The Bad Ad competition was first developed by Media Literacy Project (MLP) in 1998, as a way to promote youth voices in the media justice movement. The Bad Ad competition is open to middle and high school age students and requires that students write a critical analysis of an ad using MLP’s Language of Persuasion framework. MLP later added the Counter Ad contest that took students a step beyond simply critiquing problematic ads, to re-creating the ad with a counter message.
In the past, winners of both contests would receive an award of $100, while runners-up would receive a reward of $50. This year, MLP had no winning entries in the middle school category for the Bad Ad contest. The Bad Ad contest winner in the high school category was Martel Den Hartog and runner-up was Eric Miller (11th grade student at Rufus King International School in Milwaukee, WI).
Martel DenHartog is in 9th grade at Northpoint Expeditionary Learning Academy in Prescott, Arizona, where she is a straight-A student. Before that, she lived in Iowa and Minnesota. She lives with her parents, younger brother and sister, and dog, Bo. She loves being outdoors, especially backpacking, sports, and traveling. Her favorite sports are cross-country, volleyball, basketball, and track and field. Martel has been to over half of the United States, England, Mexico, Canada, South Korea, Japan, and more recently, Cambodia, where her and nine other students from Northpoint participated in an educational-service trip. This coming October, she will be volunteering with Children’s Peace Project, a local non-profit organization, in Haiti.
There was a tie for first place in this year’s Counter Ad contest, so no runner-up prize was awarded. Shamar Smalls and James DeVinne from Friends School of Baltimore share this year’s honor. The two Counter Ad winners will both receive $100 awards.
There were three additional entries that warranted an Honorable Mention in the Counter Ad contest. Rufus King International School 11th-graders Maya Neal and Martina Sullivan-Konyn developed counter ads that were both critical and creative. Santa Fean and St. Michael’s High School 9th-grader Isaiah Vigil also created a noteworthy submission to the Counter Ad contest.
View all the winning entries at the MLP website homepage.
Join the MLP mailing list for the announcement of next year’s Bad Ad/Counter Ad contest and encourage your child or their school to participate.
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