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UA Ad Team Finishes 2nd in District 7 NSAC, Waters Wins Educator of the Year Award

The University of Alabama’s 2017-18 Ad Team finished 2nd out of 20 at the AAF District 7 National Student Advertising Competition. Jay Waters, AAFT Co-Vice President of Programs, was awarded the Donald G. Hileman Memorial Educator of the Year Award.

The University of Alabama Ad Team finished 2nd in the AAF National Student Advertising Competition for District 7 last month. According to the College of Communication and Information Sciences, this is the 24th consecutive year that the school’s team has finished in the top four of District 7, and the 19th out of 33 that they have finished in 1st or 2nd place.

A total of twenty teams from universities across the southeast participated in this year’s District 7 competition held in Jackson, Mississippi. Each team presented their campaign process and strategy to a panel of judges. East Tennessee State finished in first place and Loyola University finished in third.

The National Student Advertising Competition is AAF’s premier college advertising competition that provides more than 3,000 students with real world experience in creating strategic advertising campaigns for a corporate sponsor. This year’s corporate sponsor was Ocean Spray.

UA’s 2017-18 Ad Team was comprised of 15 advertising and public relations students: Allie Burton, Mary Buzbee, Charlotte Frank, Piper Giddings, Grace Golden, Caleb Ledbetter, Hughston May, Alli Ninmann, Lindsay Rudoff, Connor Schobel, Rachel Sowell, Elizabeth Swartz, Patricia Sylvia, Nelle Thomas and Abigail Wolfe. The assisting digital media production team was comprised of three members: Alexandra Cherry, Rhianna Israni and Reagan Wells.

Over the Spring 2018 semester, the team created a full-scale advertising, marketing and media campaign from the ground up. According to the students, their process included everything from conducting primary and secondary research to developing creative strategies to writing a 21-page plans book. Four members presented the team’s campaign at the competition.

“It’s been really fun seeing a campaign from start to finish,” Ad Team members said. “Everyone worked really well together, and everyone’s opinion was valued. We produced better work as a result of having so many different skill sets on our team.”

“Everybody worked hard, and we put in some crazy hours,” said Jay Waters, the Ad Team adviser. “They were self-motivated and self-disciplined. I’m super proud of them.”

Waters, who is also AAF Tuscaloosa’s Co-Vice President of Programs, was awarded the Donald G. Hileman Memorial Educator of the Year Award. This award honors a college educator for “outstanding service to advertising students through an advertising team, a student advertising club and teaching of superior quality.”

“To be honest, I wasn’t really paying attention to the announcement,” said Waters. “When they called my name, it kind of startled me. I was completely blindsided by winning. Overall, I’m really humbled and honored to win the award.”

Waters and the students feel that next year’s Ad Team is destined to finish in 1st place.

“Last year we won third place, this year we won second, and next year it’s first,” the team said.