The students are instructed to take a tobacco or alcohol company logo or advertisement and create a satirical mock-up of it that focuses on the deceitfulness of the marketing. The students are told to make the ad the way the company would if they really wanted to inform the public about the actual consequences of using their product. In other words – make it tell the truth. The contest attempts to get students to critically examine and think about the advertising media being used by the tobacco and alcohol industries – and how the images used often hide or disregard the actual consequences of using tobacco or alcohol.
These criteria are used to select a group of finalists from which the overall winners from each school are selected. In Dover the awards for the contest winners are given at the annual Y2Y Gear Exchange in March or April during our Kick Butts Week celebration. It could just as easily be done at any suitable event created for the purpose.
We have conducted the contest many times since 1995 using some combination of grades 5 – 12, but not usually all of those grades each year. We time the event to coincide with a convenient time for the art teachers to fit it into their curriculum. We also try to time the contest so that the awards night can coincide with Kick Butts Week.
We select 50-60 “finalists” who are then invited to a Wednesday evening party at the middle school cafeteria. This celebration is where we will hold the Gear Exchange each year as well. During the evening we will have an ice cream buffet and music to add to the festive atmosphere. All of the submissions are displayed for the families showing up for the event.
Each finalist gets a small prize. One year each of 50 finalists got a T-shirt and a free trip through the ice cream buffet we set up. Winners in each grade level got a $25 gift certificate. The overall winner received $100.
We generally receive hundreds of submissions to this contest due to the support of the art teachers that promote it (require it) and allow class time. As a result we have all of those students critically analyzing tobacco or alcohol media and contrasting it to what they know about the real consequences of tobacco or alcohol use.