High school ad workshop opens doors for Philly teens

It’s a scene that plays out every day in the advertising industry. Two agencies pitched their ideas for a comprehensive marketing campaign to a client in the hopes of coming out on top.

The difference here was that the agencies were made up of students from Temple University and two Philadelphia high schools.

The Dec. 10 presentations were the culmination of the second Philly Ad Club High School Advertising Workshop, through which 11 School of Media and Communication students in Assistant Professor Dana Saewitz’s “Teaching High School Advertising” class led after-school programs at the Kensington High School for the Creative and Performing Arts and the Academy at Palumbo.

“As a member of the Philly Ad Club Students Committee, I decided to start this program because I wanted to build community-based learning opportunities for Temple’s Department of Advertising. My goal for my Temple students is to see them become great teachers and great advertising executives. My goal for the high school students is to see them graduate, apply to Temple or other schools, and to consider a career in communications upon graduation,” Saewitz said.

The high school students were introduced to the world of advertising by creating campaigns for Philabundance’s collection effort in high school called the Great Food Fight.The Temple students taught their younger counterparts about marketing, event planning, public relations, public speaking and more.

“It’s amazing how much impact students can have on others students as we teach and learn together,” said student Amy Fiore, ADV. It’s mind changing, perspective changing, and life changing. It has touched a special place in my heart, bringing me closer to this city and the talented people in it.

Making the pitch
The two groups came up with creative way to entice students their age to donate food. The Palumbo contingent suggested placing Post-it notes with Twitter hashtags around the school as a way to direct them to their social media campaign. They also created a radio ad, which two students acted out for their potential client.

The KCAPA students suggested organizing a Philabun-“Dance,” at which they would collect cans of food as the price of admission. They created mass transit advertising, showing examples of ads in subway stations and on TransPasses. To top it off, three students wrote a hip hop song geared toward their generation for a television commercial.

While the Philabundance representatives (including Lindsay Bues, StOC ’09) chose KCAPA’s as the winning campaign, students from both schools will forever reap the benefits of this workshop.

“A lot of the kids don’t think beyond their stoops or their blocks,” said KCAPA teacher Derrick Savage. “It’s making them think in a much larger way, not only about themselves, but the potential they have.”

 photos by Joseph V. Labolito/Temple University