Academy of Art University Students Take Home Two ADDYs and an Art Directors Club Gold Cube

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Advertising Graduate Students Shravan Hegde and Michael Waldman win top honors in two of the industry’s most influential competitions

“It was nice to have someone with no bias and complete honesty give that kind of recognition to my work. It’s humbling.”

Getting your foot in the door in advertising can be challenging, but two Academy of Art University advertising school students just gained an impressive edge. Shravan Hegde and Michael Waldman won big in two world-renowned advertising competitions, taking home a Gold and a Silver ADDY award as well as an Art Directors Club Gold Cube.

Both art directors, Shravan and Michael make an unusual duo in advertising, where art directors are typically paired with copywriters. Encouraged by their respect for each other’s work, they teamed up to create fresh and original ads that got the attention of the competition judges.

For their print campaign for Mission Bicycle in San Francisco, which won a Gold ADDY award, the two students looked to local cyclists for inspiration. The final ads, in which riders make up the frame of their bike, cut to the heart of cyclists’ connection with their bikes. “We were intrigued by the fact that each bike was representative of its rider’s personality,” said Shravan.

Their campaign for Blu Tack, a series of magazine ads personifying the adhesiveness and strength of the product, also won a Silver ADDY award. “It was nice to have someone with no bias and complete honesty give that kind of recognition to my work. It’s humbling,” Michael said.

In the Art Directors Club and Nissan’s first-ever student pitch competition, Shravan and Michael received top honors and won an ADC Gold Cube. Challenged to make their target audience see the Nissan Cube as a natural extension of their lives, the pair created an interactive first person shooter video game that combined social media and gaming with face-to-face interaction. Their pitch video featured a group of friends racing through streets, driving a Nissan Cube and playing the interactive game on smart phones.

Reflecting on their impressive awards, both students felt the top-notch work they did was made possible by their instructors at Academy of Art University. All three of the award-winning projects were created in a Creative Concepts class led by Mike Brenner and Greg Coffin of creative agency Attik.

In addition to the influence of Brenner and Coffin, Michael mentioned former Director of Advertising, Melinda Mettler. “None of this would have happened without Melinda,” he said.

Shravan, who last year won a One Show Silver Pencil and a Merit award, decided to pursue a Masters Degree in Advertising because of his love of art that conveys a message. “My passion for and experimentation in advertising has prepared me to work in different options and to stretch beyond the given parameters in order to explore something new and different,” he said.

Currently, Michael is working with friends to set up his own agency in San Francisco. Through their dedication and unique talent, the team has been able to nab local clients such as video company Rehab.

Both students plan to complete their MFAs this December. With such amazing student work, it’s obvious that Shravan and Michael will be shaping the future of advertising very soon.

About Academy of Art University, San Francisco
With more than 16,000 students, Academy of Art University is the nation's largest private art and design university. Established in 1929, the school offers accredited AA, BA, BFA, MA, M.Arch and MFA programs in 16 different majors, as well as continuing art education, with classes in Advertising, Animation & Visual Effects, Architecture, Art Education, Fashion, Fine Art, Game Design, Graphic Design, Illustration, Industrial Design, Interior Architecture & Design, Motion Pictures & Television, Multimedia Communications, Music for Visual Media, Photography and Web Design & New Media. Art Education is the school's newest major, offering BFA and MA degrees. Students can also enroll in flexible online degree programs in most majors.

Academy of Art University is an accredited member of WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges), NASAD, Council for Interior Design Accreditation (BFA-IAD) and NAAB (M-ARCH).

For more information, visit or call 1-800-544-2787.


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Lynn Dalsing
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