UNL Advertising Students Win First Place in AAF District 9 National Student Advertising Competition

Dubuque, Iowa (April 26, 2009) - Advertising students from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's College of Journalism and Mass Communications took home first place in the District 9 American Advertising Federation's (AAF) National Student Advertising Competition on Friday. A first for the program, this win places the team among an elite group of 15 from across the country that will compete for the national title in Washington, D.C., on June 4 and 5. UNL will represent District 9, which includes Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri and Kansas. Other schools competing include University of California Berkley, Florida State, and Columbia College. Additional districts will announce their winners as the competitions continue.

"Clearly this is a group of students who represent their sequence and their college well," said Dr. Will Norton Jr., dean of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications. "The regional win is one indicator of how much the advertising faculty and students have improved the quality of their work through the years."

Judges were unanimous in their decision that the team, Volation, stood far above the other seven teams competing, with a "risky" concept for an anti-binge drinking campaign targeting college students. Judges called the team's approach "unique" and "spot on" with strong design and creative and went on to compliment the team for proposing something very different. "You didn't go the safe way," said Atlanta art director and judge Tony Messano. "You didn't take the easy way out." Other judges included Cindy Harris of KMK Media Group, Rockford, Ill., and Brad Norr, founder of BND Design of Minneapolis, Minn.

Account executive Carley Schnell, who was also a member of the presentation team, along with creative director Amber Thomson, account coordinator Spencer Shute, research director Daniel Scheyer, and technology specialist Mike Sammons, led the team. Additional team members included assistant creative director Adam Kiser, Brook Euteneuer, Aaron Jarosh, Jennifer Larson, Rae Moore, Marissa Piette, Erin Sorensen, Chelsea Thompson and Eric Van Wyke.

"I'm so proud of the team this year, because we all worked so hard and pulled together," Schnell said. "We finally made it! I'm hoping our legacy can live on."

Team advisers were Rich Bailey, Phil Willet and Amy Struthers, all faculty members in the advertising sequence. "It was gratifying to see the progress made during the year in developing content and perfecting presentation skills, both of which were vitally important to the success of the team," Bailey said.

This is the fifth consecutive year that UNL has competed in NSAC.

AAF's National Student Advertising Competition is the premier college advertising competition. It provides more than 3,000 college students with real-world experience by requiring a strategic advertising/marketing/media campaign for a corporate sponsor. This year's sponsor was the Century Council, a national not-for-profit organization funded by distillers dedicated to fighting drunk driving and underage drinking. Schools from each of AAF's 15 districts are selected to present their campaigns to a panel of industry executives at the AAF National Conference.

Students on the team and their hometowns include Carley Schnell (Omaha), Amber Thomson (Lincoln), Spencer Shute (North Platte), Daniel Scheyer (Lincoln), Mike Sammons (Omaha), Adam Kiser (Omaha), Brook Euteneuer (Omaha), Aaron Jarosh (Beatrice), Jennifer Larson (Lincoln), Rae Moore (North Platte), Marissa Piette (White Bear Lake, Minn.), Erin Sorensen (Omaha), Chelsea Thompson (Woodbury, Minn.) and Eric Van Wyke (North Platte).