Students take first in national advertising competition

Advertising students from the College of Journalism and Mass Communications earned first place in the 2012 National Student Advertising Competition, June 2-5 in Austin, Texas.

A total of 153 student teams from across the United States competed in the program, which is sponsored by the American Advertising Federation. Only 19 of those 153 teams advanced to nationals.

The competition challenged students to develop a fully integrated marketing campaign to help Nissan build awareness and lasting favorability among African-American, Hispanic and Chinese-American millennial consumers in the United States.

UNL has finished first in districts and contended for the national title for the past four years. UNL competes in District 9, which represents clubs and American Advertising Federations in Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri and Kansas.

Amy Struthers, associate professor of advertising and public relations, assembled the college's first NSAC team in 2004-2005. This year's team advisers, Phil Willet and Rich Bailey, as well as Struthers, accompanied the students to nationals. Willet is an assistant professor of advertising and public relations and Bailey is an adjunct professor. Willet and Bailey helped UNL to fourth- and seventh-place finishes in previous national competitions.

UNL students who participate in this program spend an entire semester doing research, designing strategy and preparing plans books and presentations.

Several UNL advertising classes contributed to the effort, conducting research, designing strategy and preparing plans books and presentations. Following is a list of the team members by hometown and the roles they played in the campaign:

Bellevue: Sara Smits, media director.
Bennington: Dana Oltman, art director.
Humboldt: Michelle Pineda, account coordinator/project manager/public relations.
Johnson: Hans Christensen, account services.
Kearney: Bingjie Zhao, media planner.
Lincoln: Zee Chiweshe, account planner/public relations; Nolan Gauthier, copywriter; Dylan McCaugherty, interactive designer/writer; Abby Meyer, film; Tim Obermueller, copywriter; and Russell Troxel, copywriter.
North Platte: Jana Schneider, account planner/public relations.
Omaha: Dennis Bukowski, art director; Calvin Drey, account planner/project manager; Kevin McCaskill, account supervisor; Rance Ristau, project manager; Landon Stahmer, creative director; and Ashley Turner, account planner.
Scottsbluff: Paul Henderson, account planner.
Sidney: Megan Homolka, copywriter/media planner.
Wayne: Maddie Jager, art director.

Pensacola, Fla.: Tayler Thomas, account planner/media planner/public relations.
Sioux Falls, S.D.: Chelsey Wahlstrom, account planner/public relations.

For more information on the competition or the American Advertising Federation, go to