Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Advertising Students Earn Two First Place Awards at Regional Student Advertising Competition

KINGSVILLE - April 21, 2010

Contact: Adriana Garza
adriana.garza@tamuk.edu or 361.593.4979

Team earns top spots for Best Presenter, Best Advertising idea; ranked third overall

KINGSVILLE (April 21, 2010) —  The Texas A&M University-Kingsville Advanced Advertising team earned high honors during the District 10 National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) in Amarillo April 21-23, earning top awards for Best Presenter, Best Big Idea and coming in 2nd runner-up overall.

Under the guidance of Dr. Manuel Flores, chair of the communications/theatre arts department, and Todd Lucas, assistant dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, the team of 15 communications/theatre arts majors—members of the university’s chapter of the American Advertising Federation—spent the semester preparing for the regional competition.

The students represented the third team Flores and Lucas lead to the regional NSAC competition.

Their challenge was to create an original advertising/marketing campaign for State Farm Insurance—one of the largest, most well-established insurers in the country. The team had to develop an advertising plan book, detailing the specifics of their campaign and produce a 20-minute advertising marketing presentation, further elaborating the $40 million national campaign.

Students conducted vast amounts of market and industry research throughout the semester, including on-campus focus groups and social media surveys. They then compiled their research and original ideas into a 24-page advertising plan book.

After submitting the plan book earlier in the semester, students prepared for the presentation and the trip to Amarillo, where they competed against some of the largest universities in District 10, including Texas Tech University, Baylor University, Texas State University, Southern Methodist University, the University of Texas-Arlington, the University of Houston and Texas A&M University. District 10 includes universities from Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas. Twenty-five universities filed their intent to participate in the competition, but only 17 met all the requirements.

Team presenters included communications majors Rudy Garcia, Michael Bolman, Allan Collier and Crystal Guerra.

Garcia, a senior from Corpus Christi, was selected by a panel of judges from national advertising and marketing agencies as the competition’s Best Presenter. Other members of the team include:

Devina Arredondo
Tressor Baptiste
Hector Castletort
Megan Harvey
Jose Hernandez
Arturo Leal
Noe Longoria
Amanda Marcum
Alyssa Reyna
Sabrina Reyna
Christin Rycroft

The team also received the judge’s special award for Best Big Idea/Advertising Concept for their original “virtual State Farm agent” concept, which would allow for policy holders to seek advice from agents on-line via chat or video conferencing.

Overall, the team was recognized as second runner-up in their division. Texas State University placed first and Oklahoma State University came in first-runner up.

“This type of opportunity allows our students to learn all the aspects of putting together a major advertising and marketing campaign, from conducting research to collecting data to actually pitching their ideas to a client,” Flores said. “Our students rose to the challenge and our team ranked higher than the three previous teams we’ve taken to NSAC. Their presentation and ideas prove our students are prepared to not only enter the world of marketing and advertising, but also have the potential to be highly successful in it.”

Lucas said NSAC District 10 has consistently been the most competitive district in the NSAC, with winners from the district competition going on to win the national competition more than any other district.

“Normally, people who just finish the competition in District 10 are doing good,” Lucas said. “Placing second runner-up is a fairly significant task and our kids did awesome.”

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