Securing the future of the ad industry

Published: December 13, 2011 (in SCT NEWS + EVENTS)

By Jacob DeChant
Strategic Communication student

A few of the students at The Academy at Palumbo who worked on the marketing campaign.

For ten weeks, a group of students at The Academy at Palumbo honed a marketing campaign for a new Philadelphia Phillies Teen Club as part of a new program overseen by the School of Communications and Theater.

They made their pitch to executives from the Phillies and the Philly Ad Club Dec. 5 in their school’s auditorium. Based on the applause that followed, you could say they hit a homerun.

Assistant Professor Dana Saewitz, ADV, with a grant from the Philly Ad Club, developed a curriculum targeting young, creative and diverse high school students with the goal of encouraging them to pursue careers in advertising. To assist in the effort, she recruited top-notch Temple advertising students who had a passion for passing on their new industry knowledge, and developed a program based in mentoring.

The end result? Seven high school students set their minds on pursuing advertising and at least three Temple students started on a path toward graduate degrees.

Saewitz’s program started with five weeks of in-class work that taught SCT students how to lead a classroom while still allowing creative autonomy. The rest of the semester was focused on developing the advertising campaign and creating the presentation.

Palumbo students identified a single need in the Phillies community outreach program — a lack of focus on their own demographic. In response, they created the Philadelphia Phillies Teen Club, a program that reaches out to students between 15 and 18 years of age. Palumbo’s students wanted to create a program that helped teens feel good about making positive life decisions and promote the advancement of education, rewarding students for excellent grades.

The pitch featured mockups of logos, print advertisements and Phillies Teen Club merchandise all created by the students at The Academy of Palumbo. As if that wasn’t enough to impress, the students also created parting gift boxes for the executives who attended the event, which included Cracker Jacks and a canvas grocery bag with the Philadelphia Phillies Teen Club logo.

The students created this gift box for Phillies executives as part of the campaign.

If students from Temple and Palumbo made one thing clear, it was that the relationships they forged over the course of the semester have impacted their futures.

“Watching these students grow and progress both creatively and professionally has been the most rewarding thing that has happened to me during this program,” Temple sophomore Amy Fiore said.

“This experience of combining education and advertising makes me want to get a graduate degree so that I can continue to teach advertising.”

A.J. King a senior at The Academy of Palumbo said, “The best part of this was the coming together, they treated us like equals and I think that’s what made it so rewarding.” Students from both schools plan to stay in touch through the Facebook page they created for the campaign.

Phillies Fan Development and Multicultural Outreach Representative Ken Johnson said, “It was great to see the students’ perspective. Their logo was fresh and different. I was impressed.”

Feedback that good has Saewitz excited about her new program. She hopes to spread this program to other schools in Philadelphia, further adding to the pool of talent in the city’s advertising industry.