OSU advertising team strives to repeat success at national competition

Oklahoma State University competes in the National Student Advertising Competition, NSAC, consisting of 20 students dedicated to developing an advertising campaign.

After receiving second place in the national competition, OSU’s NSAC team is more competitive than before, and students must go through an application and interview process to be selected. The team will conduct research and raise funds to cover travel expenses in the fall, and in the spring, they will create a campaign for the selected client.

NSAC is an opportunity for students to experience producing a client-based campaign while working in an agency-like environment. The experience of working in NSAC has helped advertising professionals enter and succeed in the industry. The networking has connected students with advertising professionals across the nation.

Katherine Valentine, a senior at Oklahoma State University, is the fundraising chair for this year's NSAC team.

“The one thing that did help was making the networking connection,” Valentine said. “We met Wes, who was awarded OSU’s most rising star. He works in the advertising business in New York City, and it was cool to connect with him.”

The NSAC organization is awarded class credit for its year-long dedication toward the campaign. The organization meets both in and outside the classroom to design a campaign based on its research. The team experiences agency work characteristics like time crunches, a large-scale budget, in-person professionalism and a creative development plan.

Brandon Havens was a member of last year’s team. He bonded with his teammates over the late nights and coffee runs.

“I feel like NSAC prepared me for the industry better than anything else in my college career combined,” Havens said. “I honestly didn't know I wanted to go into the advertising agency when I joined the team. I immediately fell in love with it through the process. It felt like we were a real advertising agency. We would honestly forget we were students at times.”

This year’s NSAC team has been working on the research since late September and is now working on their research strategy plan.

As the team goes through the competition, the team must win first in the district, then place in the top eight of the semi-finals to proceed to the national competition. The district competition will have a range of teams competing, and they can present their pitch either electronically or in person. During the semifinals, the teams will have a video conference with the judges to explain the campaign in more details.

NSAC encourages younger students to join AdClub to network and have the experience of developing an advertising campaign. Dr. Jami Fullerton, the NSAC coach, has been on the national board committee for more than 20 years.

“It’s a tough competition,” Fullerton said. “NSAC is a big competition because about 6,000 students a year work on it across the country. Everybody knows about NSAC.”