Creating Campaigns for Family-Owned Businesses

I’m a firm believer that a lot can be accomplished in just three weeks, even a professionally produced integrated marketing campaign.

That is why I enjoy teaching interim advertising courses that help students consider “What is the Marketing Strategy” before they develop creative plans.

When I teach the interim advertising campaigns course, I have the students form agency teams and give them each the same challenge: to create a campaign that includes a video component for a family-owned business, complete with research, a strategy and target market selection.

The course objectives provide students with valuable real-world experience in a classroom environment.

  • To appreciate, understand and effectively execute a strategic message plan with a high level of creativity
  • To understand and develop a brand position for a real Wisconsin-based business, using the Positioning Framework for Marketers
  • To successfully use results of research and brainstorming to create a “big idea”
  • To brainstorm and respect ideas generated by the team and professionally let go of those that are not the best fit for the project
  • To collaborate as a team to create television, radio and interactive ads based on a sound creative strategy with seamless execution

The Creative Campaign: Built from Considering Marketing Strategy

Each student team organizes themselves in a media agency format with the following duties divided or shared among its team members: account management, research, creative, scripting, storyboarding, and production.

Students start by defining their advertising goal in a way that describes HOW the ad will help create sales for the client.

After doing primary research, each group uses a strategic message planner to create a creative campaign for a family-owned business. They focus their message on the needs: companionship, control or confidence.

One week into the course, the students present their storyboards to the class. I stress the need for the storyboards to be professionally done, even if that means enlisting a fine arts student to create the drawings. Details on sound, lighting, audio and video are required for each scene.

On the final day of class, each team presents their ideas and finished spots in front of marketing representatives from the company. The score for their final presentations is based on review of each of the following categories.

  • Delivery
  • Research
  • Strategic message plan
  • Brand position
  • The BIG IDEA
  • Copy/Script
  • Storyboards
  • Production Plans
  • Preparation
  • Media delivery ideas

As a result of completing the course, students have examples to share in their online portfolios, which sets them apart from others competing for the best creative positions in advertising.

Here are links to the stories about the brands selected as the clients in my courses.