Shaulene Burkett, the advertising manager for the Langley Advance Times, is grateful she didn’t have to pick from all the ‘fantastic’ newspaper ads that were created by Langley kids for this year’s Design An Ad program. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance Times)

Langley’s Design an Ad program ‘makes kids smile’

Store owners and children alike love being part of this initiative that fosters creativity

Dozens of Grade 4 and 5 students from a number of Langley schools were once again invited to let their creative juices flow, and some of the “amazing” results are includes in today’s special Design An Ad edition.

The results were nothing short of “spectacular,” said Langley Advance Times advertising manager Shaulene Burkett.

The community newspaper has been hosting Design An Ad program for years, and the results continue to create one of the most popular, fun, and rewarding special sections of the year for the Langley Advance Times, said Burkett, who had the task of sorting through the mountains of different submissions for presentation to the clients.

Children in 14 classes around the district were invited to design colourful and creative advertisements for the various businesses – being asked to portray what they believed the company embodied.


“I’m so happy to see so many imaginative designs,” Burkett said. “And this program just makes kids smile.”

In preparation for Design An Ad, each year Burkett and her team visit participating Langley classrooms, answer questions and offer some basic direction to the students.

“The schools welcome us into their classrooms and we love being there,” she elaborated.

During one of her past visits, a student had Burkett in stitches after asking if she’d be famous if her ad was picked to appear in the newspaper.

Burkett had to break the news. “Sorry, no.”

Once all the kids’ ads are complete, the images are then shared with the participating businesses and organizations.

It’s those folks who have the tough task of picking winners, Burkett explained.

Matthew Purdy of Toy Traders said the selection is always difficult.

In fact, it’s so hard to pick just one that he typically opts to publish at least two ads in the section.

And this year he is again considering using some of the other contenders in his ad campaigns later in the year.

“They’re so cute. Super cute, in fact… I want every kid to win,” Purdy said, noting he shifted responsibility for selecting the winners off to his manager, Lindsay, because it was admittedly too difficult a task.

Nevertheless, he said he is always thrilled to see the images the kids create, everything from the colours they select to depict the store, to the feature elements in the store they like the most.

He prides himself on creating different and interesting features within the store, but is often shocked to see the little nuances that young children pick up on.

This year, for instance, one of the ads featured ET wearing a Toy Traders T-shirt. He thought that part of the display was lost on most. But obviously not.

“It’s really neat to see the store through the kids’ eyes.”


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