Ad Campaigns team headed to nationals

The university Ad Campaigns team took first place in District 10 of the National Student Advertising Competition in Fort Worth on Thursday.Mike Wood, faculty adviser for the team, said the accomplishment is nothing to be taken lightly.

“District 10 is the strongest one in the country,” Wood said. “With TCU being a private school without any strong funding, we really pulled off a David versus Goliath match here.”

The win in the district competition ensures the team Crave: Strategic Communications, will be eligible to compete in the national competition in Louisville, Ky., on June 7 and 8.

The team beat out 16 local teams in the region for the win including runners-up University of Texas and Southern Methodist University, who won the competition last year.

Wood said the client the team used for its presentation this year was Coca-Cola, which is recognized as the No. 1 brand in the world.

“We took a risk by doing a very narrow campaign,” Wood said. “The lead judge, who was from Coca-Cola, said it was a bold risk, but it paid off.”

The team had decided to market Coca-Cola specifically toward teenagers, rather than use a larger target market.

After it selected a client, the team had to research its marketing region to identify its target audience that it would market to. After that, it had to create the main idea of its presentation and decide how to communicate all of its goals through its ad, Wood said.

Tommy Thomason, director of the Schieffer School of Journalism, said he didn’t think the voting was even close.

“The team won by a larger margin than I’ve ever seen because of the unique way they offered their product,” Thomason said.

Senior advertising/public relations major Jen Spaeth, creative director for the team, said she was very excited about the win.

“It was organized chaos when we found out we won,” Spaeth said. “Everyone worked together so much, and it was really a complete team effort.”

Senior advertising/public relations major Bethany Doherty said she was the first to scream as the announcement came out.

“We knew it would either be all or nothing with the approach we took,” Doherty said. “It was just pandemonium when the announcement came out, and it was good to see all of our hard work pay off.”

Doherty is one of the marketing directors and a member of the public relations group on the team.

The team members had to interview for spots on the team last fall. After they were accepted, they had to take a class for the project this spring and take some time off of their Spring Break to work on the campaign, Spaeth said.

There will be 16 teams competing at the national competition, with one of the teams being a wild card selected from the teams that finished No. 2 respectively in their district competitions.