Ad class gets a taste of reality

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It’s time for the advertising majors to put their skills to the test as they compete against 20 universities to create the best ad campaign for Honda’s 2013 Civic sedan.

Courtesy of MCT
Courtesy of MCT

The advertising major’s capstone class works with a company called Edventure Partners and communicates directly with Honda.

Edventure Partners is a marketing consultancy that works with educators, students and companies to bring hands-on experience to students and come up with solutions to problems the companies are facing.

The ad class will split into several groups, each utilizing different skills they’ve learned.

For example, the research department team will deal primarily with getting surveys out to Cal State Fullerton students in an effort to gain insight into what students look for when purchasing a car.

“If we get chosen as the top five, we get to present our campaign to the head of marketing for Honda, all of their top executives, as well as the executives of Edventure Partners,” said Leiana Bowen, part of the promotions group from the advertising capstone class.

Bowen is also in charge of finances and she is a part of the press release group. She will be one of the five presenters for the campaign if they get chosen.

The winners of the Honda ad campaign will receive $5,000 for their school. In past years, CSUF has taken second place.

Honda decided to partner with college students in order to market to people ages 18-26 and gain better insight in what younger people are searching for when purchasing a car.

Surveys conducted for the project found that of the 800 CSUF respondents, students said the value of a car is the most important aspect when choosing a car to purchase.

“Most of our students are commuters, so we wanted to focus it towards that,” said Adam Eldred, one of the account managers for the ad class.

With this information the ad department came up with the slogan “That much more,” which focuses on the value of a car.

There are a variety of different advertisements that the ad class has come up with and they say they will continue to think up new ones that are centered around their “that much more” tagline.

Focusing on the 2013 Honda Civic sedan’s excellent fuel economy, the ad team said they may use something like “that much more reliable,” Bowen said.

CSUF has already pitched their idea to Edventure Park who they said gave excellent feedback to them even in the preliminary aspect of the competition and that they would rate their campaign 95 out of 100.

“As of right now we have a really strong campaign, so we’re pushing for first place, “ Bowen said.

An event will take place on campus March 26-28, where the ad class will have three 2013 Honda civic sedans on campus for CSUF students to tour and learn about.

The event will include free food, games, prizes, scavenger hunts.

Students from competing schools will not have the advantage of knowing what the other schools are pitching.

Each school has several meetings with Edventure Park, who listens to their campaign and gives them feedback to evaluate their ads to see what will be most beneficial to Honda.

According to Bowen, they won’t see who is in the top five until they potentially make it to the finals.

Brian Klein, leader of the creative group in the advertising class, said Honda will evaluate all 20 schools and see what campaign has become the most creative, innovative and successful.

Honda will discern which three schools will be invited to finals which consists of an all-expenses-paid trip to Torrance to pitch their campaign to the executives of Honda and Edventure Park.

Klein said he wants to eventually work his way up and become an art director at an advertising agency.

He added that the class has made him realize that this is what he wants to do.

“It’s a lot of fun and I sort of live for it,” Klein said.

Eldred said the project has been extremely stressful and is equivalent to having a second full-time job.

Despite this, Eldred said he gained a great deal of experience in managing an entire class of people while trying to put an ad campaign together.

“I think our campaign has a really good value and it’s going right for what our target seeks and I feel like once we can show the great results of our campaign, we’re that much more of a shoe in for finals,” Eldred said.

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