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NDSU students participate at District Eight advertising competition April 17

Area students, including Kallista Nilson and Blaze Harmon, from West Fargo, represented North Dakota State University and the state of North Dakota, for the first time ever, at the District Eight National Student Advertising Competition held April 17 in Minneapolis.

Kallista is the daughter of Michael and Susan Nilson, and Blaze the son of Jeff and Rhonda Harmon.

  NDSU's inaugural team placed fourth among seven teams, including Minnesota State University Moorhead, South Dakota State University, St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud Technical & Community College, the University of St. Thomas and the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities.

  The team consisted of 13 students majoring in advertising and public relations and three students majoring in retail merchandising. The team also received assistance from students majoring in architecture, business, art and fashion.

Other team members included: North Dakota students - Carlie Ziegler, Bismarck, Bryce Forsberg, Bottineau, and Kimberly Fredricks, Mandan; Minnesota students - Kelsey Joyce, Brooklyn Park, Tiffani Martinez, Coon Rapids, Alex Ford, Coon Rapids, s

Rachel Strobel, Chokio, Ariel Sangster, Duluth, Natalee Green, Elk River, Samantha Muzzy, Elk River, and Matthew Motley, Vadnais Heights.

  The objective of the competition was to promote JCPenney among female consumers ages 25 to 34. JCPenney provided information on its history and the teams researched the product and devised an integrated communications campaign, including elements from brand and retail industry analysis to designs for print advertisements to a national media plan that would maximize a $1 million budget.

  Four JCPenney employees and one employee from Saatchi & Saatchi, JCPenny's advertising agency, judged the projects.

  The project was completed as part of a semester-long Advertising Campaigns class and is the capstone experience for students studying advertising. The class integrates various skills used in the advertising industry including research, strategic planning and branding, creative and media analysis.

  "This is the premier student advertising competition. I enjoyed working with students from various disciplines to create a high-quality project," said Elizabeth Crisp Crawford, assistant professor of communication. "I am very proud that our students placed in their very first competition."