Design an Ad: Children wow judges at Express & Star competition

By Thomas Parkes | News | Published:

Creative children across the Black Country and Staffordshire wowed judges with their colourful entries to the Express & Star's Design an Ad competition.

Almost 1,000 primary school pupils entered the contest, in partnership with Services 4 Schools, with the final 20 being hand-picked by businesses in the area.

Schools were matched up with the firms, with readers of the Express & Star voting on the overall winner.

And their efforts rewarded them a £50 gift card for their school – with a £500 gift card going to the winner's school.

All of the winners were celebrated at an awards ceremony held at Molineux in Wolverhampton, where their parents and sponsors gathered.

The overall winner was seven-year-old Hatti Good from St Giles Primary School in Willenhall, who designed an advert for Poundland.

She said: “I have drawn Pep&Co to represent their clothes and made sure the £1 signs are big because everything is a pound in there.

"I am really happy about winning and I didn’t think I would.”

Millie Morris, aged 10, from Norton Canes Primary Academy, was chosen by Cameron Homes for her design - which was inspired by one of her Lego sets. She said: "It's based on one of my Lego sets. I wanted it to be based on it and I had pictured it in my head and I tried to fit it all in. I'm happy and excited to win."


Katie Swann, from whg, accepted the certificate on behalf of nine-year-old Sonia Singh from Beacon Primary School, Willenhall. Ms Swann said: "It's what I want to do for my job. I'm really impressed with all the detail in the designs and I'm pleased this is the winner."

Six-year-old Molie Hayden, from The Brook Primary School in Stourbridge, designed a horse for Travelstar European's advert because she "really likes" the animal.

Aleena Kacy Buchanan, aged 10, from Villiers Primary School in Bilston, was chosen as the winner by SPV group. She said: "It's very good and I'm proud of it. When the art teacher was giving us the Powerpoint on it, I was thinking of it and thought I could do a design with boys and girls both working."

Gabrielle Bainbridge, from Leamore Primary School in Walsall, was chosen by South Staffs Water for her design - which incorporated 'Captain Efficient' taking on the 'water wasters'. Gabrielle, aged 11, said: "I tried to design it to make little children be aware of water use."


Seven-year-old Darcee Starling, from Bhylls Acre Primary School in Wolverhampton, was chosen by the Midland Metro Alliance for her 'unicorn express' design. Grace Hayward, project manager at the company, said: "It was the colours - it was so bright and colourful and had all the colours of the rainbow. It was called 'unicorn express' and that's what everyone liked."

Brooke-Leigh Aycliffe, from Bilston C of E Primary School, was chosen by Pallet Track for her design. The eight-year-old said: "I live in Bilston and I love living there so that’s why my drawing is all about Bilston. My favourite place to eat is Majors chip shop so that’s why I have drawn it at the top of my design."

Connor James Marsh, aged 11, from Hill Avenue Primary School in Wolverhampton, had his design chosen by The Grand Theatre. ain Watkins, from The Grand Theatre, said: "I love the detail Connor has included. The cat he’s drawn is just brilliant.”

Harleen Dhaliwal, from Wodensfield Primary School, was chosen by Wolverhampton Homes. The six-year-old said: "I drew a house with lots of colours and some little people. It was a lot of fun."

Alexa Griffths, from St Michael's CE Primary School in Wolverhampton, had her design chosen by Leekes You're Home. She said: "I focused my design around a bedroom. I wanted it to be creative and different, I’m proud of my work and it was really fun to do."

Certificates were also given out to winning designs chosen by NCP, Helix, PIA, Jessup, Dudley Council, United Living, the Tipton and Coseley building society, Whittles, Collins Aerospace and JJX Logisitcs.

Manjit Randhawa, one of the directors at Services 4 Schools (S4S), said: "We are delighted and feel privileged to have been part of such a project for the second year running. We were so impressed with the calibre of artwork last year, we wanted to make sure we were part of this lovely event again.

"We are a local company which assists local schools with their back office functions and supporting this event has certainly been an opportunity for us to give something back to the community.

"The children have done fantastically well with all the designs and we certainly have some budding new talent coming up in the future.

"This is a testament to the hard work, commitment and support that our staff in schools provide.

"All the children and schools should be proud of these achievements and I'm sure all the advertisers were amazed at the ideas that were generated."

Thomas Parkes

By Thomas Parkes
Trainee Reporter - @TParkes_Star

Trainee reporter at the Express & Star, based in Wolverhampton. Got a story? Get in touch at

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