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For the first time in more than 20 years, a team of University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Shidler College of Business students qualified for a national advertising competition.

The American Advertising Federation National Student Advertising Competition challenges participants to develop an advertising campaign for a real world client. To secure a spot in nationals, the student team won the 2024 district competition held on April 27. The UH team—consisting of Shidler students Madison Chow, Kaycee Nakashima, Wendy Sakuma, Ocean Vuong and Jolin Zhang—joined 17 university teams out of more than 120 entrants to vie for the national title.

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Teams were tasked to create an advertising campaign for Tide, which included market research, identifying target markets and consumer personas, and utilizing multi-channel marketing to change 75% of consumer’s washing habits to cold by 2030. The UH team’s campaign was called “Turn the Tide,” and aimed to “create a revolution in shifting the behavior of consumers.”

While the team did not advance from the semifinal round to the finals, they celebrated their hard work and position as a formidable force in advertising education. Vuong called the challenge “The hardest project of my life.”

“I think it is essential that the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Shidler College of Business, as the premier university in Hawaiʻi, be a part of this league and encourage healthy competition that will promote innovation, growth, and collaboration,” said team advisor and Shidler Instructor Constancio Paranal III. “It was exciting to be able to showcase what we do best and contribute together with our students to UH Mānoa’s rich history of excellence in the field of marketing and advertising.”

Paranal said the district competition judges lauded UH’s performance, commending their depth of understanding regarding market trends and consumer problems, strategic approach, clear personas and well-crafted creative executions.

In addition to their collective success, Nakashima was honored with the title of Best Presenter at the district competition, showcasing her exceptional communication skills and ability to articulate the team’s campaign.

Paranal and the team would like to thank the district judges Jeremy Althof, Monchalee Ota, Ryan Trujillo, Tammy Uy and Kevin Yim, as well as Paul Lam, American Advertising Federation District 13 governor, and Noam Tom, American Advertising Federation district coordinator.

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