Santa Rosa Junior College students came out on top again in the annual Big Ad Challenge, with a promotional advertising and marketing plan for Bikram Yoga of Santa Rosa whimsically showing how business professionals can practice yoga on the job to relieve stress — as well as in a studio.
Their attention-getting advertising mock-ups displayed office workers in business attire stretching in an “Anti-Meeting Pose,” meditating with legs crossed in a “Deadline Pushed Up Pose,” and doing a modified hand stand on a desk while looking at a laptop and assuming a “Working Overtime Pose.”
This is the fourth time an SRJC team has been selected to receive this award since the program’s inception in 2015. Eleven teams from three colleges delivered six-minute presentations to a panel of five judges in December. SRJC fielded seven teams, Napa Valley College three, and Sonoma State University one.
Each group selected a company to research from a list of 24 firms. Participation was open to small businesses in Sonoma, Napa, Marin and Solano counties.
This annual competition is designed to give advertising, marketing and graphic design students real world experience while also providing a way for a small firm (under 500 employees) to expand its marketing and brand awareness efforts.
The winning team receives a $500 prize, and the company they paired with receives advertising valued at $25,000 with the North Bay Business Journal in 2019. This challenge is co-sponsored by the North Bay Business Journal and Wells Fargo Bank.
Kelly Windsor, adjunct instructor in SRJC’s Business Department, coordinated the Ad Challenge for students. She said this challenge gives students an opportunity to translate book and lecture instruction into practice for a company, complete with deadlines, and the creation of a real ad campaign. They conducted background research and applied creative marketing and advertising principles to develop an outreach strategy designed to positively attract new business-sector clients.
One person on judging panel, Tom Boylan, owner of the Boylan Point Agency, said, “Several presentations were quite impressive, very informative and well laid out. It was tough picking a final winner since the CowBells.com team’s plan was also fun, witty and enjoyable. However, the Bikram Yoga SRJC team had a creative approach that covered virtually all of the bases and had a lot of 1’s and 2’s in the judges rankings.”
He looked for how well the teams understood their client’s products or services, how they would address what each company wanted to get from the campaign, as part of a rate of return. For Boylan, the key is finding ways to engage people with the ad campaign’s photos and copy that will strike a response chord, and a call to action among those who see it.
Fellow judge Heather Mackin, principal with Mackin Creative, said, “I thoroughly enjoyed being part of judging panel. I especially loved the fact that SRJC’s Bikram Yoga team used humor and amusing visual situations that tapped into the business market by conveying the concept of doing yoga exercises at work. They really nailed it.”
She said SRJC’s winning team also understood the budgeting process and articulated how businesses today could change by offering a fresh design for the future in order to attract and retain their workforce.
“With a new model for our economy populated by millennials with different desires and needs, adding Bikram Yoga to a firm’s benefits package is a viable idea.”
2018 Big Ad Challenge teams
Airport Health Club
Mary Ann Alesia
Bikram Yoga of Santa Rosa
California Team Wear
Cookie ... take a bite!
Costeaux French Bakery
Burst Photo Booth
Le Jardin Violet
Napa Valley College Estate Wines