Showing posts with label AdCouncil. Show all posts
Showing posts with label AdCouncil. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 9

Engaging Students: AAF and Heineken


In communication, especially advertising, there is no substitute for practical, hands-on experience. It’s something that underscores any class I teach.

I’m not alone in this belief, of course. There are several opportunities for college students to find experience across the country, including the American Advertising Federation (AAF).

Every year, the AAF hosts the National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC), which provides a candid, real world situation faced by a major account. More than more than 150 colleges and universities participate in the challenge. This year’s competition is being sponsored by AOL. (Good luck with that.)

While not as publicized as the NSAC, the AFF also hosts a Public Service Advertising Competition with Heineken USA (and this year, the Ad Council), which I wanted to lend some attention to today.

National Public Service Advertising Competition

Participants, which must be age 21 or older and members of an AAF college chapter, can submit their intent to participate by Jan. 15. The intent to participate form here.

Unlike the NSAC, the Heineken USA/AAF Public Service Advertising Competition allows students to enter as individuals or teams of up to three, providing even more flexibility. As participants, the students will produce print, radio and new media (demonstrating just how deep new media is taking hold).

Winners of the competition will receive $3,000 and a chance to pitch Heineken USA executives in White Plains, N.Y. (The second-place, third-place and up to five honorable mention campaigns also receive cash awards.) The winners will be announced in April, during Alcohol Awareness Month.

Why Experience Is Important For Students

As a student, it’s not always whether you win or lose (though winning can be pretty fun), but what you can take away. Despite already working in the field, one of my most memorable real life lessons came out of an advertising competition hosted at the University of Nevada, Reno (which now participates in NSAC).

Our class was randomly divided into two teams and asked to develop an advertising campaign for the Reno Philharmonic. It was fun, challenging, and provided some surprising true-to-life experiences that could never be duplicated in a regular class setting.

As “co-creative director” on the team, I learned that popularity sometimes influences what campaign is produced. Since my co-creative director lobbied the team for his spirited campaign, it became the one everyone wanted to produce.

I wasn’t so sure the campaign was right for the demographic, but had to admit that daring the maestro to conduct an orchestra from an Indy car or roller coaster was pretty creative. The judges thought so too. Our team won for creative prowess based on their scores.

Unfortunately, we lost the account based on the maestro’s comfort level with the campaign and the budget. As went the client, so went the competition.

Right on. It’s not always about being clever. Sometimes it's about connecting to the audience and, well, the account. That's something you don’t always learn in the classroom.

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Monday, September 10

Acting Responsibly: Crime Bloggers


Communication remains one of the most powerful but underutilized tools for any business, organization, or community. And while most have remained slow to embrace it, I anticipate some sweeping changes as more best practices and fewer abuses receive public attention.

Just one story that caught my attention last week demonstrates the positive power of communication, community, and social media in a very profound and personal way. Joy Roy, who maintains Southern Sass on Crime, Robert Bush, who publishes American Proud, Warriors for Innocence, Perverted Justice, and others have all played a role in tracking Jack McClellan, a self-labeled pedophile who has avoided prosecution to date.

McClellan originally came to the attention of authorities because of the Portland-based organization Perverted Justice. According to the Los Angeles Times, the group began monitoring McClellan because he had created a Web site on which he posted photographs of children in public places and discussed the best local places to watch little girls.

While the Web site was eventually shut down by his provider, McClellan still managed to publish his information for months, placing information in the hands of those who might abduct children even if McClellan himself never intended to. After being exposed and ordered to stay away from minors, McClellan decided to leave his last state of residence because, he said, “I can’t live here under Orwellian protocol.”

Since he has never been charged as a sex offender, he does not have to register with the authorities, leaving it up to private citizens to take matters into their own hands. What McClellan doesn’t realize is that what he did might even be worse than committing a direct crime against children: his original Web site and subsequent actions make it easier for criminals who are more likely to take action against young women and minors.

This is a growing problem that requires immediate attention. It is also one that I am increasingly sensitive to given our Las Vegas headquarters, where stories of missing persons and human trafficking is becoming all too common. One immediately comes to mind: Glendene Grant’s daughter went missing from her home in Las Vegas in March 2006 after living in the city for about 10 months. (You can read the story here).

Better use of social media might have made a difference in this case (and it is still not too late) if citizens and authorities begin to develop dedicated social media applications across the country, funded or supported by social networks and other technology providers. While some steps in this direction have been taken, much more work needs to be done.

Specifically, notifications of missing children and missing people need to be actively promoted beyond missing persons. Recently Missing Children is one example of what can be done They have a national widget that is a step in the right direction, but more state-by-state public-private widgets need to be developed (we’re adding Wayne Wirs’ Recenty Missing Children widget to our community service blog and space for Ad Council public service campaigns soon).

For additional information about missing persons in Nevada, please visit PINow.com. From there, you can access information for other states.

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