Mostly Marketing by Theresa B. Clarke

Sharing my love of marketing. Helping marketing students, marketing practitioners, & marketing professors connect with one another. Passionate about nurturing new marketing talent. Enjoys sharing novel ideas about a wide variety of topics…but mostly marketing.

Four Teams Earn IMC Plan Awards for Spring 2017 in MKTG 384

My spring 2017 students in MKTG 384 demonstrated very thoughtful IMC plans that were full of creativity.  Every team truly did a wonderful job!

At the end of the semester, students vote for the “Best IMC Plan” after viewing all presentations.  I am pleased to announce that four teams are receiving recognition this semester based on the student votes.  Below each team’s photo are comments from their peers.

Jami Adler, Keyanna Gibson, Savannah Kerchner, Alyson Kroll, Ornell Islam, Frans Nicholas

“Unique idea and they had promotional strategies that seemed to align with the target market.  Theirs was very easy to follow and had no major problems.  I loved it!”

“Very nice presentation overall as well as a great story using a lot of local facts.”

“Clean presentation throughout the slides.  Good integration between all media.  Loved the logos and creative name.  Clean ads.  Sold the product as a piece of the community.  Overall it was the best one that I didn’t have any issue with and I’ve seen a lot of creative plans.”

“I really enjoyed the the presentation.  They incorporated several topics and tips from class.  I enjoyed their advertisements and color scheme.  Really liked the self-mailer.”

“The dove idea was very unique and creative.  They highlighted the fact that you are doing something good by purchasing.  I like the doing good aspect of it.  Their advertisements were great as well.  They used a lot of things learned in class like the pop-up.”

“They had the best visuals and graphics in the class.  They had several promotional materials that they explained very well all throughout the presentation.  The “peaceful” idea with the dove was what sold me.”

“This team clearly did their research and seemed to understand what IMC is all about.”

“I think that they had a very universal concept that would really sell in stores.  Their visual plan was very  organized.”

“Their approach seems best for the area we were limited to.  I think it would appeal to most people in the area and also stay aligned with the client’s values.”

“This group had a great major selling idea.  Everyone wants peace.  They had great promotional mix strategies with all good designs.  The target markets were very relatable and realistic.  All their slides were organized and straight to the point.”

“They had a very creative product name and their packaging was very attractive.  Their advertising methods and the way they used their budget was good.”


Organized Chaos:  Blue Bowen Briana Cifelli, Nina Coffaro, Laine Hamilton, Haley Nininger, Joel Siliadin

“I enjoyed the creativity and design.  The angle of advertising the blemishes was cool.”

“I think this group had the best overall presentation.  They executed the best and all of their information worked well on its own.”

“I thought they had a really good campaign idea that was incorporated throughout all touchpoints.  I think it would get people’s attention.”

“I like the name, their ads were very bold and easy to read.  Their event in the Arboretum was creative.”

“I loved their idea of selling the blemish aspect of the product.  Very risky but a good idea.”

“This group had a very interesting approach as well as visually appealing presentation.  They had a unique selling idea as well as a budget and integration map.”

“Really  liked major selling idea – unique way to challenge society’s norms.  Graphics and visuals were by far the best.”

“The presentation overall is very clear.  The objectives are detailed and get the point across.  The graphic images were well done and very unique.”

“I think aspects of the plan were very eye-catching and just very well done.  The major selling idea relates to issues in society, which will entice people to buy it.  Overall the visual pieces were very well done.”


Lucky Leapfrogs:  Emilou Landas, Travis May, Katina Robinson, Brian Sweeter, Katie Winesett, Greta Wolking

“The packaging and labeling made the product seem more of a luxury; which was consistent with their product positioning.  Good promotional ideas.”

“I feel they offered the best integration throughout their plan.  The creative strategy made sense with the target they were trying to reach, and I thoroughly enjoyed their plan.  If I was shopping for this product, that is the one I would have purchased.”

“Very specific, organized, good ideas, split up nicely, overall understood their IMC plan the most as well as how they would carry out their plan.  They presented it in an organized and aesthetic manner.”

“I think that they had an integrated plan that was thought well-through.  I liked the ties into wineries, as there are so many around Harrisonburg. The labeling fit the theme of the sleek design.”

“Their ideas for advertising were the best I have seen out of everyone.  The sweepstakes and events went very well for their target markets and were just great ideas in general.  Very strong advertising plan for a local market.”

“Overall had one of the best presentations as well as product name.  Seemed to understand what the client was looking for and executed their marketing plan excellently.  They differentiated themselves with Crosskeys and overall had one of the best plans in the class!”

“They were extremely consistent with their creative strategy.  They also had a unique idea to partner with Cross Keys.  They also had a great brand image.”

“The group convinced me that the luxury product look and feel could really be successful.  The sleek black look along with their strategies could definitely work and be a successful campaign.”

“I thought this was the most thought-out and visually appealing visual summary.  I loved the contrast and imagery.  Overall, from the content of the IMC process to the attractiveness and appeal of the presentation, I truly thought that this was the best plan overall.”

Third Place:  PURPLE PASTA
Gianna Arango, Abigail Benchimol, Maureen Bradley, Kayla Rodrigues, Chris Ogunfowora, Matthew Wallace

“Very unique marketing strategy using individual cups as a form of distribution.  It allows the product to be versatile and appeal to multiple different target segments. Selling idea was creative and set a straight-forward message to who you wanted to appeal to.”

“Their product is very unique and original.  I really enjoyed the single serving approach.  The presentation was put together nicely and flowed very well.”

“I love the idea of on-the-go.  I think they’d get a lot of market share with it.  The “dip it, spread it, pour it, savor it” was a good promotional approach.  It’s a different idea and not on the market yet from what I know.”

“They were the only group to not market it simply as a jar.  They did single serving cups.  The slogan was very creative and stuck in my head.  Their overall presentation was clear and efficient.”

“This had the coolest design layout and concept to go along with it.  The “pour it, dip it…..” is really cool.  The visuals are flawless.  People are going towards not big jars, but single servings.”

“I think that this group had one of the most unique and creative approaches to creating the IMC plan.  I think that the single serving sized packets will really appeal to the target market and will stand out in grocery stores among all of the other pesto brands.  I really like their idea to add facts about homelessness awareness under the lids of the packets because it will keep consumers engaged with their brand, even post-purchase, and it also could help the community by making people want to help/donate in addition to the plan itself.  The visual summary was appealing to the eye and very professionally put together.”

Fall 2016 “Best IMC Plan in Class” Awards

Best IMC Plan” awards are a tradition in my Integrated Marketing Communications class (MKTG 384) at JMU.  At the end of the semester, students vote for the “Best IMC Plan” after viewing all presentations in their section.  Based on the student votes, our fall 2016 runners-up and winners are presented below, along with excerpted quotes from some of the students who voted for the the top teams.


The Runners-up:

Tie for the Runner-up Team in the 11:00 Section:  CLUB 384 and ENTHUSIASTIC PESTO PEOPLE!

Congratulations to Christian Durrett, Allison Gill, Alyssa Greene, Brad Videon (Team Captain), and Nick Yore from Club 384.  Congratulations to Julie Craft, Kassie Gesuelli, Sonam Gurbaxani, Michelle Mullins (Team Captain), Christi Staufer, and Adam Tamny from Enthusiastic Pesto People.

The Runner-up Team in the 12:30 Section:  HARRY POTTER!

Congratulations to Josh Bolson, Like Brower, Kendall Reulein, Sebastian Salinas, and Julia Shaffer (Team Captain) from Harry Potter.


The Winners:

The Winning Team in the 11:00 Section:  DYNAMITE DUKES!

Congratulations to Rob Farrell (Team Leader), Margot Leibl, Kayla Rasmussen, Lindsay Davis, Allie Bunner, and Hayden Towler.


“They had really good visual content, and everything seemed to flow and connect well.”

“This group had every touchpoint well thought out, explained, and researched extensively.  Their marketing was completed and executed well, better than any other group.”

“Really good visuals and creativity in label/logo, and promotional pieces.”

“The stick figures were a great idea that carried all the way through.  Visual summary was very appealing and easy to follow.  Loved the ideas and felt like it was the most put together plan.”

“I just really liked the simplicity.  I feel like it really resonates with the valley.  As a valley local, it is cool to see how you worked to understand what will work and did research on local events.”

“I think that, more than anything, a good visual summary is key in a situation like this.  They definitely started strong with that.”

“Their entire presentation was extremely thorough.  I love the use of the stick figures throghout.  I liked that the colors and their design was different than all the others, which mostly used green.  The name and logo are neutral but intriguing.  I really enjoyed their presentation.”

“They had a very interesting slogan that brought a sense of bettering lives.  Great hourglass packaging to create a more differentiated product.”

“I love their use of stick figures as well as their justification that it represents.  Their slides had just the right amount of text to be informative, but not information overload.  Their use of media was effective and visually appealing, and also consistent across all platforms.  Also, I loved their package design!  It was unique and consistent with their overall image of the Shenandoah Valley.”

“The visuals and message were very clear.  The logo and package were very appealing.  Loved the entire project.”

“This group did a good job of creating a very cohesive and integrated plan.  They incorporated the skyline mountains in most, if not all, of their communications and matched well with their product name.  The package and logo were very well done.”

“I think that this group was great from their slogan to the ideas and visuals.  I think they had a lot of great ideas about the execution and the product post-launch.”

“Their major selling idea was much different than all the other groups.  We were told by our client that the main goal for this product was to better the lives of others and this campaign encompasses that.  The design of the package was classy and different from competitors.”

The Winning Team in the 12:30 Section:  INCREDIBLY INDECISIVE!

Congratulations to Ian Wood, Kendall Lutts, Ryan Peter (Team Captain), Gabrielle Paolone, and Colin O’Brien

“I think this group had the best creative and unique product name, and the best slogan and package design. I think they came up with the best plan based on the strength of their creative ideas.”

“Loved the small creative aspects they used.  Creative ideas were the best and were well thought-out.”

“They used consistent imagery throughout their campaign.  Their cooking class idea was unique and an interesting way to build awareness and trial.  Also their target market personas were very detailed and specific.”

“Overall selling idea was great.  I liked their brand name especially and how they incorporated it within most selling ideas.  Their promotional ideas looked great also.”

“The name, logo, and slogan really stood out to me.  They had a clear and concise IMC plan that seemed like it could be successful.  I liked the idea of cooking classes, especially with their target market.  Overall I thought this plan was the most professional and most likely to succeed.”

“I thought their presentation was well thought out.  It was visually appealing and strategies were descriptive and realistic.”

“They visually displayed a realistic look on all of their touchpoints and promotional materials.  They integrated all of their ideas together very well.”

“I really enjoyed watching their presentation.  I think they had some great ideas about choosing a name with a meaning and having a slogan that matches the name.  They had great advertising ideas and their presentation was organized and put together well.”

“Wonderful radio ad!  Great integration throughout plan.”

“I believe they were extremely consistent, everything seemed visually appealing.  Their social media really pulls the reader in and makes them want to learn more.  I also thought the way they claimed the product provided ‘hope’ was well done.”

“I believe that they did a great job of communicating their objectives and coming up with great ways to accomplish them.”

“Overall, a highly professional, cohesive, clear, and strategic plan.  I was highly impressed with this group’s creativity and differentiation from all of the other teams in the class.  They took risks and it paid off.”

I truly enjoyed working with ALL of my talented MKTG 384 students this semester as they created social-entrepreneurship focused IMC plans for a local non-profit.  I am confident that our client will benefit from their efforts and terrific ideas about the marketing of pesto.  Thank you to all of my IMC students for a wonderful fall 2016 semester at JMU.

JMU Wins Bronze in 2015-16 Collegiate ECHO

On August 11, 2016, Marketing EDGE announced the winners of the 2015-16 Marketing EDGE Collegiate ECHO Challenge. I am pleased to report that the team of Dorothy Capasso (Team Leader), Allie Hammond, Joseph Scully, Mitchell Meyers, and Mariam Bekele captured the 3rd Place Bronze Award in the undergraduate division.  The team developed an integrated marketing communications plan for Facebook Custom Audiences.  Learn more about this team and their exciting experience in this year’s competition.

Dorothy Capasso (Team Leader), Mitchell Meyers, Allie Hammond, Joseph Scully, and Mariam Bekele - 3rd Place Bronze Winners in the Undergraduate Division of the 2015-16 Marketing EDGE Collegiate ECHO Challenge.

Dorothy Capasso (Team Leader), Mitchell Meyers, Allie Hammond, Joseph Scully, and Mariam Bekele – 3rd Place Bronze Winners in the Undergraduate Division of the 2015-16 Marketing EDGE Collegiate ECHO Challenge.

Winner of the “Best IMC Plan in Class” Award for the Spring 2016 Semester

As is customary in my MKTG 384 class, students vote for the “Best IMC Plan” after viewing all presentations.  Congratulations to Titan Agency for earning the “Best IMC Plan in Class” award for the spring 2016 semester!


Titan Agency

Based on student votes, the spring 2016 runner up is Xpected Xcellence!



Congratulations to all teams in my spring 2016 class for completing a very challenging integrated marketing communications project.

You had to be in my 2:00pm section of MKTG 384 to believe this…

384fear This is a photo of some of my MKTG 384 students catching their breath and slowing down their heart rates after a one-of-a-kind experience learning about fear appeals.

In the middle of showing a very gruesome and shocking ad, blaring fire alarms started going off in the building. You had to be there to know just what kind of effect it had on everyone.

After the fire alarm, we got settled into class again and some students wanted to know how the ad ended. So I played it again, and in the VERY SAME place as my first showing of the ad, the loud fire alarms started going off again. Several students, including myself, jumped in the air in panic when it happened. Very freaky.

If you are so inclined, take a look at the ads. It is a very graphic public service announcement from Western Australia with the message “stay in school”.… Then imagine a class of students watching this ad with fire alarms blaring around the one minute mark. Crazy!

If future classes, I’ll have someone to pull the fire alarms at just the right time to get the full effect.


Thank you to JMU Marketing Alum, Andrew Lux, Champion of “the adidas project”

If you were a student in my Integrated Marketing Communications class between the fall of 2003 and spring of 2009, then you probably recall the name Andrew Lux.  If you don’t recall his name, perhaps “the adidas project” rings a bell.

Andrew was a 2002 graduate of the JMU Department of Marketing and was recognized as the 2001 University Scholar-Athlete of the Year and the 2002 College of Business Outstanding Student in Marketing.  After graduation, he accepted a position at adidas headquarters in Herzogenaurach, Germany as the Communication Manager for Football (what we call soccer in the U.S.) and Rugby.  Andrew was promoted to Global Advertising Manager and worked in Amsterdam before returning to adidas headquarters as the Senior Football Communication Manager.

During Andrew’s tenure at adidas, we collaborated to create a highly beneficial and reciprocal learning partnership between adidas and JMU.  After drafting confidentiality agreements and figuring out how to assess course learning objectives, we crafted an experiential project for my course.  The project involved students developing integrated marketing communication plans for one of adidas’ real soccer products, the F50.  As students gained real-world experience, adidas gained fresh insights and new ideas about ways to market their products.

Donna Ragsdale Dunn (JMU ’94) wrote a feature story about our first semester working together, “Run with the Big Dogs: Marketing Students Get Real-world Toehold working with Adidas Exec on Top Secret Marketing Shoe“. The article showcased Andrew in the spring 2004 issue of JMU’s Montpelier Magazine as he juggled a soccer ball.

Each semester for the next seven years, Andrew and I tweaked the project so that it would be a different experience for each group of students.  Over the course of 12 semesters we reworked the project to help students experience different challenges as the products moved through introduction, growth, and maturity while facing intense competition from rivals such as PUMA, Nike, and Under Armour.

To this day, I receive emails and phone calls from alums who ask if Andrew and I are still running the adidas project.  My former students often comment on how much they learned, what a memorable project it was, and how it gave them such interesting things to talk about during job interviews.  Some even say that it was a marketing project that best prepared them for the jobs they now do today.  On behalf of my students who benefited from our collaboration and gained exposure to real-world marketing, I wish to thank Andrew for making this experience possible.

I was inspired to write this blog post when I spotted Andrew at a JMU football game recently.  Not only was I absolutely thrilled to see him, but I felt excited to personally share with him what kind of impact he made at JMU.  We owe a debt of gratitude to Andrew for truly making a difference for hundreds of JMU marketing students by collaborating, donating his time, and sharing his expertise.  Thank you Andrew!


Collegiate ECHO Marketing Challenge Advice from the 2015 Bronze Award Team

Several teams of James Madison University participated in the Collegiate ECHO Marketing Challenge as part of my Integrated Marketing Communications (MKTG 384) course.  The Collegiate ECHO Marketing Challenge is sponsored by Marketing EDGE, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to Educate, Develop, Grow, and Employ college students in the field of marketing.

As part of the Challenge each team developed marketing plans, using direct and interactive channels, with a goal of encouraging DIRECTV customers to participate in their Refer-a-Friend Program.  Students also created a visual summary presentation and an online video ad.

In the end, over 200 teams competed and seven JMU Marketing teams earned an award or honorable mention.  One of the JMU teams emerged as the winner of the 3rd Place Bronze Award in the undergraduate division.

I asked this team to share their thoughts about the experience and provide tips to help future competitors.  Here’s what they had to say…


JohnBassfordJohn Bassford –  Starting is the hardest part of this project. To me, it seemed a very daunting task, but as soon as we started working on the project, things began to pick up momentum and the pieces fell into place. Communication is important in order to be successful. Do not be afraid to bounce ideas off of teammates. Even if you think the idea is ridiculous, talk it out with the team. You never know what ideas you will help your teammates create by telling them your ideas. Once you find an idea that you all can get behind, use that idea to keep everything within your plan consistent. There will be some arguing and maybe even some very vocal disagreements, but do not forget that this is a team competition. Be open to each other’s ideas and make sure to communicate between each other to avoid confusion on what needs to be done. Don’t overthink things and make sure everything ties in with your main idea. Before you know it, you’ll end up having a great plan.

AlexAlexander Dixon – Take into account how long it takes to finally settle in on an idea, but make it an idea that will resonate with your audience.   We initially brainstormed many different ideas on specific topics that played to our client’s advantages — in our case it was DIRECTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket.  For example we had a bunch of ideas on the football packages, their refer-a-friend rewards already in place, and other DTV assets.  We then realized that DIRECTV’s major selling point was their NFL Sunday Ticket, so we decided to combine the two to strengthen the refer-a-friend program.  Brainstorming the ideas on the topics separately initially took most of our time.  Once we honed down on our topic we were able to see ideas that we had on different DIRECTV assets. We were able to use them with our final idea which made it inherently better.  The problem with this all was that once we finally found an idea that would work, we had about two weeks left in the semester to actually create the plan, which made us work quickly and under pressure.  So my main piece of advice would be to not underestimate how long it takes to actually come to a solid idea that will stick out to place in the competition.

KevinKevin Harmon – I learned that staying organized and not procrastinating are keys to success. Once you come up with your main idea, have confidence in it and let it fully develop. Don’t veer too far off your original course, there are a lot of moving parts to this project and constantly changing your ideas will cost you lots of valuable time. Last but not least, have fun with it. This is a great opportunity to apply your knowledge from the classroom in a creative way.

KelseyKelsey Jordan Hinkle – I often still think about my group experiences and what I wish I could’ve done differently. While there’s some I remain unsure of as a perfect solution, here’s what I would advise focusing on to fellow marketing majors:

1. Emotional Intelligence.  A successful group begins with knowing yourself, your teammates, and yourself around your teammates. We learned in COB 202 to start group projects by taking the Myers Briggs test – a great tool for developing Emotional Intelligence. However, it wasn’t until Maymester as a senior, after being forced in COB 487, that I realized how beneficial this test is to a groups’ success. I highly recommend knowing your Myers Briggs score and your teammates within the 1st week. You not only discover personal strengths and weaknesses, as well as those of your teammates, but also this reveals any latent imbalances early-on. So now your team can create a more relevant plan of action to address any potential issues, and also better allocate specific roles/duties. But my favorite part is about this test is how much personal insight you gain, as well as those around you, especially opposite personalities. It explains why you react a certain way to surrounding personalities/situations and how to more effectively control any negative reactions.

2. Logistics.  Go over everything you have to do together. Set up weekly deadlines and stick to them. Google Calendars and Google Drive are lifesavers. Share everything. But, do not overly rely on Google Docs. Don’t assign a task to only one person. Have everyone edit/add writing up until at least 3 days before the due date. Then, pick one person to create a version in Word. Read it aloud slowly together. If there’s something you want changed but no one agrees, change it on your own computer first. Wait for everyone’s approval before changing it yourself. If you want to make a drastic change, be sure to sufficiently back up your ideas. More importantly, don’t be afraid to do so. We actually changed our overall theme less than 2 weeks before the due date, which was incredibly stressful, but worth it.

3. Taking Initiative.  The busyness of the business school, and lack of group rooms, makes procrastinating even more tempting. Do not succumb. Even if “there’s nothing to do” that week, do something. Meet at least once every week for an hour. As a change of scenery, I recommend not meeting in Showker (i.e. the café in Martin’s, Barnes & Noble, Rose Library, etc…)  although, so long as you can find a space, Showker works, too. The issues I faced with most group projects resulted from my own laziness and/or entitlement. When 1 or more members procrastinate, it’s easy to follow suit, especially in the beginning weeks. Start something, even if no one else will. But always try your best to include the team on your work. Regardless of how much more effort you put forth, avoid feeling like you deserve greater control or credit. Vice versa, avoid negative thoughts of what you don’t deserve, whether related to grades or treatment by your teammates. Unfortunately, groups do not work that way, and neither does life.

4. Direct​ Communication​.  The moment you have something you’d like to say to another member,tell them.  Never be afraid of making things worse because, trust me, that rarely happens.  Remaining silent is much more destructive. If you feel uncomfortable telling the person directly, go to your professor as early as possible, not another member of your team.

Thank you to John, Alex, Kevin, and Kelsey for sharing their advice. To summarize their key points:

  • Get started early.
  • Brainstorm and then stay focused on your main ideas.
  • Keep communication lines open within the team.
  • Develop a team plan for completing the plan requirements.

For even more insights, read what the 2014 Bronze Winners from JMU had to say about succeeding in the Collegiate ECHO Marketing Challenge.

Seven JMU Teams Win Awards in Marketing EDGE Collegiate ECHO Challenge by DIRECTV

Marxman Marketers – Winners of the 2014-15 3rd Place Bronze Award in the Marketing EDGE Collegiate ECHO Marketing Challenge Alex Dixon, Kelsey Hinkle (Team Leader), John Bassford, and Kevin Harmon

Winners of the 3rd Place Bronze Award in the 2014-15 Marketing EDGE Collegiate ECHO Challenge. Marxman Marketers – Alex Dixon, Kelsey Hinkle (Team Leader), John Bassford, and Kevin Harmon

Among the 200+ teams from around the nation, the JMU team of John Bassford, Alex Dixon, Kevin Harmon, and Kelsey Hinkle captured the 3rd Place Bronze Award in the 2014-15 Marketing EDGE Collegiate ECHO Challenge by DIRECTV.

The Collegiate ECHO Challenge is administered by Marketing EDGE, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to Educate, Develop, Grow, and Employ college students in the field of marketing.  In this national competition, undergraduate and graduate students conducted in-depth industry analysis and marketing research, created integrated marketing communications (IMC) strategy, selected relevant and effective media platforms for implementation of strategy, allocated a budget, designed marketing creative to engage the target audience, developed a client presentation, and produced a video ad. These materials were judged by seasoned professionals from the direct and interactive marketing community.

The 2014-15 competition entailed marketing DIRECTV’s “Refer a Friend” Program to existing customers, new customers, and affiliate marketers using a budget of $1 million. All students worked on the semester-long DIRECTV project as the focal project in my MKTG 384 course at JMU. The project runs parallel to IMC concepts taught in the course such as marketing strategy, consumer behavior, objective setting, media planning, budgeting, forecasting, and the promotional mix (advertising, direct marketing, digital/interactive marketing, sales promotion, public relations, and personal selling).

Bassford, Dixon, Harmon, and Hinkle proposed a “Join the League” creative campaign to infer that DTV is the league to join. Their slogan used wording to refer to DTV as “the league” and to help promote referrals by using the word “join” within a well-researched media mix.  Judges feedback applauded the JMU 3rd Place Bronze team for their strategy, presentation, quality, and effort.

Great thinking through strategic application of all the channels. Great overall presentation of materials, I can see the clear time investment for quality work and detail of thought put into the campaign. Outstanding job overall and preparation for the real world!

As a result of this win, Marketing EDGE will provide JMU with a trophy for display in our College of Business and a $1,000 scholarship to be awarded by the Department of Marketing.  Students on the third place team will also split a cash prize of $500.

Six additional teams from JMU were recognized for superior accomplishment in other ECHO competition categories.

Three teams received Honorable Mention for major components of their integrated marketing communications plans.

Nifty Networking – Honorable Mention for Creative Strategy Chelsey Carbaugh, Nannan Chen (Team Leader), Denice Donovan, and Joey Bell

Nifty Networking – Chelsey Carbaugh, Nannan Chen (Team Leader), Denice Donovan, and Joey Bell

Joey Bell, Chelsey Carbaugh, Nannan Chen, and Denice Donovan were awarded Honorable Mention for Creative Strategy. The team’s creative concept involved marketing DIRECTV’s Refer-a-Friend Program as a unique gift in a “Channel the Love” campaign.




Formidable Three – Honorable Mention for Marketing Strategy Lauren Doherty, Dylan Katcher, and Corrie Breshears (Team Leader)

Formidable Three – Lauren Doherty, Dylan Katcher, and Corrie Breshears

The team of Corrrie Breshears, Lauren Doherty, and Dylan Katcher received Honorable Mention for Marketing Strategy. The marketing strategy for their “SAVE the Most” campaign involved a highly focused three-month media plan integrating direct mail, e-mail marketing, social media marketing, the DIRECTV website, and existing customer communications channels.



Getting Direct

Getting Direct – Honorable Mention for Market Research Kemp Bartlett, Nicole Tiffany (Team Leader), Madison Biernacki, and Madeleine Bourne

Kemp Bartlett, Madison Biernacki, Madeleine Bourne, and Nicole Tiffany won Honorable Mention for Market Research.  The data collection methods for their “Score Big” campaign, included qualitative research and over twenty secondary research sources to back up their marketing strategy.





Three JMU teams earned Honorable Mentions for excellence on specific components of the report.

Advanced Ambition – Honorable Mentions for Creative Strategy | Executive Summary Andrew Tsitos, Casey Sayre (Team Leader), Hao Dang, and Tommy O’Connor

Advanced Ambition – Honorable Mentions for Creative Strategy | Executive Summary
Andrew Tsitos, Casey Sayre (Team Leader), Hao Dang, and Tommy O’Connor

Hao Dang, Casey Sayre, Tommy O’Connor and Andrew Tsitos earned Honorable Mentions for Creative Strategy and the Executive Summary.  Their creative strategy evolved around a “Share the Wealth” campaign included a unique internal sales promotion that motivated and rewarded DIRECTV employees (e.g., installation technicians, customer service reps) for efforts generating referrals.  The Executive Summary is a report section that involved succinctly summarizing in one page the entire IMC plan.



Cre8ive Solutions – Honorable Mentions for Creative Strategy | Marketing Plan Brooks Chilcoat, Katherine Cutrone, Christina Provino, and Trevor Wilder (Team Leader)

Cre8ive Solutions – Honorable Mentions for Creative Strategy | Marketing Plan
Brooks Chilcoat, Katherine Cutrone, Christina Provino, and Trevor Wilder (Team Leader)

Honorable Mentions for Creative Strategy and the Marketing Plan was awarded to Brooks Chilcoat, Katherine Cutrone, Christina Provino, and Trevor Wilder.   Their creative strategy was based on the premise that  people are more incentivized by emotions than money alone. The team’s emotional appeal aimed to create a personal state of exhilaration in a “Spread the Excitement”.  Their marketing plan used a viral marketing campaign as a focal point.




Epic Effect – Honorable Mentions for Market Research | Innovation Nick Spinner (Team Leader), Alexa Balsome, Corrine Cardinal, and Carolyn Rezny

Epic Effect – Nick Spinner (Team Leader), Alexa Balsome, Corrine Cardinal, and Carolyn Rezny

Alexa Balsome, Corrine Cardinal, Carolyn Rezny, and Nick Spinner received Honorable Mentions for Market Research and Innovation.  Both primary and secondary research served as the basis for developing an innovative “Share the Wonder” campaign.  Their strategy centered around using a scratch-off promotional sweepstakes aimed at increasing brand loyalty with DIRECTV.


Congratulations once again to the seven teams from JMU for superior accomplishment in the Marketing EDGE Collegiate ECHO Challenge.

On behalf of all of the JMU students who participated in this year’s Collegiate ECHO competition, I wish to thank Marketing EDGE for their support of such an educational endeavor. As a result of this project, students acquire valuable marketing experience for use in their upper-division marketing courses, job interviews, and marketing careers. A special thank you is extended to all of the practitioners in the judging community for generously donating time to evaluate the students’ materials and provide comments. The feedback is highly valuable to the students, as well as myself as an instructor, in better understanding the highly complex nature of successful marketing strategy.

Spring 2015 Best IMC Plan in Class Awards

Kreate Marketing

Spring 2015 Winners of the Best IMC Plan in Course Award: Taylor Glazebrook, Drew Dyer, and Morgan Foran

Congratulations to KREATE Marketing for earning the top award for the spring 2015 semester!

As is customary in my Integrated Marketing Communications class (MKTG 384) at James Madison University, students vote for the “Best IMC Plan” after viewing all presentations in their section.  There were sixteen teams in my two sections this semester.  Based on the student votes, six of the spring 2015 teams emerged as winners:

2:30 Section Winners:

Best in Section Award:  Heading Direct (36%  of their section’s vote)
Alex Adley, AmyGoffe, Brian Reuss, and Max Truchen

Honorable Mention (three-way tie):  Advanced Ambition (18% of their section’s vote)
Hao Dang, Tommy O’Connor, Drew Tsitos, and Casey Sayre

Honorable Mention (three-way tie):  Digital Crusaders (18% of their section’s vote)
Greg Kozlowski, Taylor Neff, Andres Neira, and Meghan Person

Honorable Mention (three-way tie):  Fantastic Four (18% of their section’s vote)
Rachel Dansey, Jacob Shibley, Chris Talbot, and Allison Tugentman

4:00 Section Winners:

Best in Course and Best in Section Award:  Kreate Marketing (71% of their section’s vote)
Drew Dyer, Morgan Foran, and Taylor Glazebrook

Honorable Mention:  Jacked Marketing (12% of their section’s vote)
Anne Delafield, Heather Luing, Joe Nisivoccia, and Johnny Robbins

My spring 2015 IMC students are to be commended for completing a very challenging course project.  I wish them all the very best as they complete their marketing education at JMU and move into the practitioner world.

Fall 2014 Best IMC Plan Awards

Smokin' AcesAs is customary in my Integrated Marketing Communications class (MKTG 384), students vote for the “Best IMC Plan” after viewing all presentations in their section.

One team deserves special recognition for smokin’ (or perhaps I should say acing!) their presentation so I am awarding one “Best in Course Award” this semester.

Congratulations to SMOKIN’ ACES for earning the top award!

Based on the student votes, our fall 2014 winners are:

11:00 section:

Best in Section Award:  Epic Effect (45%  of their section’s vote)
Alexa Balsome, Corinne Cardinal, Carolyn Rezny, and Nick Spinner

Honorable Mention:  A-Team (30% of their section’s vote)
Emma Barlow, Emma Delmontagne, Andrew Hippe, and Julia Uglietta

12:30 section:

Best in Section Award:  Marxman Marketers (33% of their section’s vote)
John Bassford, Alex Dixon, Kevin Harmon, and Kelsey Hinkle

Honorable Mention:  Hoku Consulting (25% of their section’s vote)
Samantha Carr, Nicole Ferraro, Erica Moore, and Lynn Radocha

Honorable Mention:  In Sync (25% of their section’s vote)
Mary Bruton, John Mueller, and Michael Parzych

2:00 section:

Best in Section Award and Best in Course Award:  Smokin’ Aces (80% of their section’s vote and the most votes overall across the three sections)
Alicia Hahn, Ruby Katz, Casey Lynch, and Michael O’Day

Honorable Mention:  Official Business (15% of their section’s vote)
Will Dunkenburger, Matt Krobath, Alyson Phillips, and Catherine Schindler

I had a wonderful group of students in IMC during the fall 2014 semester and I congratulate them on completing a very challenging course project.  I wish them all the very best as they complete their marketing education and move into the practitioner world.

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