National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC)
NSAC is a collegiate advertising competition that presents students with the opportunity to learn about the advertising campaign process by producing one for a real customer. The competition's client sends each team a brief outlining the campaign's goals and expectations. Each team acts as an agency, performing research on the client to learn about their problems and competitors, formulating a strategic marketing strategy based on their findings, and presenting their campaign to a panel of advertising professionals.
I was chosen, along with 21 other students, to represent The Modern College of Design. We were challenged to raise awareness for Adobe's adtech solution – the Adobe Experience Cloud for Advertising. This was the first time NSAC presented a B2B marketing campaign. Each team was provided with a 36-page creative brief with their brand guidelines, target personas, competitive landscape, and more. We took first place in AAF District Five and competed nationally.
My Role: Designer Team
I was a part of the design team that was in charge of creating visuals that accurately represented the team's vision for the campaign. I worked closely with the art director to ensure all assets were consistent and the message remained clear. I produced visual advertisements and assisted with all visual assets displayed in the plans book.
Adobe's Adtech Problem
Adobe is widely recognized as the creative industry's leader, and they have spent years building a trustworthy brand. Unfortunately, most customers are unaware that they also provide tools in addition to their creative products. Adobe challenged the NSAC teams to use a B2B integrated marketing campaign to boost awareness of Adobe as the premier, independent adtech supplier.
After continual professional interviews, surveys, focus groups, and secondary research, our team was able to address the overall issue: Adobe's reputation as a trustworthy industry leader has not yet extended to Adobe Experience Cloud for Advertising.
The objective of the campaign was to increase advertising business by 25% by raising 2% unaided awareness for Adobe's adtech leadership position, become top 3 for a share of voice for earned media, get 50,000 visits to Adobe.com and Advertising Cloud, and get 10,000 new decision-maker and practitioner contacts from enterprise accounts with a $1 million ad spend per year. In order to reach this goal, Adobe must connect the links between its brand and the advertising sector.
Four Phase Strategy
Our team developed a multidimensional, interactive, four-phase campaign that emphasized key program benefits with unique messaging to each target persona by splitting the campaign into phases. The campaign begins by creating anticipation, earning media, and launching the personas on their Adobe awareness journey. Phase I will target all personas, but phases II–IV will target specific personas in order to communicate the messaging of that phase most effectively. Each round will conclude with a special content offer showcasing brand champions who have utilized Adobe Experience Cloud for Advertising effectively. The campaign will culminate at Adobe Summit when Adobe brand champions will host a brunch Q&A about the Experience Cloud for Advertising, as well as other entertaining and educational activities.
The overall goal is to generate leads and encourage viewers to continue interacting within the next phase.
Phase I: "We've Been Building Something"
This phase will begin the campaign's first month by generating anticipation with the "We've Been Building Something" tagline and pure white graphics – a departure from their regular approach. The messaging will then unveil the name The Adobe Experience Cloud for Advertising, as well as bold, brilliant colors, in conjunction with a city takeover in Boston surrounding the MarTech convention. This phase's messaging will be directed towards all personas.
Phase II: "The Experience"
Phase II continues to incorporate bright images and language that showcase people's experiences with Adobe as well as the experiences they can deliver to their clients. This phase will use multichannel marketing but will rely mainly on digital and print advertisements to keep viewers engaged throughout the Christmas season. The messaging in this phase will continue to target all personas.
Phase III: "Build It"
To capture the attention of decision-makers and evaluators/practitioners, Phase III messaging becomes more industry-specific. Advertisements throughout this period will emphasize teaching the client how to develop with Adobe as well as create for themselves. This phase's message will emphasize the customization of Adobe's adtech solution to match the demands of each individual customer.
Phase IV: "Own It"
Adobe's transparency as an independent adtech supplier that allows each customer flexibility within their business is highlighted in Phase IV marketing. This phase will especially target all personas to underline that Adobe clients have complete data ownership. This phase concludes at the Adobe Summit when all personas will connect with the campaign's overall theme, "The Experience: Build It. Own It."
This was both my first time competing in NSAC and developing a whole campaign. Being able to collaborate in brainstorm sessions, conduct interviews, and dive into extensive research was very insightful to me as I had only experienced these practices for personal projects that were done by myself. My favorite part was seeing all the pieces come together and putting them to the test during the competition. It was inspiring to watch the other team's presentations and observe how everyone created a different campaign based on the same brief we received in the beginning.