Former C-K Create intern wins Collegiate Effie Award.

By Isabel Ngan, 2016 C-K Create Program Intern

The Collegiate Effie competition is modeled after the North American Effie Awards competition. The Collegiate Effie partners with brands like Pace and IBM and college students across the country form teams and create comprehensive plans to tackle the real business challenges these brands face. This year, my team was fortunate enough to become finalists–and eventually winners–which meant that they flew us out to Campbell World Headquarters in New Jersey to pitch Pace’s marketing team.

When preparing our Effie plan, I used my experience as a C-K Create intern to help me through this process. I learned a lot in my internship but a few words of wisdom stood out from Account Supervisor Laurie Rosko and Creative Director Jimmy Dietzen.

Laurie once told me about a time when her team had to work together and collaborate to create a campaign they believed in and knew would work. For me, that was the way I approached the Effie challenge; I wanted to make sure my team collaborated well and used our strengths to create a smart campagin that we truly loved. And, from my internship project, I also remember Jimmy reiterating how insights guide a campaign. So, that’s where my Effie team and I started. We spent countless days researching the consumer, from their in-store behaviors to their family dynamics and media consumption habits. From there, we tried to add value rather than to force the brand onto their lives. We actually surprised the judges quite a bit because we reframed the challenge and the target audience in an unexpected yet absolutely relevant way.

A few days after it was announced that we were chosen as a semi-finalist by a panel of Effie jurors, we received the news that we were chosen as finalists by the Pace brand. We went back to our data and really went through our plan step by step to form a cohesive campaign. After carefully reassessing the goal of the campaign, we came back to these questions: How do we continue to implement a consumer-facing approach while placing the brand at the center? How do we effectively and simultaneously answer the needs of both the consumer and the brand? After going through this competition, we learned three main lessons.

First, get as much in-depth information on the consumer journey as possible. Walking in their shoes helps clarify whether something is insightful, irrelevant, or just plain harmful. Next, we learned that the consumer always comes first, but the client still has to sell their product. The right balance of the two is critical. Lastly, we learned to not be afraid to change the campaign. Through this process, we changed our ideas completely at least three times before the initial submission.

These were also things I learned through my experience at Cramer-Krasselt. As I look back on my internship last summer, I see how it helped me navigate through the Effie challenge. Now, as part of a winning Collegiate Effie team, I know how valuable it was to learn early in my professional life that I can strategically use creativity in my work to tell the stories of brands and people.

 

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