The university’s advertising campaign team placed 11th out of 19 teams at the National Student Advertising Competition in Austin this weekend.
TCU’s student campaign competition team, Schieffer, Neeley and Partners or "SNAP," is made up of eight marketing students from the Neeley School of Business and 19 strategic communication students in the Schieffer School of Journalism.
The 27 students make up the Schieffer Capstone Campaign class, which began last spring. While the class is a major requirement for strategic communication students, the eight Neeley students take the course as an elective, Bill Johnson, co-advisor for the course said.
Danielle Ayoub received her Bachelor of Science in Communications in May and chose to participate in the campaign as Account Manager to do something that would help her gain real life experience, she said.
“I wanted to do something that went above and beyond and really showed off what I’ve learned in the past four years,” Ayoub said.
The team was required to create a fully integrated marketing plan for Nissan to better communicate its message of innovation to multicultural millennials.
The plan consisted of a 32 page plans book, a 20 minute presentation to a panel of judges made up of advertising and marketing professionals followed by 10 minutes of “Q & A.”
The students submitted their book at the end of March, competed in a district competition in Shreveport in mid April and finally attended nationals last weekend in Austin, Johnson said.
Under the campaign umbrella "Innovation for a Generation," SNAP's campaign focused on simple truths of millennials' lives with the tag line "Nissan knows."
SNAP competed against teams from University of Miami, 2011 NSAC champions, and this year’s winning team from University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The NSAC is in its 39th year and is put on annually by the American Advertising Federation. This year's competition featured 153 schools out of 15 districts and was pared down to 19 finalists. TCU has been historically successful with multiple national appearances and a district ten winning performance in 2007.
Senior Louis Ducruet served as the digital director for the campaign team throughout the semester. Ducruet, a native of Panama, has only been in the United States for three years, but hopes that his passion for digital marketing will lead to a career that will keep him in the states.
Finding an equal balance between Schieffer students and Neeley students proved to be one of the biggest challenges for the students throughout the campaign, Ducruet said.
The knowledge in communications skills that he has learned in the process is the biggest thing that he will take away, Ducruet said.
“We would sit there for hours fighting and respectfully disagreeing,” Ayoub said. “But it was the thing that kind of led us to the ‘Promise Land,” she said.
Johnson agreed that combining students from different colleges did present some challenges, but he could not be prouder of their ability to overcome differences and succeed in the campaign, he said.
“People in the field right now better watch out, these students are entering it and they are going to bring it,” Johnson said.