Did you go anywhere exciting over spring break? The beach? The mountains? Your grandma’s house? The Texas Tech Advertising Team, myself included, set up camp right here in the MCOM building and built a complete advertising campaign for Glidden paint for the National Student Advertising Competition.
This is often referred to as “Hell Week” by many ad teamers across the nation. It’s also the most fun I’ve had as a member of the ad team for the past two years.
The team is made up of nineteen students from all sorts of majors, anywhere from advertising to electronic media and communications. Throughout the year, we each split up into separate teams and tackle different aspects of the campaign. (Creative brainstorming, research, promotions development, etc.) During spring break, all hands are on deck. The entire campaign, built from the ground up using the client’s creative brief and hypothetical budget, must be condensed down into a book (Photoshop experts required) and a 20-minute presentation, during which we will show a commercial (also produced during spring break.)
I was specifically in charge of production for the team. This entails organizing, producing, and shooting three print ads and one commercial. The above featured image may or may not entail the filming of one of those by our friend Ben Jarvis, who was kind enough to help me out during spring break. I would share more details, but that must wait until after we return from competition. (Other ad teams are known to spy on other teams online in order to one-up them when the competition rolls around. Hey, advertising is competitive.)
Everything culminates in the National Student Advertising Competition regionals. This year, we’ll be traveling to Tulsa, Oklahoma. Ad teams from across the nation compete against one another by presenting their own Glidden campaigns to industry judges. Most campaigns presented at these competitions are excellent, and the competitive atmosphere is unlike anything I’ve felt within my major so far. The stress levels are high, and you can just feel all these other advertising students eyeing you from afar, sizing you up as you walk around the competition floor. If you’re lucky, you’ll even catch someone shooting you a dirty look. Bring it. From there, the regional winners will move up to the final round: nationals.
I am a firm believer in the following philosophy: the best way to learn something is to get off your butt and do it. When I first joined Ad Team my junior year, I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t know a whole lot about advertising. Just the basics. Get the target audience to buy your product somehow. Now, after two years spent working on the team, I would feel completely confident walking into an interview at an advertising agency.
You can only learn so much just sitting in lecture halls. The real learning process in advertising involves stakes. It’s the countless brainstorming sessions with your peers at Starbucks every Sunday night. Photoshoots and layers upon layers in Photoshop. Building a wall out of wood and nails. Filming in nine locations over three days. Writing and rewriting and rewriting. Caffeine and countless pieces of crumpled up notebook paper. Experience is everything, and I’m so thankful for ad team to have been the source of this experience.
Come check out our Glidden campaign presentation dress rehearsal here in the College of Media and Communication on Tuesday, April 9th at 6:30 p.m. Exact room TBA.
Keep an eye on the Hub within the next few weeks for more advertising team goodness. In the meantime, you can view last year’s Lonestar Emmy Award-winning commercials HERE.
Follow me @TaylorShofner.