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Young Creatives Design Ad Age's Global Cover

Duo From Grey, New York, Takes the Prize

By Published on .

NEW YORK ( -- Salina Cole and Garret Dafferner had never worked together before. On their first joint project, the two Grey, New York, creatives won a trip to the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.

Ms. Cole and Mr. Dafferner submitted this week's cover, "Gears," for the Ad Age Global Issue cover contest for creatives under 30. After evaluating 220 entries from all over the globe -- Vietnam to Romania, Canada to Colombia, Switzerland to San Francisco -- the Ad Age staff picked a winner from its own backyard.

'Gears' by Salina Cole and Garret Dafferner, two creatives from Grey, New York, won our global cover contest.
'Gears' by Salina Cole and Garret Dafferner, two creatives from Grey, New York, won our global cover contest.
Its big idea? Creativity makes the world turn.

"In today's global marketplace, products and technologies build off of each other, creating a cycle where new ideas are birthed from the old," Ms. Cole wrote in the submission. It's no different in advertising, she continued. "The ideas and communications that are currently in practice today will affect those that come tomorrow."

The pair received the brief individually through Grey and, with Mr. Dafferner's usual copywriter partner away on a shoot, he teamed up with Ms. Cole to attack the project. In their words, they "ideated over pizza" for a couple of days and decided on the gears concept. Later, the vintage-inspired aesthetic emerged, thanks to a collection of 1950s and 1960s Fortune magazine covers.

The magazine covers came from Mr. Dafferner's mother, who had bought them on eBay and framed them. When she passed away two years ago, Mr. Dafferner claimed the covers and hung them in his apartment. One sleepless night during the cover-design process, he saw the Fortune covers, and the light switch flipped.

"The idea is: You turn a gear -- a thought, a creative execution -- and that in turn affects all the other creative executions out there," said Mr. Dafferner.

The pair primarily created "Gears" on Grey's time. Mr. Dafferner designed the gears with 3-D software, then made clusters and projected them onto a world map.

Ms. Cole, 28, came to copywriting by way of account management and stints at DDB, Saatchi & Saatchi and Ogilvy. She started in account management at DDB as a college intern and stuck with it because she liked the industry, specifically its people. It quickly became apparent to her -- and to a DDB creative director -- that she was not cut out for the account side.

"A creative director that had seen my writing pulled me aside and said, 'I think you're doing the wrong thing,'" she recounted. "'You aren't meant to be behind a desk.'"

She decided to try her hand at creative and took School of Visual Arts portfolio classes with DDB's help. She became a junior copywriter at the agency, and later freelanced for Ogilvy.

Mr. Dafferner, 25, has been at Grey for his two-year career in advertising. The Long Island native is working on a 3-D graphic novel based on a science-fiction story he's already written. One of the creatives responsible for the eTrade baby Super Bowl commercial, he hopes to one day have enough money and space to sculpt.

Ad Age's global reach is at an all-time high, and we knew we wanted to do something special to show off our second annual Global Issue. So we opened up our cover to the young creative community around the world, posting a creative brief on and announcing that the winner would receive a trip to the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. We hoped it would demonstrate that today, great ideas can come from everywhere. As you can see from some of the finalist submissions in the slide show above, they did.

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