April 29, 2013
When a team works on a project for an extensive period of time, its creators come know it as their “baby.” That term hit home for 13 students at Drury University who recently competed in the National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC), sponsored by the American Advertising Federation (AAF).
Every year, AAF student chapters across the nation are offered a campaign to work on, and, this year, Glidden Paint was the client. The client gives the teams a case study that highlights the communication challenge, target audiences for the campaign, a budget, and a time-span. This year, college students developed an advertising plan to raise awareness of Glidden’s Brilliance Collection at Wal-mart stores across the nation. “This campaign was challenging because we were working with two major brands,” said Amanda Combs, Drury senior and account executive for Drury’s NSAC team.
- 5th Element team members at the NSAC awards banquet. From left to right. Back row: Christa Scott, senior; Evan Melgren, junior; Ricardo Moreno, junior. Middle row: Dr. Regina Waters; Jeremy Carter, senior; Kaitlyn Jaeger, senior; Alex Smith, senior. Front row: Dr. Sun-Young Park; Amber Perdue, senior; Amanda Combs, senior; Hallie Petersen, senior.
Research is the backbone of advertising, and, during the fall semester, Drury’s team, called the 5th Element, got to work. The team burned through highlighters, worked late into the night, and lugged around ten-pound binders to come up with 254 articles of research. Working as four small agencies, the students used their research to develop four campaign proposals to solve the Glidden paint case study.
Then, in the spring semester, students enrolled in the elective class, Advertising Campaigns, came together to work as one team to develop a 20-page integrated marketing communication plans book for the NSAC.
The Advertising Campaigns course is student-led and operates as an advertising agency with students taking on roles such as account executive and creative director. Dr. Sun-Young Park and Communication Department Chair Dr. Regina Waters provided supervision and insights to the team. Students were responsible for all of the research in addition to developing traditional, nontraditional, social media, guerilla marketing, and public relations touch points.
On April 19, the 5th Element presented its campaign to four judges at the District Nine competition in Kansas City. There were nine schools from the district and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln took home the top spot while Drury tied for second with Webster University. Despite the silver medal, morale among team members was high because the 5th Element made it to the finish line with an abundance of experience and their “baby” had earned esteemed recognition. “It was extremely rewarding to see all of our hard work receive recognition on this kind of scale,” said Combs. “Working with such a devoted group of individuals and competing against teams that were equally committed makes me optimistic about the future of advertising.”
Story by Amber Perdue, a senior advertising and public relations major at Drury.