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Texas State advertising team places first at national competition

Date of Release: 06/08/2005

SANMARCOS—The Texas State University-San Marcos American Advertising Federation (AAF) team took first place overall at the AAF 2005 National Student Advertising Competition held June 5-6 in Nashville, Tenn.

The Texas State AAF team received $3,500 for the first-place finish, based on an ad campaign created for Yahoo! Inc. Texas State finished ahead of ahead of second-place University of Virginia and third-place Loyola University of New Orleans.

“All the NSAC campaigns were terrific, but we thought the Texas State University-San Marcos campaign was the best combination of integrated marketing and viral marketing,” said Murray Gaylord, vice president brand marketing, Yahoo! Inc. “It was a big idea that would break through the clutter.”

Texas State won the competition with its targeted campaign from their agency “i5 Advertising.” The campaign utilized a spokesperson, Dave, who through fun and humorous antics spoke directly to the teen market. The viral component of the campaign acted to generate buzz, incorporating funny video clips, “Dave Jams Out” concerts, online contests and targeted advertising were also part of the team’s creative advertising solution.

The AAF team at Texas State is jointly supported by the College of Fine Arts and Communication and the McCoy College of Business Administration. It involves a wide range of students studying advertising, marketing, public relations and communication design. The AAF team was advised by Jody Gibson, Department of Mass Communication, and Mary Ann Stutts, Department of Marketing.

“This year’s AAF client, Yahoo, with its 13-17 year old target market was a fun client to work on,” Stutts said. “The research showed that teenagers today are very different than teenagers in years past, and the client challenged teams across the country to come up with innovative research, media, creative and promotions to reach teens, including viral marketing.

“This year’s AAF team created a fun, innovative and slightly irreverent campaign that was just a little on the edge,” she said. “The team was not afraid to take a risk with ‘Dave,’ the spokesperson they created. The judges loved Dave and the campaign.”

The competition was judged on a hypothetical ad campaign for Yahoo! Inc., including a 20-minute presentation and a 32-page campaign book outlining strategy, market research and promotional activities. Fifteen district winners and one wild card participated in the national competition.

The Texas State AAF team has advanced to nationals 10 out the last 16 years and has placed in the top six at nationals all 10 times, winning first place in 1990; second place in 2001; third place in 1993, 1999, 2003 and 2004; fourth place in 1997; fifth in 2000; and sixth in 1992.