Greenlee School students earn second place in prestigious Effie Collegiate PSA Challenge

AMES, Iowa -- Three Iowa State University Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication seniors -- Lucas Droessler (Storm Lake), Justin Lobaito (Altoona) and Maria Beresnev (Ames) -- won second-place in the 2011 Heineken USA/Effie Collegiate PSA Challenge for their "Tag Your Taxi" entry.

The national competition challenged students to create a consumer engagement campaign that would encourage Heineken consumers to learn, understand, download and use the Taxi Magic app -- which provides consumers with the ability to connect with a local taxicab company anywhere in the U.S. -- as an innovative option to avoid drinking and driving.

Droessler, Lobaito and Beresnev created their multimedia campaign as part of a class project in the ADVRT 436 Portfolio class taught by John Thomas, a lecturer in the Greenlee School.

"I made it a course requirement to try to win an Effie," said Thomas. "Overall, the contest was a nice fit for 436. It requires thinking, creativity, qualitative research, strategy, media choices, quality executions, and a client presentation. The three students that got to 'pitch' the Heineken marketing staff received an invaluable experience. They will also have a very strong entry on their résumés and in their portfolios."

As a finalist, the Iowa State team was brought to New York City where members got to pitch their entry to a judging panel comprised of industry professionals representing expertise in creative, strategic planning, media strategy, branding, marketing and social media disciplines.

Front row (L to R): Dan Tearno, chief corporate relations officer at Heineken USA; Suzanne McGovern, corporate responsibility and alcohol policy manager, Heineken USA; Nisha Stephen, manager, Effie Worldwide; Justin Lobaito, Iowa State University; Lucas A. Droessler, Iowa State University; Maria Beresnev, Iowa State University Photo provided

All three ISU students major in advertising. Droessler has a second major in psychology, while Beresnev also majors in French.

Another team from Iowa State -- Tyler Stafford (Sr., West Des Moines), Natalie Quenzer (Sr., West Des Moines) and Amanda Hendricks (Sr., Clive) -- was awarded an honorable mention for their entry, titled "The Best Trick."

Since 1968, winning an Effie Award has become a global symbol of achievement as the Effies honor marketing ideas that work. Heineken USA and Effie joined together in 2010 to create the Collegiate PSA Challenge with dual purpose -- provide students a valuable learning experience and the opportunity for recognition and feedback from experienced professionals, and to honor effective public service marketing communication ideas.

"The Effie is held in very high regard by all advertising professionals," Thomas said. "Effie stands for efficiency. To win one, you have to have a planned objective, a brilliant execution, and then must show positive results and/or effects of the campaign."