The Valenti Group, a student-advertising agency team representing the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, placed 10th in the National Student Advertising Competition in Phoenix this past weekend.
The American Advertising Federation sponsors the NSAC and is the largest advertising trade association in the U.S. It represents advertisers, agencies and suppliers on a professional level. There are 144 collegiate chapters that compete in NSAC within 18 AAF districts. The winners of these district competitions go on to the national competition held in Phoenix.
“The competition is about putting together the best advertising campaign based on a given product, a budget and a set of marketing goals and rules that the client clearly states prior to the beginning of the competition,” said UH alumna and Valenti Group team member Connie Jimenez.
Jimenez was part of the creative team and was responsible for developing visual compositions and designs that effectively communicate the campaign’s message to the target audience.
“(The competition) requires an immense amount of hours and dedication to make it happen,” Jimenez said. “We sacrificed many weekends and out-of-class hours to come up with a product worth of being top 10 in the nation.”
This year’s sponsor was Glidden Paint, a PPG company brand. The specific challenge was to develop an integrated communication program to help market Glidden paint at Wal-Mart. Each team develops a 24-page book that details the plan.
“The plan covers research, strategy, creative, promotion and public relations executions as well as campaign measurement,” said professor Larry Kelley. “The second part of the competition consists of a 20-minute presentation where each team brings the plan to life.”
Before the Valenti Group made it to nationals, it won District 10, which comprises universities from Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and eastern Louisiana. The team also received a special award for the best research that supported the overall strategy.
“The national competition is a very high caliber competition,” Kelley said. “The best 18 schools out of 144 in the nation compete. Our team placed 10th at the national competition. Only seven points separated first from 10th, so a few points one way or the other and we could have been in the top 5. Regardless of the position, our team is certainly competitive on a national level.”
Jimenez graduated from UH this past May and said her time working with the Valenti Group benefited her in many different ways.
“Not only did I meet some great minds of the marketing and advertising world, but I also made very good friends and gained tons of valuable knowledge about advertising and marketing,” Jimenez said.
Jimenez is quick to encourage other students thinking about majoring in advertising to join the student-advertising agency at UH and participate in the NSAC competitions.
“Sacrifice as much time as you can, work hard and stay focused,” Jimenez said. “Do not miss this opportunity. I can now say NSAC has been the best, most rewarding opportunity of my entire college career.”