Arrowhead Advertising Advances to Final Round of AAF National Student Advertising Competition

Arrowhead students
Image courtesy of Arrowhead Advertising

After FSU’s Arrowhead Advertising competed in the semi-finals on Thursday, May 7th, they were selected as one of the top 8 teams advancing to the finals of National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) sponsored by the American Advertising Federation (AAF). A total of 103 schools competed at the district level, where 17 winning teams went on to the semi-finals. The judges narrowed it down to 8 teams advancing to the national finals which will be held on May 20th via Zoom.

Dr. Jaejin Lee, School of Communication Associate Professor, is Arrowhead’s faculty advisor. With the help of Cassandra Nicolace, an Arrowhead alumna and Integrated Marketing Communication graduate student as assistant advisor, Dr. Lee leads the advertising team. Arrowhead has worked on their campaign since the beginning of the Fall 2019 semester for NSAC, and this year’s client sponsor, Adobe. This is NSAC’s first-ever B2B (Business-to-Business) campaign. “Working on the very first B2B campaign in NSAC’s history since 1973 was challenging but a great experience. Also, it helped us to learn more about the current advertising industry” said Dr. Lee.

Dr. Jaejin Lee Arrowhead edit
Image courtesy of Arrowhead Advertising

Arrowhead is a team of 19 undergraduate students from various majors who aspire to enter the advertising industry upon graduation. “I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation to my team for their extra hard work, perseverance, flexibility, and positive vibes that got us through the national semi-final competitions,” said Dr. Lee. “With this experiences, I believe that this year’s Arrowhead members will be the most well-rounded the most prepared rookies in the advertising industry, and I’m very proud of them. Throughout this journey, we have become like ‘family’ with love and support for each other.”

Arrowhead operates like a communication or an advertising agency, giving students the opportunity to create an integrated campaign for a real-life client. The team is split into smaller teams in order to focus on one aspect of the research and creative efforts. During the Fall, the research teams are typically (1) Survey, (2) Interview/Focus Group, (3) Secondary, (4) Non-Traditional, (5) Strategy. In the Spring, students are then divided into the teams (1) Creative, (2) Media, (3) Events/PR, (4) Digital/Social. These small groups work independently, then come together every week during class to share their progress. Then, all the teams’ work are put together to create the finished campaign. “This is what agencies do, most of the time, in the industry,” Dr. Lee said.

“As soon as we received the case study from AAF, we analyzed the case study line by line to understand what our client is looking for,” said Dr. Lee. “We spent several months collecting all possible data through primary and secondary research and analyzing it, and based on the results, we developed the strategy and creative executions.”

“Through in-class collaboration and many late nights on the fourth floor of UCC, we delivered our 20-minute (virtual!) presentation and plans book to the judges,” said Nicolace. “Placing first at the district competition, advancing past semi-finals, and now competing among the top 8 teams in the country in the national competition feels surreal. As an advisor, it’s all I could hope for – our students have made lasting friendships, produced high-caliber work, and are getting the recognition they deserve.”

Arrowhead will have a new faculty advisor beginning in Fall 2020: Kelly Kelly, an incoming FSU School of Communication faculty member from the University of Florida. “She is amazing,” said Dr. Lee. “We look forward to working with the new leadership.”

Members of the 2019-2020 Arrowhead Advertising team:

Cassandra Nicolace (Assistant Advisor)
Amanda Rivera
Andrea Guevara
Andrianna Peters
Avery Centrella
Carter Montgomery
Isabelle Feanny
Jake Lenze
Jasmine Farooq
Jessica Zide
Jo Ng
Jordan Glover
Madison Getgood
Olivia Leete
Pablo Torres
Parker Hogue
Rebecca Buchholz
Sean Flynn
Tyler Tarry
Veronica Quintero
arrowhead advertising group photo