Each year, a South Carolina student team faces a real client challenge and tough competitors from across the country. We call it Ad Team. The American Advertising Federation calls it the National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC).
The competition provides a case study outlining a brand’s history and its current advertising situation. Then, go! Students research the brand and its competition, identify problems, analyze issues and dig for insights. Team members organize, execute and present a complete integrated communications campaign — from situation analysis to marketing strategy, ideas from creative strategy to execution, concepts for traditional and nontraditional media, sales promotions and public relations, a budget, and post-campaign analysis.
Mountains and months of work are culled to a 24-page plans book by late March. In April, ad teams around the country “pitch” their campaigns to a panel of judges in district challenges; 16 first-place winners move on to semi-finals and national presentations. (We’ve won the district competition 18 times.)
You don’t have to be a genius. All it takes is passion, commitment, drive and a little competitive spirit.
Ad Team Benefits
- Terrific experience in a real world ad agency setting
- A great piece of work to show and experience to relay to a prospective
- Participation in a nationally-renowned program
- A better understanding of yourself, your skills, and how to work under pressure
- A trip to the district competition and chance to network with industry professional
- If we win district, a trip to the national semi-final and national final.
- Ad Team members are typically among our most successful graduates — and usually the first to land great jobs at competitive agencies.
Ad Team Drawbacks
- Standards are high. Expectations are high.
- The team meets outside of class to understand the case, conduct primary and secondary research as well as produce and finalize competition materials.
- Only four or five students can be on the presentation team.
- The workload exceeds that of an ordinary course.
- Excellent time-management and communication skills are required — it can get INTENSE.
High risk/high reward. Remember, ad team students are those who get the best jobs after graduation.
When does the Ad Team meet?
Spring JOUR 518 (Brand Communications Practicum/Competition) will meet on Tuesday and Thursdays - time TBD. Once the team is selected, additional meeting times will be set based on mutual availability — for the team as a whole, as well as for each "department." As deadlines approach, it may be necessary for extended meeting times.
Ad Team Costs
The required Student Advertising Federation dues (unless you are already a paid member) are $50 for freshmen and sophomores and $75 for juniors and seniors.
The application deadline is September 27 for the Spring 2020 Ad Team. Apply here.