TU Ad Program Receives National Attention

TU Student

TAI PEI PITCH: From left, Grace LaFerry, Jonah Townsley, Brooke Randels and Hannah Kloppenburg present the TU NSAC campaign to communication faculty and Tulsa advertising professionals.”

GTR Newspapers Photo

Early on the morning of April 5, students from the University of Tulsa Ad Program loaded up into two vans and began the four-hour drive to Ft. Worth, Texas, where they would participate in the National Student Advertising Competition.

is an annual competition in which teams from universities across the country present 20-minute pitches for a volunteer corporation. This year’s client was Tai Pei frozen Asian food, a branch of Ajinomoto Windsor.

TU typically assembles a hand-picked team of students in the fall to take a spring semester class focused solely on creating an campaign. The 2017 team was led by advertising professor Bill Hinkle, with additional guidance from instructors Josh Butts and Teresa Valero. Karoline Newell and Adrianna Catalanotto directed the team as student leaders.

This year’s client was a challenge for the TU team — Tai Pei’s main directive was to create a campaign that targeted millennials, with the caveat of a very limited budget. In response, the students developed a campaign to make Tai Pei a lifestyle brand that was based around social media exposure and a cross-country tour.

The highlight of the campaign was the Dragon Wagon, a 50-foot truck outfitted to look like a dragon pulling three boxes of Tai Pei packaging, and four brand ambassadors who would take the Dragon Wagon to college campuses and Walmart locations across the nation. The brand ambassadors would distribute coupons, interact with customers and make donations to food banks in order to garner positive earned media for Tai Pei.

Hours of research, copywriting, video production and graphic design went into the development of the campaign and the creation of a plans book. This plans book was presented to judges at the competition in Ft. Worth, accompanied by a 20-minute pitch and a 10-minute question-and-answer session.

Eight students tried out for a speaker position. Of those eight, Jonah Townsley, Grace LaFerry, Brooke Randels and Hannah Kloppenburg were chosen to represent the team in the regional competition in Ft. Worth.

When the day of the competition arrived, the speakers took to the stage dressed in Tai Pei letter jackets which were meant to mimic the outfits that would be worn by the brand ambassadors and delivered months worth of work in a single 20-minute pitch.

The TU team placed seventh in their division. While only first-place teams advance from the regional level to the national competition, the Ad Program students are already anticipating next year’s campaign.

Updated 04-24-2017

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