WMU News

Marketing students place high in national competition

July 22, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- Marketing executives from Mazda and several top agencies recently singled out two Western Michigan University entries in a national competition sponsored by the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation.

WMU teams took the silver and bronze awards in the 2003 Leonard J. Raymond Collegiate ECHO Competition, climbing to the top of a field that included 231 entries from 40 colleges and universities. The advertising and promotion students entered the competition as part of a class project for Marketing 481: Integrated Marketing Communication Campaigns, taught by Dr. Betty Parker, associate professor of marketing. The awards are the highest won by WMU students in the ECHO competition and follow a string of top finishes in a variety of national marketing competitions in recent years.

Students were charged with developing direct marketing plans and creative executions for the Mazda Protege5. The entries were judged by experienced direct and interactive marketing professionals, including senior marketing team members from Mazda. The WMU team that won the silver award based its entry on the theme "It Fits," while the third-place team's entry was titled "Start Your Engine." Both teams will receive gifts from Mazda and books from the Direct Marketing Association. Members of the team that won the silver award also won an expense-paid trip to the Direct Marketing Association Conference, slated to be held in Chicago in April 2004.

The second-place Silver Award team included the following advertising and promotion majors, all seniors: Jessica Koronka of Gaylord, Mich., the daughter of Paul and Teresa Koronka; Michael Rodewald of Coloma, Mich.; and Nathan White of Kalamazoo, the son of Mark and Beth White. Mazda executives on the judging panel wrote that they were most impressed by the "It Fits" theme, noting, "The creative play on the different personalities of the car was a hit here at Mazda. This case was definitely read with a 'maybe we should try that' tone. The team presented this in a very professional package."

The Bronze Award-winning third place team including the following advertising and promotion majors, also all seniors: Kathryn Cichowski of Clinton Township, Mich., the daughter of Robert and Theresa Cichowski; Erin Cullin of North Canton, Ohio, the daughter of Michael and Pamela Cullen; and Kooi Yen "Anne" Lim of Chicago. Mazda officials wrote, "The judges were especially impressed by the great job of capturing the brand essence of Mazda throughout the case. Their creative execution was very complete and went as far as to include examples of incentive gifts."

First prize in the competition went to students from Christopher Newport University.

The Direct Marketing Educational Foundation is a nonprofit educational foundation established in the mid-1960s by the Direct Marketing Association. Its mission is to increase and improve the teaching of direct and interactive marketing at colleges and universities, attract new talent to the field, provide career guidance and information, and bring the excitement of the marketing industry to the classroom. More information about the organization and the ECHO awards can be found on the Web at <www.the-dma.org/dmef>.

Media contact: Jessica English, 269 387-8400, jessica.english@wmich.edu

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