It’s Brock University students like Ashley Howard and Mitchell Cowan who will lead the evolution of the marketing and advertising industry.
The two students took first place and won $2,000 in the 16th annual Grant Dobson Case Competition Tuesday afternoon.
Hosted by the Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film, the Grant Dobson Case Competition provides students the opportunity to showcase their superior creativity and presentation skills to a panel of industry experts.
The competition was followed by the annual Terry O’Malley Lecture in Marketing and Advertising Tuesday night, where keynote speaker Andrew Bailey, partner and CEO of The&Partnership, North America, said the industry is changing rapidly.
Bailey, a Welland native who has gone on to become a Manhattan-based marketing leader, presented on A New Model for a New World – the Agency of the Future at the event held in the in the newly renovated Sean O’Sullivan Theatre.
He said industry clients are now seeking interdisciplinary methods to build their brands. Bailey’s lecture explored these changes in modern marketing and how his agency is working to answer the needs of today.
Bailey was one of the judges of the Dobson competition, and was joined by former O’Malley lecturer and the Director of Content Creation at Traffik, Greg Plata, as well as Peter Shier, President and Partner at Naked Creative Consultancy, Ania Lindenbergs, Executive Director of Brand Marketing at the University of Toronto and Lynn Fletcher, Partner at Fletcher Weir Consulting.
Named after the late Grant Dobson, who served as the Executive Director of the Office of External Relations at Brock University, the competition was implemented to further the objectives set by O’Malley as a platform within the Lecture in Marketing and Advertising to deliver opportunities for students to learn about and implement the current strategies of marketing, advertising and the mass media.
This fall, students were challenged to create a unique marketing campaign for the travel accommodation site, Airbnb, Inc. and pitch their campaigns to the panel of judges. The campaign was to be targeted at Canadian Millennials between the ages of 18-24 with an objective of increasing the number of Airbnb profiles and site activity.
First place winners, Howard and Cowan, presented a compelling and unique campaign that took advantage Parks Canada’s campaign to waive entrance fees to all national parks in 2017. With their clear implementation and research into millennial consumer behaviour, Howard and Cowan took home the grand prize of $2,000. Howard also received the Mark Smyka Best Presenter Award.
“The Grant Dobson Case Competition has helped me expand my marketing portfolio even more,” said Howard.
In second place were students Rebecca Gauvin, Celine Da Costa, Madison Johnston, Sydney Locche receiving the $1,200 prize, followed by students Bliss Gatenby, Sierra Dietz and Marisa Whitecross receiving the $800 prize.
“This event is so worthwhile because we get real life experience,” said Rebecca Gauvin, a third-year Business Communications student and finalist.
According to O’Malley, world-renowned and award-wining marketing icon and Niagara native, the Case Competition does more than allow students to exercise their creativity.
“We want to expose the students to two elements: highly successful contemporary professionals currently making news in their fields; and, with the Dobson Case Competition, put them in front of respected and proven professionals,” says O’Malley. “The students will see the real world and hopefully be inspired to realize they, too, can achieve beyond their Brock days.”
According to O’Malley, “some of the most recognized individuals in the communications world have been part of this day helping to put Brock on a much larger plateau. It’s our hope our students take advantage of this opportunity.”
View more photos from the event on the Faculty of Social Sciences’ Facebook Page at facebook.com/brockufoss.