrated Campaigns (ADV 486) class in the spring of 2013. Students in that class were asked to create an advertising campaign for the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness (MCAH), a nonprofit organization in Lansing.

Having learned how to use the program, After Effects, in a previous class, Cranston volunteered to produce and edit the animation for her group's campaign.

The animation captured the story of a homeless individual seeking help from MCAH.

"Our campaign's overall strategy was to put the viewer in the perspective of a homeless person," Cranston said. "By telling the story using a piece of cardboard and a permanent marker, we were able to better capture the story within this perspective."

MCAH chose her group's campaign as the best for their organization. The animation then was entered into the Mid-Michigan American Advertising Awards, where Cranston's work won Gold. She went on to win Gold at the District Level and was selected to go to the national competition where she won a student Silver ADDY award for the Elements of Advertising - Visual - Special Effect and Animation category.

"It was such a big honor because the award show itself was all professionals," said Cranston.

She credits CAS faculty, courses and being able to learn After Effects with helping her win the Silver ADDY.

"The faculty were so dedicated to keeping our minds open," she said.

Regan attended the ADDY Awards ceremony with Cranston and said it mostly consisted of industry professionals and top brands in advertising, so for a student being recognized is a huge honor.

"I truly believe that it shows the curriculum changes are delivering higher and better results," Regan said. "It continues to prove the top tier university that we are."

The ADDY Awards are the world's largest advertising competition.

"I love it when our students succeed, and it's especially exciting when one of them is able to make a mark on the national stage," said Jef Richards, Chair of the Department of Advertising + Public Relations. "The ADDY Awards represent recognition of excellence in the field of advertising, and Leah certainly lives up to that billing. It is an advance peek into what I expect we will see develop in her career, as she gets a chance to stretch her arms - and her mind - to solving advertising problems in the marketplace. We're proud of her, and excited to see what her future holds."

Cranston graduated in spring 2013 and currently works as a Project Manager at Perfect Search Media in Chicago.

The 2014 National ADDY Award ceremony was held in Boca Raton, Fla., on May 31.

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