HPU Team Wins District National Student Advertising Competition

HPU Team Wins District National Student Advertising Competition

Honolulu, Hawaii — Hawai‘i Pacific University advertising students were the district winners of the National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) on Saturday, April 16. The team defeated Brigham Young University-Hawaii and will proceed to the semi-finals phase of the competition. This is the fifth consecutive year that HPU has won the district NSAC competition.

The National Student Advertising Competition, held by the American Advertising Federation, is an annual nationwide competition for undergraduate students from more than 150 colleges and universities. Each year, a corporate sponsor provides a case study outlining a real world marketing challenge. This year students were challenged to develop a $50 million national advertising campaign for Snapple, the 2016 NSAC client.

Eight diversely talented mass communication, advertising, public relations and journalism students researched, strategized and produced the winning campaign plans book. Five were selected to pitch the campaign to a panel of judges. Jackson Groves, Samatha Kwok, Lars Ludvigsen, Sona Pisova and Martin Solhaugen presented, while Dionne Humphrey, Herman Martinsen and Nicole Mendoza coached the team to victory.

“I really enjoyed combining all the things we have learned so far into a creative and thoughtful marketing campaign for a real client,” said Martin Solhaugen, the Creative/Art Director of the team. “Countless decisions regarding design, media platforms, budgets, strategies and most importantly the idea and overall campaign had to be made. For me NSAC is an opportunity of a lifetime.”

The district competition is judged by industry professionals selected by District Coordinator for NSAC Paul Lam and his team. “We try to select judges from a range of agencies and perspectives that can make a difference,” said Lam.

District 13 judges, Brian Watanabe, Associate Creative Director at MVNP; Mei Jeanne Wagner, Vice President of Advertising and Promotions at Anthology Marketing Group; and Melissa Chang, Vice President at Adstreamz’s, Inc., critiqued the plans books and asked each presenting team some very challenging questions.

“Each year the questions get tougher,” said HPU faculty advisor AnnMarie Manzulli. “The judges provide valuable feedback that helps prepare the district winners for semi-finals. We are fortunate our advertising industry invests their time and expertise in our students. It really does make a difference.”

Student Nicole Mendoza shared, “From hours of research, having little sleep, and trying to balance between NSAC and other priorities, this has by far been the most intense yet rewarding experience I’ve ever had. This is one of my biggest accomplishments as a college student and an experience I wouldn’t change for anything!”

NSAC is structured by dividing AAF college chapters across the nation into 15 geographical districts and one virtual district. The winning team from each district then advances to the semi-finals, where NSAC teams compete for one of eight spots at the finals. The final round of the competition is held during AAF’s annual ADMERICA conference, which will be held June 4-7 in Anaheim, Calif., at the Disneyland Hotel.

About AAF District 13
The American Advertising Federation District 13 (AAF District 13) is a 501c6 Non-Profit Advertising Trade Organization that’s affiliated with the American Advertising Federation – Hawaii and Ad 2 Honolulu. AAF District 13 also presents the annual Pele Awards, which honors the Best in Adverting and Design for the year.

Hawai‘i Pacific University’s 2016 National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) team won the District 13 competition on Saturday, April 16, 2016 held at Servco Auto Honolulu. Front: Sona Pisova, Samantha Kwok, Nicole Mendoza. Center: Martin Solhaugen, Advisor AnnMarie Manzulli, Lars Ludvigsen. Back: Jackson Groves, Herman Martinsen. Not pictured: Dionne Humphrey.