Grand Valley State University’s National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) team took first place in the American Advertising Federation (AAF) District 6 competition on April 21st. AAF District 6 is a “mega-district” due to the large number of collegiate teams competing from Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois who are all vying for a chance to move forward to the finals at the AAF National Convention—known as ADmerica—taking place in New Orleans in June.
The team, comprised of 19 students, crafted an advertising campaign to meet specific objectives for national client Tai Pei frozen foods. Assistant Professor Robin Spring, of the GVSU Advertising and Public Relations Program, was the team’s advisor. Students worked on the project for two semesters by conducting research, refining strategy, producing tactics, and perfecting their campaign plans book and 20-minute presentation.
The District 6 competition was broken into two tracks, with Grand Valley’s team placing first in the Blue Track, ahead of other schools, including: Michigan State University, University of Michigan, Western Michigan University, Purdue-West Lafayette, Ball State, University of Illinois and others. Grand Valley edged out Western Michigan University and Ball State University in the final round.
“The amount of talent on the team is incredible,” said Addison Wittry, one of the Account Executives of the project. “When that is paired with the hard work and dedication we had, it was no surprise that we were successful.”
“Our team’s diverse skillsets were the real game changer,” said Rachael Vruggink, the team’s second Account Executive. “We weren’t all just creatives or strategists, but a well-rounded group from different majors and backgrounds. This took our critical thinking, strategy, and creative from good to great.”
The team will compete in a semi-final round on May 4th. Of approximately 150 competing across the US, just eight move on to the national finals in June. This is the third time Grand Valley has placed first in the district in the 10 years they’ve competed in the contest. The National Student Advertising Competition was started in 1973 and is the oldest and largest student advertising competition.
Grand Valley State University NSAC 2017 team members include:
- Rachael Vruggink Account Executive, Presentation Team
- Addison Wittry Account Executive
- James Sturtridge Creative Director, Video/Photography
- Elizabeth Konen Research Director, Presentation Team
- Mari Behovitz Integrated Promotions Director
- Abbie Fielding Media Planning Director
- Alex Rabideau Account Planning, Integrated Promotions, Presentation Team
- Ari Zucker Account Planning, Media, Presentation Team
- Dan Goubert Creative Team, Copywriting
- Joey Parks Creative Team, Graphics
- Madeline Schaefer Creative Team, Graphics
- Alex Knaisel Research Team, Treasurer
- Bethany Garcia Research Team
- Kat Wille Research Team
- Jaclyn Waligora Media Planning
- Kate Lewis Media Planning
- Theresa Wierenga Integrated Promotions
- Ashley Barrett Integrated Promotions
- Hawra Al-Howaishy Fundraising