Team to design ad campaign for Coke

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    TCU’s Campaigns Team, which now has Coca-Cola Classic using its new Web site to recruit students and sell atypical TCU shirts to raise funds for competition, the Campaigns Team adviser said.Since the first campaign in 1999, TCU’s Campaigns Team, a student-run advertising agency, has been responsible for constructing marketing plans for national clients, said Mike Wood, the adviser and an advertising/public relations instructor.

    He said this year presents the biggest client yet, Coca-Cola.

    In the past, clients included car companies Chrysler and Toyota, the State of Florida, The New York Times, Bank of America and Yahoo, according to the Campaigns Team’s new Web site launched Tuesday.

    Each year, the team competes against various schools in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arkansas, he said. During competitions, the team presents its advertisement to the client as well as expert judges from the media and advertising agencies, said Xi Zhu, a senior marketing major and Campaigns Team business account manager for the past two years. He said the team usually competes against 13 to 16 schools.

    The district competition is April 18 to 19 in Fort Worth. The competitions are usually out-of-state, but since the district competition is local, it will be open to the public and will follow a dress rehearsal presentation on campus the night before, Wood said.

    The team hopes to raise between $2,500 and $4,000 from the shirts, which will mostly fund campaign production, Zhu said.

    As a fundraiser for the competition, Wood said, the Campaigns Team is selling T-shirts imprinted with the phrase “Texas Construction University.”

    Despite being only available to those in the College of Communication, 160 T-shirt requests have already been made, Wood said. A majority have come from the Schieffer School of Journalism, he said. In the near future, the shirts will be available to students campuswide, and he expects more than 300 orders overall.

    The team wanted the shirts to relate to a popular situation on campus, said Shannon Ferguson, a senior advertising/public relations major and Campaigns Team account executive.

    “That way, our message not only represented the university but also the culture that we, as college students, are familiar with,” Ferguson said.

    Zhu said if the team wins district, it will advance to a national competition held June 7 to 8 in Louisville, Ky. If the team qualifies, it will be TCU’s first time to attend a national competition, he said.

    However, for the past six years, TCU has ranked in the top four in the district and received first runner-up for the Yahoo campaign, Wood said.

    Zhu said there is a better chance of winning this school year because of a bigger budget, more solid background research and an interesting campaign.

    “Coca-Cola is an exciting product,” he said. “It is easier to motivate the team.”

    Clients provide budgets to the teams not in the form of physical money but the hypothetical cost of implementing the campaign, Zhu said. For Last year’s client Postal Vault gave a budget of $2 million, he said.

    The Campaigns Team provides hands-on training in the form of a three-hour credit course that counts as an elective for either advertising/public relations or marketing, Wood said. However, Wood said, it is more than a course; it’s a learning experience, and the closest the class ever comes to being a typical course is its JOURN 40703 listing, he said.

    Wood said the Campaigns Team is looking to fill the remaining 13 of 15 positions. Zhu said there are usually 60 to 70 applicants.

    Students do not enroll in the course, but they must apply, be interviewed and selected just as in a normal job setting, Wood said. Zhu said enrollment begins January.