This past Saturday, April 24th, Endicott’s own student-run advertising agency (appropriately titled “The Agency”) was able to take home the first place award for their annual efforts in the National Student Advertising Competition, or “NSAC” for short. This was the first time Endicott has won the first place award, giving the current all-senior members board one more massive achievement to end on.
Every year, the Agency makes a plansbook (a 21-page advertising campaign) along with a 20-minute presentation to complement the same campaign. This presentation is recorded, and then shown to a panel of judges made up of advertising industry professionals involved in the competition. Endicott came out on top of the 6 schools involved in this year’s district 1 competition, and will be moving on to the semi-finals on May 4th. The top 3 school winners of the competition as a whole are given both trophies and cash prizes of up to $3,500.
This year’s campaign was Tinder, which asked each school to create an integrated marketing campaign that would increase Tinder app downloads and improve overall brand sentiment. For the Agency, this meant repositioning the Tinder brand, exploring digital activations across other social media platforms, and getting at the heart of Gen-Z (their target audience).
The process for this campaign began in late august, and since the Agency is moving on to the semi-finals, the Agency is still technically alive and actively competing at the time of writing. In the fall, the Agency would meet one to two times a week to work on research and prepare for creative executions for the upcoming competition. Things change in the spring as the competition gets closer, with team members sometimes meeting for entire days to work on the presentation and design of the plansbook. Meanwhile, presenters are meeting daily to prepare for their speaking roles.
While this is certainly a ton of work, involved students are able to gain an immense amount of real-world advertising experience and buff up their resumes. Of course, this year’s feats were entirely the results of countless hours of hard work and endurance from the current Agency team - all of whom will be graduating next month. The team is made up of seniors Emily Schackart (President & Strategy Director), Laurynn Bedard (VP & Research Director), Alexis Reishus (VP & Presentation Director), and Lucas Michaud (Presenter), and Advisors Sara Allen, Erin Hatch, and Melissa Yang.
Laurynn Bedard reflected on her experience as an Agency member these last few years, sharing, “Joining the agency and competing in NSAC is honestly the biggest reason I feel prepared to start my career. Since freshman year, our team grew so much. We were doing a lot of problem solving, getting some great writing done, and coming up with some really creative campaigns. When we got 2nd place last year, that felt like everything. This year was really hard, and getting 1st, well, that just felt crazy. I’m grateful we were able to grow and get to this place before leaving Endicott.”
Agency advisor Sara Allen shared her pride in the team, “Laurynn Bedard, Lucas Michaud, Alexis Reishus, and Emily Schackart were all in my CMM103 class as freshmen. Looking back now, I can see that their talents, which just made them the District 1 winners, were already there. But to see how they have grown, honed those skills, and become the powerhouses they are today, is such a privilege. One of the judge's comments on the score sheet last week was, ‘I don't believe you are college students.’ I believe that about sums it up.“
Now in the semifinals, Endicott will be competing against schools such as University of California at Berkeley, Arizona State University, and Florida State University, among many others. While we’re hopeful for a complete victory overall, this milestone in Endicott’s history is extremely impressive as is, and should be appreciated and celebrated during the seniors’ final days on campus.