Advertising team places third in district competition

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Photo of WMU advertising students.

WMU's presentation team, from left: O'Neil, Corrigan, Trout, faculty advisor Lancendorfer, Weger, Klok, Bacon and Woofter

KALAMAZOO--A team of 20 advertising and promotion students from Western Michigan University's Haworth College of Business took home third place in their division in the District 6 American Advertising Federation's National Student Advertising Competition April 12-13 in Southfield, Mich.

Each year, a corporate sponsor provides a case study reflecting a real world situation, with global automotive manufacturer Nissan North America doing the honors this year. Students must create an integrated advertising campaign for the client that is pitched to a panel of judges comprised of professionals in the advertising industry and client representatives. Teams are judged on both presentation and original advertising collateral in the form of a plans book and creative executions.

The WMU team developed an advertising campaign for Nissan with the goal of enticing multicultural millennials--18- to 29-year-old African Americans, Hispanics and Chinese Americans--to consider Nissan vehicles. Using a variety of traditional and non-traditional consumer touch points and carrying the taglines "Where's Your Drive Taking You?" and "Drive Your Story," the WMU team presented a three-phase campaign.

"The judges' feedback was very positive for our team's submission," says Dr. Karen Lancendorfer, associate professor of marketing and advisor to the team. "They noted we did a great job with our campaign and that the research and media were very strong and tied well to the creative executions and overall integrated strategy. They especially liked the rollout of the three phases and the focus on consumer-generated content."

The WMU team was among 20 teams from universities across the region and placed higher than teams from Augustana College, Ferris State University, Marian University, Northwood University, University of Southern Indiana, University of Notre Dame and Wayne State University. Grand Valley State University was the winner of the competition, with Purdue University Calumet coming in second in the division.

Members of the WMU presentation team were Kendal Corrigan of Newaygo, Mich.; Michael Klok of Mattawan, Mich.; Scott O'Neil of Canton, Mich.; Megan Trout of White Lake, Mich.; and Amelia Weger of Belding, Mich. Team alternates were Ross Bacon of Adrian, Mich., and Samantha Woofter of Stanwood, Mich.

"The competition is an excellent way for students to learn about the advertising campaign process," Lancendorfer says. "It mirrors what they will do for a real client when they enter the advertising and promotion industry."

Lancendorfer uses the competition as the advertising and promotion major student's capstone project in the Integrated Marketing Communications Campaigns course.

"I'm so proud of this year's team," Lancendorfer says. "With the automotive market in the U.S. just beginning its recovery, the case was difficult, but the students more than rose to the challenge."

Established in 1962, WMU's Advertising and Promotion program is part of the Haworth College of Business' Department of Marketing, with approximately 200 students in the major.