By Trevor Diddell
Eller Marketing ’10
The University of Arizona and the Eller College are among 21 universities nationwide participating in the Honda Insight Marketing Competition. Students in the advertising management class, taught by Edward Ackerley, are experiencing something far from your traditional college course. Students have come together to take on the Challenge, forming an in-class, working agency they have named Four 2 Five Advertising.
The students are responsible for researching, implementing, and evaluating an integrated marketing campaign for the 2010 Honda Insight. The competition is a collaboration between Honda and EdVentures Partners, which focuses on providing innovative industry-education partnerships between students, educators, and major organizations. Honda has granted each of the 21 university teams $2,500 that they must budget to accomplish their goal of marketing the 2010 Honda Insight to Generation Y.
“This program allows students to work on a project with real clients, real goals, real budgets, and real outcomes. It is a great complement to the academic learning students get in the classroom,” says Ackerley.
Evan Singer, a senior marketing major in the class, is the agency director for Four 2 Five. He oversees nine agency departments, each of which has its own director. “Our experience within the Honda Insight Competition has been the perfect example of what teamwork can really produce,” he says. Four 2 Five’s creative advertising campaign was set in motion during the University of Arizona’s Homecoming weekend; operations director Shiloh Miller and her team coordinated both events. The first event was on “Bear Down Friday,” November 6th, where three Honda Insights were on display on University Avenue.
“Each school is given a new 2010 Honda Insight for their designated event date. However, we want to do the extraordinary, the unexpected. So we negotiated with Dobbs Honda and Chapman Honda and received two more new Honda Insights for our event,” says Singer. Passersby and participants toured the new cars, filled out quick surveys, and participated in a football toss contest for a variety of prizes. Four 2 Five dubbed this event “Promotion with Commotion,” to emphasize the goal of getting people excited about the car.
The second event took place during the UA Homecoming parade on November 7, when the cars were showcased in the parade along with the floats. Singer says they could feel the enthusiasm and excitement the students generated during the parade.
On December 3, Four 2 Five will showcase its marketing plan to an executive from EdVentures and a member of Honda’s advertising agency to determine if it will qualify as a finalist. That same day the team will send an application box to Honda. Four 2 Five’s moment of excitement will come on December 9, when team members will find out if they are one of three finalist teams. The competition culminates on December 17th when, if selected to be a finalist, Four 2 Five will present its marketing plan to Honda executives in California.
Honda will then determine the winners — the university with the first place team will receive $5,000. The second place team’s university will receive $3,000 and the third place team will bring in $1,000.
With the final decisions on the horizon, the students who participated have experienced something they will not soon forget. Singer sums it up best: “The Honda Insight Marketing Competition is by far one of the most rewarding activities I have ever been involved in.”