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University News

Students to compete for national advertising championship
AAF NSAC finals

JOHNSON CITY (May 9, 2018) – East Tennessee State University is one of eight schools in the nation selected to compete in the American Advertising Federation (AAF) National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) finals in Chicago next month.

The NSAC is the premier college advertising competition in the United States, providing more than 2,000 college students the real-world experience of creating a strategic advertising, marketing and media campaign for a corporate client and pitching their work to advertising professionals at the district, semi-final and national levels.

The ETSU team won first place in District 7, which represents 20 affiliate advertising clubs and federations in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. ETSU media and communication student Chance Powell won the Top Overall Presenter Award. The team then advanced to the virtual semi-finals and was selected among 18 teams to one of the eight available spots in the national competition.

Twenty-five ETSU students from three academic departments are participating in the competition this year, led by Jonathan Hounshell from the Department of Digital Media; Kelly Porter from the Department of Art and Design’s Graphic Design program; and Dr. Stephen Marshall, chair of the Department of Media and Communication.

 “There's an immeasurable benefit for students when we can bring fast paced, real-world experiences into the classroom. Each NSAC season, our students end the semester with that glow about them,” Hounshell said. “This year they are burning even brighter on the national stage!”

The corporate sponsor of the 2018 NSAC is Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc.  Over 150 competing AAF chapter teams nationwide developed written, integrated marketing campaign proposals and 20-minute presentations in response to a real advertising challenge facing Ocean Spray.

 “This is a brilliant collaboration, clearly a game-changer for the students,” said Mira Gerard, chair of the ETSU Department of Art and Design, who also expressed appreciation to the faculty in all three departments who worked with the participating students both in and out of the classroom in this effort.

“Putting students in professional communication, media and marketing collaborative experiences is the heartbeat of what we do,” Marshall said.

This will be the first time ETSU has competed in the NSAC finals, which will be held June 7-8 in Chicago. ETSU will be up against Syracuse University, University of Virginia, Columbia College, University of Missouri, Oral Roberts University, Montana State University and Brigham Young University. Winners will be announced June 9 at the NSAC Luncheon during ADMERICA, AAF’s national conference. Cash prizes and trophies will be awarded to the top three teams as well as the winners of the NSAC Best Use of Marketing Research Award and NSAC Best Plans Book Award.

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