Daily Universe marketing, advertising team takes top awards

From left: Eric Forbush, Madison Everett, Ellen Hernandez, Mireya Lavender and Michael Wade celebrate their awards at the College Media Business and Advertising Managers. (Universe Business Office)

LA JOLLA, CA — The Daily Universe’s augmented reality initiative and TWO Magazine are among its products to take top honors at the College Media Business and Advertising Managers national conference last weekend.

The national organization provides training and support for college media outlets. BYU students Madison Everett, Mireya Lavender, Eric Forbush and Michael Wade and Daily Universe business operations manager Ellen Hernandez were presenters at the conference as well as competition participants.

“Being recognized for our pioneering efforts has really solidified that we are moving in the right direction by implementing new technologies to create a new experience for our audience,” Hernandez said.

The business team won four awards for their efforts this past year. They are:

  • First Place in the “Best Special Section” category, for TWO Magazine, the Daily Universe’s dating and relationship magazine, which is published twice a year.
  • First Place in the “Best Self Promotion Video Ad” category, for a cutting-edge video about implementing augmented reality into the newspaper.
  • Second Place in the “Best Innovative New Idea” category for a pioneering augmented reality project and mobile app, spotlighting features #BYUHacks, Simple Bites and MIXTAPE. These weekly newspaper promotions included digital content accessed through the Universe Plus mobile app.
  • Third Place in the “Best Audience Engagement Strategy” category, for the Universe’s 12+ Days of Christmas Giveaway, an audience engagement campaign published in December that also featured the Universe Plus augmented reality app. 

The Daily Universe team worked with students from BYU’s award-winning AdLab to create the first-place-winning video. “With the video we were able to harness the talents within the School of Communications, not just our lab,” Hernandez said. “Really that award goes to students in the Adlab as well for their efforts, talents and skills.”

The edition of TWO Magazine recognized was produced by students Shaye Mullen, Megan Komm, Rachel Andrews and Katy Klima, Joan Phillips and Haley Moser, mentored by Universe Design Manager Warren Bingham.

The Daily Universe is believed to be the first university news outlet to incorporate augmented reality component, which ties print publications to digital features through a mobile app. BYU School of Communications students on the Universe’s business and design team spent the past year innovating ways to use the new augmented reality features to produce what is now award-winning content.

“Embracing a new technology that no one in our industry was doing anything with was a lot of hard work,” said Hernandez. “We learned a lot and continued to push forward learning from our mistakes and figuring things out.”

The Daily Universe is a professionally mentored, student-led media company that operates as a laboratory news organization in BYU’s School of Communications.

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