April 23, 2019
Saluki Ad Club finishes second in district advertising competition
CARBONDALE, Ill. – Missing the top spot by less than one point, students from Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Saluki Ad Club finished second earlier this month in the National Student Advertising District 6 competition in South Bend, Indiana.
The finish in the nation’s premier college advertising competition sponsored by the American Advertising Federation (AAF) marks the first time in 14 years SIU Carbondale has placed among the top three in district competition.
The highly competitive district includes teams from Michigan State University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Notre Dame and Ball State University. The competition was April 11-12. Grand Valley State University won the event by sixth-tenths of a point and advances to semifinal competition May 2-3. Between 16 and 20 teams will compete for one of eight slots in the finals, June 7-9, in Chicago.
‘High-pressure’ effort that requires work
The competition requires a lot of work, said Bridget Lescelius, a lecturer in the School of Journalism and faculty adviser. Work on this year’s competition started in September. The work includes conducting research, developing strategies, producing creative assets, and providing a system to measure a campaign’s effectiveness.
Then, Lescelius said, comes time to pitch the campaign to the client. Teams are evaluated on their campaign plan book and their presentation. SIU’s campaign plan book earned the high score among competitors.
Plan books detail an entire advertising campaign and are what presentations are built around. The books include what the client wants, the research conducted, campaign strategy, target audiences, various ads, a media plan and evaluation tactics.
“Students must be committed and passionate about advertising to develop national campaign plan books and presentation. It exposes them to what it is like to develop a real-world advertising campaign,” she said. “They come out of this more than ready to enter the advertising world.”
AAF SIU chapter established in 1973
The Saluki Ad Club, a registered student organization, is comprised of about 25 students, several of whom have majors outside of advertising or journalism-related fields. The presenting team, with hometown, major and year in school, was:
- Bettendorf: Margaret Burke, Communication Studies, with a specialization in public relations, senior.
- Greenview: Andrew Phillips, a double major in cinema and photography, and journalism, with a specialization in advertising, senior.
- Spring Valley: Hannah Smith, journalism with a specialization in advertising, senior.
- Kalamazoo: Chris Cole, journalism with a specialization in advertising, senior.
Wienerschnitzel was the national client
The competition provides more than 2,000 college students nationwide experiential practice in creating a strategic advertising, marketing and media campaign for a corporate client. The goal was to create an integrated marketing campaign that elevated the perception of the hot dog and the Wienerschnitzel brand.
Other students who worked on the project include:
- Laura Carver, art, junior.
- Madison Case, communication studies, senior.
- James Dooley, journalism, junior.
- Nicholas Harris, journalism, senior.
- Jaylin Hudson, exploratory student, sophomore.
- Benson Jones, political science, senior.
- Ryan McCarthy, journalism, senior.
- Nicholas Nelson, journalism, junior.
- Jack Rocap, journalism, senior.
- Jesus Rodriguez, automotive technology, senior.
- Tyler Stone, radio, television, and digital media, senior.
- Taryn Vandersluis, journalism, junior.
- Sam Vastis, communication studies, senior.
- Corydon Vine, radio, television, and digital media, senior.
Students have new opportunity with Saluki ADLab
One of the college’s newest opportunities for students is Saluki AdLab, a student-run, full-service advertising agency housed within Mass Communications and Media Arts. Lescelius, who will be the director, said the experiential AdLab will also be offered year-round as a higher-level journalism class.
Students will manage and perform all agency jobs, including:
- New business development.
- Market and consumer research.
- Client management.
- Advertising campaign creative and strategy development.
- Media planning — including video production, commercial photography, social media management, and web development.
Client roster includes local and regional businesses
Structured as a business and a functioning advertising and marketing agency, Saluki AdLab will provide students with professional experience and exposure by applying the skills and theory from the classroom to benefit local, regional and national organizations and businesses, Lescelius said. She sees this as an opportunity to strengthen university-community relations.
There are now about 10 clients and 30 students involved.
The purpose of the SIU AdLab is to provide students with professional experience and exposure by applying the skills and theory from the classroom to benefit local, regional, and national organizations and businesses as well as strengthen university-community relations.