Two UTM students have advanced to the second phase of Canada’s Next Top Ad Exec competition hosted by McMaster’s DeGroote School of Business.
Aspiring marketers Fareha Zakir, a third-year bachelor of business administration student, and Logaina ElKattan, a fourth-year management specialist, have advanced to phase two of the three-phase national competition in their first time in the contest.
“Our goal was to represent our school in the selections, as there was no representation from UTM,” said Zakir. “We are working really hard.”
This year’s competition requires participants to pitch their own creative marketing campaign ideas in an effort to sell the 2014 Chevrolet Stingray. The 2014 Camaro is the competition’s top prize, and will be awarded to each of the winning team’s two contestants.
“Logaina and I are a perfect team because we both bring different skills and perspectives to the table,” said Zakir. “We haven’t been able to see other entries, but we feel confident in our ideas that promise results.”
The pair is competing against 29 other teams from universities across Canada in the semifinals, including two other teams from the University of Toronto.
Besides the top prize, competitors have a chance to win internship positions at General Motors, McDonalds, Canadian Tire, and PepsiCo, as well as scholarship awards.
According to Julie Ly, the competition’s co-chair, Top Ad Exec is one of the largest marketing competitions in Canada, involving over 1,000,000 students and 52 campuses.
In the first round, 231 entries were received—the most ever submitted—from 38 universities across Canada. Phase one required participants to submit an “elevator pitch” proposal outlining the team’s marketing ideas. Phase two, which ends at noon on February 24, requires contestants to further develop their initial proposal and submit a document outlining the marketing strategy for their campaign.
The competition’s rules prevented Zakir from revealing the details of the team’s strategy. “I can say that our strategy will make Chevrolet a global brand,” she said.
The finalists will be announced in early March and will present their ideas to a panel of industry executives.
The winners will be announced on March 25 at a gala in Toronto.