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Late in 2008, iMedia was approached by Sandra Kumorowski, a professor at Loyola University in Chicago, with an interesting opportunity. Sandra wanted to find a way to incorporate some of the resources on iMedia Connection into a graduate class she was teaching on integrated marketing communications.
We developed the cooperative project as a creative case study/competition, presenting the class with a fictional challenge that reflects a very relevant marketing concern: develop an integrated marketing campaign strategy that will serve to bolster the American automotive category, which has been challenged by international competition, economic, and environmental factors, as well as by ever-changing consumer behaviors.
The resulting campaigns were reviewed by a panel of interactive marketing experts, who judged the proposals based on key points in the digital campaign process: originality/creativity; effectiveness of media integration; appropriateness for the target audience; ability to be executed; and potential for a strong return on investment.
Though all the proposals showed the talent and skill of this group of future marketers, the panel ultimately found one that stood out from the crowd. The winning campaign, What's Fresh in the American Auto Industry, follows, along with some comments from the panel on what made this campaign worthy of sharing with the marketing community.
We hope that the project shines some light on the next wave of talent in interactive marketing: students, who will soon be offering up their skills to an industry that is always looking for the next big idea.