Marketing team competes in candy campaign

As shoppers peruse through the aisles of the grocery store, the way each item is branded is most likely not at the forefront of their minds.

But for members of the American Marketing Association (AMA) chapter at the University of Miami, they are dedicating the rest of their fall semester to completely revamping the advertising campaign for Hershey Company’s Take 5 candy bar.

“Take 5 is one of those candy bars that wasn’t really advertised for … so  we’re trying to make this product known,” said Dan Rabinovich, AMA chapter president. “So Hershey’s is considering starting a marketing campaign and starting to have a budget for it.”

The AMA Collegiate Case Competition, put on by the national branch of AMA for collegiate chapters of the organization, allows students to develop a comprehensive marketing campaign for companies without altering the marketable item’s foundation, or the ingredients in this case, according to Josh Steigelfest, vice president of professional development.

After analyzing past tactics and conducting their own research, the 25 members in the marketing team brainstormed ideas until the whole group was satisfied with a final strategy.

Because of their location on a college campus, the most difficult part of the research was finding an accurate survey group.

“We wanted to find out a little bit more about Take 5 … so we designed a survey,” Steigelfest said. “The main challenge at this point has been giving it out because we have very easy access to college kids, but obviously it’s not just college kids buying Take 5 bars.”

The semester-long process of researching, planning, designing and presenting allows students, like Samantha Burd, a freshman and marketing major, to share their skills and goals with a group of equally dedicated team members.

“I really like when we have our big group brainstorming session,” she said after Tuesday’s meeting when the group came to a consensus on their marketing approach. “It’s really neat to see what other people have to offer. Everyone here is really passionate and really into it.”

Before winter break, AMA will submit their initial presentation in the form of a PDF file for the first time since the chapter’s founding five years ago, according to Rabinovich.

“We’ve revamped a lot of our programming to make it a place where you’re going to get a lot of experience,” he said. “We’re here to better your professionalism.”

The presentation, which cannot exceed 40 pages in PDF style, may include whatever the team deems necessary, from their research to mock advertisements to proposals for TV commercials. From there, 12 teams will be selected to present their proposals in April at the International Collegiate Conference in New Orleans. After facing a panel of judges, winning chapters will receive cash prizes.

“It would mean a lot to win,” Rabinovich said. “I think we have one of the better marketing programs in the country, and it would be great to have an organization on campus that can embody that nationally.”

In addition to executing the competition this semester, AMA will host members of the Luxury Marketing Council of Florida Wednesday to speak to students about their experience within luxurious industries. The event will feature a keynote speaker followed by a panel and a networking opportunity.

“That’s what they’re going to be bringing to the table, it’s like specific industry insights … you would probably never imagine what these guys see,” Rabinovich said. “The event is really all about what it takes to be in the industry.”


If you go:

What: Luxury Marketing Council – Executive Professional Panel

Where: Storer Auditorium

When: 6 to 8 p.m.

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