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St. Bonaventure University

St. Bonaventure students win AAF district competition for second straight year

May 06, 2024

SBU students win AAF districtsFor the second year in a row, St. Bonaventure University students won their district in a national advertising competition.

The students, comprised of students in an advertising course in the Jandoli School of Communication and a marketing course in the School of Business, spent months creating an advertising campaign to present April 19 in New York City before a panel of industry executives.

The American Advertising Federation’s National Student Advertising Competition began in 1973 and St. Bonaventure students have been competing since the 1980s. SBU’s student ad agency is called Kwerkworks.

Known as the World Series of Advertising, the competition included 103 teams and more than 2,000 college students who design strategic advertising and media campaigns for real corporate sponsors. This year’s client was Tide laundry detergent. The objective was to convince people ages 18 to 35 to wash in cold water using Tide.

Nearly 30 students were on the SBU team, with four students presenting Kwerkworks’ pitch for Tide:

  • Grace Miller, senior, Strategic Communication
  • Rich Williams, senior, Broadcast Journalism
  • Dylan Hernandez, junior, Strategic Communication
  • Ronald Noel, junior, Strategic Communication

Mike Jones-Kelley, lecturer in the Jandoli School, advises the student ad agency with Dr. Liu Lu, assistant professor of marketing and Jones-Kelley’s counterpart in the School of Business.

“St. Bonaventure’s ads were intentionally inclusive, with commercials in English and Spanish,” Jones-Kelley said. “The executions showed America as it is, with actors representing a full spectrum of ethnicities, genders and even sexual orientations, all presented as naturally and unselfconsciously as American society itself.”

St. Bonaventure was one of 18 teams to qualify for the national semifinals, but didn’t advance to the eight-school national finals May 31-June 1 in Salt Lake City after results were announced May 3. Each qualifying team submitted a recording of their presentations for a judging panel for review.


About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University is a community committed to transforming the lives of our students inside and outside the classroom, inspiring in them a lifelong commitment to service and citizenship. Out of 167 regional universities in the North, St. Bonaventure was ranked #6 for value and #14 for innovation by U.S. News and World Report (2024).