It's not every day there's a supercar on campus - and the arrival of an Aston Martin DB11 signalled the culmination of a high-performance challenge for students.
Second years across all marketing courses at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) have been working with the iconic British sports car manufacturer on a live brief centred on audience diversification.
Craig Neale and Rachael Mabe, centre, with guest judges and students
Seven groups pitched their ideas to a panel of industry leaders including DMU alumnus Craig Neale, now senior manager - content and social media marketing for the luxury brand.
"The presentations were way beyond anything I expected," said the Human Resource Management graduate, who added a wow factor by bringing the grand tourer to DMU.
"For a luxury brand, you'd expect high levels of professionalism and an element of mystique to the presentations, so it was interesting to see how they met the brief.
"I was impressed with the thought and recognition of how we use social media and their approach.
"I found it very exciting that they are feeling part of the brand and understanding it."
Some of the members of winning team Bepia Create
Craig worked on the project with Rachael Mabe. The DMU senior lecturer was his manager at South Leicestershire College - the first step on a career that has taken him to Warner Brothers and Sky and seen him involved in some of the UK's and even the world's biggest marketing campaigns.
"Partnering with DMU is completely logical," he said.
"We're a best of British sports car manufacturer, which values design and beauty. DMU is best in class for education in business and art. Put the two together and you have Aston Martin," he said.
Marketing student Jacob can't wait to start Global journey
Find out about all our marketing courses at the next DMU Open Day
DMU graduate Amy's made up to share marketing expertise with current students
The event at Leicester Castle Business School was the culmination of a year's work on the advertising and promotion module, which saw 45 groups take on the roles of an advertising agency to develop a communications campaign to appeal to a younger market and/or exclusively female audience.
"It's a great experience for our students," said Rachael.
"It was really hard to choose the final seven. We tried to pick groups based on overall finesse of their presentations."
Special mentions for Aedita Murua, Sophie Tyrer and Ben Nossiter
A stunt involving 46 rose gold Aston Martins and sponsoring London Fashion Week were among ideas pitched to the panel, which also included agency experts Caroline Spence, director of client development at Anicca Digital, Mat Mabe, digital director and co-founder of Bulb Studios, and DMU staff.
However, a plan to target women motorists in Saudi Arabia following the lifting of the driving ban clinched the best campaign prize for Bepia Create.
"It feels amazing," said Zunaid Jusab. "I now know how it is to work in an agency for an actual client and 100 per cent it could benefit my career."
Saloni Arya was equally happy. "The whole day has worked out so well. I now understand how a real-life luxury company works," she said.
Team Racer, who scooped the runner-up prize
The group also featured Geiziane Da Silva, Wiktoria Kazmierizak and Dylan Raine, who added: "It showed me not to doubt myself and I really enjoyed the experience. I learnt how to do a marketing pitch for a client."
Ben Nossiter was 'really pleased' to be named best speaker.
"It's been a good day," he said. "I now know a lot about a great traditional British company. It's been good insight into pitching scenarios."
Runner-up prize went to Team Racer, with special mentions for Aedita Murua and Sophie Tyrer, who added: "It's important to get insight into what companies and businesspeople would want from us in preparation for when we leave university."
Posted on Wednesday 10th April 2019