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BYU ad team cares enough to get the next-to-very best

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A Brigham Young University team of marketing communications students won a silver medal in the American Advertising Federation's National Student Advertising Campaign on June 18 for its advertising campaign for Hallmark Cards.

With an approach based on introducing the creators of the greeting cards to consumers, the team beat out 124 other colleges in the competition. BYU has participated in the national competition six times in the last 11 years, winning the national competition in 1987. In April, the team won its sixth victory in the District 12 competition."Our main strategy has been to take the customer behind the doors of Hallmark," said Eric Leach, a team member and a senior from Moreno Valley, Calif.

The national competition in Minneapolis included student teams from 14 regions. The teams presented their campaigns to a panel of judges from Hallmark Cards and the advertising industry.

George Washington University placed first in the competition. The total margin separating BYU and GWU's campaigns in the final ranking was only three points, said Dennis Martin, Marketing Communications director at BYU.

For the competition, a corporate sponsor gives a case study profiling its product's current advertising situation to college advertising students around the country. Students research the product, identify potential problem areas, and invent a communications campaign for the client.

The BYU team created a campaign that presented workers at Hallmark, leading the customer to the realization that real human beings design the greeting cards.

The five students who presented the campaign in Minneapolis are Heather Glade, Eric Leach, Brooke Roner, Travis Stratford and Suzi Yebio. Other team members include Jason Bagley, Allison Harker, Pat Doyle, Teressa Dyer-Simons, Susan Farar, Pablo Featherstone, Jeff Hochstrasser, Rich Lambourne, Erin Orien, Carmine Simon Smith and Gregg Tautkus.