Students Excel at Prestigious Advertising Competition

Miami Collective team develops innovative ad campaign for Nissan.

Coral Gables (June 12, 2012) — The University of Miami School of Communication won fourth place at the highly competitive 2012 National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) in Austin, Texas, on June 4 for creating an innovative and hi-tech campaign for Nissan to engage multicultural millennial consumers.

The team, called the “Miami Collective,” also took Ad-ology’s award for best use of market research. The University of Miami was the only Florida school to advance to the final round of competition.

The Miami Collective went head-to-head against 18 other district-winning schools from around the country to produce a digitally integrated campaign geared toward Millennials (18- to 29-year-olds) from Hispanic, African-American, and Chinese ethnicities. Their campaign included an anthem television spot, interactive print, interactive bus shelters, and a multitude of other digital and social media components to promote the Nissan brand to the target market.

“To place in the top four two years in a row is an amazing feat that has rarely been accomplished by any other school,” said Alyse Lancaster, chair of the Department of Strategic Communication and NSAC co-advisor at UM. “Our students have put UM’s advertising program on the map, and thanks to their hard work and passion for excellence, everyone in the NSAC knows who we are and the incredible work we do here.”

NSAC is sponsored by the American Advertising Federation. A corporate sponsor provides a case study outlining the history of its product and current advertising situation. Student teams identify potential problem areas and devise an integrated communications campaign. Each team “pitches” its campaign to a panel of judges, including top executives from the corporate sponsor. This year 152 colleges and universities nationwide took part in the district NSAC challenges.

“UM has officially become one of the top NSAC forces in the nation,” said campaign director Kevin Herrington, a recent graduate. “We are extremely excited. It’s great to know that our hard work was recognized as among the best in the country.”

Last year UM took home the national championship. In April, the team won first place in the District Four NSAC competition for the second year in a row.

“Although not an easy task, our team prides itself on finding unique solutions that truly move the client forward,” said Meryl Blau, a UM advertising faculty member and co-advisor of the team. “We work hard to push technology further than what some even know is possible, and for a client that was asking to position themselves as innovative; this simply came natural to us.”

In the past, corporations including State Farm have implemented advertising concepts developed by UM teams for the competition.

“This was an amazing experience I wouldn’t trade for the world,” said art director Tayler White, a senior. “We worked so hard, and this only fuels the fire for us to win first place next year.”


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University of Miami advertising students won first place in market research and fourth overall with a hi-tech campaign for Nissan at the 2012 National Student Advertising Competition on June 4 in Austin, Texas.

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University of Miami’s mission is to educate and nurture students, to create knowledge, and to provide service to our community and beyond. Committed to excellence and proud of our diversity of our University family, we strive to develop future leaders of our nation and the world.