These are all things that happen every single day in real-world marketing, communication, advertising-type jobs. They are also things that happened during Kathy Fredrickson’s interim radio-TV-film (RTF) COMM 301 class.
During the three weeks of interim at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Fredrickson’s students were hard at work for a real-life client—Cedar Crest Ice Cream, which is a Wisconsin-based company.
“This course is made up of 14 days of classes that run for about three hours per day. So, it goes fast for the students,” Fredrickson said. “But we get a lot done, we are very strategic and we present great ideas and solutions to our client in the end.”
Divided into three agency-type teams, the students were challenged to create an ad campaign for Cedar Crest Ice Cream. The final challenge was then to present those campaigns to members of the leadership team from Cedar Crest.
“We spend a lot of time and money figuring out what this age group wants. It’s great to hear straight from the source,” said Ron Strube, vice president of operations and general manager for Cedar Crest.
Charlene Cocchiola, a junior majoring in RTF, said she thought the opportunity to work with Cedar Crest was fun and a good experience.
“It’s a real client. A real company,” Cocchiola said. “You don’t always get that opportunity.”
Students said the project took a lot of teamwork, a very useful skill for the workplace.
“Figuring out how to work with each other and using everyone’s individual talents and assets to get the job done was key,” Kathleen Palmbach, a senior majoring in RTF, said.
To the Cedar Crest executives, each UW Oshkosh student agency group presented their findings via research, the key features of the product, the brand image challenges and more, and then presented television and radio spots based on the pitch they developed.
“I feel really good about what we put together,” Walter Blakey, junior RTF major, said. “The realization of how this goes in an agency has been good. This is not just lessons for a class, but for an actual job and that puts a lot into perspective.”
Fredrickson is an adjunct professor at UW Oshkosh, she teaches a variety of communication-focused classes. She has experience working as a consultant serving marketing, branding, public relations and media needs for clients. For her interim classes, Fredrickson brings in high-level representatives from Wisconsin-based businesses to work with her class as she enjoys helping state-based companies thrive; in 2012, the president of Carmex and in 2013, the vice president of Sargento Foods visited UW Oshkosh to work with students on a similar projects.