Advertising students ride their Trojan horse to an ANDY Award win

In April I traveled to New York with Art Center Film alum Armen Perian, with whom I collaborated on the above spot, TROJAN | Experiments, whose creative team also included cinematographer, Mike Reyes and producer, Greta Kahlitz. The purpose of the trip was to attend the 2014 International ANDY Awards Show and Party at TriBeCa Rooftop. For the past 50 years, ANDY’s have been the gold standard in honoring creative excellence in advertising. So we were incredibly honored to attend the prestigious event, where Chairman David Droga and the jury honored the night’s winners and celebrated the boldest names in advertising, including industry legend David Abbott, Lee Clow, Jeff Goodby, Bob Greenberg, Sir John Hegarty, Rich Silverstein, Mary Wells Lawrence and Dan Wieden.

We had a delightful time, and TROJAN | Experiments received an International ANDY Award in the student category. So how and why did we produce an award-winning spot for condoms, of all things? Read on to find out.

The Dotted Line: What was the inspiration for the project?

Rosie Geozalian: I was working on another long-term project with Film alumnus Armen Perian when we had hit a creative roadblock. We decided it’d be therapeutic to start a lighthearted side project to get our minds working again. He brought up the idea of a Trojan commercial. We started joking about it, but eventually realized it was too tempting to pass up.

TDL: What were some of the ideas that informed the direction you ended up taking?

RG: We were thinking of the most absurd ways one can sexually experiment. We started throwing around ideas when the Slip ‘N Slide came up. We looked at one another and couldn’t stop laughing. It was an innocent childhood favorite, reimagined.

TDL: What were some of the biggest challenges you encountered while working on the project?

RG: Well, it’s a condom commercial. If we weren’t careful, it was going to be tasteless. Every detail from the casting and colors, to the tone and typography was carefully chosen to avoid this.

TDL: How did it feel getting recognized for your work by the ANDY’s?

RG: Completely surreal. I’m still not entirely sure if that was the result of the open bar and my jet lag, or the fact that some of the most iconic advertising legends of our time were there that night.

TDL: What advice would you give current or prospective students interested in pursuing Advertising?

RG: Keep your eyes and ears open to the world around you. Don’t stop feeding your brain. Watch old movies. Read weird books. Have a conversation with the quietest person in the room. Play video games. Keep up with pop culture. Attend concerts. Go people watching. Inspiration comes from the strangest places. Ask questions. Nap often. Stay humble.

TDL: What’s the most useful/valuable thing you’ve learned while at Art Center?

RG: That “failing” is okay. When we’re asked to come up with 100 ideas, 99 of them will be rejected. And that’s perfectly fine. Criticism should be taken constructively, never personally. Keep your ego out of it.

TDL: Where do you hope to go from here?

RG: I’m starting D-Prep next week. It’s Deutsch LA’s summer residency program, and I was lucky enough to be chosen as a member of the inaugural group. I’m looking forward to that. Once the summer is over, I’ll be returning to Art Center for my final two terms before I graduate.

Rosie Geozalian is a student Art Director in the Advertising program.In fall, she will begin her 8th term. Her work has been recognized by the National Television Academy, Association of Independent Commercial Producers, and National American Advertising Federation.


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