NSAC is a nationwide competition sponsored by the American Advertising Federation (AAF).
St. Bonaventure was up against several major universities with sophisticated advertising programs. For example, first-place winner Penn State has several hundred advertising majors and public relations majors. St. Bonaventure does not offer a major in either field. In all, nine colleges competed in SBU’s district.
“That makes taking home the bronze even more impressive,” said Mike Jones-Kelley, St. Bonaventure’s ad club adviser. “It’s fun being the mouse that roared.”
This year’s client was Nissan. The challenge was to create a research-based $100 million integrated marketing communications campaign to increase Nissan’s penetration among African-American, Chinese-American and Hispanic-American Millennials (the demographic that was entering adulthood around the turn of the 21st century).
Research done by St. Bonaventure students showed that Millennials in those three market segments, while proud of their ethnic heritage, identify more with being Millennial Americans and being individuals than with a group. The Bonaventure student agency built its campaign around the business case that advertising to these small segments would be less efficient than advertising through those three groups to the Millennial market as a whole.
St. Bonaventure’s AAF chapter runs under the name The Stalwart Group, with a staff of 29 undergraduate students — a mix of journalism and mass communication, visual arts and marketing majors.
“I had a blast doing AAF. The creative team was amazing to work with, New York City was awesome, and placing third just proved that all our hard work paid off. We had such a talented team this year, and we showed the judges that we can compete against those big schools with advertising majors,” said Kathryn Kvas, a junior journalism and mass communication major.
The 29 students combined their talents in copywriting, art direction, marketing, journalism, public relations, broadcast communications, graphic design, market research, management and strategic thinking to create a multi-faceted advertising campaign around the tagline of “My Road. My Ride.” The tagline played to the individualistic nature of Millennials and suggested that individualist Nissan was the car for them.
Graduate students in St. Bonaventure’s integrated marketing communications program served as peer advisers to the Stalwart Group.
Officers Cody Mangalsingh of Olean, Allyson O’Mara of Hamburg, Elyse Kosakowski of Rochester and Averi Ahsmann of Syracuse led the 2011-2012 Stalwart Group.
In addition to the officers, St. Bonaventure students in the 2011-2012 Stalwart Group included: Danny Bush of Belfast, Alicia D’Alessandro of Clarendon, Pa., Brittany Davies of Freedom, Catherine Dell of Orchard Park, Neil Durkin of Caldwell, N.J., Ethan Fisher of East Aurora, Maddie Gionet of Greenwich, Ryan Green of Pittsford, Megan Kane of Olean, Michael Kaplan of Cortland, Erin Kinney of Marcellus, Kathryn Kvas of Mississauga, Ont., Morgan Mack of Montclair, N.J., Kristie Manzella of Blasdell, Amy Miller of Binghamton, Sally O’Rourke of Buffalo, Emily Sorokes of Olean, Alexandria Stephan of Kenmore, Cassandra Stubbs of Erie, Pa., Megan Sudore of Webster, Elizabeth Threehouse of Olean, Michael Vitron of Fairview, Pa., Emily Young of Getzville, and Kyle Zappia of Newark.
Graduate students Kate Burt of Webster and Dominick Lisi of Corning served as advisers. Professors Kimberly DeSimone and Mike Jones-Kelley were the faculty advisers.
American Advertising Federation is the premier college advertising competition. It is a national organization designed to give colleges and universities the opportunity to create a working advertising agency on campus that will compete in the National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC). The AAF’s college-chapter program has 226 affiliated chapters throughout the United States and abroad.
For more information about St. Bonaventure’s chapter, visit www.sbu.edu/jmc.
About the University: Inspired for more than 150 years by the Franciscan values of individual dignity, community inclusiveness, and service, St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them.
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