MEET THE ACHIEVERS
Achievers: Taylor Mingus, Jada Bruce, Erin Greenwood, Jamia Cadet, Emily Johnson, Baylee Peck and Jalen Spreitler
Grade and school: 12th grade at Pleasure Ridge Park High School
Background: For 16 years, the local chapter of the American Advertising Federation has challenged high school teams to create a marketing/advertising campaign that increases awareness of an assigned topic. Acting as advertising agencies, the teams of students are asked to create a compelling message to influence fellow teens Teams present and compete in a judged competition.
Other local winners:
2nd place: GOink! – Eastern High School
3rd place: MBCY Marketing – Sacred Heart Academy
Also participating, teams from: Fern Creek High School, Southern High School, Male High School, Iroquois High School.
In the beginning: Taylor Mingus explained that teacher Denise Webb encouraged them to enter the contest by making it a class assignment. Jada Bruce said they were allowed to choose their own teams. “Chemistry is really important: being able to communicate and to like to work together, brainstorming and talking about ideas,” she said. “This is such a huge topic; there are so many commercials about it. We talked about how we could make it better, and do it differently.” The group needed a name for their campaign, and they chose “Drop and Drive.”
Their connection to the topic: “We all drive, so we’re all connected” to the issue, said Taylor, saying that they’ve probably all texted while driving in the past. “But I stopped with the campaign.” She said the fact that impacted her the most was “texting while driving increases your chance of an accident 23 times.”
During the judging: Each team went into a room with their teacher and a panel of judges. “They all looked professional; it was super-intimidating,” said Jada. The team presented its video and display and answered questions from the panel. Webb said that part of their preparation for the challenge was learning presentation skills and talking about presenting to different kinds of audiences. “We were really nervous,” said Taylor. “We were prepared, and we wrote up what we wanted to say,” but they hadn’t seen the presentation as a whole before the day of judging. They said the judges asked good questions and “called them out” on some points. They agreed it was a good experience. Emily Johnson said she’d never done anything like this challenge, and she “got the feel for the advertising part” of design.
Teacher quote: “Participation in the annual marketing challenge has provided unbelievable opportunities for my students,” said Webb. “As they develop a marketing plan, they have to learn to research, collaborate, identify their target audience, develop a creative approach, implement their plan, and present their work to a public audience. This year, students really got into incorporating social media to target their peers, they learned new software to create their presentation and create an opening video for the judges.”
Another award for members of the team: Jada and Taylor won first place in the 2015 Better Business Bureau Video Competition for their video “What is Trust?” Jada said that Taylor was in charge of the graphics, and she did the shooting and editing, saying she fell in love with creating videos.