On Wednesday, June 5th 2019, we held our third annual Student Showcase where our 9th and 10th graders showcased their final projects -- Grade 9 developed a marketing and advertising campaign for Merit and Grade 10 created a Merit Product collection.
Videographers: Kyle Morgan and Desmond
Each year our 9th and 10th grade FATE cohorts participate in an end-of-year capstone project where they put their skills in business, entrepreneurship, marketing, and design-thinking to practice! Five 9th grade teams were asked to create a Marketing and Advertising Campaign for Merit (our cause-based fashion brand) which included a 60-second commercial, a print advertisement, and a 5 minute pitch. Our 10th graders were split into three teams and developed a Merit Product Collection. These collections go on display at the Student Showcase and the team with the most pre-sales has their collection produced in full.
Grade 9: Marketing & Advertising Campaign for Merit
Just a few months ago, our 9th graders were put into 5 teams to work on their Grade 9 Capstone Project: Creating a Marketing and Advertising Campaign for Merit. Each team was responsible for creating a 60-second commercial and a print advertisement.
- Creative Concepting
To begin developing a marketing and advertising campaign, each team needed to go through the “creative concepting” phase. With professional support from Woodward Original and Doner Advertising, students applied what they learned about the Merit brand to their brainstorming sessions. Each team first thought of words that came to mind when thinking about Merit, which were then narrowed down into a few campaign theme ideas. For example, one team noticed that many of their words fit into three specific categories - product, people, and actions. They then took all three categories and developed a theme they called “One Merit”, where they described the product as authentic, people as part of a community, and their action was to further the education of youth. With a campaign theme established, teams began to storyboard their commercial, develop a script, and decide the locations, props, costumes, and cast for their commercials and print ads.
Before production begins, each team has to pitch their marketing and advertising campaign idea to our Creative Team that is made up of professionals from Creative Circle who are tasked with bringing each team’s vision to life. This creative team included a videographer, graphic designer, producer, copywriter, and photographer.
One of the most exciting days is each team’s film day! Each team has the opportunity to travel throughout Detroit to a variety of locations to shoot their commercial scenes. This year’s locations included: Eastern Market, Motown Museum, Downtown Detroit, Detroit Achievement Academy, Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, and the Fate Space.
- Pitch Preparation
With their commercials and print ads complete, each team is tasked with creating a pitch presentation that describes their project goals, creative process, campaign theme, why they picked it, target customer, where they will advertise their campaign, and what was learned.
These pitches were shared during our annual Fate Student Showcase!
- Student Showcase Presentations
On Wednesday, June 5th 2019, we held our annual Student Showcase at the Jam Handy where all 5 teams pitched their marketing and advertising campaign for Merit and premiered their commercials and print ads. In order to pick a winner, each team was evaluated by a panel of judges who are experts in the PR / Marketing field. Our expert panel of judges included:
- Bill Nowling - Partner and Managing Director, Lambert
- Meredith Freeman - Director of Alignment and Impact Investing, Fischer Foundation
- Adam Bleibtreu - Chief Marketing Officer, ASGN Incorporated and Creative Circle
- Marcus Collins - Chief Consumer Connections Officer, Doner Advertising
- Ben Ewy - Vice President of Global Product Design, Carhartt
- Rachel Roe - Global Marketing Manager, Ford Motor Company
The judges were asked to score the overall presentation (criteria included: participation, content, innovation, planting feet, focusing on the audience, projecting voice, and finishing each sentence strong) as well as the commercial and print ad (criteria included: quality and visual appeal, relevance and usability, and innovation).
Each team stepped up to the challenged and BLEW US AWAY with their final marketing and advertising campaigns! It’s so incredible to see new and innovative ideas from year to year! We are so excited to share them with you!
Print Ads / Commercials
Dominators - "Unity"
Merit Winners, Not Losers - "Merit Changes the Story"
JRS2 - "We're The Next Big Thing"
Weaves ‘n’ Waves - "One Merit"
Bright Knights - "Nothing Like Us"
Videographer: Adam Luger, Blue Racer Productions
The Winning Team!
Once the judges were done deliberating, the scores were calculated and the winning 9th grade team was chosen! Additionally, we provide a “People’s Choice” vote to get feedback from the audience on their favorite campaign and presentation! This year, our “Judges Choice” and “People’s Choice” winners were different! Our “People’s Choice” winners were Merit Winners, Not Losers!! And finally, our official winner of the 2019 Fate Student Showcase was….
Weaves ‘n’ Waves!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We are so incredibly proud of all five teams! During the past few months they have worked hard to deliver creativity, teamwork, patience, focus and energy! We are SO IMPRESSED by the marketing and advertising campaigns they came up with and we hope you enjoyed them too!
- Stevie Ansara
- Maria Arellano
- Paige Barnett
- Justin Milhouse
- Andrew Lamar
- Adam Luger
- Joe Smith
Photo Credit: Allison Farrand