ISC Team Wins Best Plans Book, Places Seventh at NSAC in New Orleans

By Bridgette Sloan
November 2, 2017

A team of 13 students from the University of Kentucky College of Communication and Information’s Department of Integrated Strategic Communication won Best Plans Book and placed seventh out of over 160 teams in the American Advertising Federation’s (AAF) National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC). The annual competition took place June 7-8 in New Orleans during the AAF’s national ADMERICA conference. 

Preparation for the NSAC began in January for the student team. Competing teams were required to develop a plans book and a presentation for this year’s sponsor, Tai Pei, a company that produces Asian-style frozen appetizers and meals. Each team had to examine real-world marketing challenges for the sponsor and synthesize an all-inclusive campaign, complete with a budget, strategies, design work and objectives. The elements of the campaign were documented in the plans book. The student team was advised by faculty members Alyssa Eckman, associate ISC professor, and Adriane Grumbein, assistant ISC professor.

UK’s ISC team qualified for nationals after advancing through district and semifinal competitions. In district competition, the team competed against other schools in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia and earned second place. This qualified them as one of 19 teams invited to the semifinal competition. During semifinals, teams presented a five-minute pitch and took part in a 10-minute interview conducted by Tai Pei’s national marketing team. The ISC team was announced as a finalist on the same day 12 of the 13 members graduated with bachelor’s degrees from UK on May 5, 2017.

At NSAC finals, the ISC team was awarded seventh place overall and earned the Best Plans Book Award, which included a $1,500 prize sponsored by Simmons Research.

“By winning the national Best Plans Book award, the judges are acknowledging the completeness and depth of our campaign, which is exactly what we pride ourselves on in the ISC Department,” reflected co-advisor Grumbein. “The plans book is literally the ISC Department in physical form, bringing together all the courses our department teaches, including research, creative advertising, public relations, direct response, account management and all the electives. Winning the national Plans Book Award underscores that our students are excelling in all aspects of ISC - from beginning to end, concept to completion. This award is a giant gold star for our entire faculty. They say it takes village to raise a child. Well, it takes a department to win Best Plans Book,”

Members of the NSAC student team were Carli Ackerstein, Laura Brower, Madison Elder, Megan Galage, Alé Gibson, Bailey Klutts, Sarah Kosid, Laruen Kowalski, Danielle Mallory, Alexi Mojsejenko, Garrett Ringler, Susan Schuldt, and Joanna Sowa.