Google has won the competition USA TODAY with the Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama Google has won the competition USA TODAY with the Dalai Lama [ Ru ]

McLEAN, Va. — USA TODAY said Wednesday that Google Creative Lab won $1 million worth of full-page print advertising in the newspaper by taking the top prize for its contest for the most creative original print ad.

Google’s ad featured the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu coming together for a live broadcast hangout on Google+, its social-network site.

The Ad Council and Team Detroit were named finalists for the 2012 USA TODAY Print Advertising Competition. The Ad Council, a non-profit agency, was cited for its ad created for Save the Children, an advocacy organization.

Team Detroit, an ad agency owned by WPP, was cited for its ad featuring a new toy, Nanoblock, sold by Ohio Art.

All three ads can be viewed at The contest was announced in October as part of USA TODAY’s redesign and 30th anniversary celebration.

The competition was open to advertising agencies, marketers and non-profit organizations. Ads could be part of a new or existing campaign. Judging was based on three criteria: creativity and originality of the advertisement, visual storytelling and clarity of writing.

“It takes great creativity to tell a story in a meaningful way and make a consumer want to know more,” says Larry Kramer, president and publisher of USA TODAY, which was an executive sponsor of the competition. “Print ads offer a unique and powerful canvas to tell an advertiser’s story that will get noticed by consumers. We congratulate our winner and finalists on sending us their best creative and proving the type of impact print advertising can have as part of a multimedia campaign.”

Industry executives judged the ads, including: Chip Kidd, designer/writer, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group; Sean McLaughlin, creative director, Wieden + Kennedy; Chuck Porter, chairman, Crispin Porter + Bogusky; Tiffany Rolfe, chief content officer, Co Collective; Nik Studzinski, executive creative director, Droga5; and Michael Wolff, media columnist, USA TODAY.

“This competition was an interesting exercise in looking at the role of print in an advertiser’s brand story in 2013,” says Maryam Banikarim, an executive sponsor of the competition and chief marketing officer for Gannett, the parent company of USA TODAY.

“Advertising has changed over the years, but the objective is still the same — to get consumers to take notice of your brand. Sometimes a simple ad can convey a futuristic idea. We think our judges did a terrific job of determining what really makes a great print advertisement.”


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