FATE 9th Graders Pitch Marketing & Advertising Campaigns for Merit
On Wednesday, June 7th 2017, our FATE 9th grade students stood up in front of a panel of expert judges and a large audience to pitch their marketing and advertising campaigns they created for Merit including a 60 second commercial and print ad.
This year we selected 27 new ninth graders to participate in FATE. Over the last year, they have engaged in activities on business, entrepreneurship, design-thinking, problem solving, leadership, teamwork, and communication. And, just a few months ago they were put into 5 teams to work on their Grade 9 Capstone Project: A Marketing / Advertising Campaign for Merit. Each team was responsible for creating a 60 second commercial and a print advertisement. Then, with the help of local creative professionals from Woodward Original and Creative Circle, the students’ visions were brought to life.
Let’s Introduce you to our Five Teams!
- Team Members: Mariah, Kurtise, RJ, Te and Brittany
- Theme: The process of creating a new Merit backpack.
- What They Learned: “Teamwork makes the dreamwork and nothing comes easy”
- Team Members: Abdul, Lano, CJ, Reggie, Greg, and Sedrick
- Theme: Merit purchases help expose Detroit students to college
- What They Learned: “How to focus and channel our energy, be a leader, and work as a team”
- Team Members: Japheth, Von, Madison, and Jamya
- Theme: Merit Makes World Changers
- What They Learned: “How to work as a team and cooperate with each other and the process of creating a commercial such as brainstorming, making sure our idea relates to Merit and our target, and creating a storyboard”
- Team Members: Mekhi, Le’Morris, Tony, LaKyra, and Brianna
- Theme: You Don’t Have to Have Superpowers to be a Superhero
- What They Learned: “Cooperation is the key to success and making mistakes is a good thing because you can learn from your mistakes”
- Team Members: Kamaree, Jazmine, Auttumn, Tyler, Domo, and Mando
- Theme: Standing together for youth and asking the audience, will you take the pledge?
- What They Learned: “Teamwork can be difficult and requires communication and compromise. The good of the group comes before one person but everyone should be heard”
The process of creating a Marketing & Advertising Campaign began by introducing our students to the Merit brand.
Merit is cause by design. Since 2012, this cause-based brand has used fashion to impact youth and education in Detroit. After four years of donating 20% of every purchase to a college scholarship fund for students in the FATE program, Merit is now expanding its model to focus on workforce training and youth employment. Soon, Merit will be training and employing young people in Detroit to sew and design product.
Each team took time to research the brand by looking through our social media sites, watching videos, checking out the product, and asking questions during a Q&A session led by Kuhu and David. With this background knowledge, the creative concepting process really took off. With the support of Woodward Original (Quicken Loans in-house production company) we challenged the teams to come up with three big ideas and pick one that not only stood out, but also spoke to Merit, the brand, and its customers.
As time progressed, themes were established, storyboards were created, scripts were written, and locations, props, costumes and the cast were determined. Before production began, each team was asked to pitch their ideas to our professional creative team from Creative Circle which included videographers, directors, photographers, and graphic designers.
In the span of two weeks, each team traveled to locations such as the University of Michigan, the Merit store at Twelve Oaks Mall, Shinola, Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, and the Theodore Levin US Courthouse to shoot their commercial and print ad.
On Wednesday, June 7th we held a Student Showcase at the Jam Handy where all 5 teams pitched their campaigns and premiered their commercials and print ads. When we initially introduced this project, we told each group that this would be a competition and a winning team would be selected by a panel of judges. Our expert panel of judges included:
- Shaun Wilson: Vice President, Truscott Rossman
- Anu Reddy: Senior Global Strategist, Commonwealth//McCann
- Ben Ewy: Senior Director of Design, Research and Development, Carhartt
- Sara Pomish: Director, Brand Planning, Duffey Petrosky
- Peter Van Dyke: CEO, Van Dyke Horn Public Relations
The judges were asked to score the overall presentation (criteria included: participation, content, innovation and visual appeal, planting feet, focusing on the audience, projecting voice, and finishing each sentence strong) as well as the commercials and print ads (criteria included: quality and visual appeal, relevance and usability, and innovation).
Each team stepped up to the challenge and completely blew us away with their final marketing and advertising campaigns and we are so excited to share them with you!
As the judges deliberated and the scorecards were calculated, a “People’s Choice” vote was taken from the audience and one winner was chosen from both the “Judge’s Choice” and the “People’s’ Choice” votes. The winner of the Grade 9 Capstone project was awarded to…
The winning team received prizes complimentary from The Pistons, The Detroit Lions, and Leon Speakers. As a final prize, the winning team’s campaign will actually be used by Merit!
We are so proud of all five groups and the effort and creativity they put forth the past few months! We are seriously SO IMPRESSED by their marketing and advertising campaigns and hope you have enjoyed them as much as we have!
We want to give a special thanks to Creative Circle, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Children’s Hospital Foundation, Duffey Petrosky, IPS Technology Services, and Jet’s Pizza for their support!