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5.17.23 | READ TIME: 3 MIN

Idaho Universities Dominate at NSAC

Edward Moore

Our CEO, Edward Moore, recently attended the 2023 National Student Advertising Competition, which took place at Gonzaga University.

With our new office in Spokane, I was thrilled the AAF District XI National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) was held this year at Gonzaga University. With Carolyn’s encouragement, I spent the day at Gonzaga Friday, April 28th, catching four of the six teams’ presentations to the four judges. NSAC is a program we look to when recruiting talent and also support financially at the University of Idaho and other Idaho universities.

In addition to the competition, advertising students toured local agencies, including 116 & West in Spokane. Our team was excited to share their experiences in the industry and meet up-and-coming students. Two of our creative team members, Tiffany Patterson and Kameron Simpson, also represented the agency on a panel discussion and answered questions about what to expect on the job and what fuels lifelong creativity. All around, a wonderful opportunity for our team to connect and mentor.

I competed in NSAC during my junior and senior years of college, where I found my love for the agency business. I was enthralled with the concept of finding insight, creating a strategy, and then pitching it to industry professionals. One thing in the academy that mimics the working world is having a team of people trying to accomplish a goal and everything that comes along with team dynamics. Each year teams at universities all over the country work on campaigns for the same client and creative brief; this year, the client was, the highest-traffic job site in the nation.

Group of 7 adults from a panel standing and smiling for a photo

District XI NSAC Results

I am pleased to report our industry (and specifically Idaho) has some smart young students ready to begin their careers in our business. Of the six schools competing this year in District XI, which includes Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana, four were Idaho universities.

I was thrilled to learn that Idaho State University and the University of Idaho placed #1 and #2. Even more exciting than the representation by two of Idaho’s state institutions is the fact that the advisor of the winning ISU team was a former student competitor our agency supported ten years ago.

Group of 14 college students around a blue door at NSAC. This group won the 2023 NSAC

The Value of Strategic Insights

Both the Bengals and the Vandals had a compelling insight that was consumer-driven, the mark of good account planning. They developed creative messaging around a theme that would resonate with the audience. Both selected captivating and appropriate tactics to deliver their campaign. I would have loved to have been in the judges’ room to hear what ultimately separated the two teams. I suspect the smoothness of ISU’s well-rehearsed presentation played a factor.

Several of the presentations gave me goosebumps, a litmus test of sorts around our office. I was even more impressed with the several students who sought out audience members like myself to deliver a personal introduction, intelligent questions, and requests for feedback on our observations. The “it” factor we’re all looking for when recruiting talent is alive and well at our Idaho universities.