Published on June 21, 2018
For Amber Petersen, Lexie Federkiwicz and Belle Shaw, their class project became a true labour of love.
In the Marketing program’s Promotional Campaign Planning class, student teams perform the services of an advertising agency and work with a local business client of their choosing. “The students are highly motivated in this class,” explains instructor Teresa Sturgess. “Not only is this project going to significantly influence their final grade, but it could also potentially lead to advertising industry recognition and scholarships.” This term, 14 different locally based organizations benefited from student energy and creative thinking on their industry client’s advertising campaigns.
Their client, the Edmonton YWCA wanted to raise awareness and enrolment in their GirlSpace program. GirlSpace is an after-school program that provides a safe space for teen girls to explore their social issues. It offers information and an environment to build the skills necessary to help young women navigate an often challenging and confusing time in their lives.
The students’ research was the project’s foundation for success.
Amber moderated focus groups with current teenage participants and their leaders in the program. Lexie, also a dance instructor, talked extensively to the teenage girls in her dance classes to validate participants’ feedback. This research led to the key insights they needed to position the program and develop their messaging and media strategy.
“The GirlSpace program really hit home for me, I could have used a program like this when I was this age. I think that’s why I became so invested in it – it got to a point where I was even dreaming about it,” explained Amber.
Their advertising campaign not only secured honours in the class, they also won two class awards . Each year, an advertising industry panel comprised of six local advertising agency executives, spend a day at NAIT judging the top campaigns. The judges recognized their project with two awards (Best Digital Solution presented by alum, Ken Jurina from Top Draw and Best Presentation courtesy of Calder Bateman Communications).
And there was more good news to come.
“Teresa encouraged us to enter our campaign into the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Capital Awards. We were thrilled to receive a 2018 Award of Excellence at the gala on May 31,” added Lexie.
Perhaps the ultimate reward came when they presented the campaign to their client, Amber Niemeier, YWCA’s Interim CEO and her team. They liked it so much, they hired Lexie and Amber to see it through. Niemeier shared, “We were absolutely thrilled with this campaign and presentation. They knocked it out of the park and I am glad for the opportunity to bring them on board to execute and see their plan come to life. The YWCA continues to benefit tremendously from this partnership.”
All three team members continue to find value from the hands-on education and industry connections from this class. Teammate, Belle Shaw, was hired by a local advertising agency Keen Creative – owned by Matt Aubin, who is a NAIT marketing alumni.
In fact, other student teams picked up immediate employment offers from their clients. Students Karen Velesco, Khimary Somcio and Althea Alabat were also class award winners for the ad campaign they developed to position and launch a new artisan specialty candle business for their client. Fahad Khan, owner of Canada Prime Marketing hired Althea Alabat in an internship position that includes a mentorship component so she can work on seeing the candle marketing campaign through to its launch.