CoJMC student team goes all the way to the top, takes first at this year’s NSAC competition

Advertising students from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Journalism and Mass Communications took first place in the 2012 National Student Advertising Competition in Austin, Texas, June 2-5.

Only 19 of the 145 student teams that competed in the program sponsored by the American Advertising Federation advanced to nationals.

This year's competition challenged students to develop a fully integrated marketing campaign to help Nissan build awareness and lasting favorability among African-American, Hispanic and Chinese-American millennial consumers in the United States.

James Edmund Datri, president and CEO of the AAF, said, “ Every one of the competing schools did outstanding work. That the Nebraska team was able to rise above the others show how truly exceptional their work was.”

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s “Hard to Explain, Easy to Experience” marketing campaign convinced a national panel of Nissan judges that this campaign could drive more foot traffic into dealerships and get more consumers to relate to Nissan’s current tagline,  “Innovation for All.”

UNL has finished first in districts and contended for the national title for the past four years. UNL competes in District 9, which represents clubs and American Advertising Federations in Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri and Kansas.

Amy Struthers, associate professor of advertising and public relations, assembled the college's first NSAC team in 2004-2005. This year's team advisers, Phil Willet and Rich Bailey, as well as Struthers, accompanied the students to nationals. Willet is an assistant professor of advertising and public relations, and Bailey is an adjunct professor. Willet and Bailey helped UNL to fourth- and seventh-place finishes in previous national competitions.

UNL students who participate in this program spend an entire semester doing research, designing strategy and preparing plans books and presentations. Several UNL advertising classes contributed to the effort, conducting research, designing strategy and preparing plans books and presentations.

"There is no better way to learn about an advertising campaign process than by actually developing a campaign for a real client," according to the AAF.

This year’s national panel of judges included:

  • Fred DePerez, director, chief marketing manager-Nissan North America
  • Michael Awdish, senior manager, marketing communications–Nissan North America
  • Danielle Austen, managing partner, CEO–Team Ignition Pancultural Marketing LLC
  • Aldo Quevedo, president, CCO–Dieste, Dallas
  • Brandon Kleinman, director, social media + strategy–TBWA\Chiat\Day.

The 2012 NSAC team