Johnson & Wales University ADTEAM Wins National Student Advertising Competition

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Best Finish in Program History Yields $3,500 Grand Prize

The Johnson & Wales University (JWU) ADTEAM was announced as the first place winner of the 2017 National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) held by the American Advertising Federation (AAF) in New Orleans, Louisiana. This marks the best finish in JWU ADTEAM history, surpassing the team’s second place finish in the national round in 2015.

JWU’s thirty-one-member team, made up of students in the university’s advertising and marketing communications, marketing, graphic design and media communication studies programs, placed first in the United States over seven other finalists: The University of Kentucky, Florida State University, Oklahoma State University, University of Central Oklahoma, Webster University, Grand Valley State University and South Dakota State University. All teams gave presentations before a judging panel that included executives from Tai Pei, this year’s NSAC corporate client.

“This year’s ADTEAM dove head first into their research and developed a product and consumer centric advertising campaign that impressed Tai Pei executives and judges from across the country,” said Oscar Chilabato, associate professor, JWU College of Business, who accepted the $3,500 grand prize as the advisor to the ADTEAM. “The NSAC gives our students practical, real-world experience as they learn how to use qualitative and quantitative research methods needed to create and implement effective advertising campaigns. Our strengths this year – our research and insights – were tightly tied to our creative recommendations, and we have been rewarded for them. I am proud of this group for all that they have accomplished.”

The trip to the national round of this year’s NSAC marked the sixth time in seven years JWU’s ADTEAM competed in final round of the competition. To qualify for nationals, the ADTEAM competed in a district round, beating out schools such as Boston University, Endicott, Emerson and others. The team then moved on to the eighteen team semifinal round, where they advanced in favor of institutions including Syracuse, Louisiana State University, Purdue and others.

The National Student Advertising Competition is AAF’s premier annual college advertising competition which provides more than 2,000 college students the real-world experience of creating a strategic advertising, marketing and media campaign for a corporate client. All college teams that competed created an advertising campaign for this year’s corporate client, Tai Pei, which offers over 10 varieties of single-serve, takeout-style entrées, an assortment of Asian appetizers and a full line of family-sized products. The campaigns included each element of advertising: television, radio, social media, and print.

About Johnson & Wales University:
Founded in 1914, Johnson & Wales University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 15,000 graduate, undergraduate and online students at its four campuses in Providence, R.I.; North Miami, Fla.; Denver, Colo.; and Charlotte, N.C. An innovative educational leader, the university offers degree programs in arts and sciences, business, culinary arts, design and engineering, education, health and wellness, hospitality, nutrition and physician assistant studies. Its unique model integrates arts and sciences and industry-focused education with work experience and leadership opportunities, inspiring students to achieve professional success and lifelong personal and intellectual growth. The university’s impact is global, with alumni from 123 countries pursuing careers worldwide. For more information, visit

MEDIA CONTACT: Ryan Crowley, communications & media relations specialist, 401-598-2752, ryan.crowley(at)jwu(dot)edu

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Ryan Crowley