Haworth College of Business News

Advertising team places third in district competition

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 held on April 12-13 in Southfield, Mich.

Each year a corporate sponsor (this year global automotive manufacturer Nissan North America) provides a case study reflecting a real world situation. 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 and creative executions.

This year’s team developed an advertising campaign for Nissan with the goal of enticing multicultural millennials — 18- to 29-year-old African Americans, Latino 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 are:
Kendal Corrigan of Newaygo, Mich.
Michael Klok of Mattawan, Mich.
Scott O’Neil of Canton, Mich.
Megan Trout of White Lake, Mich.
Amelia Weger of Belding, Mich.

Alternates for the presentation team included:
Ross Bacon of Adrian, Mich.
Samantha Woofter of Stanwood, Mich.

Other non-presenting team members included:
Jessica Bostick
Marie Coletti
Michael Corradini
Shona Drake
Emily Hilliard
Alicia Langley
Xiaowen “Sharon” Ng
Camber Noren
Jeffrey Taylor
Samantha Tomerlin
Lindsay Veenstra
Laureanne Venter
Spencer Woodhull.

“The competition is an excellent way for students to learn about the advertising campaign process,” says Lancendorfer. “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 capstone project in the Integrated Marketing Communications Campaigns course.

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

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