Sabina Ruggles of Floral Park was one of 11 SUNY Oneonta students who traveled to New York City recently to participate in the National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) sponsored by the American Advertising Federation (AAF). The goal of this year’s competition was to create an advertising campaign that would increase online orders for Pizza Hut, this year’s NSAC corporate sponsor.
Each year, college AAF chapters from across the country apply the communication, advertising and marketing skills they’ve learned in the classroom to a national rebranding campaign for a corporate client. After creating a campaign that includes extensive research, a media plan, print advertisements, commercials and an estimated budget, student teams pitch their ideas in a timed presentation for industry executives during regional competitions in 15 districts. The winning teams in each district then advance to a semifinals round to determine the top eight teams, which compete at the AAF National Conference in June.
SUNY Oneonta’s student team presented a campaign titled “Rewardingly Simple” for a panel of judges from Saatchi & Saatchi and Firstborn, and the director of advertising for Pizza Hut, during a regional competition held at the New York Institute of Technology. Judging criteria included: creative messaging; media plan; strategy and integration; research; measurement and evaluation; and overall quality. After competing in District 2 against 13 other schools, including private universities with more than 250 AAF members, the SUNY Oneonta team finished in eighth place, a significant improvement from 2014, the first year SUNY Oneonta participated in the competition.
“I am so proud of my team for creating a 25-page campaign strategy and preparing a memorized 20-minute presentation, all while tackling their regular classes,” said SUNY Oneonta AAF Chapter President Jessica Kemmerling. “With such
a small group of dedicated members and a limited budget, we really held our own and represented the SUNY system with confidence and grace.”
SUNY Oneonta’s AAF club formed two years ago, and Oneonta is the only SUNY school that participates in the annual competition. The students were coached and accompanied by Dawn Sohns, a lecturer in the Communication Arts Department and AAF adviser. Presenters received support from the college’s Caroline ‘67 and David D’Antonio Undergraduate Student Travel for Excellence Fund.