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'Aw, shucks': Santa Rosa Junior College advertising students win campaign for Bodega Bay Oyster

For the fifth consecutive year a team of Santa Rosa Junior College business students enrolled in an advertising class has won the annual $25,000 Advertising Challenge, sponsored by Wells Fargo, for its campaign proposal for the Bodega Bay Oyster Company (BBOC).

Kelly Windsor, SRJC's advertising instructor, served as the adviser for six SRJC teams with a total of 29 students competing to develop advertising programs for ABA Custom Homes, Bella Massino Organics, Damn Dogs!, The Nectary and Parliament Brewing Company, as well as BBOC.

“The winners captured the true personality of the company,” said Windsor. “They did an excellent job in determining what this local oyster company is all about evidenced by a love-of-ocean theme that is part of BBOC's DNA.”

The winning SRJC team included Ryan Beck, Casey Butulia, Laura Feil, Jennifer Keag and Miguel Romero. These students became instant oyster connoisseurs while doing research leading to their presentation before a panel of judges in December, according to Windsor.

BBOC retail store manager and marketing director Lindsey Strain said, “We're a relaxed, welcoming and warm local oyster shop dedicated to sustainability – with a touch of childish joy that is also good. It was very easy working with the students over a two-month period. They were communicative, studied family photographs, asked a lot of questions. They identified the essence of our company and put a good ad campaign together.”

Strain said the SRJC team possessed a quick grasp of advertising concepts and showed her how they could turn BBOC's attributes into a business-to-business theme that could attract both clients and consumers.

The overall campaign targets a hypothetical Hispanic male in his mid-40s with two kids; local farm owners, hard workers who enjoy the finer things in life (like a weekend with the boys, barbecue and someone who knows his way around a kitchen). This person is also someone who wants people who are important to him to have a good time and includes them in his adventures.

A goal of the ad campaign was to show how the Business Journal is a good way to reach BBOC's target audience. The winners said the ads accomplish this by making corporate events feel like special events, establishing a reliable wholesale contact for readers of the Journal by sharing oysters as part of an event to show appreciation and make it more exotic - and also to make a celebration feel like a beach vacation.

The underlying selling proposition was to “capture the magic of the ocean with Miyagi Oysters so fresh they taste like they've just been pulled out of the sea.” Early ideas that surfaced were designed to twist the expectations of Journal readers, so the team chose oyster tongue twisters and slogans like, “Don't leave for tomorrow what you can shuck today,” and “Grown fresh everyday with quality and care” as ways to gain attention.

The final campaign included tag lines such as “Baa, baa, Bodega Bay, have you any oysters?” “How much shuck is a good shell shuck if a shucker should shuck shells?” and “Shuck seashells sold from the seashore.”

The ad campaign was designed to create excitement and awareness of BBOC, while also helping to get their wine services noticed, that features wine, beer and cider from 15 local producers, and also striving to establish connections with Journal readers for catering events.

“BBOC's next event involves being a host at the Bodega Bay Chowder Day Jan. 25, in cooperation with the local Chamber of Commerce, in addition to its year-round appearances at the Vallejo, Alemany and Sacramento Farmers Markets,” Strain added. “We also have a Bodega Cellars tasting room and wine bar, our Bodega Bay and Bottle Club as well as a retail store at this location.”

The $24,628 five-month advertising campaign through the North Bay Business Journal will feature print adds valued at $12,800, an internet ad ($4,248), ad placement inside the NBBJ's Book of Lists (worth $5,580) and allocates $2,000 for total event time.

The media strategy targets print ads aimed at buyers who would enjoy oysters at home or for business-related events. Online ads expand the campaign to engage younger audiences, while the Book of Lists gets their name and wine selection on the map. Events enable BBOC to connect with business decision makers, including: the NBBJ's Wine, Spirits and Beer Industry Awards, Latino Business Leadership Awards, and at an annual business awards luncheon.

Established 30 years ago by a family of farmers who loved the sea, the company harvests more than one million bushels of fresh oysters from over 92 acres of pristine, plankton-rich waters of Tomales Bay.

Over the past 30 years the company has continuously updated and upgraded its farming practices to stay environmentally friendly. As a sister enterprise to the Point Reyes Oyster Company that handles wholesale operations and restaurant sales, BBOC is the product of a multigenerational ranching and farming family founded in 1985 and led by Martin Strain.

SRJC's winning team

Miguel Romero had two objectives in mind when taking the Santa Rosa Junior College's advertising class: publicize his father's painting business and his own fitness company. He is a self-starter who also enrolled in three other classes focusing on marketing innovations. For Romero, oysters are a special BBQ treat in Latino culture, so the Bodega Bay Oyster Company challenge helped him understand how to promote a challenging product. (photo Gary Quackenbush / for North Bay Business Journal)
Miguel Romero had two objectives in mind when taking the Santa Rosa Junior College's advertising class: publicize his father's painting business and his own fitness company. He is a self-starter who also enrolled in three other classes focusing on marketing innovations. For Romero, oysters are a special BBQ treat in Latino culture, so the Bodega Bay Oyster Company challenge helped him understand how to promote a challenging product. (photo Gary Quackenbush / for North Bay Business Journal)
I wanted to help spread the word about my father's painting business as well as promote my own fitness company.
Laura Feil came to Santa Rosa Junior College to complete a marketing and entrepreneurial certificate program. She and her husband have a Northern California farm where they plan to grow and market hemp. Laura wanted to take an advertising class so she could help expand their business. She and her husband have three boys ages five, seven and 18. (photo Gary Quackenbush / for North Bay Business Journal)
Laura Feil came to Santa Rosa Junior College to complete a marketing and entrepreneurial certificate program. She and her husband have a Northern California farm where they plan to grow and market hemp. Laura wanted to take an advertising class so she could help expand their business. She and her husband have three boys ages five, seven and 18. (photo Gary Quackenbush / for North Bay Business Journal)
Back home in Colombia, I worked as an attorney specializing in business and intellectual property law.
Like other members of Santa Rosa Junior College's Big Ad Challenge winning team, Casey Butulia is a continuing education student. He has already earned a bachelor's degree in communication from Sonoma State University. He said this competition helped him craft a strategic approach to media outreach. (photo Gary Quackenbush / for North Bay Business Journal)
Like other members of Santa Rosa Junior College's Big Ad Challenge winning team, Casey Butulia is a continuing education student. He has already earned a bachelor's degree in communication from Sonoma State University. He said this competition helped him craft a strategic approach to media outreach. (photo Gary Quackenbush / for North Bay Business Journal)
My goal was to take a marketing class to help me with a personal web-based project I developed called Topdraft.net, a site created last February designed to track the NFL draft process during the offseason.
Jennifer Keag has spent two semesters at Santa Rosa Junior College. She is a yoga training instructor and viewed the SRJC advertising class as a way to enhance her ability to create public awareness of a future enterprise. (photo Gary Quackenbush / for North Bay Business Journal)
Jennifer Keag has spent two semesters at Santa Rosa Junior College. She is a yoga training instructor and viewed the SRJC advertising class as a way to enhance her ability to create public awareness of a future enterprise. (photo Gary Quackenbush / for North Bay Business Journal)
I wanted to complete the business marketing certificate program to help me develop a business plan that would incorporate my love of yoga as well as my passion for communications involving photography and voice over productions.
Ryan Beck, at far right with the rest of his Santa Rosa Junior College team, has experience in video game graphic design and wants to establish his own business. He earned two bachelor's degrees at UC Santa Cruz, in history and fine arts. (photo Gary Quackenbush / for North Bay Business Journal)
Ryan Beck, at far right with the rest of his Santa Rosa Junior College team, has experience in video game graphic design and wants to establish his own business. He earned two bachelor's degrees at UC Santa Cruz, in history and fine arts. (photo Gary Quackenbush / for North Bay Business Journal)
I've worked in copyright protection and as a content coordinator before enrolling at SRJC. This course taught me how to take risks by using unusual slogans to get attention. My goal is to take courses that would aid me in marketing my own firm.

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