MFA Student Wins ADDY Award


Alba Conejero Gutiérrez with her silver ADDY award. Photo by Katie Alexander.

by Abigail Harrison, News Editor of The Chanticleer

A JSU student won an American Advertising Award (ADDY) earlier this month for a motion graphics piece she submitted. 

Alba Conejero Gutiérrez, graduate student at JSU, entered the local 2022 ADDY competition through AAF Birmingham, where she took home a silver trophy in the Animation or Special Effects student category. Gutiérrez received her award at the AAF ceremony held on Feb. 18 in Birmingham.

According to the AAF Birmingham website, the ADDY awards competition is the largest in the advertising industry and recognizes originality and creativity among advertising agencies and professionals across different forms of media and marketing materials. 

The gold awards recognize entries of the highest excellence in the category, and the silver awards recognize outstanding entries in the category.

The AAF Birmingham competition attracts hundreds of entries, with a panel of five judges deciding on the local winners, according to the AAF Winners Book. These judges selected Gutiérrez’s motion graphics piece titled Montserrat Type Specimen among the silver winners.

Montserrat is an urban typography created by Julieta Ulanovsky inspired by the traditional posters and signs of the Montserrat neighborhood in Buenos Aires, according to Gutiérrez’s video. 

Gutiérrez said she created the video for a Contemporary Media class project. She learned about the competition through a professor who encouraged to submit her piece for the category. Gutiérrez said the next thing she knew, she received an email from the AAF saying she won.

For Gutiérrez, winning the award showed her she has made the right career choices.

“It’s just a boost of confidence,” said Gutiérrez. “An ADDY is a big thing, so winning one is just like okay I guess I’m going in the right direction. I’m doing stuff that is great. It just makes me want to keep going and just keep making cool stuff.”

Gutiérrez is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Visual Communication Design. She works for the Digital Media Services as a graduate assistant who specializes in special effects and animation. Gutiérrez said she plans to continue these skills after graduation, preferably working in the sports industry. 

Gold award winners are automatically entered into the national ADDY competition, but silver winners must pay a fee to enter their pieces. Gutiérrez has not decided if she will enter the national competition but does plan to compete next year.