Chico Students Win First Place in Advertising Competition

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: 05-01-2007

Kathleen McPartland
Public Affairs
530-898-4260
Bill McGowan
Finance and Marketing
530-898-4182

Five marketing students came home from a regional competition in Fresno this past weekend singing “We Are the Champions” and carrying a 40-inch trophy they received for placing first with their Coca-Cola advertising campaign. The American Advertising Federation National Student Advertising Competition (AAFNSAC) sponsored the regional contest.

The five students—Christina Solomon, Brie Leon, Jamie Varon, Jen Witz and Ramsey Barnette—represented a larger team of 23 students who called themselves “Inspired Solutions.” The team had been working on the advertising campaign since last September, under the direction of their advisors, Bill McGowan, Finance and Marketing, and Alan Rellaford, Communication Design. The challenge was to create an advertising campaign to turn around declining Coca-Cola Classic consumption patterns within a $15 million budget.

CSU, Chico’s team first conducted extensive research on a target market and created a media plan, commercials, print ads and Internet ads, writing and designing a 32-page Advertising Plans Book. This was submitted to the AAFNSAC Washington, D.C. headquarters and the Fresno district headquarters on April 2.  

The second part of the competition was a 20-minute presentation of the plan on Saturday, April 28, at the Lyles ConventionCenter. The competition included UC Berkeley, University of  Nevada-Reno, San Jose State, Fresno State, University of San Francisco and the Academy of Art, San Francisco. They addressed the same challenge presented by Coca-Cola. The judges who evaluated both components were four major advertising executives from the West Coast and a senior marketing manager from Coca-Cola.

The top three winners were CSU, Chico in first place, UC Berkeley in second place and University of Nevada–Reno in third place. In addition to the team win, the Top Presenter individual award went to team member Jamie Varon..

The Inspired Solutions team is composed of students from the College of Business (COB) and the College of Communication and Education (CME). Students from the marketing option in COB included Christina Solomon,  Brie Leon, Jamie Varon, Jen Witz, Ramsey Barnette, Helen Finnegan, Jackie  Hartman, Veronica Favela, Brittany Spencer, Kristen Palma, Byron Fiscus, Jennifer Ameigeiras, Kateland Weighall, Elizabeth Santos and Alicia Allen.

Graphic designers from CME included Andrea (Andi) Larsen, Billy Wilson, Victor Costa, Jonathan Beard, Robert Ortegon, Brandon Brown, Catherine Oshiro and Omar Mota.

“The graphic design team put in an unbelievable amount of hours on this project working weekends and late nights to keep up with all the changes and new timelines, and never complained one bit,” said McGowan.  “They did an absolutely fantastic job on the layout and design of our 32-page plans book, which looks like it came from a San Francisco based advertising firm.”

Next stop for the CSU, Chico champions is the AAFNSAC national competition in Louisville, KY., from June 7­–9. “We’ll be ready to take our ‘show’ east!” said McGowan.

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