Geico Ad Execs Share Advertising Strategies With TU Students and the Tulsa Community

Guest Writer

TU ADVERTISING TEAM: Members of the select University of Tulsa advertising team are, top row: Sarah Power, Sebastian Pineda, Miranda Dabney, Leah Suleski, Emalia Seto, Alyssa Johnson and Ashley Slater. Middle row: Sarah Marie Williams, Stratton Brooks, Betsy Govig, Emily Points, Yasmine Elbaitari and Caitlin Pond. Bottom row: Carly Chalmers, Tori Walton, Katie Snyder, Alissa Apecechea, Paige Martin and Alyssa Adamson. Not Pictured: Hannah Hudspeth.


Bill Hinkle, adjunct professor of advertising at the University of Tulsa, successfully completed his third annual University of Tulsa Advertising Program Dinner at the Greenwood Cultural Event Center in downtown Tulsa recently.

The program dinner is an event Hinkle and his advertising students put on together as a fundraiser for the TU advertising program to help raise money for the National Student Advertising Competition ().

“I like to say that is like the Super Bowl of college advertising,” Hinkle says. Using a creative brief, 250 universities from across the U.S. compete on a single brand providing a plan book and supporting materials. This year the students created a full 28-page advertising plan book and supporting materials for Snapple. The team also prepared for a 20-minute presentation regarding their plan book and materials in front of 200-300 people, including four judges that represent Snapple.

“As far as I’m concerned, is as close to reality as it gets and gives the students a sense of confidence they wouldn’t get from any other experience,” Hinkle says.

Something that started out as a field trip to New York City has now turned into an annual event for Bill Hinkle and the TU advertising program. Each year, Hinkle invites the Tulsa advertising, public relations and media community for a presentation on an advertising campaign from presenters from across the nation.

Last year, Hinkle brought the chief creative director of the Dos Equis Most Interesting Man in the World advertising campaign as the speaker. This year Hinkle reached out to the creative team from the Martin Agency in Richmond, Virginia, responsible for Geico’s advertising, and they quickly grew a friendship via email.

Hinkle mentioned he, Alger and Higdon became close friends over the Internet within a matter of days. “I felt like they were my brothers when I first met them. I haven’t had a speaker for this event that hasn’t been the most down-to-earth and so willing to do anything for the students,” Hinkle says.

Brad Higdon, VP/account director and Wade Alger, senior VP/group creative director, of the Martin Agency excitedly made their way to Tulsa to speak to the community about Geico’s advertising campaigns. Higdon and Alger both competed in the competition as college students and didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to help the TU advertising students for the same competition.

Higdon and Alger both agreed the competition was the greatest experience they had as college students.

“We hope to show how Geico reshaped a category of advertising and how the Geico brand has evolved,” Alger says.

And they did just that. The hour-long presentation showed the audience the overview of Geico’s advertising an how it has developed over the years. Higdon and Alger touched on their creative process of how they turn ideas into reality.

Hinkle says the TU advertising program is blessed with the support they receive from the advertising, public relations and media community, as it was evident with over 400 in attendance that evening at the Greenwood Cultural Center.

“These advertising students are incredibly smart, and they get jobs. That’s the best part,” Hinkle says.

Updated 04-26-2016

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