USC Marshall School of Business undergraduates who took the course “Practicum in Advertising and Promotion Design” during the spring semester became members of a full-fledged team that was knee-deep in the development of a real ad campaign.
USC Marshall assistant professor of clinical marketing Therese Wilbur, who relied on her experience as a senior director at Mattel, structured the course as an in-house, student-run agency.
Wilbur defined the course, which transformed students into executives who were responsible for developing a marketing campaign for real-world clients, as a “marketing internship within the context of a class.”
Once the campaigns were developed, the students were subjected to scrutiny by marketing executives and agency partners or by judges in the annual American Advertising Federation’s National Student Advertising Competition. In 2011, USC Marshall undergraduate students won the Chevrolet Campus Promotion Competition against 20 other schools. In 2008, the students’ campaign for FBI recruitment was posted on billboards across Los Angeles.
During the spring semester, students conducted market research and launched an ad campaign for the Honda Civic Coupe. The campaign included print advertising, as well as video and viral marketing. It also featured public relations work, including a social media campaign and a dedicated campaign website.
Wilbur also has overseen “New Product Development and Branding,” an interdisciplinary class taught over the last four years with faculty members Ann Page and Tom Schorer from the USC Roski School of Fine Arts and Allan Weber from the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.
In that course, the students developed a product from concept to 2-D and 3-D prototype. They also created a product logo and developed a website to launch the product and highlight its attributes.