I had the pleasure recently of participating as a judge at the University of Toronto’s Rotman Commerce Brand Blitz. Championed by Nicholas Austin, VP and managing director at Segal Communications, which sponsored the competition, the Brand Blitz is a marketing exercise for young business students to learn about advertising and communications. It’s also an opportunity for them to learn about giving presentations.
The students had to develop a plan to market UofT to Europeans thinking of studying abroad. However, with the goal of learning about brand attributes, the UofT brand had to be linked with the attributes of one other world-leading brand.
I was impressed by how well these young people presented their very well conceived ideas. Highlights included this positioning statement: “Relax, you’re at UofT.” I also laughed on cue at one group’s smart repurposing of Apple’s Mac vs PC ads.
Surprisingly, only one of the five teams included social media as part of its marketing program. I would have thought that these students in their late teens and early 20’s who I assume to be immersed in SM would have included a medium they know. Maybe the fact that they were presenting to a panel of marketing vets made them lean towards more traditional advertising.
That said, it’s good to see business students learning how to use marketing. Also, for a change, it was fun being pitched instead of having to do the pitching.