AdPR creative teams win national competitions

Congratulations to two AdPR student creative teams at Grady College on winning national competitions.  In May, a 22-student team won top honors in the AT&T Campus Brand Challenge, and in mid-July the student agency of DomiYEAH won first place in the Collegiate Marketing ECHO Challenge for concepts designed on behalf of Dominos Pizza.

The AT&T Campus Brand Challenge, advised by Kirsten Strausbaugh, a senior lecturer in advertising, is a regional, corporate-sponsored competition among Southeastern Conference colleges and universities. Students were given a budget of $3,000 and were challenged with promoting AT&T’s U-verse service and generating subscriptions using the new ESPN SEC Network. The team conducted research, engaged in strategic planning, created a campaign concept, and executed tactics ranging from event planning to influencer, viral, and guerrilla marketing.  A social media strategy was also included.

Students presented the plan to AT&T’s marketing executives at the company headquarters in Atlanta. Their efforts increased overall awareness against 5 different target audiences by 16% and increased purchase intentions among those individuals by 31%. The Grady College team placed first, garnering $3,500 in awards for the AdPR Department.

In addition to their win, the students received the added bonus of seeing their work used. Their ad was published on the back cover of Athlon Sports Monthly, promoting the launch of ESPN's SEC Network on U-verse in August.

“The team did an outstanding job presenting to AT&T's top marketing executives,” said Strausbaugh. “They made Grady proud! And, there were several recruiters interested in the team members' immediate futures.”

The AT&T challenge was sponsored by EdVenture Partners, a company that develops industry-education challenges to prepare students for real world marketing jobs.

The Direct Marketing Education Foundation ECHO award was a challenge to create an integrated marketing campaign using all direct and interactive channels including Domino’s-owned and earned media channels with a goal of increasing the number of orders driven through a Domino’s mobile app. Creative also focused on store retail space in 4,900 stores to drive consumers online for their next pizza purchase. The proposal was based on a theoretical budget of $250,000. More than 200 entries were submitted from colleges worldwide.

“I am very proud of the Domiyeah team,” said Kim.“This recognition will be on their resume forever.Their cumulative experiences and knowledge throughout their Grady years were the necessary conditions for this wonderful result.”

The Domiyeah team included students Jordan Ben-Hanania, Casey Elliott, Page Kelley and William Looney.

The win earns the AdPR Department a $5,000 scholarship grant and the team will split a cash prize of $2,000.

Participation in challenges like this are an important part of the education at Grady College.  “They are a yardstick to gauge if they are ready for the real world by participating in a real national challenge,” said Jooyoung Kim, an associate professor of advertising at Grady College and advisor of the ECHO challenge.  “It’s like they are participating in an RFP (Request for Proposal) which is very similar to what they will do if they go to the agency side. First place means that their proposal is selected by the client.”

Grady College student teams have been recognized with ECHO Awards in the past.  Kim has won a total of 11 ECHO awards: two gold awards, one silver, two bronze and six honorable mentions.

Date: August 11, 2014
Author:  Sarah Freeman,