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Real-world experience is essential for preparing students for their future careers. For University of Wisconsin Oshkosh students in Kathy Fredrickson’s interim radio television advertising class, it doesn’t get more real-world than their final class project.

For the three-week class, Fredrickson’s students divided into agency teams. They were challenged with the task of creating a unique digital campaign for the Wisconsin-based OH SNAP! Pickling Co. in an attempt to improve brand awareness and overall consumption among young adults.

Each campaign was complete with research, strategy and tactics in the form of TV and radio spots, and interactive social media advertisements.

Nic Olbrantz and Ashley Thomas of OH SNAP! Pickling Co.

The final challenge that put students in a pickle: Present their campaigns to OH SNAP! Pickling Co. director of sales and marketing Nic Olbrantz and sales and marketing associate Ashley Thomas.

“Presenting to the client was a little nerve-racking,” said Shelby Howe, a recent RTF graduate from Rio. “But mostly, it was a good learning experience and good practice for a potential career in advertising. The presentation went better than I expected.”

As students worked on the campaigns, they quickly learned a valuable lesson in the creation of real-life advertising campaigns: Three weeks is not a long time to develop such a comprehensive strategy and pitch for a client.

“It’s not easy to prepare an agency pitch in three weeks,” Fredrickson said..

While the tight deadline may be difficult, many students like senior marketing major Danielle VanderHeiden of Appleton considered it to be a fun challenge.

“I liked the fast pace of the class from gathering research the first week to shooting, editing and presenting our finished campaign to the client by the third week,” VanderHeiden said. “I really enjoyed working with a Wisconsin company like OH SNAP! on their advertising and marketing.”

Olbrantz and Thomas of OH SNAP! Pickling Co., who spent the better part of the morning June 3 at UW Oshkosh learning from, offering feedback to and connecting with students through their projects, were thoroughly impressed with what the students were able to come up.

Kathy Fredrickson

“The class did fantastic work. In such a short amount of time, they took the challenge seriously and hit the mark with their campaigns,” Olbrantz said. “Not to mention, they had to develop multiple ads for different media. They certainly exceeded our expectations.”

Thomas agreed with Olbrantz and added, “it can take agencies months to develop an advertising campaign and they developed on-brand campaigns in no time. It was exciting to see the projects that they’ve been working so hard on.”

Fredrickson, who had not taught this course since 2015, revamped the class this year to include an emphasis on developing creative concepts and delivering the message within social media platforms. She could not be more pleased with the outcome of the class.

“The students have an amazing story and creative spots to share with prospective employers because of this experience,” Fredrickson said. “We helped a Wisconsin-based business with marketing, advertising and branding ideas as well.”

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