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MarCom students are finalists in JetBlue ad competition

On May 10, two Emerson Marketing Communication student teams were flown to New York to present their marketing campaigns to JetBlue executives at the airline’s offices in downtown Manhattan. The two Emerson teams were selected from 28 collegiate teams in the Boston area that entered a student marketing competition presented by JetBlue and AdU Network.

“This was extracurricular work for the students—they heard about the competition and went for it,” said Emerson Marketing Communication Executive-in-Residence James Rowean, who helped advise one of the teams, which included Ana Curcija, Whitney Lee, Kelly McCarthy, John Podhor, and Simone Tetteh. “I’m really proud of the work they put into it and how they handled the project—from conducting research and developing the creative elements to handling last-minute changes from the client.”

In collaboration with the AdU Network, JetBlue put out an RFP for student teams in the Boston area to create a guerilla marketing campaign that would establish JetBlue as the #1 carrier out of Logan International Airport to domestic and Caribbean destinations. Out of the original 28 student teams that entered the competition, 10 were asked to submit a written plan, and only three were selected to present in-person in New York.

“This was a very difficult competition so being a finalist means a great deal,” said founder and principal of AdU Network Dmitriy Katsel. “The competition was built on JetBlue's need for insights and credible marketing ideas in Boston. The students played a major role in helping JetBlue make very important decisions about entering the Boston market.” The two Emerson student teams that responded to the RFP are among the final three chosen by JetBlue. The third team is from Harvard University.

“Win or lose, it was a great experience,” said Whitney Lee ’11. “The AdU JetBlue competition took what we learned in the classroom and applied it to a real-world experience. Plus, we had the opportunity to present our campaign in New York, which really showed us what it’s like to pitch an idea to a client.”

Peter Seronick, an adjunct Marketing Communication instructor at Emerson, helped advise one of the student teams, which included Stephanie Costa, Sarah Jacobs, Trevor Morrow, and Brock Pisciotta. “My philosophy through this whole project was to mentor, not do the work for the team. So, whatever accolades they earn, they earned on their own.” During the project, Seronick observed that like any real-world ad agency new business team, the students didn’t see eye to eye on everything. “There were definitely some disagreements. But they talked them through and had enough underlying respect for each other that they made changes or altered their presentation for the better of the team. I couldn’t have been prouder and more impressed by these four students.”

Next step in the competition: JetBlue will choose a winning team. Good luck to all!

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