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Dynamic Learning Community : Student-Generated Advertisement Tops PSAid National Competition

Winning student advertisement
The winning PSAid student advertisement.

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April 2010

By La Monica Everett-Haynes, University Communications

Students in Ed Ackerley's Advertising Management class developed advertisements for the Public Service Announcements for International Disasters project, winning the full PSAid competition.

In working with his classmates on a disaster relief advertisement for a national competition, Joshua Belhumeur recalled having read an article in 2005 about tsunami survivors in Sri Lanka receiving donations of winter coats and stilettos.

Struck by the absurdity of such an occurrence, Belhumeur, a University of Arizona senior studying marketing, suggested his team build an image around the concept for their PSAid submission. 

The group, which subsequently developed an advertisement with an image of a young boy holding a blue high heel shoe with the caption, "Make sure he gets what he needs," was one of 10 finalists, and won the national competition April 21. 

Anyone could vote in the competition run by PSAid, or Public Service Announcements for International Disasters. Students vied for $30,000 in cash prizes.

"Presumably, the donations were coming from a company trying to get a tax write-off," Belhumeur said. "But cash is more efficient and helps the local economy in many different ways and for different reasons."

Belhumeur and other students taking Ed Ackerley's MKTG 425: Advertising Management class this semester were asked to develop advertisements. Ackerley, an adjunct instructor who teaches marketing and media arts, also engaged his class in a peer review process, allowing them to present their ideas to one another and to offer suggestions.

The competition, which is in its fifth year and is sponsored by the Center for International Disaster Information, involves college and university students across the nation producing video and print public service announcements.

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