Contact: Changmin Yan, 581-2330; Kristen Andresen, 581-3742
ORONO – Bangor, Maine, is a long way from Madison Avenue. But the advertising lessons that University of Maine students have learned by working with local businesses are as real as those in New York.
Students in UMaine’s Advertising Campaigns class have spent the spring semester creating integrated marketing campaigns for the Maine Discovery Museum, The Grasshopper Shop and The Henry’s Bridal Boutique & Formal Wear. The students will present their campaigns from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 5, in the Bangor City Council Chambers. The event is open to the public.
“They’re dealing with real problems, not simulated problems,” says Changmin Yan, an assistant professor of communication and journalism at UMaine. “In this class, they’re dealing with real clients and they start to realize the limitations. They learn how to present themselves professionally and how to seek out information — in many cases sensitive information — from a client.”
All of the students in the class are seniors, and though they have created hypothetical advertising and marketing campaigns for companies like Apple in previous classes, this is intended to give them a taste of the real world before graduation. Over the course of the semester, teams have met with clients, conducted original consumer research, created print and broadcast and online advertisements and surveyed local media outlets to find out advertising rates.
During the May 5 presentation, students will unveil their final advertising and marketing plans, portions of which the businesses can immediately implement, if they so choose. Because this is considered a service-learning course, it is intended to encourage UMaine students’ involvement in the communities that surround campus.
“It’s a very nice graduation gift for them to realize, to see that they can be proud of where they come from,” Yan says. “At this moment,they start to see the Greater Bangor area as their own community. It’s equallyi mportant as the professional skills they learn — that civic engagement.”
A University of Maine-Bangor Community Outreach Partnership grant from the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center allowed students to create professional-quality campaign materials. The public event was made possible by the City of Bangor’s Economic Development Department.