Ad Age Young Creatives Cover Contest

Are you a young creative who would like your design to appear on the cover of the Cannes Lions issue of Ad Age? The chaos of the pandemic has already been played out as the topic of last year’s contest.

This time around, Ad Age is looking for young minds who can create a vision 10 years into the future. The current competition is challenging artists to use their work to define what the cover of Ad Age will look like 10 years from now.

What will be captivating advertisers and marketers’ attention? What will the agency of the future look like? What will be the biggest trend in marketing? What will be advertising’s most difficult challenge? Those are just some of the questions posed by the magazine’s editors to help prod participants in the right direction when they’re creating artwork that will potentially land on the cover of the Cannes Lions issue and emailed to all of the magazines’ subscribers. 

As a competitor, you’ll have ad execs fighting over your work, talking trash about your overly clichéd concepts or gasping at its remarkable finish. Word to the wise — avoid lions, thinkers, lightbulbs — unless you can present a fresh take on the subject. Despite the fact that some of the pieces in the 2020 competition were labelled cliché many of these same works ended up being finalists because their creators were able to apply something new to well-worn ideas.

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Ad Age gets a variety of submissions; hand-drawn or vector-driven illustrations and original photography to 3-D renderings were submitted. 

Last year’s winner was a simple but impactful design called We are the light created by Alexandra Lopez, a copywriter at MullenLowe Philippines and Miguel Bade, an art director at J. Romero Advertising and Partners. The piece depicts illumination from an overhead lamp. The image could also be seen as a dark, lonely figure sitting at a table while caught up in the process of creativity. A white light beams from them toward the viewer and floods the foreground of the cover. 

Ann-Christine Diaz, Ad Age’s creativity editor and creative director Erik Spooner discussed the final works in a spotlight video. Diaz called the winning work “universal” and said the concept could be applied to the pandemic as well as to the social uprising in the United States. Spooner summed it up by saying the concept captured the illumination of hope through the act of creation.

Wouldn’t you want someone talking about your work like that? In addition to getting your design on the cover of the magazine, a win also gets you a pass to the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in June and a global audience discussing your work.

The contest is free and open to global creatives and students age 30 and under on June 14, 2021. The deadline to enter has been extended to Thursday, April 22, 2021 at 5 p.m. EDT.

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Visit the Ad Age young creatives cover competition page for details and design specs.


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