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HUNTINGTON, WV -

Advertising majors from the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Marshall University finished in first place and also won Best Presentation during the District 5 American Advertising Federation’s National Student Advertising Competition April 5 in Louisville, Ky.

Marshall’s 10-member team from the advertising capstone class was asked by Mary Kay, the competition’s sponsor, to propose a campaign to increase awareness, improve perception and generate consideration of products among the 18- to 25-year-old market.

Judges ranked their campaign plans book and presentation first among the eight schools participating from Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia. The students’ work now will be entered into the semi-finals.

During the semester, classmates researched Mary Kay’s advertising problems and proposed a media plan. Their decisions and strategies were condensed into a 27-page “plans book” that was scored by judges in mid-March, followed by a 20-minute live presentation before a panel of advertising professionals in April.

Janet Dooley, director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications and associate dean of the College of Arts and Media, said students started generating original research that led them to insights and allowed them to create “a logical and compelling message for Mary Kay.”

Judges for the competition included Jennifer Shaffer, manager of integrated brand marketing at Mary Kay, Dallas; Bob Renock, partner and creative director of Zero Echo Media, Evansville, Ind.; Lindsey Armstrong, designer and senior art director at Redpepper Integrated Marketing, Nashville, Tenn.; and Terry Followell, brand manager at Oliver Winery, Bloomington, Ind.

Marshall’s team finished ahead of John Carroll University of Ohio and the University of Kentucky, which took third in the District 5 event.

Marshall’s team is made up of 10 seniors, including six students from West Virginia: Megan Adkins from Ashton, Abigail Amor from Culloden, Kaylee Hall from St. Marys, Allison Lake from Ona, Caitlin Taylor from Bluefield and Jennifer Tucker from Lavalette.

Four other team members are from outside the state: Lauryn Corey from Ashland, Ky., Laura Der from Clarksville, Ind., Molly Miloscia from Stow, Ohio, and Clifford “Angus” Walsh from Arlington, Va.