group shot of winning NSAC team

Newhouse advertising students earn first place in national student advertising competition

By Wendy S. Loughlin

June 12, 2018

A team of 13 Newhouse School advertising students was the big winner at the 2018 National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC), beating out teams from more than 140 others colleges and universities from across the country. This is the second time in 10 years that a team of Newhouse students has won the prestigious national honor.

The team included students Lizzie Young (CEO); Sophia Kardaras, Eunice Pang, Alexis Watson and Emily Alek (art); Bryan Allman, Erica Mack and Joshua Race (copy); Gabby Schnell and Allyson Koval (media); and Ronnie Solderini, Jessica Levy and Kennedy Patlan (strategic planning). The first place honor carries a $3,500 prize. 

photo of the students who presented
The presentation team: Gabby Schnell, Erica Mack, Joshua Race and Lizzie Young

Race also won the Bolton-Macvicar Best Presenter Award, which is given to the student identified by the judges as having given the most outstanding presentation, and which carries a $500 award.

Faculty advisers were Kevin O’Neill, Brian Sheehan and Beth Egan.

Administered by the American Advertising Federation (AAF), the NSAC is the nation’s premier student advertising competition. Each year, students create a campaign based on a case study for a corporate sponsor. Competition begins at the regional level, producing 15 semi-finalists; Newhouse teams have won seven of the past 12 Eastern regionals. Six finalists progressed to this year’s national competition, held Friday in Chicago.

“The beauty of this competition is that it replicates the rigors of the advertising business,” says O’Neill. “It’s a comprehensive examination of all the skills we teach at Newhouse.”

An image from the Ocean Spray campaign with the words, "The next superfood was discovered in 1647."
An image from the winning campaign

This year’s corporate sponsor was Ocean Spray. The student campaign, “The Necessary Legendary Extraordinary Cranberry,” targets millennials and “positions Ocean Spray as the champion of both health and taste.”

“This was an especially remarkable team,” says Sheehan. “Talented, tireless, absolutely committed to the challenge and to each other.”

Newhouse students took first place in the 2009 NSAC for their campaign “The Stupid Drink.”

Pictured above: The winning team: (front row) Emily Alek, Alexis Watson, Erica Mack, Jessica Levy, Allison Koval; (back row) Professor Beth Egan, Sophia Kardaras, Eunice Pang, Kennedy Patlan, Professor Kevin O'Neill, Gabriella Schnell, Bryan Allman, Joshua Race, Lizzie Young, Ronnie Saldarini, Professor Brian Sheehan.