UNC National Student Advertising Competition Team FAQ & Application
Frequently Asked Questions are below. Contact Joe Bob Hester at
if you have additional questions.
What is the NSAC?
The National Student Advertising Competition is the premier college advertising competition that provides more than 2,000 college students the real-world experience of creating a strategic advertising/marketing/media campaign for a corporate client. Students develop a marketing plan and then pitch their work to advertising professionals at the district, semi-final and national levels.
Who is this year's client?
The client is Wienerschnitzel, but instead of another marketing campaign to bring customers to a business, Wienerschnitzel tasks teams to change consumer perception about a product everyone is familiar with—the hot dog. The specific campaign objective is to elevate the image of the hot dog to increase primary demand. This would result in an increase of consumption of hot dogs through all distribution points including restaurant, grocery, etc.
Have UNC's teams been successful in the past?
Yes. We compete in one of the toughest districts in the nation. One of our district competitors, the University of Virginia, has advanced to national 3 times in recent years, winning 1st, 2nd, and 3rd at the national level. In the last 5 years, the UNC team has won the district competition and advanced to the national level two times, coming in 6th in 2014 and 5th in 2015. And in 2017, we came in 2nd at district in one of the close competitions ever: the top three teams were separated by less than 2 points.
Is it also a MEJO course?
Yes, MEJO 690 Advanced Advertising Campaigns is the course (3 credits). If selected for the team, you must be enrolled in the course to participate.
Do I have to be an advertising major to apply?
No, you just need a strong interest in advertising. While most participants are advertising majors, the best teams usually include some members from other areas such as Public Relations, Graphic Design, Journalism. We have also had excellent team members from outside the MJ School (Psychology, Art, Business, etc.).
Do I have to be a senior to apply?
No. While MEJO 690 is a capstone course, we have had talented juniors on the team several times in the past. If you are selected for the team as a junior, you could apply again as a senior. It doesn't happen very often, but we have had several people compete in 2 different years.
When does the course meet?
Class meetings are scheduled 12:30-1:45 p.m. on Mondays & Wednesdays. You can expect to have at least 2 additional weekly meetings with subgroups on the team.
I've heard that this competition takes a lot of time. True?
Yes, this is a very intense competition, and you should be prepared to spend a significant amount of time working on it. Also, note that even though the class doesn't start until the spring 2019 semester, the team will begin working on the project during the fall 2018 semester.
Are there any costs associated with the competition?
All competitors must pay national dues ($55) for the American Advertising Federation, which sponsors the competition.
When/where is the competition?
The district competition is Friday, April 12, 2019 in Cary. If you win there, the semi-final competition will be held virtually in early May. If you make the top 8 in the semi-finals, the national finals will be held during the American Advertising Federation's national conference at The Diplomat Resort in Hollywood, FL, June 5-8, 2019
How do I apply?
Click on the "Next" button to fill out the application. Note that applications are due by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, September 21, 2019.
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