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Marketing students produce videos to promote NMSU?s ?discovery? message

Students in Michelle Jasso?s promotional marketing class at New Mexico State University discovered there?s more to creating a great advertising video than meets the eye.

Student in foreground takes video of another student on stairs in background
New Mexico State University marketing student Karl Lopez, right, records footage of classmate Wil Martinez for a hands-on learning project. The students were tasked with promoting NMSU?s ?All About Discovery? message through short videos. (NMSU photo by Amanda Bradford)

The business students were tasked with using a collection of 60- to 90-second YouTube videos to tout the university?s ?All About Discovery? message as part of a semester-long marketing campaign exercise.

?The purpose of the class is to do projects with real companies or NMSU departments,? said Jasso, an associate professor of marketing in the College of Business. ?It helps the company, and the students get some real-world experience and have something on their resumes.?

In the past, classes have worked with businesses and groups like Barnes & Noble, FirstLight Federal Credit Union and the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra to develop marketing plans. This year?s class worked with NMSU?s Media Productions Department to produce the videos for the university?s YouTube channel. NMSU web developer Frank Torres met with the class to set parameters for the students on how to stay consistent with the university?s brand identity and ensure they don?t violate copyright law or university policy.

?In the real world, there are a lot of constraints,? Jasso said. ?They have creative freedom, but there have to be rules. We set up parameters for what the students can and can?t do.?

For the students, that was a taste of how the professional world will be different from the learning environment of their classroom.

?The parameters given, like the legal restrictions for music and photo releases, were the most challenging part,? said senior Steven Marquez. ?There was a lot that I had never thought about.?

The six teams each made three to five videos, and topics ranged from a look back at Pluto discoverer and NMSU professor Clyde Tombaugh to an Aggie-focused take on a super-catchy pop song.

?We?re tying to show everyday life ? what you?d do on campus for fun,? said senior Wil Martinez, whose group turned the dance hit ?#Selfie? into ?#Aggie? for one of their videos.

?There?s certain music you can?t use,? teammate Gabrielle Robinson said. ?We worked around that by changing the song we?re using to make it a parody, which is allowed.?

The students also developed a marketing plan, researched their target markets and explained the strategy behind how they made their creative decisions.

?We?ve focused on discovering Las Cruces, a student discovering what his hobbies might be and discovering your major,? said senior Stephen Flamio. ?We wanted to target each video at different people.?

Working in teams presented some challenges for the students, who had to keep in touch, work around their busy schedules and share their responsibilities in much the same way a professional marketing team might.

?Improvisation is the biggest thing you learn from constraints,? Flamio said. ?We just reacted to the situation and worked with the resources we had. It teaches you how to plan your time, come up with a budget, develop a strategy ? I prefer the hands-on experience to the books, now that we?ve done it.?

In addition to the experience and the portfolio of videos for their resumes, the students had one more incentive ? an automatic A in the course for the winning team. Jasso said she and the judges were very impressed with the level of commitment from the students, and it was difficult to choose a winner.

In the end, the honor went to two teams: Emily Craver, Kelsey Fissel, Cortni Larson, Isabella Lucero, Elliot Parras, Alexandria Tavarez and William Williams for their collection of five videos, titled ?NMSU All About Discovery,? ?Discover NMSU Trips,? ?Pistol Pete Popcorn,? ?Discovering Diversity at NMSU? and ?Social Life at NMSU?; and Hannah Costello, Amanda Freshour, Andrew Gilliland, Karl Lopez, Wil Martinez and Gabrielle Robinson, for their three videos ? the ?#Selfie? parody, a look at what discovery means to NMSU Athletics, and an exploration of a student?s four-year journey of discovery.

?This has been a very rewarding project for all of us,? Jasso said. ?Students get to experience a real-world, hands-on project, the university gets exceptional marketing videos produced by students, and I get a very rewarding teaching experience.?

A sampling of the best videos will be posted later this month on the NMSU YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/NewMexicoStateU and the College of Business channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/nmsubusinesscollege.