If you are looking to fulfill your Marketing Elective credits, you should consider Dr. Ackerley’s MKTG 425 Advertising Management course. This course is centered on providing students with meaningful, hands-on experience as opposed to typical lecture based classes. This semester, our class was given the opportunity to work on two projects: developing and executing an advertising campaign for u-Swirl Frozen Yogurt, and promoting the University Chapter of the American Advertising Federation, also known as AAF.
The AAF is an events only club aimed at getting students exposed to the advertising industry by networking with agencies and industry professionals, attending events held by local organizations such the AAF Tucson and Ad2Tucson, and working on various projects. I took on the task of leading the AAF club for the semester due to the fact that most of the members had graduated, the club needed to be revamped and get up and running again. With other students from Dr. Ackerley’s class, we recruited students at the Eller Leadership Fest by providing them information of what the club offers.
For the first meeting of the year, we had Jenny Wendt, the 2nd Vice President of Ad2Tucson, as a guest speaker to discuss her experiences in the advertising industry and to provide the prospective members with a look at many different opportunities available in the industry. We had pizza and refreshments for the meeting, and had a decent turn out of interested students. Shortly after this meeting, an Executive Board was formed, a Facebook page established for students to keep up with events, and the AAF was later featured on the slideshow that runs on all Eller televisions.
I had the opportunity to travel to Los Angeles to participate in a youth panel discussion on the topic of multiculturalism and diversity sponsored by Initiative Media. This was a multi-faceted discussion to uncover fresh insight into how the millennial generation expects multiculturalism to be expressed in advertising messages, media content and entertainment. This was a great opportunity to network with other students and professionals from the business world, and to hear perspectives from students and professionals from all around the country with various backgrounds. The professional panel included executives from companies such as Leo Burnett USA and Google. More information about this event can be found at www.aaftl.com.
In order to do fundraising for the club, we held a percentage night at La Salsa Mexican Grill on University Blvd on November 10th. Additionally, AAF sponsored a successful percentage night at u-Swirl Frozen Yogurt at the El Con Shopping Center on Thursday, December 8th from 7pm to close.
This experience with the AAF has been nothing short of challenging. I have had the opportunity, along with the other students in MKTG 425 and the Executive Board, to see what it takes to perform recruiting activities for a club that we essentially knew little to nothing about at the beginning. From this experience, I have personally learned a lot about what it takes to recruit members, plan and promote events, be in contact with local professional organizations, and all of the other ongoing tasks that require constant attention. Over winter break, we will be electing a new President to continue on through the 2012-2013 school year, and a great basis has been set for recruiting and event planning. Now that everything is in place once again, the AAF should be able to make a greater impact on campus and make the organization more well known and represented around the UA community.