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Ad club gains hands-on experience through contest

Nov. 7, 1997

By Traci Stevenson

Reporter for The Baylor Lariat

The Baylor Advertising Club, members of the 10th district of the American Advertising Federation (AAF), is involved in this year's 'College World Series of Advertising.'

The club is concentrating this year on developing an actual advertising campaign for Hallmark. According to Terry Roller, sponsor and art professor, the students do everything from marketing to designing.

The club is given a $75 million budget and it is their goal to tell Hallmark the most effective way to spend the money on advertising, Cheryl Conn, an Arlington junior and president of the advertising club, said.

'(The ad club) gives students a way to express their creativity in a hands-on experience, while networking with professional advertisers,' Conn said.

Although the organization is open to all majors, the club would like to recruit individuals interested in creative writing, music, acting, radio/television, marketing, research and multi-media, Roller said.

'The club is a wonderful opportunity for Baylor, because we have all the necessary departments on campus and they are able to network together for this project,' Roller said.

According to Gwynn Slavik, AES district coordinator for the competition and account executive and print production of Fletcher Communications, the advertising campaign the students present is probably 'the most impressive portfolio piece' the students gain during their college careers.

Although only five people are allowed to present the campaign at the competition, there are other areas, such as marketing, communications, creativity, media and production, that one can become involved in, Roller said.

Currently, the club is focusing on demographically locating a test market, continuing to stress branding (for example, people looking on the back to notice the Hallmark logo) and researching the company in general, Roller said.

The students not only research the company, but their competitors as well. According to Roller, the group is focusing on encouraging customers to go out of their way to get a Hallmark card, as opposed to grabbing convenient cards at the grocery store.

The competition, which is the focus of the advertising club, takes place on April 16 in the Texas Room of the Waco Convention Center. According to Slavik, the competition will be judged by three professionals in the advertising field outside of the 10th district. The judges are unknown until right before the competition and they have no connection to any of the universities involved, she said.

By winning this competition, the students and the university gain prestige and recognition among all universities and employers, Conn said.

'The students gain tremendous prestige whether they win or lose, the people will leave the competition with lots of 'send me your resumes' and at times out and out job offers,' Roller said. 'It is a great networking system.'

'The students gain actual real-life experience,' Slavik said. 'It is the closest thing to an actual real-life job, without having a job.'

The advertising club usually meets at 7 p.m. on Thursdays in room 113 Hankamer.

If you have questions email Roller at: Terry_Roller@baylor.edu.

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