Hawai'i Pacific University students win state advertising competition, head to nationals

April 24, 2013

Akamai Advertising
Members of HPU's Akamai Advertising team: Jairus Kiyonaga, Nina Dorthea Terjesen,
Joseph Peach Graves, Analisa Cortes, Ian Boat and advisor AnnMarie Manzulli

HONOLULU — Advertising students from Hawai'i Pacific University will make a repeat appearance at the American Advertising Federation's national competition, after winning the state competition for a second year straight.

HPU's winning team, known as Akamai Advertising Agency, won the AAF District 13 National Student Advertising Competition Finals, April 20, beating Chaminade University. The team will represent Hawai'i at AAF's National Conference, the annual ADMERICA!, scheduled in Phoenix in June.

For the local competition, teams developed a 20-page marketing campaign and 20-minute presentation in response to a real world case study co-authored by the Glidden brand and the AAF Academic Division. The case study focused on the brand as it relates to increasing customer awareness at Walmart stores and driving purchasing behavior among various products that are available at the retailer’s stores across the country. The students were allocated a $10 million dollar budget to develop an integrated advertising campaign.

Faculty advisor AnnMarie Manzulli of the Department of Communication said HPU's team "exceeded my expectations."

"This is not like any other course offered in our program," Manzulli said. "It's an intensive, semester-long production in which students are challenged by a case study for a real national client, a substantial budget and a challenge aimed at a specific target audience."

HPU's students performed in-depth research to develop strategic plans, creative tactics and produce multimedia. Their work was judged by a panel of judges who are industry experts, Manzulli said. "It is the best presentation we've had to date."

The hard work has paid off for Nina Dorthea Terjesen, who was also part of last year's team.

"I'm very grateful to have been able to have completed and won this competition twice," Terjesen said. "It is a great experience and I have learned so much these past years."

"It's more like a job and we get real-life experiences [in advertising and public relations] that benefit us in the future," Terjesen said.

Terjesen said the team wants to outdo their performance in last year's national competition, when Hawai'i Pacific placed in the top 11 percent in the country.

The members of the 2013 Hawai'i Pacific winning team include presenters Joseph Peach Graves, Ian Boat, Analisa Cortes, Jairus Kiyonaga and Terjesen; alternate presenters Katelyn Urquhart and Shannon Rohan; and team members Ashlee Badua, Jaclyn Chew, Janise Cole, Jade Gonzalez, Kristin Leierer, Kelsie McKinney, Ariale Montomery, Glenn-Andre Nilsen and Daniel Thu.

The Hawai'i competition was held at held at Servco Auto Honolulu and sponsored by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. The AAF District 13 is one of 15 districts with the American Advertising Federation with over 200 college chapters represented. Last year, 148 AAF college chapters competed at the district level. AAF District 13 also presents the annual Pele Awards, which honors the Best in Advertising and Design for the year.