Columbia students win Collegiate Effies with V8+ ‘Outlast your kid’ campaign



A group of students from Columbia’s advertising workshop course won first place at the 2016 Collegiate Effies competition, a national competition meant to test students’ marketing skills.

By Campus Reporter

A group of students from the college’s advertising workshop course were awarded first place at the 2016 Collegiate Effies for their campaign for vegetable juice drink V8, aimed at millennial parents.

The competition, a student version of the North American Effies, is a large-scale competition for marketing professionals, designed to test students’ marketing skills and ability to solve problems that arise in a professional setting.

The team, which included senior cinema art + science major Jeremiah Baffour-Osei, sophomore advertising major Taylor Perry, senior advertising major Marquis Burch and senior advertising major Celina Falcon, defeated Kent State University for the competition’s $3000 prize with a campaign for V8’s + Energy Fusion” drink tailored to young parents with children from 6 months old to 3 years old.

Perry said the team conducted both primary and secondary research, including interviewing parents about the challenges of parenthood, which led to the creation of the winning “Outlast Your Kid” campaign.

“That is what we used as our insight [and what], in the long run, made us win because we had the more harsh truth of what parenting really is,” Perry said.

To qualify for the competition, separate student groups worked on classroom campaigns for Kleenex and V8 in which they tackled simulated branding problems, said Peg Murphy, an associate chair of the Communication & Media Innovation Department who taught one of the sections of the advertising workshop course.

The students’ classwork was reviewed and critiqued by industry professionals from Kleenex and V8, who chose five teams from across the country to be semifinalists, Murphy said. 

Columbia’s Kleenex and V8 teams were selected to compete in the semifinals, making Columbia one of two schools, along Iowa State University, with two teams in that stage of the competition, Murphy said.

“I am very proud of them,” Murphy said. “The [students] come from many different backgrounds and departments. They are a terrific example of what makes Columbia great.”

Burch said his team’s class campaign shows how every assignment can be taken to the next level.

“Columbia will give you the platform to do it but, in the end, it is always how far you want to take it,” Burch said.

Suzanne McBride, chair of the CMI Department, said she was excited and proud of the students’ achievement. She added that being challenged to produce professional level work in a classroom setting is great career preparation.

“They worked extremely hard throughout the semester to get to this point,” McBride said. “It is really wonderful that outside professionals at this level recognized their work. This is one more indication that they are able to go out and do high-level work and be recognized for it, even when they have not actually graduated.”