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National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) District winners

Advertising students and faculty from The University of Texas and from Texas Tech had the very unique opportunity of celebrating together during the recent AAF District Convention held in Austin. After months of research, creative development, preparation and the final presentation before the judges, both schools came in first place in their respective NSAC competitions. Texas State University was also recognized for their 2nd Place finish.


Teams from seventeen colleges and universities competed at the district level of the 2014 NSAC competition during the Tenth District Convention. (For more about NSAC, see below.) Given the number of teams and NSAC protocols, the Tenth District divided the field of competing teams and held two competitions. The respective winners would be presented to National for consideration of—but not guaranteed—an opportunity to compete at the national level.

In the Tenth District Competition 1, The University of Texas at Austin earned a 1st Place trophy for their efforts while Texas State University placed 2nd. Texas Tech University secured a 1st Place finish in Competition 2. On the basis of their presentation plan books, both The University of Texas at Austin and Texas Tech University were selected to compete during the national conference in Boca Raton, Florida.

Several individual awards were also presented during the District event. Ashley Ann Udell of Texas State University was awarded a $2,500 district scholarship. The Best Presenter award went to Kelby Schmidt of Texas State University, Kelby is now working at the The Concept Farm in New York.

Six Tenth District students were named 2014 AAF Most Promising Minority Students:
Dennis Haynes, The University of Texas at Austin; Anne Javellana, Texas Christian University; Stephania Ortega, Texas State University; Ghada Soufan, The University of Texas at Austin; Michael Barrera, Texas Christian University; Jaime Cheng, The University of Texas at Austin.

Dr. Stutts Honored


An additional tribute was also presented by Texas State University as the school honored Dr. Mary Ann Stutts (third from left) by announcing a newly created scholarship in her honor. The Dr. Mary Ann Stutts Scholarship Fund for Advertising Education recognizes Dr. Stutts’ many years of service to the NSAC and to the students who compete each year. Well respected as an advertising educator and a willing advisor, Dr. Stutts continues to be a valuable resource to NSAC teams at Texas State University as well as other schools across the country. Her dedication to the NSAC has been an integral part of the success of Texas State University teams but also reflects her enthusiasm for all students who have the opportunity to benefit from their participation in the program.

National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) National winners


Purdue University Calumet Wins 2014 AAF National Student Advertising Competition for their Campaign Showcasing Mary Kay.

Bullet     TAG

First Place: Purdue University-Calumet
Second Place: University of Miami
Third Place: Texas Tech University
Best Market Research: University of Texas at Austin
Best Plans Book: University of Miami
Best Presenter: Katerine Vreeland, Johnson & Wales University

Roughly 25 percent of the U.S. population is comprised of Millennials, creating a very lucrative market for advertisers. What better way to understand them than through their peers? Hosted by the American Advertising Federation (AAF), the National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) taps into the mindset of Millennials by challenging undergraduate advertising students across the United States to think creatively and strategically on behalf of one of the country’s most recognizable brands each year.

Mary Kay Inc., the 2014 NSAC sponsor, engaged over 140 AAF College Chapters to develop a $10 million proposal for a national, fully-integrated marketing campaign targeting women 18-25 years old and potential Gen Y Independent Beauty Consultants. After winning its AAF district competition and advancing to the semi-finals, Purdue University Calumet was selected as the 2014 national champion at the NSAC finals in Boca Raton, Florida on Friday, May 29 with their “Beauty Goes Soul Deep” campaign.

“We’ve recently launched several product lines specifically for the college-age woman so it has been a natural fit to partner with the American Advertising Federation as the sponsor of this year’s National Student Advertising Competition to engage some of the brightest and most innovative student marketers with our brand. Mary Kay has tremendous momentum with new products, new digital tools and the energy of our independent sales force. Mary Kay is more attractive than ever as a resume-building opportunity.” –Sheryl Adkins-Green, Chief Marketing Officer, Mary Kay Inc.

Additional teams that competed in the NSAC finals included the University of Miami and Texas Tech University, whose ad teams finished second and third in the competition respectively, as well as Johnson and Wales University – Providence; the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; the University of Nebraska, Lincoln; the University of Texas at Austin and the University of California, Berkeley.

“Millennials engage with brands differently than previous generations did. The NSAC is a unique way for iconic brands like Mary Kay to get fresh insights and creative tactics straight from the target market they are trying to reach. For students, it’s as close to a real-life, hands on industry experience as they can get and year after year, we are amazed by the creativity and professionalism demonstrated by the teams.” —Constance Cannon Frazier, Chief Operating Officer, American Advertising Federation

Each finalist team pitched their campaign in front of Mary Kay senior marketing executives: Sheryl Adkins-Green, Chief Marketing Officer; Michael Glassmoyer, Design Director, U.S. Creative Marketing; Paul Jones, Vice President, Brand and Digital Marketing; Jamie Schott, Director of Corporate Digital Marketing and Innovation and Shannon Summers, Director, Corporate Brand Integrated Marketing.

Outside of the national title, two other finalist teams were awarded prizes from the NSAC research partners for their exceptional work throughout the competition. Ad-ology rewarded The University of Texas at Austin for its superior use of market research and 2014 runner-up, the University of Miami, was recognized for the Best Plans Book by Experian Marketing Services. Finally, Katherine Vreeland from Johnson and Wales University – Providence received the AAF District 7 Bolton-MacVicar Best Presenter Award. The American Advertising Federation National Student Advertising Competition (AAF/NSAC) is the premier college advertising competition. It provides more than 3,000 college students with real-world experience by requiring a strategic advertising/marketing/media campaign for a corporate sponsor. Schools from each district are selected to present their campaigns to a panel of industry executives at the AAF National Conference.

The Tenth District has NSAC College Chapters in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. Schools from the Tenth District have won more national titles than any other district.

How the NSAC Works
Annually a corporate sponsor provides a case study outlining the history of its product and current advertising situation. The case study reflects a real world situation to challenge students’ critical thinking abilities and creativity. Students must research the product and its competition, identify potential problems and develop an integrated communications campaign for the client. Each student team then “pitches” its campaign to a panel of judges.

The Structure of the NSAC Competition
The AAF is divided into 15 districts, each containing one to five states. Additionally, a 16th “virtual” district will be competing this year. Each district holds a regional competition in April. The Virtual District’s competition will be held online during the same period and allow teams to participate in the regional competition without leaving their campuses. The winning team in each district, including the virtual district, and one wild card team then advances to compete on the national level at the AAF National Conference in May.

Judging is conducted by professionals in the communications industry. Judges at the national level are selected from the client and their advertising agencies. Year after year, some districts will have as many as 22 teams competing. More than 150 colleges and universities take on the NSAC challenge each year on a national level.

The competition is governed by the AAF Education Services department and the AAF Academic Division, a group of advertising educators and practitioners from across the country, who oversee the policies and procedures of the competitions. These members ensure that there is a level playing field and that the competition demonstrates the highest academic and professional standards.

For more information about NSAC, contact the Director of Operations.

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