NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Standing in front of their peers inside Stephen F. Austin State University’s film house, four mass communication students take deep breaths and begin their advertising presentation.
“Who is Ocean Spray?” Holly Moore, SFA mass communication student, asks the audience.
Recently, SFA students held a mock presentation to prepare for the annual American Advertising Federation conference and competition, which will take place Saturday, April 14, through Monday, April 16, in Corpus Christi.
Brad Maule, lecturer and instructor in SFA’s School of Theatre and School of Art, stood in as a judge and critiqued the students on their presentation.
Since fall 2017, students from SFA’s Department of Mass Communication, Rusche College of Business and School of Art have collaborated to build an advertising campaign for Ocean Spray Cranberries for the annual AAF competition where they will compete against 16 universities across Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma.
“Advertising is a hybrid field, and this course leverages the unique skills and knowledge of students and faculty members across mass communication, art and marketing,” said Dr. Seth Bradshaw, assistant professor in the Department of Mass Communication.
Alongside Bradshaw, Dr. Marlene Kahla, professor in the Department of Management and Marketing, and Peter Andrew, professor in the School of Art, also are working with students on this project.
Students were divided into teams and tasked with different responsibilities ranging from research to media planning and presentation. The campaign goal was to increase brand relevance among Millennials between the ages of 24 and 34. Students conducted focus groups, surveys, interviews and secondary data analysis in the fall and translated their research into strategy and creative executions this spring.
“This course facilitates transformative experiences that change students — they are different people after taking this course because so much of the learning takes place outside of the classroom,” Bradshaw said. “One day we are conducting a focus group, another day we're shooting a commercial, and the next we're delivering the sales pitch.”