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Advertising team wins prestigious Mosaic Award

Top photo: Ad Team members (front, l to r) Thomas Hysom, Aya Obaid, Amanda Watson, Pricilla Ramirez, Maddi Rivers, Sophie Olsen, Russ Gottwald (faculty advisor) and Jackson Kirkland.  (back, l to r) Willy Keating, Malik Williams, Henry Travis, Annalisa Mendoza, Katie Langan, Michelle Maldonado, Marcia Purday (faculty advisor).

The Advertising Team from the School of Journalism and Mass Communications won the prestigious Mosaic Award at the American Advertising Federation District Three Regional Student Competition for their "You Deserve Better" campaign for the job search platform Indeed.

The Mosaic Award honors a team for their commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in their integrated marketing communications campaign. This year's competition challenged students to increase unaided consideration of Indeed among 18-24 year olds by the end of 2023.

The students researched Indeed and its competition, identified potential problems and devised an integrated campaign which included a 13-page plans book along with a variety of creative executions, including video. They had 20 minutes to "pitch" their campaign to a panel of experts who judged and scored their  work.

Marcia Purday, who co-teaches the two classes which comprise the Ad Team with Russ Gottwald, said the team specifically targeted African-American, Hispanic, and first-generation college students after discovering through research that they were more likely to use Indeed than other career search sites.

"This competition experience put our students' strategic and creative skills to use in a challenging way," she said. "I am proud of the work they presented especially because they recognized the importance of advertising reflecting our country's diverse population."

Advertising senior Sophie Olsen, who served as strategy director for the team and was one of the presenters at the Radford, Virginia, competition, said that preparing for the competition taught her the true meaning of teamwork and dedication.  "Ad Team has given me a valuable insight into the world of advertising, and I am excited to take the skills I have learned with me into my future career in advertising." 

The competition was judged by an all-star cast of professionals from the advertising industry, including: Sofia Mavrommatis, content manager for LidlUS; Todd R. Marcum, a Virginia-based marketing consultant and creator; Brittany Pannell, graphic designer with Carilion Clinic; and David Perks, director of strategy at The Marketing Practice.

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