How the NSAC Works


Annually a corporate sponsor provides a case study outlining the history of its product and current advertising situation. The case study reflects a real world situation to challenge students' critical thinking abilities and creativity. Students must research the product and its competition, identify potential problems and develop an integrated communications campaign for the client. Each student team then "pitches" its campaign to a panel of judges.

The Structure of the NSAC Competition


The AAF is divided into 15 districts, each containing one to five states. Additionally, a 16th “virtual” district will be competing this year. Each district holds a regional competition in April. The Virtual District’s competition will be held online during the same period and allow teams to participate in the regional competition without leaving their campuses. The winning team in each district, including the virtual district, and one wild card team then advances to compete on the national level at the AAF National Conference in May.

Judging is conducted by professionals in the communications industry. Judges at the national level are selected from the client and their advertising agencies. Year after year, some districts will have as many as 22 teams competing. More than 150 colleges and universities take on the NSAC challenge each year on a national level.

The competition is governed by the AAF Education Services department and the AAF Academic Division, a group of advertising educators and practitioners from across the country, who oversee the policies and procedures of the competitions. These members ensure that there is a level playing field and that the competition demonstrates the highest academic and professional standards.

2014-2015 NSAC Sponsor:



Congratulations to Purdue University - Calumet, champions of the 2013-2014 National Student Advertising Competition sponsored by Mary Kay!





First Place: Purdue University-Calumet
Second Place: University of Miami
Third Place: Texas Tech University

Best Market Research: University of Texas at Austin
Best Plans Book: University of Miami
Best Presenter: Katerine Vreeland, Johnson & Wales University

To read the full announcement, click here. To order the winning presentation “Beauty Goes Soul Deep” visit our online store.