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Akamai Advertising to go national

by Patricia Synephias, staff writer


This year, HPU Akamai Advertising Agency will compete again in the National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC). HPU has won the district competition eight times out of 13, but has never won the nationals. Yet.



The NSAC requires participating United States colleges to plan a complete advertising, marketing, and media campaign for a designated product or service of a corporate sponsor. The experience is designed to give advertising majors the feel of a real-world project. The sponsor is selected by the American Advertising Federation (AAF), and it provides winning teams with financial awards between $1,000 and $5,000.

After working on the project for a semester, each school submits a plans book summarizing the campaign and makes a 20-minute presentation to district judges. Only 16 schools are selected to defend their plan at the AAF National Conference before a board of industry executives.

Here at HPU, the Advertising Seminar, COM 4900, gathers communication majors who collaborate to create the annual NSAC campaign. The class encompasses the whole process from research and planning to creative execution and presentation. COM 4900 has been taught by Dr. Joanne Gula since 2002 and generally welcomes about 30 students each year. The class is divided into specialized teams that each focus on one aspect of the campaign, such as print, TV, radio, promotion, and public relations.

The 2004 campaign aimed at increasing tourism in the state of Florida; this year, HPU has to promote Yahoo’s new search engine. The fact that this product is a relatively new service inspires and at the same time challenges. “I think it is going to be tough because of electronic limitations on campus,” said Gula.



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