By Lisa Callahan & Matt Shoewalter
The halls of the Overton Hotel and Conference Center in Lubbock roared with the cheers and cries of Team 104 as Texas State University won First Place at the district level of the National Student Advertising Competition.
“Right when I heard them say ‘First Place: Texas State University,’ I knew that everything we worked so hard for was 1000% worth it,” Art Director Taylor Kaufman said. “It was a surreal moment, and I’ll never forget it.”
Lauren Friesenhahn (facing) embraces Kelsey Vaeth after the announcement
Photo courtesy Rachel Sipe
Each year, The National Student Advertising Competition, sponsored by the American Advertising Federation (AAF), challenges over 200 college chapters across the country to develop an integrated marketing campaign for a corporate client. This year, each competing team was tasked with developing a campaign for Snapple. Sixteen teams from Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana competed for District 10 in Lubbock from April 14-16.
Lecturer and Advertising Sequence Coordinator Jenny Buschhorn and Assistant Marketing Professor Dr. Rick Wilson held interviews in October and selected 17 students to join the team. The group of copywriters, producers, art directors, account executives, media planners and account planners began working on the campaign during their winter break, continued through their spring break and submitted their final plans book to AAF on March 25.
“The simple yet great feeling of having something you worked really hard on payoff is something that I wish everyone could experience,” said Producer Hector Sifuentes, who also received the District 10 Best Presenter Award. “It really taught us a lesson not only on the importance of working hard, but also on the philosophy of life. This is real education.”
Account Planner Rachel Sipe captured the winning moment on camera. The graduating senior said she was at a loss for words when First Place was announced.
Hector Sifuentes holding his Special Judges Award for Best Presenter
Photo courtesy Rachel Sipe
“I couldn’t be more proud of our team,” Sipe said.
While taking home the prize was a major accomplishment, the team agreed that the relationships they formed with each other are even more rewarding.
“My favorite part of NSAC, even more so than winning, is how this ragtag group of students from different majors and walks of life became a family,” Art Director Angela Rhys said.
Media planner and presenter Roy Zorola agrees.
“There is such joy in the process,” Zorola said. “When the moment arrived, we realized that win or lose, the journey itself meant everything, because we did it together.”
Copywriter Lauren Friesenhahn credits the team’s supervisors for much of their success.
“Of course, we couldn’t have done it without Mom (Buschhorn) and Dad (Wilson),” Friesenhahn said. “If they didn’t push us as hard as they did, we wouldn’t be where we are right now.”
The Texas State University NSAC team last won a district competition in 2010 with their campaign for State Farm. The team went on to win second place at the national level.
Now, the District 10 champs begin preparation for semi-finals in May. This will determine whether the team advances to the national competition in Anaheim, California in June, when a total of eight teams go for the gold.
“While this District 10 win marks a major achievement for both us and Texas State, we still have more to go,” Account Executive and presenter Alexandria Reid said. “The work isn’t over, but we’ve never been afraid to work hard.”
The team celebrates their win on the conference room dance floor. Photo courtesy Lauren Friesenhahn