Campaigns to the Classroom

ISU Students Dive into Real-World Campaigns with DCC

Throughout the 2023 Fall Semester, DCC has been collaborating with Illinois State University students studying Foundations of Integrated Marketing and Communications (MKT 233). Our passion for higher education and the clients we serve in this sector have been the driving force behind our collaboration with ISU. Together, DCC and ISU worked to create a highly engaging and interactive project aimed towards helping students grasp the profound impact and the extensive reach of marketing campaigns. Over the course of the semester, students from various MKT 233 class sections at ISU examined and reimagined DCC’s work on IDOT and IDHS campaigns, both of which demonstrated significant societal impact across the state of Illinois. The students also watched a video series created by DCC that covered topics such as brand and channel strategy, creative briefs, and data-driven research.

To outline this project’s scope, DCC visited participating ISU classrooms this past September. Making this partnership even more impactful, three key players at DCC—Jodi Silotto, our Managing Director of Accounts and Public Affairs, Lacey Maulding, Content Strategy Manager, and EJ Panganiban, Creative Director— shared the opportunity of returning to their alma mater to speak with students on this project and share their agency expertise in the very same classrooms where they once learned. During this trip, DCC leaders presented the significance of identifying goals and target markets, concentrating on channel strategies, generating creative ideas and deliverables, and offered DCC’s real-world results as examples of what students might aim to create throughout their semester working on the IDHS and IDOT campaigns. Furthermore, through collaborating with and visiting ISU classrooms, we provided students with a deeper insight into DCC’s work and a more in-depth comprehension of the inner workings of a marketing agency, including the diverse roles essential for a productive and cohesive team.

Focusing more specifically on the content within these campaign projects, students examining DCC’s work with IDOT were able to take a closer look at roadway safety through the “It’s Not a Game” campaign. For students focusing on IDHS, their campaign project was structured around the 988-suicide hotline. The primary objective for students involved in these campaigns revolved around developing the competencies and expertise required to formulate a comprehensive channel and media strategy for specific audiences, as well as crafting a campaign and content strategy that aligns with the audience’s interests. At the final presentations, students presented their campaign ideas for both DCC Marketing and the clients. Their creativity and innovative approach in these final presentations not only showcased their understanding and application of strategic marketing principles but also reinforced the value of real-world learning experiences, bridging the gap between academic theory and practical application in a dynamic industry environment.

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