WMU advertising students take second place in national competition

contact: Alyssa Benson
| WMU News

KALAMAZOO—A team of 28 Western Michigan University advertising and promotion students took home second place in their division in the District 6 American Advertising Federation's National Student Advertising Competition.

Photo of WMU advertising and promotion students.

This year's National Student Advertising Competition team placed second with their campaign for Tai Pei Frozen Foods.

Eighteen teams representing universities in Illinois, Indiana and Michigan participated in the two-day event that began April 21 in South Bend, Indiana.

The competition

Each year a corporate sponsor 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 in the form of a plans book and creative executions.

This year's team developed an advertising campaign for Tai Pei Frozen Foods with the goal of enticing 18- to 25-year-olds to try Tai Pei products. Using a variety of traditional and non-traditional consumer touch points and carrying the tagline "It's a Tai Pei Kind of Day," the WMU team conducted extensive research into the 18-to-25-year-old market and coined the term IDEALS—Individual, Diverse, Educated, Adventurous, Leaders, Social—to represent this market.

"This competition is an excellent way for students to learn about the advertising campaign process since it mirrors what they will do for a real client when they enter the advertising and promotion industry," says Dr. Karen M. Lancendorfer, associate professor of marketing and director of the advertising and promotion program. "I'm so proud of this year's team. They took a fairly new product, and increased awareness and consumer engagement."

The team

The WMU team was among 18 teams from universities across the region and placed higher than teams from the University of Illinois, Ball State and Michigan State University. The team is comprised of advertising and promotion students in the major’s capstone course, and the competition serves as the course's final project.

The WMU presentation team members included Dylan Cooper, of Muskegon; Natalie Gerfen, of Huntington Woods; Joel Lewis II, of Walled Lake; and Molly Ouvry, of Vicksburg.

"Having the rest of our group supporting us as we presented was important to our success," says Gerfen. "The whole group put a lot of time into the research phase of the project, ensuring that our presentation and creative executions were complete, and we were prepared come competition time."

Other non-presenting team members include:

  • Jarrell Fields, of Auburn Hills
  • Jordan Gallant, of Brighton
  • Kevin Graves, of Kalamazoo
  • Kelsea Guarino, of Kalamazoo
  • Mikaela Gustine, of Grosse Pointe Woods
  • Imani Jenkins, of Saginaw
  • Venezia Jones, of Detroit
  • Ross Krandel, of Kalamazoo
  • Abby Kreitlow, of Kalamazoo
  • Katelyn Krulek, of Wyoming
  • Kelsey Lavergne, of Kalamazoo
  • Charles May, of Northville
  • Sarah Mitchell, of Canton
  • Gabriela Palacio, of Ypsilanti
  • Connor Pray, of Canton
  • John Ryan, of Battle Creek
  • Juliet Sanford, of Jackson
  • Mitchell Tortelli, of Kalamazoo
  • Brett Vandenberg, of Portage
  • Alejandro Vera, of Lowell
  • Molly Walsh, of Palos Park, Illinois
  • Dixon Weathers, of Kalamazoo
  • Tyler Winters, of Wyandotte
  • Allison Youtzy, of Kalamazoo

WMU advertising and promotion program

As one of the premier programs in the country, the advertising and promotion major at WMU attracts creative, strategically minded students and provides them with an interactive education that ensures they will have the skills and knowledge necessary for success. Advertising and promotion faculty bring years of practical experience to the classroom and maintain close ties with industry through applied research and consulting. WMU students excel in national student advertising competitions, including the EdVenture Partners National Case Study Competition where students regularly take top 10 national honors.

For more information about the program, contact Dr. Karen Lancendorfer at (269) 387-5996 or karen.lancendorfer@wmich.edu.

For more news, arts and events, visit wmich.edu/news.