RWU Students Continue Success in Student Advertising Competition

Interdisciplinary team scores second-place win for project-based course work

Public Affairs Staff
students pose for photo

Roger Williams University students have continued a successful run in a competitive student advertising contest, netting another second-place win for the second time in the last three years.

This year, an interdisciplinary team of 25 RWU students – comprised of majors in marketing, web development, graphic design, global communication and media communication – competed in the regional round of the 2013 National Student Advertising Competition, earning the number-two seat against seven other colleges and universities from Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Each year, the National Student Advertising Competition, sponsored by the American Advertising Federation, enlists a corporate sponsor to provide a case study that identifies a real world problem, as well as associated campaign objectives and a campaign budget. The challenge this year was to increase awareness and consideration of Glidden Paint among current Walmart shoppers.

Students conduct research to generate insights that then guide the development of an integrated communications campaign for the client, resulting in a plans book – a 20-page document similar to a written response to an RFP (Request for Proposals) that a company might send out to ad agencies soliciting ideas for a new ad campaign. Each student team then pitches its campaign to a panel of judges (comprised of advertising professionals and client representatives) through a 20-minute multimedia presentation at district competitions.

Prior to the regional contest, the RWU team created print and TV ads, designed a website to test the creative ideas, and held a mock promotional event at a Walmart in Fall River, Mass. Developed through a project-based course – and one bridging so many disciplines – being competitive in this contest requires working as a well-oiled team, according to Professor of Marketing Kathy Micken. When they showed all this work in their competition presentation, they stood out among the seven other teams.

“Most of the students involved majored in one of the disciplines and are minors or core concentrators in one of the other, but not always. Success in the competition really does require close collaboration among students with these different strengths,” Micken said. “The cross-disciplinary nature of the student participation allows us to successfully compete against schools with dedicated advertising programs that often employ former ad executives as faculty members.” 

Securing the second-place regional victory, the RWU team bested students from Emerson, the University of Hartford, Boston University, Quinnipiac, Salem State and Simmons. Johnson and Wales University won the competition.

Team member Julie Consoletti, a senior business marketing major and Italian language minor, credits the group’s success to “a combination of working with some of the most talented individuals at RWU, the limitless motivation from our dedicated faculty advisors and the culmination of four years of hard work in the Gabelli School of Business.” 

“Taking part in the National Student Advertising Competition was the most fulfilling experience throughout my college career. Because of the hard work and dedication we have all put into this campaign it has given me the confidence to know that I can do great things in the business world,” Consoletti added.

This is the third time that the RWU team has placed in the competition: the team took fourth in 2010 and second in 2011.

The Mario J. Gabelli School of Business sponsors the competition at RWU. Professors Kathy Micken and Al Cutting teach the spring semester class; Professor Steve Andrews teaches the fall advertising research class.

This year's team included Leah Barwise, Myles Bernstein, Blair Carroll, Julie Consoletti, Christine Couto, Lauren Dranoff, Samantha Edson, Caitlin Galeotti, Bailey Kolligian, Amanda Lingg, Melissa McNeillie, Rose Madden, Justin Manoni, Liz Monahan, Cameron Muir, Gina-Marie Murphy, Kyle Palmer, Becca Quigley, Kassie Ricci, Kristen Rogers, Karly Rust, Michael Silinonte, Keri Topshe, Kirt Weiss, and Katie Wilson.