MTSU students have won top honors and a $5,000 prize in a nationwide collegiate advertising competition to promote natural gas usage.
Five members of MTSU’s “Natural Solutions” team, representing the 18 students in a spring 2013 advertising and public relations campaigns course taught by Dr. Tricia Farwell, were in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday for the finals of the America’s Natural Gas Alliance Collegiate Energy Challenge.
The student “ad agency” created a special campaign, “I am a natural,” to tout natural gas as a clean, domestic energy source for the industry group that represents U.S. natural gas exploration and production companies.
Lauren Foley, Talor Burns, Lauren Nelson, Kaela Dalecke and Brittany Moyers made the campaign presentation to the judges, earning the ANGA Scholastic Achievement Award.
“This is clearly a testament to the hard work of our students and to Dr. Farwell’s leadership, which has been inspirational,” said Dr. Dwight Brooks, chair of the School of Journalism in MTSU’s College of Mass Communication.
“I understand the team was up all night rehearsing their presentation, so it’s clear their efforts were worth it.”
As part of the competition, student teams had to research, create and implement an integrated marketing campaign to educate the identified target market of the benefits of natural gas. Student teams each received a $3,000 budget to implement their campaigns.
The “I am a natural” tagline turned up on campaign posters around campus, culminating in an outdoor music event, the “Naturally Bright Music Festival,” that featured performers from Match Records, the student-run record label in MTSU’s Department of Recording Industry.
At the conclusion of the campaign, students created a final campaign book that detailed their research, events and outcomes. ANGA officials judged each team’s campaign book before choosing the finalists, then heard their presentations on Wednesday to pick a winner.
The other finalists were Texas A&M University and the University of Houston. Georgia State University, West Virginia University and Case Western Reserve University also competed in the challenge.
EdVenture Partners helped coordinate the competition with ANGA.
The California-based marketing education consulting organization works to provide “companies, government, trade associations and nation clients an innovative way to communicate with and leverage smart, creative university students and top-notch educators in solving real problems that provide real results and solutions,” according to its website, www.edventurepartners.com.
You can learn more about the students’ project at their Facebook page here. One of their campaign ads is shown below.