Advertising Team Wins District Competition

Wednesday, April 9 2014

For second year, JAMM students’ campaign judged best in Northwest

MOSCOW, Idaho – April 9, 2014 – For the second consecutive year, a team from the University of Idaho’s School of Journalism and Mass Media finished first in the American Advertising Federation (AAF) district advertising competition. 

“Words can’t describe how happy I am for the students and our advertising program,” said Justin Barnes, assistant professor in the school of journalism and mass media (JAMM), who advises the team. “Much like last year, the students deserve all the credit because they took the initiative to do exceptional work."

UI students competed against six other Northwest teams April 4 at the University of Oregon. The competition was judged by regional advertising professionals and representatives from Mary Kay Inc., corporate sponsor of this year’s competition. The case study challenged teams to identify strategies for the Mary Kay brand to reach consumers 18 to 25 years old.

The competition required teams to develop a 26-page marketing campaign and a 20-minute presentation for the judges. UI’s 14-member team has been working since January on the campaign, each student assuming a role modeled on positions in an advertising agency, Barnes said.  

Taylor Williams, a senior advertising and art major, and Elyse Delaney, a senior advertising major, are the account executives (team leaders). Other team members are:  Julie Bixler, Allee Cooper, Michael Cullen, Rainy Darono, Alexandra Drabek, Tyler Elwell, Andrew Jenson, Hannah Lynch, Samuel Pence, Jake Robson, Rhiannon Slack and Jayden Suttlemyre.

Barnes said the judges praised the UI campaign, which included traditional and social media, as well as an accompanying public relations strategy. 

“We absolutely love how your creativity resonates throughout the entire proposal,” the judges wrote.  “Your print advertisements were executed to perfection, and they do an outstanding job of tying everything together with your campaign theme.”

The back-to-back victories for the UI are the first since teams advised by professor Mark Secrist won district competitions in 1995 and 1996.  A UI team also won the district in 1999. Barnes, a UI alumnus, joined the JAMM faculty in 2012. This was his second year advising the Ad Team. 

The AAF is divided into 15 districts, each containing one to five states.  District XI is a federation of local advertising clubs in the states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington.

In this year’s district competition, Montana State University finished second and the University of Oregon placed third. Other teams represented Washington State University, Boise State University, Idaho State University and Brigham Young University. 

As the district winner, the UI team will have a semifinal interview with the national judges later this month.  The results of the interview will determine whether Idaho is chosen as one of eight teams to participate in the national finals, May 28-31 in Boca Raton, Fla.  

The competition is governed by the AAF Education Services department and the AAF Academic Division, a group of advertising educators and practitioners who oversee policies and procedures to assure a level playing field among districts. More than 150 colleges and universities nationwide participate in the competition.


Justin Barnes
School of Journalism and Mass Media

Kenton Bird
School of Journalism and Mass Media

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