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VIDEO: Gonzaga Students’ Marketing Effort Places Second in Honda Competition

Posted on June 13, 2012 in: Academics, Events, Spotlight, Students, video
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Students Earn $5,000 for School of Business Administration

SPOKANE, Wash. – Four months of hard work and planning paid off for Driven Mind, a Gonzaga University student-run marketing agency that won $5,000 for Gonzaga’s School of Business Administration by finishing second in the Honda Civic Coupe Marketing Challenge last month.

The competition was part of a unique industry-education partnership that gives students the opportunity to apply their knowledge in the real world by developing and implementing a full-scale promotional campaign for Honda.

Driven Mind was among three finalist teams chosen from 20 schools nationwide that participated in the program last semester. Five of the 15 members of Driven Mind represented Gonzaga at the competition in Torrance, Calif., where each team presented its campaign to Honda executives. The University of Pittsburgh team, which won the competition, the Gonzaga team and a team from the University of Southern California all earned $5,000 for their excellent work.

Marketing Associate Professor Peggy Sue Loroz, who taught the course, said the students were poised and professional.

Postcampaign research revealed Driven Mind successfully changed perceptions and purchase consideration of the Honda brand among the population of Gonzaga undergraduates. The campaign cost $2,100 to implement, but generated an estimated value of more than $22,000, a 950-percent return on investment. The students collectively spent more than 1,500 hours on the campaign, said Peggy Sue Loroz, associate professor of marketing at Gonzaga, who taught the course in which the campaign was developed.

Driven Mind was originally challenged with changing the perception of Honda and its Civic Coupe as a cool and cutting-edge brand among the Generation Y target market.

“We couldn’t be more excited and happy that we are in the top three. It definitely is a testament to the hard work we have put in and also to our unique ideas,” said Project Coordinator Matthew Cassinelli, who graduated in May. “Everyone really did their part to make this campaign successful; we thought outside the box together.”

Loroz called the effort “a huge milestone” for the students who researched, planned, implemented and measured results of the marketing campaign as part of a unique capstone course at Gonzaga called the Promotion Project. The class is one of several experiential learning courses offered in the School of Business Administration.

The campaign theme was “What a Ride,” which emphasized people’s personal connections with their vehicles while invoking the feeling of life’s “what-a-ride” moments. The campaign culminated in a “Civic Block Party” held April 13 on Gonzaga’s campus, which helped raise awareness of the 2012 Civic Coupe through interactive games, food and prizes.

“I couldn’t be more proud of these students,” Loroz said. “They represented Gonzaga so well.”

For more information, please contact Associate Professor Peggy Sue Loroz at (509) 313-3433 or via e-mail.

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