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The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

UA Ad Team holds mock presentation

After nearly six months of research and preparation, the Ad Team held a mock presentation of the advertising and public relations campaign they have designed for the insurance company State Farm.

At the Monday night presentation in Reese Phifer Hall, the Ad Team’s adviser Teri Henley, an advertising and public relations instructor, asked everyone to be thinking “happy Roll Tide thoughts” at around 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Friday as the Ad Team presents the State Farm campaign at the district qualifier of the National Student Advertising Competition.

“Just being able to go to district itself is a big deal,” Henley said. “There will be some tough competition, but these students have really worked hard. They have completely immersed themselves in learning about insurance and what they need to do to reach their target audience.”

On Thursday, the team will travel to Mobile for the American Advertising Federation-hosted event. They will be battling 15 other schools in the district like LSU and East Tennessee State University for a chance to go on to the national level competition in Nashville, and they hope to win it all.

Co-account executive and media director for the 16-person Ad Team Jason Brandt, a senior majoring in advertising, said that since late October, the team has been conducting in-depth interviews, online surveys, secondary research and holding focus groups in order to gain as much possible insight into their State Farm advertising campaign target — consumers age 18 to 25.

“When we began meeting in October, we immediately hit the ground running,” Brandt said. “We started conducting research so we could establish any problems with the advertising and find ways we could address those problems with a strong creative concept and turn that into a media plan.”

Brandt said, at the competition, the Ad Team will not only be judged on the delivery and comprehensiveness of its presentation, but also on a 32-page book that the members have already submitted outlining the details of their marketing plan, as well as how they respond to questions about the campaign following their presentation in a 10-minute Q&A. The questions will be given by the competition’s four judges and can cover any part of the presentation or the information outlined in the 32-page book.

Matt Williams, a senior majoring in advertising, as well as the Ad Team’s co-account supervisor and creative director, is in his fourth year as an Ad Team member.

“Being a part of this team really is the closest thing to getting real world experience in our field,” Williams said. “It sounds cheesy, but working with a real national client, using real focus groups, and facing the real challenges of working in a team, is a very real experience. We have been a part of all the pieces in the puzzle.”

Although only five members of the 16-person Ad Team will actually be presenting the presentation, the entire team was nonetheless an important part of the campaigns production.

All members fall into one of four categories of focus: creative, research, public relations, or media.

“There is only so much you can learn in a classroom,” said Jennifer Ireland, a junior majoring in advertising. “It’s also really fun working with a group of people who are equally dedicated to what we are doing. I think it all went really well. I was proud. I think our campaign is something different from what is out there. It’s humorous and our target audience loves humor. But I think it also actually highlights the company and teaches you something while giving you a good laugh.”

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