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St. John’s advertising students prove to be better than good at NSAC

NSAC 2018
St. John's students at the NSAC District 12 on April 21. Front row, from left to right: Michelle Popovitch, Kayla McMahon, Claudia Despres, Brooke Fruth, Gabby Javinett, Lauren DeMichiel, Enza Rose Yoo, Nicole Petrosino, Autumn McCarthy, Nailah Fisher, Rachel Argueta, Kara Filippi. Back row, from left to right: Christopher Gorman, Melissa Dericioglu, Melanie Barbary, Angela Gattuso, Sharizma Budden, Sushmita Sharma, Gavin Columbia, Joseph Gattuso. Not pictured: Eric Ibarra.
Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Facing some of the most prominent programs in the country, a team of 21 St. John’s students finished fourth in the National Student Advertising Competition’s District 12 at the New York Institute of Technology on April 21.

The team, consisting of 10 students from The Peter J. Tobin College of Business and 11 from the College of Professional Studies, finished fourth in what many consider to be the toughest grouping in the country. The St. John’s team was up against schools such as: Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication; the George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs; Temple University’s Klein College of Media and Communication; the Donald L. Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State University; and the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College.

“This is the most competitive district in the country,” said Neil H. Feinstein, Assistant Professor of Mass Communication at CPS.

As a collaborative effort between Tobin’s Marketing department and the College of Professional Studies, the team features 21 standout students who have been hand-selected to participate in this challenge. The Competition is called Advertising Research in the fall and Advertising Project in the spring by Tobin, and taught by Dan Rubin, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Marketing. It is called Advertising Communication by CPS and taught by Feinstein.

The presentation of the advertising campaign was the culmination of a two-semester long challenge sponsored by Ocean Spray. After extensive research and a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis, the team found that a vast majority of Ocean Spray’s market consisted of those 45 years old and older. With data in hand, the team decided to focus their campaign on older millennials, those aged 24 to 34, with the tagline, “Better Than Good.”

“We want to reach millennials,” Feinstein said. “To do that, let’s get millennials to develop a campaign.”

Tobin students are chosen through an application process in which students submit forms detailing their qualifications for participation. After reviewing the applications, finalists are selected to interview for spots on the team. CPS students are personally selected by John Swan, Associate Professor of Mass Communication and the Director of the Advertising Communications program, and Feinstein, who comb the roster for the most high-performing students.

The objectives are different for each college; Tobin students prepare themselves for careers in marketing and branding, while CPS students aim to work in advertising agencies.

“Being designed to closely replicate working for an actual advertising agency, the real-world hands-on experience of the NSAC course prepares students for their eventual careers in a way that a traditional classroom cannot,” said Rubin. “Given the intensity of the competition and its interdisciplinary nature, students walk away with a rich experience that will serve them well in their professional endeavors. They also leave the course with a tangible, professional quality portfolio piece that demonstrates their ability to engage in all aspects of the development of an ad campaign.”