Creative confidence was on full display at a Park Avenue high rise in New York City on June 23 as LMU marketing students competed in the national finals of the 2021-2022 Effie Collegiate Brand Challenge. Two of the top three teams were comprised of students from the M-School, an innovative marketing pathway in the College of Business Administration.
Pretty impressive considering this is the second year that LMU has participated in the collegiate competition, which launched in 2009. In fact, it’s proven to be such a powerful learning experience that M-School co-directors Andy Rohm and Matt Stefl – along with industry partner Bernice Chao, head of integrated creative at Zambezi – decided to embed the Effie project into the “Creative Brand Management” capstone course for seniors. A total of 13 LMU teams entered the competition this year with three making the semifinals and two advancing to the national finals.
Each year, hundreds of collegiate teams across the nation participate in the Effie competition, which provides students with an opportunity to research, ideate and develop comprehensive marketing plans to address real-world business challenges. This year, students aged 21+ were tasked with launching the next high-profile celebrity/beverage collaboration for project sponsor Pernod Ricard, the world’s second largest wine and spirits brand.
More specifically, the challenge empowered students to analyze existing influencer-backed beverage brands, identify best practices and popular trends, and provide recommendations on how to create a culturally relevant brand to the highly potent and media savvy Gen Z consumer population, including suggestions on how to influence responsible consumption patterns. Students presented their final ideas to over 15 marketing executives at Pernod Ricard headquarters – all of whom asked tough questions and provided thoughtful feedback.
Congratulations to the following M-School student teams and their industry mentors:
First place and $3,000 to Lillet “Play With Your Drink” by Elinor Doran, Emma Pollon, Gio Poisl and Kalea Vandeventer, under the mentorship of industry pros Sean Choi and Joesephine Kim; watch project video
Second place and $2,000 to Absolut Vodka “Mixed For The Moment” by Griff Nuelle, Charlie Good, Will Portman and Will Barnet, under the mentorship of industry pros (and M-School alums!) Caleb Nyberg ’14, Bradley Richards ’14 and Mark Riker ’15; watch project video
“We couldn’t be prouder of all our teams that entered the competition, especially those who stood on the podium,” said Stefl, who accompanied the finalists to NYC. “Snagging first and second is not only a testament to how smart and hardworking our students are, but also the potency of our hand-crafted curriculum, rock star instructors and talented mentors that guide our students along the way.”
Recent graduate Will Portman found this project to be especially satisfying because it took him out of the classroom and into the real world.
“Presenting our campaign to Pernod Ricard was one of the best things I could’ve done to prepare for entering the workforce,” said Portman. “I’m seeking to begin my career somewhere in the design/art direction space which will require pitching ideas to clients so this experience gave me a taste of what success could look like.”
“This experience has been unexpected and incredible in all the best ways,” added Elinor Doran, who recently accepted a job offer as a marketing data analyst with Deloitte Digital in Washington, D.C. “I am endlessly grateful for the opportunities and experiences I was granted through M-School; it truly is a special program.”
Effie Worldwide is a global non-profit with a mission to lead, inspire and champion the practice and practitioners of marketing effectiveness through education, awards, ever-evolving initiatives and first-class insights into marketing strategies that produce results. The Effie Awards, launched in 1968, are known as the pre-eminent award in the industry that honors the most effective advertising efforts.