Temple University’s NSAC team did an amazing job finishing up their competition last week placing fourth out of fourteen teams who presented in front of the NY judges! That’s a great accomplishment for all students involved in the process. This week, I sat down with graduating Advertising-Art Direction student, Angela Lanza, to talk to her about NSAC in general and what it’s like to participate in the competition for future Temple students who may be interested in trying it out.
What is NSAC?
NSAC stands for National Student Advertising Competition. Over 150 universities participate in this competition every year and they are grouped 15 districts. The winners from each district go into the finals and present during ADMERICA for the national winning title.
Each year these colleges are given a client to create a full on campaign to satisfy the requirements of the company and to provide a creative solution to the current brand problem. Each school is required to provide and campaign book and a presentation to execute their campaign to the judges.
The client this year was Glidden Paint at Walmart. It was more of a challenge this year because we had to focus on two different brands and have them work together cohesively. In the past, they had client brands such as Nissan, JCPenny’s and State Farm.
I know NSAC is broken into two semesters, can you explain the workload break down for members who may be interested in joining?
Fall semester is more focused on research and strategy. We explore the current and target segments and evaluate the results. This past fall, the NSAC did a wall painting expo on campus along with conducting focus groups.
In the spring, it more about taking the research and strategy and applying it creatively. This also involved finding the appropriate media placement for the create such as TV, print, outdoor, radio and social media. You also can produce a commercial! This semester also comes with hard deadlines such as creating the campaign book and the presentation. This semester is more of the team working together as an agency.
It is highly recommended for all tracks to be involved in both semesters because it will help your project stay cohesive and on track. However, if you are tight on time and/or credits and have to pick a semester, I would decide based on track. If you are research or account, the Fall is most beneficial and if you are art or copy, I would recommend the Spring because that is your time to shine. Every track is needed for both semesters though.
What’s it like for people coming in for just the Spring semester?
I was one of those people who came into NSAC for the spring semester. The research team updated me and newbies with their findings and what they came up with thus far and I just got right into it. We all still participated in last-minute research and created a creative strategy based off the research. I wish I was involved in the fall but it still worked out just fine.
I then focused on the creative since I am an Art Direction track but I feel everyone was heavily involved in every part of the project. The research/media team helped composed the content of the book while the creative team was designing everything in between. We all gave our feedback on every role in the project. It was great to work with people in every track on one project.
How did the team go about brainstorming campaign ideas? Was it collaborative or just the creative team?
Each class we would all bring our thoughts and ideas to the table and then talk it out as a group. Most of our campaign came from a collaboration of student ideas.
Everyone had a role in thinking of the campaign idea. I feel it was more beneficial to have the all tracks involved in the process and not just the creative alone. This is especially true because the research and account were heavily involved in the foundation of the campaign process.
Can you describe how you contributed to the campaign?
I was on the creative team with four other people. We would do our best to divide parts of the creative and be in charge of each section. My main role was the design of the website and the design of the presentation. I was also involved in editing the design of the book and was one of the 5 presenters. In reality, I was involved with a little bit of everything along with the rest of my team.
What was it like presenting your campaign in New York in front of the judges?
My main role as a presenter was changing the powerpoint slides at the right moment of the presentation. It doesn’t sound that crucial but to me it was a lot of pressure. However, once we were halfway through, I felt great. We presented in front of the other schools in our district along with 6 judges who all work in agencies in New York so it is important to be on point.
Once the presentation was complete I was too happy for words. Getting feedback from the judges was so rewarding and a rare opportunity. Seeing all your hard work being presented in front of reps from New York agencies and other universities following with positive feedback was beyond amazing. It was definitely one of the proudest moments of my life.
How do you think NSAC has helped you in getting ready for graduation and starting job searching in the advertising world?
I feel I am more ready than ever to work in an agency environment after doing this project. This entire semester was one big learning experience that involved everything from teamwork to seeing a campaign go from start to finish.
Having the campaign book to bring with you to interviews definitely gives you an edge over the competition because it shows you have worked on a campaign from start to finish. This is even great for account and research tracks because majority of the book’s content is created from their knowledge and experience.
Basically, I highly recommend NSAC because it is such an awarding experience. You work with talented students and you get to present in New York City. It is a lot of hard work but the benefits you gain are completely worth it in the end. We got 4th place out of 14 teams this year and we want to see Temple get a 1st place spot. If you are up for the challenge, do NSAC!
Check out the actual commercial the team produced for the competition: