RSU Communications Team Wins Spirit Award at AAF Competition

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Rogers State University communications students recently won the Spirit Award at the American Advertising Federation (AAF) competition in Austin, Texas. Pictured, Communications Professor Dr. Bruce Hartley (from left), Carliesha Sanders, Mikenzie Taber, one of the competition’s directors, Channon Rankin, and Hallie Seltzer.


Four Rogers State University communications students returned with an award in hand after competing against teams two, three and four times their size at the American Advertising Federation (AAF) competition, held in April in Austin, Texas.

AAF’s National Student Advertising Competition is the premier college advertising contest that provides more than 2,000 college students with the real-world experience of creating a strategic advertising/marketing/media campaign for a corporate client.

RSU’s team consisted of Channon Rankin of Hulbert, Carliesha Sanders of Pryor, Mikenzie Taber of Claremore and Hallie Seltzer of Broken Arrow.

“For the competition, teams basically partner with a real-life company that gives you permission to create a brand new advertising campaign,” Seltzer said. “You create brand content, an advertising campaign and approach marketing the company in a new way, giving a fresh perspective.

“Our company was Indeed – the job-searching platform – and we were tasked with finding a way to market to the younger generation – basically, 18- to 24-year-olds,” she continued. “What our team did was to create a new advertising campaign for them with the tagline ‘Find your fit’.

“Since Indeed already has a mobile app, we created a partner app called Indeed Plus, which had a swiping tool, similar to the one on trendy dating apps,” she said. “The name of a prospective job would pop up, along with the job’s location and salary, and the user could swipe left if they weren’t a fan of it, or swipe right if it was a good fit for them, and then click on the name to reveal additional details.”

Selzer said RSU’s team created brand and promotional content for their idea, including billboards, radio promotions and television advertisements, about which the group felt “very proud.”

Even though the group didn’t win top prizes or place in the top three, they did earn the Spirit Award for their enthusiasm and sportsmanship.

“We were competing against teams much bigger than us – many had 25 or more team members – from much larger schools, so unfortunately, we didn’t place,” Seltzer said, “but we were presented with the Spirit Award in recognition of our team being the most encouraging and respectful team. We were all so excited to be there. I think the judges saw that and felt we best represented spirit.”

Although she graduated from RSU at the spring 2023 commencement ceremony with her degree in strategic communications, Seltzer said attending the AAF competition was the “highlight” of her senior year, and she’s thankful for the experience.

“It was so much fun for us all. We went into it knowing what we were up against – much bigger teams from much bigger schools that likely had way more funding than we had, but we gave it our all, and that’s what it was all about,” she said. “When I first came to Rogers State, I was already sort of interested in communications, but the program here, the professors, the community…I just fell in love with it, and I’m so thankful for the education and preparation for life that I received at RSU.”

The American Advertising Federation is a professional organization that provides college students opportunities for networking, national competitions and exposure in the media industry. The on-campus chapter of the club is open to all communications majors at RSU, as well as those interested in marketing or advertising. Nationally, AAF has more than 140 college chapters and 4,000 members across the U.S. The group was established at Rogers State University in September 2021.

For more information about AAF at Rogers State University, contact the RSU Department of Communications at 918-343-6825.