TCU’s team placed second in this year’s American Advertising Federation’s National Student Advertising Competition. The team advanced to the finals after winning the semi-finals competition in April. TCU students have actively participated in NSAC since 2000 and placed several times at the district level, but never higher than fourth at the national level, until this year. As they announced the second place winner, the panel of judges commended the all-female team for their “super thorough research that led to some really amazing audience insights.” The client this year was the dating app, Tinder.
Madison McQuary, co-leader of the team, said, “I loved that all the judges commented on how our team was cheeky, fun and engaging to watch on top of delivering really educational information. We had such a strong plans book and presentation that helped tie together the provocative, creative message of our campaign.”
Emma Huels, the team’s other co-leader, reacted to the news by saying, “Placing second out of almost 100 teams felt absolutely surreal. This NSAC team was so special because everyone truly believed in our campaign idea. We all ate, slept and breathed Tinder for that whole semester. Putting in hundreds of hours of work, and then to get second place and see our campaign appreciated by the AAF and Tinder made the experience all that more worth it,” she said. “This whole experience was a true reflection on the amazing education the Schieffer College arms us with as students. This year’s experience in NSAC put that education to the test, and to see our hard work earn us a second place just demonstrated how ready we are to go out into the workforce and start applying this knowledge to our careers!”
The other members of the team included Liza Bilich, Huyen Ho, Kayla Koski, Katie Kramp, Margaux Nersesian, Vivian Noyd, Riley O’Donnell, Alison Parks, Grace Pizzala, Liv Shin, and Lauren White. Associate professor Wendy Macias served as advisor.
Macias said she has never worked with a more supportive group of young women. “The students consistently impressed me with their incredible work ethic, strategic thinking, excellent writing and editing, and creative problem solving. These are all skills they honed during their time in the strategic communication major with our amazing faculty.”
McQuary remarked, “My media planning, budgeting and strategic ideation skills were sharpened the most during my senior year spring semester in this class. It’s great that now during post-grad, after managing a $10 million budget for a big-name company and pitching to all these executive judges, I can confidently use these skills in my new job as a Brand Engagement Coordinator at Agency Habitat, a great Fort Worth advertising agency. I highly recommend that ALL students at TCU should take part in NSAC because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”