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Advertising team in national competition finals

May 11, 2007

KALAMAZOO--A team of advertising students from Western Michigan University is one of two nationally chosen to compete as finalists in the EdVenture Partners Cadillac National Case Study Competition.

The four-person team from WMU's advertising and promotion program was among 53 from universities across the country that competed for the honor. The WMU team will travel, all expenses paid, to Detroit May 22-23 to present its case study to top executives from Cadillac and Modernista, Cadillac's advertising agency. The top team will be awarded $3,000, with the second-place team winning $1,000. One student also will receive an internship with Modernista.

Members of WMU's team are Laura Gera of Elk Grove, Ill., Shannon Bailey of Waterford, Mich., Janice Ojczyk of Fort Gratiot, Mich., and Michelle Jovanovic of Calumet City, Ill. All four are seniors majoring in advertising and promotion. The team's faculty advisor is Dr. JoAnnn Atkin, WMU assistant professor of marketing.

In an EdVenture Partners National Case Study, small teams of students within a class are challenged to consider and answer a number of analytical questions regarding a client's brand positioning, a communication strategy or any other current strategic situation as identified by the sponsoring client. WMU has participated in the EdVenture Partners Cadillac National Case Study Competition for the past four years, placing in the top 10, nationally, each year.

Atkin uses the competition as the captsone project for advertising and promotion majors enrolled in her upper-level marketing class, Integrated Marketing Communications Campaigns. The WMU team developed a fully integrated marketing and communications plan for the Cadillac CTS brand and won the right to compete by beating out three other teams in the class.

"What the students do for this project is what they will actually do for a real client when they enter the advertising and promotion industry," Atkin says. "The experience of developing a campaign from start to finish and then presenting those ideas to industry professionals is invaluable."

Other teams that participated in the opening rounds of the competition this year were from Ball State University; California State-Fresno, Fullerton and Sacramento universities; Drexel University; Florida Institute of Technology; Gonzaga, Johns Hopkins, Penn State, Purdue, San Jose State and Tulane universities; University of Texas --Arlington and San Antonio; and the University of Wisconsin. The other finalist in the competition is a team from Morningside College.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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