Competing against 11 colleges with more experience and greater financial resources, a team of students from Cleveland State University’s School of Communication placed fourth in the regional round of the 2009 Student Advertising Competition, organized by the American Advertising Federation.
The Cleveland State team participated for the third year, competing in District 5 against colleges in Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky. Each district winner goes on to the national competition in June.
“In the three years that we have competed, Cleveland State has placed twice, which is very unusual for a school with such a short history of participating in this challenging competition,” said Rob Spademan, Assistant Vice President of University Marketing and Admissions, who served as team advisor.
“The Cleveland State team bested groups from a variety of universities, including Marshall, John Carroll and Xavier University,” he added. Ohio University, Western Kentucky University and University of Kentucky took the first three places.
In addition, many of the other universities offered students class credit for taking part and gave them up to nine months to prepare, whereas the Cleveland State team had only three months.
The teams’ challenge was to create a $10 million, research-based marketing and advertising campaign to reduce binge drinking among college-age students. Cleveland State’s plan, “Beyond the Bottle,” went beyond traditional social marketing plans, utilizing such tactics as a Beyond the Bottle street team, mock bars set up at top spring break locations, a website in which students can upload videos or pictures of themselves having a good time without drinking, and a mix of new media such as Facebook, Pandora.com and Mtvu.com.
Cleveland State team members are Jesse Morgan, Stef Potgieter, Abigail Ransom, Cody Peck, Katrina Catacutan, Silvana Medukic, Colleen Reynolds, and Jevon Cooper. All are students in the School’s Journalism and Promotional Communication program.
“This experience prepared us for challenging careers in the advertising and PR field, or any other challenge we might face,” said Jesse Morgan, president of the Cleveland State Advertising Association. “Coming out of school with a plans book as well done as ours will set us apart from most other college graduates in our field.”
After the presentation and Q&A period, the judges complimented the CSU team on their strong creative platform, “Beyond the Bottle,” which they felt addressed the issue of binge drinking in a positive way. In addition, the judges commented on the excellent presentation skills of the group, which enhanced the information in the plans book and brought the theme to life.
For more information, please call University Marketing at 216.523.7279.
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