Undergraduate marketing students from the UNM Anderson School of Management took top honors in the Acura ILX Marketing Challenge, a national student marketing competition sponsored by Acura and managed by EdVenture Partners.

Student teams were tasked with educating consumers on the features and benefits of the 2019 Acura ILX, increasing purchase consideration of the sport sedan, and boosting perception of Acura as an innovative, youthful brand. To address the challenge, students in UNM’s advertising campaigns class developed and executed a campaign which invited the millennial car consumer to take a second, deeper look at Acura’s premium compact sedan.

The “Made You Look” campaign included digital video, digital signage, and social media activations across multiple platforms. In addition, students staged two experiential events where attendees connected with the Acura brand and got a first-hand look at the 2019 ILX.

The winning UNM team including Adam Biederwolf, Elena Garcia, Dylan Greenhaus, Zach Harper, and Marisa Montes, competed in the finals against students from Johns Hopkins University and the University of Rhode Island. The team presented to Acura executives and leadership on May 29 in Torrance, Calif.

“Never a university to disappoint the judges or the audience, the UNM ‘Made You Look’ campaign was just plain brilliant,” said Tony Sgro, CEO of EdVenture Partners. “The award-winning team of highly prepared and confident marketing students built a strong case using impressive research, superb creative and high production value videos that made the judges’ job easy, selecting them to fill the No. 1 spot on the podium out of 20 U.S. universities that participated in the Acura ILX Marketing Challenge. It just doesn’t get any better than what we saw.”

The two-month campaign generated almost 1 million impressions, increased awareness of the ILX by 600 percent, and boosted purchase consideration of the model by 550 percent among 18- to 37-year-olds.

The winning team was mentored by Anderson Professors John Benavidez and Nick Flor. The win builds upon UNM’s long history of excellence in marketing and competition-based learning. Since 2005, the marketing program has earned eight first-place honors, five second-place finishes and two honorable mentions in national collegiate competitions.

“The continuing success of our marketing teams is a testament to the quality of the faculty and students in the program,” said Interim Dean Shawn Berman. “Through participation in unique industry-education initiatives such as this one, our students are acquiring the hard and soft skills sought after by local and national employers.”

The first-place award comes with a cash prize of $5,000. The money will help support the Rick and Debbie Johnson Marketing Lab, a state-of-the-art learning studio for students enrolled in upper-division marketing courses at the Anderson School.

To view the campaign materials, visit “Made You Look.”