National Student Advertising Competition Case Study

Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Karen Lancendorfer

Second Advisor

Greg Gerfen


The NSAC American Advertising Federation Case Competition takes place every spring for Western Michigan University Advertising & Promotion students. Each year a national client is chosen and students across the country develop an integrated marketing campaign. This year, our client was Tinder, the massively popular dating app. Tinder provided us with a campaign brief, brand book, and brand guidelines to follow during our project. The main objective of this project was to increase brand love for Tinder with a secondary goal of increasing account activations. Our team was led by Dr. Karen Lancendorfer. We spent the past two semesters researching, strategizing, and designing a full integrated marketing campaign for Tinder.

My main contribution to the project started at the very beginning. This class is not treated like a normal class. We must interview with Dr. Lancendorfer to earn our spot at the agency for our final semester. Dr. Lancendorfer uses this project to give us a taste of what working at a real agency is like. After my interview, I was offered the job as the Secondary Research Lead. This meant that my pieces of the project were up first. As the Secondary Research Lead, my job was to lead a team of researchers conducting secondary research. We were gathering information from articles, blogs, studies and much more. Our main objective was to understand our target audience and provide insight into all things about online dating. To summarize all the work we had done, we created a situation analysis and SWOT analysis. These analyses involved data about profits and revenue in the online dating world, perceptions of online dating, and online dating through a pandemic, as well as strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for Tinder. After completing all of the secondary research, we were able to pass this work to our production team to begin putting into our final deliverable for the competition. While all this secondary research work was being done, my co-research lead was doing an immense amount of primary research as well. This included creating a survey to send to our target audience and analyzing that data.

Although my main contribution came early in the project, it was critical we completed our research timely and efficiently, so we did not slow down the rest of the class. After the research was completed, the rest of the class began developing creative executions and a media strategy.

Once the plans book was complete, my team had to work with our classmates on the presentation. Because we are still living in COVID, the competition was virtual this year, which meant we had to record our presentation. Although this may seem like it is easier, it just made our team strive for perfection even more. To prepare for the recording, myself and my co-research lead developed a script to talk about all the work we had to done to gather information and develop our ideas.

On April 9, 2021, our team of Advertising and Promotion students competed in the NSAC American Advertising Federation Case Competition virtually. We placed third in our district.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Restricted

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