CU-Boulder Students Win Top Prize In Prestigious Advertising Competition

Published: May 29, 2008

Two undergraduate advertising students at the University of Colorado at Boulder's School of Journalism and Mass Communication won the top prize this month at The One Club's annual One Show College Competition, often considered the premier student advertising competition.

Phil VanBuren and Elliot Nordstrom won the Gold Pencil prize in the competition's print advertising category for their ad featuring Doritos as the only triangular-shaped snack among rival chips and crackers. VanBuren and Nordstrom's ad campaign titled "There Is Only One" was chosen from more than 350 student entries from around the world. Three CU-Boulder student teams also were named Merit Finalists.

All of the student teams were asked to develop advertising campaigns for Doritos, focusing on the unique product attributes of flavor, crunch and triangular shape.

No other traditional four-year university had more winning teams than CU-Boulder. Over the past nine years, CU-Boulder has had more winners than any other four-year university, according to Associate Professor David Slayden, head of the advertising sequence in CU-Boulder's School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

"We've come to expect this sort of effort and result from our students," Slayden said. "Creativity is a thread that runs through our entire program from our dean, Paul Voakes, and remarkably talented adjunct professors to our excellent faculty in both the creative and strategic track. All of us work hard to drive home the importance of creativity to success in the advertising industry."

All of the work by the Gold Pencil winners and Merit Finalists was developed in the portfolio class taught by CU-Boulder Adjunct Professor Jonathan Schoenberg, a partner and creative director at TDA Advertising and Design in Boulder.

Founded in 1975 and based in New York, The One Club is a nonprofit organization devoted to elevating creative work in the advertising industry. Each year The One Club holds a competition in which students are asked to create ads for a particular product or service. The student awards show was part of the weeklong One Show Festival to honor outstanding advertising work from around the world created by top professionals and students.

The CU students named as Merit Finalists were Barrett Brynestad, Erin Butner, Austin O'Connor, Josie Keeney, Krista Mehlbach, Karen Morris, Courtney Pulver, Shannon Sullivan and Whitney Ward.

For more information about the 2008 One Show College Competition visit