ACU student group wins national integrated marketing contest

For immediate release
May 13, 1999

A team of five Abilene Christian University integrated marketing students have been notified by Rolling Stone that an integrated marketing campaign they created and implemented to promote milk consumption among college students has been chosen as one of four nationwide grand-prize winners.

The grand-prize winner package includes an eight-week internship for one student at Rolling Stone in New York, a weekly stipend and apartment accommodations for the intern in New York, and a promotional feature about the student campaign and the internship in "Rolling Stone Magazine."

Graham Duke, senior integrated marketing major from Hurst, will be the ACU student representative to intern with Rolling Stone. He led the student team created the winning campaign.

The team's campaign was designed to promote more milk consumption among ACU students. Components included a print campaign featuring prominent ACU personalities with milk moustaches encouraging others to drink milk; special events to promote milk consumption; a tie to a local non-profit program to encourage more people to be involved; and a media blitz featuring creative press kits including fresh milk, information about milk-promotion events at ACU and nutritional facts about milk.

Duke said the campaign was a success. During that week, nearly 700 gallons of milk was consumed on campus while 400 gallons per week is average, 240 pints of chocolate milk were donated to Meals on Wheels Plus of Abilene, and the media blitz resulted in local newspaper and television stories about the promotional activities.

Along with Duke, other team members included Lisa Schmidlap, senior marketing major from Eureka, Mo.; Ethan Whaley, senior integrated marketing major from Bellaire; Jami Smith, senior integrated marketing major from Lubbock; and Josh Copeland, advertising major from Arlington. Dr. Jeff Warr, professor of journalism and mass communication, advised the student group.

Concerning the internship, Duke said, "It's awesome. I'm very blessed to be able to do this, plus, it's going to look awesome on our resumes to say we won a national contest."

While Duke is the only team member going to New York for the internship, he said all team members gained valuable knowledge through the campaign process.

"We learned how to create an integrated marketing campaign," he said. "Probably most important of all, we learned about responsibility and having to deal with different kinds of people."

Warr said the project was a valuable teaching tool. "Real world projects such as this provide the students with experiences that are much more valuable than simple classroom projects. It's primarily due to the fact they not only have to plan the campaign, but execute it," he said.

In situations such as this campaign, Warr said, "Students have real deadlines. They have to really work with the media, so it's just like having their first job. And the ultimate test then is they are judged by the target audiences and not the professor."

The Rolling Stone internship starts June 1 and concludes July 30. Duke said, "I'm looking forward to living in New York and working for a big company. I'm anxious to see how I like the fast-paced lifestyle."


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Last update: May 13, 1999
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