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Fifteen students are finalists in the 2024 Young Ones Awards

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Brandcenter is incredibly proud to have fifteen students (across six projects and one portfolio entry) be recognized at the Young Ones Student Awards show this past May. Young Ones is The One Club for Creativity’s competition for students and recent graduates across creative disciplines, which recognizes and promotes excellence in the creative advertising industry. The awards are an esteemed badge of honor for young creatives and professionals alike. 

A group of students was able to attend the awards ceremony in NYC and not only bask in the glory of the moment, but also appreciate the chance to mingle with talent from around the world. Debashish Dumbre (Copywriting, 2024), recipient of a Young Ones Portfolio Award and now a recent graduate of Brandcenter, shares, “The ceremony was incredible. Getting called up on stage for the award was a cool moment, but honestly, the best part about it all was seeing people from all over the world doing the kind of work they are doing…the talent from places like Seoul, Berlin, Stockholm, and so many others, was humbling yet exciting!” Dom Khun (Art Direction, 2024), another award recipient in the Class of 2024, echoes the sentiment, “It was an amazing experience to have with classmates and industry peers, and it was inspiring to see such good work.” 

Four of the Brandcenter finalist projects were entries in the Young Ones One Show, a brief competition, where young creatives show their ability to conceptualize a campaign and answer real challenges, choosing from a variety of clients. The winning projects responded to briefs for brands Duolingo, Mio and Fanta, each looking to tap into a pocket of Gen Z with refreshing ideas. Mio aimed to make their products the energy drink of choice for 20-somethings, Fanta wanted to be relevant to 18 year olds, and Duolingo asked for ideas that could connect their offerings with specific fandoms in a wider range of Gen Z and Millennials, ages 16 to 34.  

Dom Khun (Art Direction, 2024) and Dipanshi Agarwal (Copywriting, 2024) earned a Silver Pencil for their work on Duolingo – Mama Lingo, which looks to second generation immigrants with a prompt to master their mother’s “mother tongue” as a Mother’s Day gift. Khun discusses the process, “When we landed on ‘Mothers’ as our fandom, we liked it because the idea felt unexpected, yet everyone is a fan of their mom.” The team credits faculty mentor Holly Hessler (Copywriting, 2009) for her insight and help in simplifying the idea. Khun reflects, “We were also inspired through our lived experiences as people of color…There really is something magical that happens when you put a little bit of yourself into the work.”

Madeline Miranda (Art Direction, 2024), Jack Franco (Copywriting, 2024), and Catherine Emblidge (Strategy, 2024) brought home a Bronze Pencil for Duolingo – Drop The Subtitles, a call to cinephiles to watch their favorite films in their native language. Miranda also credits Hessler for her advice throughout the project. “She was very transparent with her feedback on our ideas, which helped us refine our concept. Most importantly, Holly kept us from overthinking things.”

Two more student teams took home awards in the One Show —Mio: Clean Energy for Humans created by Athena Michaels (Art Direction, 2024) and Taylor Bendus (Copywriting, 2024) took home a Bronze Pencil, and Fanta: Fanta University by Taylor Martin (Art Direction, 2024), Hazel Cimino (Art Direction, 2024), Jack Demare (Copywriting, 2024) and Derek Martin received a Merit Award.

dumbre accepting his award on stage

Debashish Dumbre (Copywriting, 2024) was a winner in the Young Ones Portfolio competition, where students are judged by their entire body of work. Dumbre credits faculty members Holly Hessler (Copywriting, 2009), Tom Scharpf (Art Direction, 1998), and Berwyn Hung for helping him strengthen his process and portfolio. Dumbre says that during his time at Brandcenter he has been able to hone his creative process by “focusing on simplicity.” He continues, “Any idea should be explainable in two sentences, max. That restriction streamlines my thought process, and more importantly, makes it easier to pitch ideas.” 

Brandcenter also had two teams receive a merit award in the Young Ones ADC competition. This student competition takes its categories from the One Club’s professional Art Director Club (ADC) Annual Awards, which honor the best in design and craft, from publishing to photography, advertising, illustration and more. Hazel Cimino (Art Direction, 2024) and Celeste Chance (Copywriting, 2024) created the book “Bodies are Weird” which was recognized in the illustration category. A team from the Brandcenter Class of 2025, Emme Schumacher (Art Direction, 2025) and Joe Wint (Copywriting, 2025), received their award in the Advertising, Out of Home & Print/Promotional Category with a campaign for Post-It. 

We are incredibly proud to have the talent and hard work of Brandcenter students recognized by The One Club. 

group of students smiling at awards show

Click on the titles below to browse work from all the Brandcenter finalists:

Student Portfolio Winner – Debashish Dumbre

Student Portfolio Winner – Debashish Dumbre (Copywriting, 2024)

Dumbre submitted a portfolio of six works for consideration. You can see more of his work here. We’ve highlighted one project, Durex: Say Condom.

  • Debashish Dumbre (Copywriting, 2024)
  • Tanmay Kumar (Art Direction, 2025)
  • Mahek Asher (Art Direction, 2025)
  • Agrim Prakash (Strategy, 2025)
  • Vanessa Goldamez (Copywriting, 2025)

Many Indians are too embarrassed to say the word “condom” when buying one, using slang like “Umbrella” or “Cap” instead. So, to get them comfortable with condoms, Durex is getting Indians to say “condom.”

See Dumbre’s portfolio entry here.

Student Silver Pencil – Duolingo: Mama Lingo

Student Silver Pencil – Duolingo: Mama Lingo

Watch the video on YouTube.

  • Dom Khun (Art Direction, 2024)
  • Dipanshi Agarwal (Copywriting, 2024)

Only 36% of second generation immigrants speak their native language. To celebrate Mother’s Day, Duolingo is encouraging 2nd gen immigrants to master their mother tongue. Because who has a bigger fanbase than moms?

See the entry here.

Student Bronze Pencil – Duolingo: Drop the Subtitles

Student Bronze Pencil – Duolingo: Drop The Subtitles

  • Jack Franco (Copywriting, 2024)
  • Madeline Miranda (Art Direction, 2024)
  • Catherine Emblidge (Strategy, 2024)

How can Cinephiles claim to be true fans of foreign cinema if they rely on subtitles?

Duolingo is challenging film buffs to Drop the Subtitles.

See the entry here.

Student Bronze Pencil – Mio: Clean Energy for Humans

Student Bronze Pencil – Mio: Clean Energy for Humans

  • Athena Michaels (Art Direction, 2024)
  • Taylor Bendus (Copywriting, 2024)

Energy consumption and usage for the Earth has been a frequent topic of conversation in the last several decades. But what happens when we don’t think about what goes into our own bodies? Mio is a natural water flavor enhancer containing essential vitamins and minerals, making it clean energy made for humans. We’re encouraging users to think about their own energy and ditch the energy drink competitors that have unpronounceable ingredients with unpredictable effects on the human body.

See the entry here.

Merit Award – Fanta: Fanta University

Merit Award – Fanta: Fanta University

  • Taylor Martin (Art Direction, 2024)
  • Hazel Cimino (Art Direction, 2024)
  • Jack DeMare (Copywriting, 2024)
  • Derek Martin (Strategy, 2024)

Gen-Z is saying “FU” to old-school thinking, including the choice to attend college. As an unconventional soda, Fanta created “Fanta University” to support Gen-Z in their thirst for different.

See the entry here.

Merit Award – Post-It: OOH

Merit Award – Post-It

Young Ones ADC – Out of Home & Print/Promotional

  • Emme Schumacher (Art Direction, 2025)
  • Joe Wint (Copywriting, 2025)

In a world overflowing with distractions and clutter, Post-its are there for when you need to remember.

See more here.

Merit Award – Bodies are Weird: Illustration

page from the book which reads you are one centimeter taller when you first wake up than you are when you go to bed. chad wasn't lying when he said he was 6 feet. he just created his tinder profile at 8 a m.

Merit Award – Bodies are Weird

Young Ones ADC – Illustration

  • Hazel Cimino (Art Direction, 2024)
  • Celeste Chance (Copywriting, 2024)

Inspired by moments when we treated our bodies with harsh judgment, likely guided by a lack of understanding and appreciation. This book exists with the hope that everyone who reads it will find that appreciation (and perhaps have a few giggles, too).

If you’re feeling weird, that’s okay. Bodies are weird.

See more here.

Want to see more work from Brandcenter students?