Advertising Students Advance in National Competition

Advertising team members Kayla Patak, Sarah Campbell, Alex Underwood, Amy Allegrezza, Katie Mauro, and Emma Young (left to right) celebrate by throwing up hashtag symbols in honor of their campaign #shareaslice shortly after hearing of their district victory in the National Student Advertising Competition.-Aaron J. Stewart

On Tuesday, the students of the advertising capstone class MCJ 431 heard the news of a landslide victory in their virtual district in this year’s National Student Advertising Competition hosted by the American Advertising Federation.

The competition was to create a new advertising campaign for the company Pizza Hut with the objectives of positioning Pizza Hut as the top digital choice for customers, provide the greatest digital experience and reach a target goal of 75 percent of all orders being done online or by Pizza Hut’s new smartphone app.

Their collective efforts on the project began as early as October of 2014, and each student has tirelessly worked for months on the research, organization and creativity in order to pull off their great achievement of winning first place in their district, which now puts them in the semifinals of the national competition. 

Their next step is to present their campaign once more to a panel of judges made up of advertising executives for top agencies across the country on May 5. If they are successful they will participate in the finals in Las Vegas against the top collegiate teams in the nation.

The campaign is known as Share a Slice (#shareaslice), which uses social media to promote the usage of Pizza Hut’s new smartphone app, as well as connect people with Pizza Hut’s philanthropic service to World Hunger Relief. Customers will also be able to share order creations with their friends on social media through the app’s “create your own pizza” feature.

Through #shareaslice, app users will earn points through placing and sharing orders, as well as making donations to World Hunger Relief, which can then be used for free food and drinks to add onto the user’s next order.

We crushed it,” said senior advertising major Sarah Campbell. “(One of the judges) said that she has seen multiple presentations over the week and none offered corporate responsibility socially, and that we were bold, brave and provocative.”

Afterward, the team sat anxiously in front of a computer screen for over an hour waiting to hear the results. Finally, at 4:30 p.m., They got the news that they had won overall in what seemed like a very easy decision for the judges.

As they await next month’s semifinals, the team is staying highly optimistic about their chances of advancing to the national finals.

Personally, I believe that our chances our fairly strong to make it through the next round of the competition successfully,” said senior advertising major Katie Mauro. “This group has been solid in the fact that we have the dedication, heart and overall competitive drive that will help us succeed in the long run.”

With a little bit of luck, The MCJ 431 students just might make it all the way to the finals in Las Vegas, where they just might get to #shareaslice of national victory.