Hello Miami

The ADDY Awards, given annually by the American Advertising Federation, is a competition that recognizes creativity and excellence in advertising. This prestigious award attracts more than 40,000 entries every year. To win a national ADDY, students must first compete at the local and then the regional level, before qualifying for the national competition. This year, University of Miami students won a total of 12 local ADDYs – 10 silver and two gold.

Three of those students were Claudia Fernandes, Hollie Pollak, and Marina Rutenberg, who were also part of the 2015 team that won the first National Gold Addy for University of Miami School of Communication for Moxxie, an exercise band combined with virtual gaming to get children active.  

Fernandes is a senior double majoring in creative advertising and electronic media. She won ADDYs for two projects: Hello Miami and Oh.

For Hello Miami, Fernandes directed a photo shoot that incorporated both stereotypes of Miami and real aspects of Miami.  She chose flamingos, oranges, and palm trees to represent Miami, and then found three girls that portrayed different personalities: the party girl, the health conscious, and the intellectual-cultural movement. The party girl wore a dress and other accessories with flamingos on them and Fernandes brought a giant flamingo floatie for the shoot as well.  The health conscious stereotype was represented by oranges. In the shoot, the girl is a redhead doing yoga in an orange sports bra. The intellectual-cultural movement of Miami was portrayed through palm trees and everything green. The girl who was chosen to represent this personality is wearing palm tree overalls, reading a book with palm trees on the cover, wearing a green hat, and has a green apple.

“I didn’t edit that much actually because I’m not big into Photoshop editing. I feel like everyone’s against it,” Fernandes said.

When it came to text, Fernandes partnered with Andrew Miller who took care of the copy writing. Fernandes said that the tone of the writing is sarcastic to show people that there is more to Miami than the stereotypes.

“It’s more about the beneficial part of Miami that people don’t understand as much,” Fernandes said.

Oh was a project that had to be completed in a month. There was a team of seven students working on it, Claudia Fernandes, Hollie Pollak, Marina Rutenberg, Gibson Roberts, Allie Pakrosnis, and Matt Ellis. The project aims to form a habit of turning the faucet off when brushing your teeth, thus saving water. Fernandes said that the team came up with the idea of creating an accessory that connects to the faucet. It flashes a light if the faucet has been left running for too long. 

“The idea behind it is that it takes up to 21 days to create a habit, so if you have this passive way, an accessory to your faucet, to tell you, ‘Hey, save water,’ it’s a really good way [to form a habit],” Fernandes said. 

Hollie Pollak, a senior majoring in creative advertising, was part of the Oh team. She also won ADDYs for two other projects: Gather and Open Door.

For Gather, Pollak and her partner Josh Malbaum came up with the idea of a co-working shared space for young people to do whatever they wanted, such as teach yoga or cooking classes.

Pollak said that 25–30 percent of the work is purely conceptual and coming up with the right idea. From there, the rest of the work is executional, consisting of script writing, video editing, whatever needs to be done to bring the idea to life. 

“I’m very excited, but we’ll see what happens in the next round,” Pollak said. “Local is exciting, but nationals is the goal.”

Pollak and Rutenberg, who graduated in December 2015, worked together on a project called Open Door, which serves as a platform similar to LinkedIn for refugees. They hope that businesses will be incentivized to get workers from that pool.

“The only way to change the public’s perception of refugees is to make them see that they’re educated and very capable of working and leading normal lives and they don’t just sit there like the media portrays them,” Rutenberg said.

Professor Sarai Nuñez was the mentor for Oh and Open Door. As mentor, Nuñez approves her student’s ideas, but she said she tries not to influence them, as she wants them to be able to take complete ownership for their work.

“My role was mostly to keep them on task and make sure everything was cohesive, but the ideas are all student-driven,” Nuñez said.

Nuñez has had all three students in her classes and has watched them succeed over the years.

“[They] have been long-time students of mine and are some of the most talented students I have seen in this program over the past four years,” Nuñez said. “They are really driven and ambitious, which only makes their work even stronger.”

These awards are especially important to Fernandes because she is an international student from Venezuela. In the hopes that she can stay in America after she graduates, she wants to apply for an O-1 Visa, which is for artists. However, you have to be an accredited artist and Fernandes agrees that there’s no better accreditation than winning awards.

“What I’m trying so hard to do is make a name for myself because if I want to be able to apply for this visa I need those awards,” Fernandes said.

Fernandes is optimistic that the projects will succeed at the higher levels, especially Hello Miami.

“I’m actually really hopeful because I do feel there’s so much work and detail into the actual art direction of the photography and it’s so rich that it could win,” Fernandes said.

Nuñez is confident that her students will succeed.

“Any time they work on a project, I always feel that there is a strong possibility that they will move forward with winning at more stages,” Nuñez said.

The national competition will take place on June 7 in Anaheim, California.

Below is the full list of winners from University of Miami:

Social Media Campaign – Open Door by Hollie Pollak & Marina Rutenberg

Mentor: Prof Nuñez - Gold

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Brand Identity Campaign – Born Free Pet Shelter by Katya Sarria

Mentor: Prof Nuñez - Silver

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Digital Creative Technology – Nest Water by Seth Schreiber 

Mentor: Prof Blau - Silver

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Digital Creative Technology - Oh by Nest by Hollie Pollak, Marina Rutenberg, Claudia Fernandes, Gibson Roberts, Allie Pakrosnis, Matt Ellis

Mentor: Prof Nuñez - Silver 

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Digital Creative Technology - GPS Vest by Cara Cecchini

Mentor: Prof Blau - Silver

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Art Direction Campaign – Hello Miami by Claudia Fernades & copy Andrew Miller

Mentor: Prof Heria 

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Print Campaign - Rogaine by Ring Chen 

Mentor: Prof Blau - Silver 

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Print Campaign - Band Aid by Zina Dornbusch

Mentor: Prof Blau - Silver

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Poster Campaign - Walking on a Dream by Zina Dornbusch

Mentor: Prof Nuñez - Silver 

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Poster Campaign - The Shins by Gabriela Rodriguez

Mentor: Prof Nuñez - Silver 

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Ambient Experience - Gather by Hollie Pollak & Josh Maulbaum

Mentor: Prof Jose Diaz - Silver 

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Integrated Campaign- PhilADthropy 2016 by Mia Rafowitz, Alli Van Deusen and Allie Pakrosnis

Mentor: Prof Blau - Gold