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AdLab Teams Sweep Student Emmys

May 2023


For the second year in a row, BYU students took first place in the “Commercial” category at the College Television Awards, often referred to as “Student Emmys.” This year BYU swept the category.

The winning commercial, eBay—Dear Vanessa, came from the BYU AdLab. Andrew Rhee wrote and directed the commercial, which was inspired by the experience of his parents, who immigrated to the United States. The ad depicts an elderly immigrant who purchases a secondhand VHS player to watch old family recordings. He writes a thank-you letter to the seller for helping him relive his memories of journeying to America and raising his family.

Madi Hill, who produced the commercial, said of her overall BYU experience and her work in the AdLab, “[It] shaped me to excel in more ways than I ever expected. The fact that I was able to study what I loved while being able to focus on my faith is something I don’t take for granted.”

Two BYU students accepting emmy awards on stage

The other ads nominated for best commercial were also submitted by AdLab students: GoSili was directed and produced by Luke Roberts and written by Hailey Skinner, and Dungeons & Dragons—Play Your Way was directed by Taylor Garrett and written by Stephanie Blackham, with Savannah Butler and Alex McBride as producers.

Also, in a repeat finish, students from BYU’s animation program captured this year’s Student Emmy for best animation series. Their animated short, Cenote, is about an axolotl (amphibious salamander) trapped by magic in a cenote (underwater sinkhole).

In total, 13 BYU students were nominated for awards from the Television Academy Foundation, the most nominations received by any university.

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