June 8, 2007

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Coca-Cola Awards University of Minnesota – Twin Cities First Place in 2007 AAF National Student Advertising Competition

Students Honored During AAF National Conference in Louisville


LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The team of students from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities was victorious today in the American Advertising Federation (AAF) 2007 National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC). The University of Minnesota – Twin Cities took first place for an integrated marketing campaign created for the Coca-Cola Company.

Rick Zuroweste, group marketing director, Coca-Cola Trademark, Coca-Cola North America, commended the team for having the "most thorough analysis" out of all competing teams. "The fresh, not fractured, campaign clearly defined the brand architecture and featured a brand idea unique to Coca-Cola®." He further commented the team did a "solid job of emotionally segmenting the market to drive Coke consumption" among the youth market, designated the Millennial Group.

In their "Together" campaign, the students positioned Coca-Cola as "an uplifting part of youth's favorite shared experiences," taking existing Coca-Cola consumer values and making them relevant to the Millennial Group. The "Together" campaign sought to engage the Millennial Group and establish Coca-Cola as an integral part of their social lives. The campaign featured an essential characteristic of the Coca-Cola brand personality—the unique role it plays in uplifting social connections.

Coca-Cola invited AAF's college chapter members to develop an integrated marketing campaign for Coca-Cola classic, one of the world's best-known and beloved brands. The students' objective was to develop a plan inclusive of advertising, media, retail activation, packaging, public relations and promotions. For several months, the students—working in teams—conducted primary research to study the target market, including its media habits and its competition. Getty Images provided use of images for the teams, and their materials were featured in the winning campaign. Other companies that contributed to the NSAC teams are Nielsen Media Research, Simmons and SRDS Media Solutions.

Judges from Coca-Cola and its media companies chose the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities over college and university finalists competing at the AAF National Conference 2007 in Louisville, Ky. The following teams placed second through fourth, respectively: University of Michigan, University of Southern California and Syracuse University.

Considered the premier student advertising competition in the nation, the NSAC has become the proving grounds for 80,000 students who have participated and an imperative for an increasing number of ad industry recruiters seeking new talent. Finalist teams are awarded monetary prizes—first place received $3,500; second place received $2,500; third place received $2,000; fourth place received $1,000; and all other teams received $500.

2007 NSAC Finalists
District 1: Quinnipiac University, Renee Gravois Lee, Faculty Adviser
District 2: Baruch College, William Heath, Faculty Adviser
District 2: Syracuse University, Ed Russell, Faculty Adviser
District 3: University of Virginia, Jack Lindgren, Faculty Adviser
District 4: Florida State University, Barry Solomon, Faculty Adviser
District 5: Marshall University, Alyssa Goodman, Faculty Adviser
District 6: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Steve Hall, Faculty Adviser
District 6: University of Michigan, Mary Schmidt, Faculty Adviser
District 7: Savannah College of Art & Design, Art Novak, Faculty Adviser
District 8: University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, Howard Liszt, Faculty Adviser
District 9: Webster University, Nancy Wilson, Faculty Adviser
District 10: Texas Christian University, Mike Wood, Faculty Adviser
District 11: Portland State University, Don Dickinson, Faculty Adviser
District 12: The Art Center Design College – Tucson, Colleen Gimbel-Froebe, Faculty Adviser
District 13: Chaminade University of Honolulu, Cliff Bieberly, Faculty Adviser
District 14: California State University, Chico, Bill McGowan, Faculty Adviser
District 15: University of Southern California, Ken Wilbur, Faculty Adviser

Wild Card Team: University of Texas at Austin, John Murphy, Faculty Adviser

The 2007 NSAC judges include the following advertising professionals:
— Todd Arata, Advertising Director, Coca-Cola North America
— Andrea Brown, Director, Strategic Media Planning, Coca-Cola North America
— Kendra Hatcher, Senior Vice President, Director of Consumer Context Planning, MediaVest USA
— Andy McMillin, Director, Coca-Cola Trademark, Coca-Cola North America
— Rick Zuroweste, Group Marketing Director, Coca-Cola Trademark, Coca-Cola North America

For more information, contact Connie Frazier, executive vice president – AAF Mosaic Center & Education Services, at cfrazier@aaf.org, or (202) 898-0089.

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The American Advertising Federation (AAF), headquartered in Washington, D.C., acts as the "Unifying Voice for Advertising." The AAF is the oldest national advertising trade association, representing 50,000 professionals in the advertising industry. The AAF has a national network of 200 ad clubs located in ad communities across the country. Through its 215 college chapters, the AAF provides 6,500 advertising students with real-world case studies and recruitment connections to corporate America. The AAF also has 130 blue-chip corporate members that are advertisers, agencies and media companies, comprising the nation's leading brands and corporations. For more information, visit the AAF's Web site at www.aaf.org.