A group of Johns Hopkins undergraduates have
creatively pitched their way to an audience at
The 14 students in this spring's Advertising and
Promotion class recently earned top honors for
their integrated marketing communications campaign that
promoted the U.S. Navy's Health
Professions Scholarship Program. Johns Hopkins was one of
seven universities picked to participate in
the competition, developed in conjunction with the U.S Navy
and EdVenture Partners, a firm that
matches universities with real-world clients seeking to
target the student market. The contest was
judged by Campbell-Ewald, the Navy's Detroit-based
For winning the competition, EdVenture Partners
presented Johns Hopkins with a Scholastic
Achievement Award and a $1,000 prize. Five students from
the class and the course instructor, Leslie
Kendrick, will travel to the Pentagon this week to formally
present the campaign to senior Navy
officials, including Vice Adm. John C. Harvey, director of
The students, who used the agency name HopComm, were
given a $2,500 budget to inform the
target audience about the Navy's program, which offers
participants financial support for their
medical school education.
The students were divided into departments, such as
research, advertising/multimedia, public
relations and events. To start, they conducted two layers
of market research, a general survey
followed by in-depth interviews with Johns Hopkins pre-med
Next, after approval by the Navy's ad agency, the
students rolled out the campaign, which
featured T-shirts, banners, posters, a Web site and other
material that revolved around the slogan
"It's more than a uniform." They also employed some
"guerilla marketing" tactics, staging several on-
campus events to promote the Navy's program, including one
where a student donned a wearable boat.
A particularly effective aspect of the campaign,
according to the judges, was an unscripted
video interview with Mia Jin, a fourth-year student at the
School of Medicine who is participating in
the Health Professions Scholarship Program.
Capt. Cynthia Macri, a surgeon and longtime Navy
recruiter who attended the final presentation,
marveled at the sophistication of a campaign developed in
less than a full semester.
"I was impressed by every little detail. I sat there
at the presentation saying to myself, Who
can do better than this? They did their market research
well. They did not limit themselves to one
type of advertising but developed something that would
appeal to the target audience and appeal to
their parents, too. It was just very creative, very
impressive," Macri said.
Kendrick said that the campaign's slogan was integral
to the group's success and helped pull it all
"Some people see a military uniform and say no.
There's respect, but they say that's not for
me," she said. "How do you get beyond that? You tell them
this experience is a humanitarian effort
and part of a medical scholarship program. The students did
very well in communicating that."
Kendrick said that experiential learning like this is
invaluable for students.
"It's a very unique experience, and they learn so
much," she said. "They can also put on their
resume that they developed a complete marketing campaign,
and that their client was the U.S. Navy."
The contest's other participants were the University
of Wisconsin, Madison; College of
Charleston; University of Pittsburgh; University of
Arkansas, Little Rock; University of Missouri,
Columbia; and University Of Nebraska, Lincoln.
The Advertising and Promotion class is offered once a
year through the Whiting School's W.P.
Carey Program in Entrepreneurship and Management. Although
the program is based in the Engineering
School, its courses are open to all full-time students and
can count toward a business minor.