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by Jennifer Ching, staff writer


Akamai Advertising is the HPU student chapter of the American Advertising Federation, the oldest national advertising trade association. AAF headquarters are in Washington, D.C. and the federation is known as the “Unifying Voice for Advertising.” It represents 50,000 professionals, about 200 ad clubs, and 215 college chapters with about 6,500 students. Its corporate members include 130 blue-chip companies, agencies, and media corporations, comprising the nation’s leading brands and corporations.
This year’s staff advisor for Akamai Advertising is College of Communication instructor Katie Clarke. “The AAF runs the National Student Advertising Competition every year,” Clarke said, explaining that this year’s the contest is sponsored by the Century Council, a nonprofit comprised of distilleries and dedicated to eradicating underage drinking and drunk driving.
“ I think the students would agree that it has been a tremendous undertaking, and hopefully equally rewarding and enriching,” Clarke added.
The campaign team includes 27 club members and the students in the ADPR capstone class. This year’s challenge was to create a campaign to decrease binge-drinking among college students ages 18 to 22.
“ Just like a real agency,” said Clarke. “We all contribute to the campaign via different assignments and positions ranging from research to creative concepting, publicity, graphic design, public relations, campaign copy testing and evaluation, and pitching,” said Clarke.
The district competition was held at Servco in Honolulu on April 25, as this issue went to press. Akamai Advertising faced the University of Hawai‘i AAF chapter to decide which team would represent Hawai‘i in the national competition. If Akamai Advertising succeeds in grasping the state title again, the team will travel all expenses paid to Washington, D.C. to compete in the national competition in early June.
“ Regardless of the competition outcomes,” Clarke said. “I think we've already won. My overall teaching goal is to empower and inspire my students with the skills, tools, and imagination to be better equipped to live their dream life on the last day of class than they were on the first day. I think this “real world” experience is a fantastic way to bring all of the theory into practice.”
Clarke added, “It totally inspires me to see students take ownership and put their hearts and souls into creating the best campaign that they can. And it is especially rewarding to see them work on a campaign for such a relevant and worthwhile cause.
“ I've coached national award-winning teams before, and I’ll tell you, there is nothing like seeing your students succeed.”



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