June 12, 2014
By Matt Hawkins
A team of Bradley Department of Communication advertising majors cashed a semester in the Midwest outdoors into a Big Apple experience as winners of the 2014 Douglas Alligood Award. The seniors developed an advertising campaign for rural Peoria County’s Wildlife Prairie Park to win trip to New York City to meet with Alligood ’56 and other executive staff at BBDO New York.
Dianna Janopoulous, Cory Jensen, Kaitlin Olson, Samantha Zurawski researched and designed an advertising campaign for Wildlife Prairie Park around the theme “Outdoors: It’s In” to promote the park, which has been privately owned since 2013. They utilized a mix of traditional media and social media in addition to strategic use of sidewalk art and costumed characters.
The work resulted in the opportunity to explore the Big Apple’s advertising industry and present the campaign to Alligood and his colleagues. The trip also included a tour of the American Association of Advertising Agencies.
“It was such an honor to present in front of Doug,” Janopoulous said. I thought it would be intimidating, but it was great. He was great with feedback and everyone was responsive.”
The experience, from forming a team to learning from experts, introduced students to demands of the professional world and provided them a significant portfolio item for the job search. Teams selected clients, and then worked with clients to research, budget and design a realistic campaign.
“This was the culmination of everything I learned and gave me a chance to apply it,” Jensen said. “When I go into the workforce, I know I can do this kind of work and employers can trust it. I’ve used it in my job search already and received a good response.”
Knowing teamwork would be crucial to the semester’s success, the four formed a team knowing their personal strengths complimented each other.
“We had a great team. We knew where we each fit and came together to work well,” Jensen said. “We each had our own expertise and areas we could help each other out and that brought chemistry to the group.”
The experience is part of the senior advertising capstone courses taught by Dr. Erin Schauster. Two advertising capstone courses are offered each year. Approximately six teams compete yearly for the Alligood Award. Winners receive a cash prize in addition to the New York City trip.
Alligood, a Bradley Centurion, is a senior vice president, director of horizontal markets and chairman of the diversity council at BBDO.