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Cougar Concept = team to beat

Cougar Concept

Valenti School advertising pitch team winning recognition

The Cougar Concept team entered the 2011 National Student Advertising Competition as the team to beat.

Sponsored by the American Advertising Federation, the NSAC is the world’s largest advertising pitch competition.

Student teams are provided a case study of a real corporation that includes the company history of the product and its current advertising strategy. The teams then create an “integrated communications campaign” for the client based on their research of the product and competition.

At the district and national competitions, the teams showcase their four-color plan books and pitch their ideas to a panel of judges. The 2011 corporate sponsor is J.C. Penney.

More than 150 colleges and universities participate in 15 district qualifying rounds.

Last year, the squad from the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication won the gold medal in the District 10 field of 18 schools and went on to compete in the national competitions, where the team placed 18th overall. Before that victory, the last time a UH team had won was 1994.

So coming into this year’s April district battle, the Cougar Concept team knew their competitors were out to topple them.

“We finished less than one point out of first,” said faculty advisor Larry Kelley, an advertising instructional professor. “We won best plans book and the overall silver medal.”

That’s back-to-back district medals for a team that had not been on the award stand in more than a decade.

Oklahoma State University claimed the top district prize this year and the slot in the national competition. But next year, the Valenti team is going for it all.