Students place 2nd in AAF’s district-wide National Student Advertising Competition

NSAC UIUC student team

A group of Illinois advertising and computer science + advertising students earned second place in the district level at the American Advertising Federation’s National Student Advertising Competition held April 27-28 in South Bend, Indiana.

After extensive marketing research, the Illinois NSAC team of students—which includes researchers, strategists, creatives, media personnel, and designers—developed and pitched an integrative advertising campaign for this year’s NSAC corporate sponsor and worldwide job search site Indeed. 

For Indeed, the team created the campaign tagline “Know It All” and produced a 12-page book with research, insights, strategy, and media placements, as well as five creative executions, a video spot, and a live 20-minute presentation. They worked on the project through Advertising 400: NSAC Campaign last fall, taught by Brittany Duff, associate professor of advertising, and this spring, taught by Carrie Wilson-Brown, lecturer of media and cinema studies and of advertising.

“I am so proud of this talented group of students,” Wilson-Brown said. “They exemplify the innovative thinking and professionalism we strive for in the Charles H. Sandage Department of Advertising.”

Student presenters included advertising majors Brooke Button, Lauren Jenkins, and Thomas Sanders, and chemistry major Juan Camargo. Members of the executive board were CS+advertising major Ayesha Baweja, advertising majors Julie Garcia and Annee Mattson, and advertising and sociology major Cassidy Marcum. 

Fifteen additional students have contributed to the campaign since the beginning of the school year or the start of second semester. 

“Our executive board has been planning and working on this campaign since August, and we are so proud of our team and presenters,” Baweja said.

The Illinois NSAC team placed third in last year’s competition. Students are already seeking applicants to join the NSAC team for next year’s campaign.

NSAC is an annual competition that provides more than 2,000 college students hands-on experience in creating a strategic media campaign for a real corporate client. Students address real-world marketing challenges and must research the client and its competition, identify issues, and devise an integrated campaign. Then students pitch their campaign to the clients and a panel of AAF judges who are professionals in the advertising, marketing, and communications industry.

The University of Illinois AAF student chapter, which includes NSAC, is the largest in the nation.

—Kelly Youngblood