Marshall University’s Ad Club
The 57-year-old advertising major at Marshall University started as an interdisciplinary program among the Business Administration, Journalism and Speech departments of the Arts and Sciences College. Advertising’s history, however, reaches back to 1921 when the Commerce Department (the forerunner of the Elizabeth McDowell Lewis College of Business) first offered Commerce 37 – Advertising.
When W. Page Pitt launched the journalism program in 1927 with nine journalism specific courses, advertising was not among the offerings. In 1939 two new courses, Newspaper Advertising Practices and Ad Copy and Layout, were offered through the journalism department, with “the Grand ol’ Man of Journalism” himself as instructor. By then, Commerce 37 had evolved into Commerce 330 – Principles of Advertising.
These three advertising courses formed the heart of the interdisciplinary advertising major first offered in 1954. Several additional courses from Business Administration and Speech were added to the three long-standing advertising offerings. Journalism added Industrial Publications, News Photography, and Law of the Press to the advertising major and Art brought in Lettering, and Drawing and Painting.
A major shift in the program came in 1962 when students majored in advertising in the College of Arts and Sciences, but could opt to concentrate in Business Administration, Journalism or Speech. With the fall 1969 Marshall University Bulletin advertising first appeared as a sequence wholly in the administration of the Journalism Department.
Advertising has grown as a program through several transitions of journalism from a department to a school, to naming the school after the founder W. Page Pitt, to the addition of mass communications to the name and finally to free standing independent status in 1998.
In the fall of 1973, Marshall became one of the early schools to form a student chapter of the American Advertising Federation, a national organization that bridges the academic and the professional communities. The MUAAF chapter, or “Ad Club” has provided a rich palette of opportunities for student travel, networking and practice in the business.
Out Loud, a student run advertising and public relations creative services agency, was launched in the fall of 2009.
From the original three courses a full menu of offerings have developed that encompasses advertising writing, design, media, research, strategy and campaigns. Graduates are prepared for careers in local, regional or national companies on the agency or on the client side of the business.
The most notable activity of the MUAAF is participation in the National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC), a real world experience that demands creation and production of a professional level national advertising campaign. National sponsors such as JC Penny, State Farm Insurance, America Online, Coca Cola, Toyota, Saturn, Burger King, Visa, Pizza Hut, and Bank of America, provide a rigorous challenge of researching a product, client and target, analyzing the marketing situation, designing a media plan that delivers the audience within a defined budget, creating a viable creative theme and producing sample advertisements and commercials, and proposing marketing communications and sales promotions support. Concepts and ideas from 32-page plans book are “pitched” in a 20-minute presentation before client judges in the district competition, which means an annual trip to a Fifth District location. As part of the advertising capstone curriculum the campaign draws on experiences gained in previous advertising courses. Since 1983 Marshall has placed among the top four district competitors 15 times, four of those being first place, allowing MU AAF to represent District 5 at the national competition.
Career conferences in New York City, Atlanta, Cincinnati and Dallas hone advertising majors’ resume, interview and portfolio presentations, using advice from those who hire in the advertising industry to prepare for their all important job searches.
MUAAF member are eligible for the Vance Stickell Internship, a prestigious and highly competitive summer internship with a national company. Pete Ruest, Jennifer McLaughlin, Katherine Grant, Krystal Nichols and Molly Grove are alums of this impressive and fruitful program that took them to New York to work for TV Guide and for Newsday, to Los Angeles to work for the Los Angeles Times and to Dallas to work for Slingshot Advertising.
Alpha Delta Sigma, ADS, is the honorary branch of AAF, and the Marshall chapter inducts an average of four members annually during the journalism awards ceremony.
As is true with most organizations, MUAAF members are responsible for fund raising to finance their activities. The Homecoming Roster provides an opportunity to learn selling, writing, design and production. Other fund-raisers have included airplane washes, book sales, bake sales and the infamous Vicious Valentines, whimsical insults delivered complete with dead roses and black balloons.
Advertising students may enter selected class projects in the ADDY National Advertising Awards competition. An ADDY win adds a lot of spice to a resume and demonstrates professionalism to prospective employers.
MUAAF also hosts speaker programs with local and regional advertising practitioners, tours of local advertising businesses, and has recently launched a fall tour of an established agency followed by lunch with advertising alumni in the area.
The on-line mentoring program matches chapter members with alumni who are advertising practitioners in agencies and companies across the country. Mentor pairs are matched for a year and are free to exchange any useful information about the job market, resume writing, class problems, or have simple friendly chat, but students are not to request employment with their mentors.
Many MUAAF members have crossed the bridge to advertising careers. You’ll find them at Volvo, Moroch, the Newspaper Advertising Association, the Tonight Show, BBDO-Chicago, Young and Rubicam owning their own agencies as with Access in Roanoke, Va, and closer to home at the Arnold Agency. They’re also at Charles Ryan, in state government, at the Charleston Newspaper and other local media. Affiliation with the American Advertising Federation helps students take the first steps to an advertising career, and can help seasoned practitioner alumni keep in touch.
MU AAF is open to any student who has an interested in advertising, and who has completed or is enrolled in one advertising course. The chapter meets weekly with specific dates determined each semester to best accommodate members’ schedules. Dues of $45.00 a year include local and national obligations. For more details visit the national AAF website, www.aaf.org, and click the College Connection link, visit www.marshall.edu/sojmc and click student organizations, or e-mail Professor Janet Dooley or Professor Alyson Goodman.
Marshall Vance Stickell Interns
Addy Award Winners
2001 Washington Media Scholars Foundation Competition
WV Underage Drinking Prevention and Social Marketing Project – Public Service Announcement
Mission Statement: Marshall University Students in Free Enterprise will share their knowledge and experience in education programs and consultations that will assist in rebuilding a vital city and business economy in the Tri-State in general and in Huntington specifically.
SIFE students apply their classroom skills in real world situations that demonstrate how free enterprise principles can solve local regional and international problems. The team produced advertising projects for several local small businesses including Huntington Hall of Frames, Downtown Huntington Partners, Tri-State Literacy Council, Café Espresso, Abode, West Virginia Heart Association, Dress for Success, Curves and others.
2009 and 2010 Sam's Club Environmental Sustainability Challenge, a program to encourage local projects. $10,000