Each year the SCADDY awards honor the best student work in the field of advertising.
It’s often a time when other students will view a winning piece and curse themselves, thinking “Why didn’t I think of that?”
This year was no exception – especially when it comes to Joaquin Salim and Mihai Draganescu’s non-traditional campaign “Rewind” for Sharpie Liquid Pencil.
For their work, the duo won this year’s esteemed Best in Show award.
The campaign, viewable online, showed off the liquid pencil’s ability to be erased within 48 hours.
Their proposal calls for a sponsored event with the team setting up cameras in a subway station, filming people writing and drawing graffiti all over the walls. Then to encapsulate the theme of “Rewind,” a Sharpie crew will come back and erase the work. The footage – both the creating and the erasing – will stream live in Times Square.
In addition to winning Best in Show, they were also the recipients of a grant from the advertising agency Draftfcb that is sponsoring them to go to the Cannes International Festival of Creativity, a world-renowned event of creative gathering and networking.
So, what exactly goes into winning Best in Show at the SCADDYs? District caught up with the two young creatives, in a chat about process, style and inspiration.
District: What made you guys choose Sharpie?
Draganescu: We always talk about cool ideas for ads. Sharpie had potential. Their “Liquid Pencil” is an awesome new product that you can do so much with.
Salim: Having a Sharpie project in your book was basically a SCAD ad student stereotype. This thought fueled us to try something crazy with that brand.
District: How did you come up with the idea once you decided on the brand?
Salim: The idea came by answering the question: how can we launch this product on a massive scale, breaking all the rules of traditional advertising and being memorable for our target audience? The answer: erasable street art.
District: How did you go about producing it?
Salim: During our final quarters, we decided that we were going to produce the work in 48 hours, tops.
Draganescu: We both had a lot of other schoolwork to do, but we knew the idea was good enough to sacrifice some time and sleep over it.
Salim: We agreed that if we didn’t finish it by then, we would abandon it because we needed to do school projects.
Draganescu: Once we understood our demographics, we kept refining our ideas.
We decided on one direction, gathered and produced all the files, planned all the frames and we animated it.
We made everything from scratch: we photoshopped the pictures of subway stations, the footage was filmed by my sister out of state (there are no subways in Savannah, obviously), then combined everything together.
Salim: We met twice (Monday and Tuesday) behind Poetter hall – drinking beers, stimulating the brain with a sketchbook in hand and planning the whole production.
We started on Wednesday at 9:00 p.m., and finished that Friday morning. We both wrote, art directed, managed and pushed each other.
District: What was your favorite and least favorite part about making this?
Salim: Least favorite: none. We both love working hard and creating. For this reason, we decided to do another 24-hour project three weeks later, which was also awarded Gold at the SCADDYs.
Draganescu: I love working with Joaquin. That was my favorite part. We always do well when we work together. I don’t really have a least favorite.
District: What was it like working together?
Salim: Imagine working with Hitler.
District: What was the most useful part about actually studying advertising?
Salim: I learned how to fail and how not to be afraid of failing. I failed and keep failing and that’s what is making me everyday a stronger thinker and more confident about my work.
And all the professors were somehow part of this learning process: some of them encouraging me to fail, some of them encouraging me to be safe.
Draganescu: All the advertising professors are good professors and I learned from each one.
I learned from Ulichney and Shanahan to pay attention to details. To be crafty and organized. To be sharp and versatile.
From Bazil: layouts. From Hale: branding. From Hall, I learned art direction. From Sullivan … some other cool stuff. (laughs)
Salim: I don’t want to give special thanks to anybody, because all of them influenced me in their own way.
But there was one special person at SCAD who I owe a huge part of this “failing” mind set: Rhonda Arnstein (my Design Methodologies professor), who encouraged me everyday to fail and helped me to develop who I am.
Also a book that I recommend to every one of my friends, “Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite” by Paul Arden.
District: What was it like to win the SCADDYs, as well as the Draftfcb grant to the Cannes Festival?
Salim: I don’t care much about winning the SCADDYs. I care more about new projects in my current job and keeping up with my life goals.
Cannes is going to be a great opportunity to meet people, and get a huge creative injection to go do better work.
Draganescu: I think we got lucky this year. The fact that Draftfcb was at the SCADDY’S, giving the Grant to the winners was amazing. It’s good for SCAD, it’s good for Draft and definitely great for us.
Cannes will give us the chance to meet people, which is very important in this business. It’s hard to make people look at your book – therefore it’s very important to make sure they like what they see when they look.
District: What would you say to younger, aspiring advertising students who are just beginning to discover their style and artistic identity?
Draganescu: Professors can’t teach you everything and if your diploma says “B.F.A in Advertising,” [that] doesn’t mean you will get a job. You are never good enough, but you have to keep trying.
Salim: Fail, fail again and fail better.Daniel Alvarez.