Teams Chase Honda in 4As Class

For students, getting moving in the ad business can be as straightforward–or as frustrating–as learning to ride a bicycle. Make that an electric bicycle.
For the 42 hopefuls in this semester’s Institute of Advanced Advertising Studies program at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, the task was clear: design a simulated ad campaign for American Honda Motor Co.’s introductory electric bicycle.
The results will be presented this Tuesday and Wednesday at the university, and a winner chosen.
Introduced 34 years ago by the American Association of Advertising Agencies, the graduate program is open to students with two to three years of experience at ad agencies.
“It’s clearly one of the most positive programs offered by the 4As,” said John Klein, managing partner of Klein Mickaelian Partners, Los Angeles, and director of the Institute of Advanced Advertising Studies.
The program combines lectures and workshops given by leaders in the L.A. ad community. Students learn all disciplines of advertising, from research to creative to public relations to new media. “It’s a bittersweet experience because there’s an incredible amount of work,” Klein said.
The students were divided into six mock agencies, all financed by the actual shops they represent. They will present to a panel of judges, including Honda executives, and the winner will capture the prestigious Monty McKinney Award.
The work becomes the property of the 4As, and is archived after presentations. In past competitions, some of the campaigns have caught the eye of corporate executives, although none has actually been commercially used.
Loyola Marymount is one of 14 schools around the country offering the program.