On Friday, April 23, 2010, a group of advertising students from Purdue University Calumet took first place at the Sixth District American Advertising Federation (AAF) National Student Advertising Awards Competition in Southfield, Michigan. In June, they will compete nationally in Orlando, Florida, against all of the other first place regional winners and present their advertising campaign for State Farm Insurance to their client and top advertising professionals.
For this cross listed class (COM/MGMT 429-Advertising Campaigns), Purdue Calumet students were presented in September with a case study of State Farm and were challenged to create an integrated marketing campaign to change students’ attitudes (age 18-25) toward State Farm. Our students spent two semesters analyzing, conducting research, developing a comprehensive strategy and plan, and preparing a professional presentation. Their hard work paid off as they wowed the judges. The judges for the competition are all advertising industry executives – many of whom participated in this campaign themselves in the past.
The students produced their campaign plan’s book and presentation in the interdisciplinary Advertising Campaigns course. The course instructor, Matthew Hanson, worked closely with the Communication and Management students this past academic year in developing their campaign. Communication Professor, Mary Beth O’Connor, Marketing, Human Resources and Management Department Head, Dr. Lori Feldman, and Continuing Lecturer in Marketing, Kasia Firlej, all served as consultants to the students’ project and were all in attendance at the presentation and awards ceremony in Michigan.
Additionally, Marketing Professor, Dr. Hugh Daubek, served as a consultant until his sudden passing in March 2010. The advertising students dedicated their plan’s book to Dr. Daubek’s memory and the AAF made a special announcement to honor Dr. Daubek’s dedication to his students and the AAF at the awards ceremony. Another special announcement honoring Dr. Daubek is being planned for the national competition in Orlando, Florida.
The students involved in this amazing accomplishment are the presenters Sara Keilman, Stephanie Cavanaugh, Neil Wahlberg, Melissa Ferrara, and Dominic Cordilla along with the rest of the team Tracy Johnson, Holly Muha, Andrea Valle, James Westerfield, Bryan Redeagle, Joel Perez, Dwayne Washington, Nikki Kimbrough, Kristina Metrich, Xavier Jackson, Antonio Porter, and Jake Saczawa.
At the 6th district competition, PUC students competed with eleven other colleges and universities, many of whom have large budgets, faculty with industry experience, and a slew of students working on their campaigns. PUC students were thought to be the underdogs in this competition and very few students and faculty members from other institutions attended their presentation. When the first place winner was announced, the front of the room where PUC students and faculty were seated erupted with jubilant screams and tears of joy.
Dr. Lori Feldman noted that this is an outstanding example of experiential learning and that it gives these students a real competitive advantage when they enter the job market. Professor O’Connor fully agrees and added that this is also an excellent example of what can be accomplished when two departments cooperatively collaborate in educating our fine students.