By: Ian Arthur (@Ian_CHILDonFIRE)
Upon returning from a much-needed spring break, the Brand 44 North team only had two weeks to prepare their presentation and pitch. During this portion of the class, we were split into three groups. The five presenters, Andrea Larson, Hannah Bostwick, Molly Venturini, Erica Van Riper and Jordan Demeny, needed to start working on what they would say and how.
The production team was tasked with creating a Pandora radio ad, complete with audio, as well as a YouTube submission video that would play during the presentation. Finally, the remaining members were to create the actual Prezi presentation.
Since our campaign was about connecting our awkward selves from years past, and how those experiences made us a whole lot better today, just as Pizza Hut had done, the presenters came up with the idea to present next to enlarged pictures of themselves from elementary school. Throughout the week before competition, presenters practiced their pitch repeatedly, slowly memorizing their lines. Finally, it was time to get ready for the trip to Minneapolis.
After a four-and-a-half-hour drive, we arrived safely in Minnesota. After a mandatory meeting, we had a couple of hours to get ready for rehearsal. This is when it finally dawned on me that we were really about to do this. All this work was coming together. Student Erica Van Riper said, “It was rewarding to have something to show for all of the hours and work we put into the whole thing.”
The next day we got up early and made final preparations to present. We entered the big lecture hall in the University of Minnesota and set everything up. The presenters did an amazing job giving their well-rehearsed pitch. “The most rewarding experience for me as an advisor is to see the students pitch their campaign,” said advisor Dana Baumgart. Afterwards, we received some difficult questions from the judges, but the presenters answered them with professionalism and confidence. The judges left and it was finally over.
We attended the awards ceremony that night. We did not place, however we were all proud of our effort. “The best thing about this year’s campaign was the grass roots approach the students took to answering the client’s objective,” Baumgart said, “I feel this is the way that many successful advertising campaigns will happen in the future, and I was happy our students stuck with this idea.”
There were some words of advice for future Strategic Campaigns in Advertising students. “Take this class serious but at the same time have fun with it,” Jordan Demeny said, “you and your team are going to be stressed out a lot, but just remember to have fun and laugh and just enjoy the experience of NSAC.”
Van Riper also had some advice, “I would tell them to take the research class as well because I think it’s helpful to be involved in the whole process.”
It is also important to note that students who participate in NSAC receive a copy of the plans book to take to interviews. “The value of the plans book in the interview stage is priceless,” said Baumgart.
Overall the experience was one that none of us will forget. We came together and created something that we can all be proud of, and forged some amazing friendships along the way. Congratulations to Brand 44 North, we crossed the finish line!