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Ad students’ campaign a ‘model for success’

June 16, 2010

The five presenters for Chapman’s advertising team (L-R) are Jon Blomgren, Jon Michael Herrman, Andreas Evan Robichaux, Mike Alfaro and Nathalie Con.

Now that they’ve had a chance to catch their breath, we caught up with some members of Chapman University’s student advertising team that took first place in the American Advertising Federations’ national competition held last week and reported here in Happenings.

“It’s a pretty surreal feeling to win nationals,” said student account director Andreas Robichaux, an advertising major from Anaheim who just graduated from Chapman a few weeks ago. “I’m not entirely sure it’s actually set in yet, but it means a lot. To participate in the competition for four years and to see such improvement each year, culminating in a national championship, is more than I could have ever wished for.

“We had a team of 54 individuals who were all passionate and dedicated, and at the end of the day the strength of our work is evident to everyone who sees it. I couldn’t ask for a better way to end my time at Chapman University.”

Advisor and Professor Cory O’Connor of Chapman’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts dished high praise and revealed some spunky nicknames for his crew.

“This is the most exciting moment in my career,” said a jubilant Professor O’Connor.  “It took seven years and several hundred students over those seven years to forge the Chapman model for success, but we hit it this year with State Farm. Most importantly, I have to acknowledge Jon (Hercules) Blomgren, Kimmy (The Mom) Kirkwood, and Andreas (The Actor) Robichaux, the Chapman account directors who’ve led this team for the past 12 months, through every manner of turbulence and elation. It was a hard-fought victory during which Jon, Kimmy and Andreas proved themselves to be warriors of the highest caliber.”

Each year, NSAC partners with a different corporate sponsor or “client,” which provides an assignment outlining the history of its product and current advertising situation. The assignment always reflects a real-world situation. Students must research the product and its competition, identify potential problem areas and devise a completely integrated communications campaign for the client. Each student team then “pitches” its campaign to a panel of judges.

This year’s NSAC client was State Farm Insurance, which gave the teams the task of creating a hypothetical $40 million media advertising campaign for auto and renters’ insurance, targeting young adults, ages 18-25.  Three State Farm marketing/advertising agency executives judged the national competition.

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