On Saturday, the teams were announced and mentors were assigned. Mentors oversee about a dozen teams of students at a time, so they pop in whenever they can to advise and consult on campaign plans.
Two of the MSU teams’ mentors are Andy Azula and Mo Said. Andy is the Executive Creative Director at The Martin Agency in Richmond, Virginia. Mo Said works as the Senior Copy Writer for Droga5 in New York. Mo is a Spartan himself. He graduated from Michigan State University in 2012 with a degree in advertising.
Mo gave a presentation later that morning about tags and labels and how people sometimes promote a modified image of themselves to others. Mo explained that for a long time he had almost created this alternate ego of himself and that was the Mo that he showed. As he was listing off his tags, including being a Spartan, he gave a quick “Go Green” shoutout to the group who responded accordingly, “Go White!” He emphasized the importance of finding the place – or the agency – where you fit and where you can be yourself. A quote from Dr. Seuss was shared during his presentation to remind the students that agencies want them for the unique creatives that they are: “There is no one alive who is youer than you.”
The teams were also presented with the brief – Snickers and QQ. Teams have to come up with an idea to use QQ, the largest social networking app in China, to advertise Snickers’ well-known brand message: “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry.”
The brief was presented by representatives from QQ who explained the platform to all of the teams.
Initial discussion from the MSU students has been about the challenge of advertising with QQ, an app that seems to do it all. They’ve learned that it is essentially all of the popular social media sites that they use back home – Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram – but combined into a single app. The two teams got to work immediately to start brainstorming and throwing out ideas as a group.
The competition is picking up quick and from here on out, it is up to the students as the best of the best representing the Department of Advertising + Public Relations from Michigan State University to use the skills they have learned to push toward the prized Golden Pencil.
About the blog
The students' experiences in China will be documented in both English and Chinese by two journalism students from Michigan State University traveling with the group.