BYU vs. Texas the first duel of its kind


The University of Texas has claimed that they are the No.1 creative ad program in the United States; now BYU’s ad program wants them to prove it.

The BYU advertising program has issued a challenge to the University of Texas ad program to a creative duel. The event is one of the first of its kind in the world of collegiate advertising. This duel will have a time limit of 72 hours after which judges will declare who is the winner and who is the loser. The challenge begins on Nov. 7.

This competition, however, started as just an idea.

“Everyone knows where they place in other colleges, like accounting. There are a hundred lists online of the best accounting programs and the undergrad programs,” said Dustin Locke an art director in the advertising program. “We wanted to establish a sense of pride in undergrad advertising.”

BYU taking on University of Texas in the first duel of its kind.
(Courtesy BYU advertising department)

Each team involved has something to gain in this competition. Brock Beeson, an art director in the advertising program, explained that they want to improve and test their skills in concept. They also want to get as much attention as possible and let others know that they care enough to get their name out there. Beeson continued, as undergrad programs go, it can be a battle in getting recognition for their work or even being seen as a viable advertising program. A competition like this will help both schools get the notoriety they are earnestly looking for.

According to Ryan Siepert, a copywriter in the advertising program, a competition against another school is great because they make participants work to the best of their abilities.

“I think it will make us stretch our legs (and) do something a little different. … It will be awesome to match ourselves against another school,” said Siepert.

Cameron Soane, an art director in the advertising program, explained that this competition it is about putting the best creative minds in each program together and coming up with the best strategy possible for a given advertising problem. Each team will be given a problem that a big name firm would get in the real world and go from concept to execution to prove what they have learned in their respective programs.

Although the judges have not yet been finalized, the competition itself will be ideally judged, to avoid bias, from a panel of creative directors from different advertising agencies.

“We (thought) the best judge would be someone from the real world. … That’s who we want to reach anyway so it would be perfect have them be a part of the process,” Soane said.

For this competition, the time frame is very important. Not enough time would result in poor quality work; too much time would take away from the pressures of a competition. Locke explained that 72 hours is a perfect combination of the two.

“It stems from something we do in the lab called 24/1 where we take a problem from an actual agency and will give them back a solution in 24 hours, which usually means being in the lab all night long,” Locke said. “So we took that feel of condensed work … (and the) high energy, high paced rush of a competition (to) allow some kind of timeframe to build something that looks good.”

What the BYU team looks forward to the most is working with new people, the rush of competition and proving to themselves and others that BYU has a strong advertising program.

One of the overarching goals as explained by Locke is “to change the culture of advertising education in general, to a point were undergrads matter and there’s an open, ongoing conversation between all the different programs. (If each program) talked together, the industry would be less competitive and more collaborative.

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