Courtesy: Arrowhead Advertising
On Saturday, April 16, students of the Florida State University’s award-winning advertising team, Arrowhead Advertising, competed in the annual National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) in Orlando, FL. These students worked diligently to prepare for this competition by creating a fully integrated advertising campaign based on a case study to be pitched to a panel of judges. Each presentation was timed and could be no longer than 20 minutes. Prior to the competition, students submitted a written, 26-page book further outlining the campaign details. Competing in district four amongst the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, FSU ranked in third place overall and first in research!
The NSAC is judged blindly, so there were not any references made to FSU or the Seminoles. In fact, each team received a number to avoid the judges having biases relative to the participating schools. Following the presentation, the judges were permitted 10 minutes to ask questions regarding the campaign.
This year’s NSAC 2016 corporate sponsor and the product students’ spotlighted in their campaign proposal was Snapple. The objective was to not increase the amount of Snapple drinkers by reaching new users, but to encourage an even larger consumption of Snapple by its already existing users. Past sponsors of the NSAC include but are not limited to: Mary Kay, Pizza Hut, JCPenny, State Farm and Nissan USA.
In preparation for the NSAC, which begins in the fall, the team is split into four to five groups and intensive research is conducted. Each team heads a specific type of research and gathers insights. Students of the FSU team used traditional research methods such as focus groups, interviews, surveys and secondary research along with non-traditional methods. This included a “Bizarre Bar” which the team created outside of the stadium to gather insights on Snapple and it's competitors. Arrowhead also visited New York City this year to conduct a guerilla marketing execution.
Toward the end of the fall semester, the team solidified a strategy that laid the foundation for the rest of the campaign. When the spring semester approached, the creative ideas were fully executed. Arrowhead split up into four teams and carried out the creative and media aspects. The creative team handled the radio, TV spots, pre-rolls and any copy. It was then the research and concept-testing team’s responsibility to make sure the tagline was resonating with consumers well. Additionally, there was a media team which created a media plan to include targeted search tactics and ways to efficiently use the budget.
Sponsoring the NSAC, the AAF is divided into 15 districts, each with five states. Nationwide, more than 150 universities compete, with FSU as a 12th year participant. Arrowhead has made it to the national competition eight times, has never finished below 3rd place in districts and consecutively won the district competition from 2007 to 2010.
If advertising is a significant passion of yours, this may just be the closest experience you can have to working in an advertising agency. Moreover, it can be the best possible exposure to life in an agency, and of course the experience of a lifetime. To read more on Arrowhead Advertising’s past accolades visit this website.
Go Arrowhead and go Seminoles!