Altogether 34 students and 10 staff members from Belgium, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and UK participated in March 2017 in an advertising and marketing communications project. The assignment to promote Valencia as a travel destination was given to student teams by Turismo Valencia.
Students Ilona Hoppula, Ella Laakso, Emmiina Lindfors, Kristiina Pieti and Essi Sirén from Tampere University of Applied Sciences, School of Business and Services participated in March in an advertising and marketing communications project, organized by CEU Universidad Cardenal Herrera from Valencia, Spain. The coordinator of the team from Finland was Senior Lecturer in Marketing Pirkko Varis.
The brief of VLC Turismo was presented by Vicente Haba, Product Manager, VLC Turismo. The objectives were to increase the awareness of Valencia in the rest of Spain and in European markets, to position Valencia as a smart destination of short and medium getaways, to increase visits from these countries and to increase word-of-mouth.
Prior to travelling to Valencia market surveys including focus group discussions were conducted in the mentioned countries, the results were presented in the beginning of the week and the findings were used in the planning process.
Laura Campbell from Southampton Solent University, UK gave a presentation on Situation Analysis and Customer Insight, David Rodriguez, Senior Strategic Planner from JWT Madrid on Communication Strategy and Pepe Martínez-Sáez, from CEU Universidad Cardenal Herrera, Spain on Media Strategies in a Digital Landscape.
All staff members of the universities worked as coaches for the teams. Dr Nik Mahon from the University of Southampton, Winchester School of Art and Ken Burtenshaw, Advertising Art Director/Graphic Designer worked as special experts for creative brief and creative ideas sessions. Nik Mahon also delivered lecture on the Creative Brief. Ann Gemoets from Artesis Plantijn Hogeschool Antwerpen, Belgium gave a presentation on Pitching the Ideas.
Students from six universities planned in multicultural teams integrated advertising and marketing communications campaigns. All teams gave presentations on their proposals in the end of the intensive course. The teams emphasized online marketing and digital, mobile and social media in their marketing communications proposals, and also traditional marketing tools were proposed by some of the teams.
Many creative solutions were developed by all student teams and VLC Turismo is able to use some of the ideas of all teams immediately and some in the near future. The representatives of VLC Turismo gave feedback to all student teams and announced the winning team. They liked in the winning team proposal among others the complete concept and the ways to spread the message.
The programme included also a welcome party, icebreakers with funny country presentations and international food brought by the participants, a guided tour to the historic centre of Valencia, a visit to IVAM (Valencia Institute of Modern Art) with a presentation on the influence of music on emotions and a jazz concert, mascletàs de Las Fallas, visits to museums, paella and other culinary experiences, and a goodbye party.
The intensive course was also visited by the Dean of Faculty of Humanities and Communication Sciences, Dr. Elias Durán. Maria Lopez, Sandra Femenia Almerich, Pepe Martinez, Chari García and as assistants Vera Copello and other team members worked for all participants throughout the intensive course. Thank you very much for your warm hospitality!
In the following students from Finland share their experiences and thoughts of the intensive course and time in Valencia.
“Valencia was a great location and the facilities of CEU Cardenal Herrera were very good. The presentations given by the staff members were amazing, they were really informative and nicely structured, and they gave so much new information and inspiration for future projects. It was really useful to actually work with a real client from the tourism industry. Timing was great, Las Fallas with a lot of activities. Master and bachelor students from different professional backgrounds and countries worked well together.”
“I was part of the team which consisted of six people from the Netherlands, Belgium, UK, Germany and myself from Finland. I felt that our group was really good in terms of team dynamics and getting the project up and running. Each team member had their speciality or expertise in certain areas of such as marketing, advertising and tourism. Our idea “Valencia – everything is just one step away” seemed to please the judges and at least our team was very pleased with the outcome.
I really appreciated the new knowledge I gained during the week from my teammates. As a whole the whole week and the course gave a glance of how it is to work in an international team and for a real life client from the tourism industry, which is something I as a tourism major student will always remember.”
“In my opinion, our team worked rather well and we were able to produce a good product to the customer. I believe I did my best work for the team and I noticed my strengths being in keeping the team focused on the subject, helping the team to brainstorm and writing the reports. I learned a lot from an advertising campaign in practise and getting to execute one in real life. You learn to compromise and collaborate with others when working in an international team.”
“Our team consisted of Finnish, Dutch, Belgian, Spanish and German students. Throughout the week, our team worked well and hard together. I learned how to work efficiently in a multicultural team. The tasks for each day were divided well, and at times short amount of time given for the work made us work productively as a team. We knew how to keep the mood relaxed and everybody was supporting each other throughout the tasks, which kept the atmosphere pleasant. I also learned about marketing, and especially the lectures provided a lot of good and useful information about the different phases that are important in the process of promoting a destination. Lots of new information was gained in the level of education and human relationships.”
“Our team had a good idea, but we would have needed more time to work on it. I tried to push all the members to come up with new ideas and actually to concentrate on the project. I learned a lot from team working in an international environment. It is for sure not as easy as it might sound. All countries have their own way of working, time concept, values etc. I also really liked the presentations we had from the staff members. They were really informative and nicely structured. Also we got understanding of making the project for an actual client who could in the best case implement the plan, and how many small things there are to consider when making a marketing strategy for a new campaign. Overall I think it was a great experience and I am happy that I got to be a part of it. “
“My team consisted of students from Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Finland. The team worked together rather well, and discussion was progressive. I like working and playing with words, and came up with different kinds of slogans and catchphrases. The two Spanish students were truly talented and creative, and made great visuals in a short time. The Spanish culture with a flexible time concept was something new to me. The presentations gave very interesting information about marketing, consumer insights and reaching an emotional level in today’s world where everyone experiences a flood of information daily. I especially found the experiences of the lecturers in advertising companies interesting. Working in an international team outside of Finland was eye-opening. The project was finished successfully, and the quick changes in timetable made the situation feel more authentic.”
Text: Pirkko Varis
Laura Campbell, Southampton Solent University
Nik Mahon, University of Southampton, Winchester School of Art
Finland student team & Pirkko Varis, Tampere University of Applied Sciences
Maria Lopez, Sandra Femenia Almerich & other staff, CEU Universidad Cardenal Herrera
The following institutions participated in the intensive course:
Artesis Plantijn Hogeschool Antwerpen, Belgium
CEU Universidad Cardenal Herrera, Spain
Hochschule Darmstadt, University of Applied Sciences, Germany
Inholland University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands
Southampton Solent University, UK
Tampere University of Applied Sciences, School of Business and Services, Finland