For the third year in a row, the University of Miami School of Communication’s National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) team – the Miami Collective — won first place at this year’s American Advertising Federation’s National Student Advertising District Competition.

 The UM team now heads to Phoenix, Ariz., June 5-8, to compete nationally against 18 other district-winning schools. This is the third consecutive year UM has defeated competitive schools such as Florida State University, the University of South Florida, and Ringling College. In 2011, UM took home the national championship after advancing from districts. Last year, the team placed 4th in the nation.

“My team and I were so pumped to work hard and compete again this year,” said Tayler White, a senior majoring in advertising and Associate Creative Director for the campaign. “Winning districts and being given the opportunity to try for first place in nationals is amazing. Other schools better look out, we play to win. Phoenix, here we come!”

Hosted annually by the American Advertising Federation, the National Student Advertising Competition challenges students with real-world case studies and asks them to research a product, identify competitors, and build an integrated communications campaign for a corporate client. More than 150 colleges and universities participate. Companies such as Coca-Cola, State Farm, and Nissan, have implemented advertising created by the students during the previous contests.

“The competition this year was stiff, and we went up against some great teams. But our students really attacked the case study head-on, and developed a campaign that, ultimately, differentiated itself by staying true to the objectives set by the client,” said UM co-advisor Alyse Lancaster, Chair of the Department of Strategic Communication at the School of Communication. “I’m extremely proud of our team and the fully integrated campaign they developed.”

Glidden Paint asked students to create a $10 million, five-month campaign, providing original research and advertising executions for Glidden Paint at Walmart. The challenge was raise awareness, consideration, and purchase of Glidden paint at Walmart among an already captive audience: female do-it-yourself Walmart shoppers who buy paint, just not at Walmart.

 “We came up with original and fun research ideas,” said the team’s Strategy Director Katelyn Murray, a senior majoring in advertising. “We followed shoppers at Wal-Mart for an ethnographic study. We created a brand perception test, where people had to guess which brand was painted on a wall. We did before-and-after tests. We even had participants compare Glidden to a paint that doesn’t even exist. Our research was unique and different from what everyone else did. ”

“It goes to show that great things come from taking risks and doing something you haven’t done before,” added co-advisor Meryl Blau, an advertising faculty member at UM. “It seemed as though many tried to anticipate our moves based on what we created over the past two years, but we were no longer there. We don’t ever do the same thing twice, which always keeps our campaigns fresh and our students one step ahead of the pack.” 

For more information about the American Advertising Federation’s National Advertising Competition, click here.