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Idaho State University Students Participate in National Advertising Competition

April 24, 2023

Four women stand next to a computer screen

Students at Idaho State University are participating in the National Student Advertising Competition, an annual competition sponsored by the American Advertising Federation, to create a fully integrated marketing campaign for a national client. 

“This gives us an opportunity to give students a real-world application of what they learn, meet industry professionals and have their work critiqued by some of the best people working in advertising today,” said Amanda Bennett, assistant lecturer in the Department of Communications, Media, and Persuasion and NSAC club advisor. “It's deadline driven. Stakes can feel high. It’s a cooperative experience that requires the application of a lot of skills and knowldge. Many comment that it’s the best experience of their degree.”

This year, 15 ISU students are working to create a campaign for Indeed, a popular worldwide  job-listing company. During the fall semester, NSAC student clubs engage in activities and research to prepare for the upcoming competition. In the spring, students spend the semester working on the campaign as part of a course.

ISU has had a successful track record in the NSAC, winning first place in District 11  in 2021 for Tinder, third place in 2020 for Adobe, third place in 2017 for Tai Pei, and first place in 2016 for Snapple. The winner of each district will go to semi-finals, and then the winners will go to the national competition.

The NSAC is an opportunity for students to gain real-world experience, work together as a team, meet industry professionals, and have their work critiqued by some of the best people working in advertising, media, marketing related fields, and sometimes a client judge, Bennett said. On the last day of the competition, students get to spend time with judges and receive feedback, which is extremely valuable for the students.

Shayla Rowe, Aurora Perley, and Riella Batson are three students majoring in visual communication with an emphasis in graphic design, and a minor in advertising and public relations. Savannah Wootan is a junior majoring in corporate communication with an emphasis in leadership and a minor in advertising and public relations. 

Rowe describes the NSAC as “the closest thing you can get to a real-world experience while in college.” Batson echoed Rowe’s sentiments, saying, “This has taught me to be more versatile. I’ll be helping with different parts of the campaign and am more well-rounded.”

Perley said the competition has transformed her perspective of her college experience.

“It’s given me confidence and assurance in myself that I can do these things that I didn’t think were possible,” she said..

ISU students are part of AAF District 11, which includes Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Alaska. The University of Oregon won the national competition in 2016 with Pizza Hut, making it a highly competitive district.

The NSAC is not just about professional development, but also about making connections and friendships. Wootan, who is participating in the NSAC for the first time, said, “In all four years of college, I’ve never had an experience that has given me as many friends and connections. We work together, bounce ideas off each other.”


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