For the second year in a row, Endicott hosted the New England district National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC).This competition, known to pique employer interests, provides college students nationwide with the real-world experience of creating a strategic advertising, marketing, and media campaign for a corporate client. Our student team, The Agency, developed a marketing plan and then pitched their work to this year’s corporate client, Ocean Spray. Previous sponsors include Nissan, Pizza Hut, and Snapple.
Not only did our team experience value through working for a real company, they were able to gain a first-hand look at all that goes into an extensive marketing campaign and learn to handle all aspects of project management within a major initiative. Their campaign, The Cran Effect, earned their team third place in the district 1 competition, where they went up against five other New England area colleges and universities.
Their presentation focused on the benefits of cranberries as a versatile superfood and millennials as an organic-seeking group. Their full marketing campaign included an app complete with wellness tracking and a road race tour to highlight their renowned cranberry bogs. The panel of judges, agency professionals in the industry, responded to the team’s focus on the health benefits of the cranberry. The team was also praised for strongly linking research insights to creative strategy, highlighting the importance of doing behind-the-scenes work before moving into the creative side of the process.
The competition supports Endicott’s vision of experiential learning. “We’re getting real life experience. This is how a real agency works,” said Maria Alexandrou ’19.
Elizabeth Pagliei ’19, a now three-time participant said, “It’s a good opportunity for people to get to know what it’s like to work in an agency.” She explained, “You get to have your portfolio shine with this amazing piece of work that you and your group put so much effort into.”
Caleigh Crocker ’18 touched upon the competitions benefits, prepping you for your internship being one of them. “You get the opportunity to apply your skills. And then, when you walk into your internship, at least you’ve seen these things and you can take a stab at it.” She said that having NSAC on her resume for internships has slid her right through into some great opportunities in the field.
Pagliei agreed, “Being able to work on a campaign with students and advisors and teachers first rather than a boss or manager first is so valuable. It gives you an opportunity to get all those willys out.”
The competition even prepares students for some of their coursework, too. Alexandrou said, “NSAC prepared me for research methods. I had a familiarity with how to do surveys and focus groups.”
The team says they owe their success to the research and say that they’ve learned that a creative campaign is not really a creative campaign without the research to back it up. They also have their faculty advisors to thank, Sara Allen and Melissa Yang, both associate professors of communication, and Erin Hatch, director of public relations and digital communications. “They’re fantastic,” said Crocker.
Another perk to the competition is the connections it creates, “We’re all so close. It’s nice to have friends so invested in the same things as you,” said Pagliei, who encourages students to participate in future NSAC competitions. She said, “No matter what your major is, there is somewhere in this whole process that could be valuable to you.”
For more information on how you can get involved with NSAC at Endicott contact Sara Allen at 978-232-2474 or firstname.lastname@example.org.