Students create advertising campaigns in service-learning projects

ADV 498: The Sandage Project is our Advertising program’s capstone course, taught by senior lecturer Shachar Meron. The course is designed as an accelerated eight-week boot camp: seniors break into teams and create start-to-finish campaigns for local nonprofits and educational organizations. Students learn how different disciplines work together—including account direction, research, strategy, media, and creative—to better understand the why, how, and what of advertising.

Below are some examples of final projects created by teams of advertising students. They came up with a name and logo for their agency, defined their client goals, gathered insights from target audiences, identified main messages, and designed creative strategies to achieve the goals.

Flu Fighters
Flu Fighters Agency created an advertising campaign for McKinley Health Center. Their goals were to get 5,500 students to receive the flu shot and get 2,000 views on a video. The Flu Fighters had the winning pitch for McKinley, who actually ran a modified version of this campaign…the result was their most successful flu shot marketing campaign ever, far surpassing their goal. They even ran it again the following year. View their campaign pitch.


Cornerstone Agency was selected as the winning campaign for the Child Care Resource Service. Their goals were to increase online engagement and reach by 15% on Facebook, increase attendance rate at community outreach events to an average of 70 attendees, and increase Instagram followers to 1,000. View their campaign pitch.

50 Knots Agency

50 Knots Agency created an advertising campaign for Illinois International Student and Scholar Services. Their goals were to increase post mandatory check-in appointments by 25% and increase attendance overall at ISSS events on campus by 25%. View their campaign pitch.


Meraki Agency created an advertising campaign for the Career Services Council. Their goals were to increase students' ability to speak confidently about their experiences within eight core competencies by 30%, and get 10,000 page hits on their landing webpage. Meraki had the winning pitch for Career Services Council, who also actually used parts of their campaign. View their campaign pitch.