IC Advertising Students Win National Competition

By IC News staff, June 7, 2019
Ad Lab students take first place at the National Student Advertising Competition.

A group of students from Ithaca College won the American Advertising Federation's National Student Advertising Competition on Friday, June 7, in Hollywood, Florida.

The team competed against seven other schools, with Liberty University coming in second and Syracuse University finishing third. 

The students are all participants in the college's Ad Lab, a senior capstone campaigns course in the Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) major, housed within the Roy H. Park School of Communications

The AAF National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) is the premier college advertising competition that provides college students the real-world experience of creating a strategic advertising/marketing/media campaign for a corporate client. This year's client was Wienerschnitzel, and the goals were to improve the image of hot dogs and increase overall sales. Students in the course developed a marketing communications plan and then pitched their work to advertising professionals at the district, semifinal and national levels.

This marks the first time students from Ithaca College have won the national competition in 26 years (the last win was in 1993), despite competing in the finals multiple times. In 2011, the Ithaca College team came in second. 


One of this year’s judges and Wienerschnitzel’s CMO, Doug Koegeboehn, said he was very impressed with the student campaigns he was able to judge.

“It’s not an exaggeration to say that the research, strategic thinking and creative ideas developed by students to change hot dog misperceptions were on the caliber of the best ad agencies,” he said. “After meeting the students and hearing their ideas, I’m encouraged about the future of advertising, marketing and America’s most beloved food, the hot dog.”

The competition took place during the AAF's National Conference, ADMERICA, where IC associate professor and chair of the Department of Strategic Communications Scott Hamula was presented with the 2019 Distinguished Advertising Educator Award. Awarded annually, the Distinguished Advertising Educator Award recognizes the best advertising professors in the country. Nominees for this award must demonstrate excellence in teaching and student advisement, a record of scholarly research, publications and professional experience, as well as active involvement in the advertising industry and its organizations, academia and the community.

Alumnus Ryan Berman '98, delivered a keynote address at the conference titled "Surviving the Business Apocalypse — Transforming into a Courage Brand" to kick off the weekend's festivities.