Real world experience for marketing students

Marketing students in Dr. Jorge Villegas’ independent study MKT/BUS course for SP15 had the unique opportunity to put textbook situations aside and instead work for a real client.  The challenge was to develop, execute, launch, and evaluate a real social marketing campaign designed to address an issue important to the UIS community.

An alcohol awareness campaign for the UIS campus was born out of the project. Why a social issue?

Poster designed by BBA majors for the advertising campaign THINK to promote alcohol responsibility on the UIS campus.
Poster designed by BBA majors for the advertising campaign THINK to promote alcohol responsibility on the UIS campus.


Dr. Villegas stressed that business students need to be able to apply their abilities to improve the health and well-being of the UIS community.

The campaign work challenged the students’ accumulated knowledge from previous business courses while they learned many important new concepts.  The stresses, time and budget parameters, client interactions, and strategic goals were all part of the real-world business experience.  The course demonstrated how all of the functional areas of marketing (i.e., product, price, distribution, and promotion), focusing on integrated marketing communications (advertising, public relations, promotions, interactive media, and direct marketing), are managed into a seamless, strategy-driven plan.

One part of the process was designing a poster for the event launching the campaign. The event was planned as an opportunity to talk with students about ways to drink responsibly and still have fun. A cookout and games were part of the event.

The goal was to increase alcohol responsibility awareness on the UIS campus. The objectives included engaging members of the UIS Young Professional Marketers (YPM) in the marketing campaign design, launch, and post-evaluation.

THINK  t-shirt designed by students as an element of the campaign.
THINK t-shirt designed by students as an element of the campaign.

Another goal was to engage with members of the UIS community to obtain information and possible venues for the campaign. Those included Marketing Faculty, Public Health Faculty, the Counseling Center, Student Affairs and the Student Government Association.

Other goals included engaging undergraduate residential students with the campaign in its different platforms, and also included involvement of undergraduate commuter students at UIS with the campaign in its different platforms.

Games at the THINK event.
Games at the THINK event.