Y Digital ranks 1st nationally, 18th worldwide in tutorial advertising and marketing win
(Left to right) StudentsKara Reed, Laura Carpenter, Ashlyn Thompson, Jessica Curtis, Ellie Glade, Kara Reed, Allison Zundel, Audrey Blakely and Kate Romney, with team member Andrew Call not pictured, present alongside former mentor Adam Durfee (center) their award.Y Digital took 1st place in the USA and 18th worldwide in the Global Online Marketing Academic Challenge. Photo courtesy Ashlyn Thompson)
Y Digital, a former lab for select PR students at BYU, took first place in the US and 18th worldwide in the Global Online Marketing Academic Challenge. This is the first time BYU has entered the competition and is the highest ranking in the history of the competition that a team from the United States has achieved.
The competition only allows certified professors to submit a team from their school for examination. This review process means that only the best graduates and students worldwide can enter the competition. The results surprised and confirmed the team.
“I’m just so proud of our entire team together. No US team has ever placed this high so it’s like I’m almost speechless, oh my god how did we do that? I know how we did it, but it’s so cool, ”said Audrey Blakely, a digital meeting consultant on the team.
BYU ranked first in the United States and was a global finalist in the Global Online Marketing Academic Challenge. (Courtesy photo by Ashlyn Thompson.)
The win also cemented a goal former Y Digital head Adam Durfee had for BYU’s public relations program.
“For us it is the result of years of work. I ran Y Digital for four years with the idea, ‘Can we get students into this pipeline who learn, train and become good enough to be recognized as great not just in the state of Utah or even in local markets? great in the United States, but can we create a world class program that produces world class students? ‘”said Durfee.
The students worked with a real client to create a digital marketing campaign. Y Digital worked with Dowdle Folk Art to improve the company’s Google Ads to promote its puzzles. In a month, they created Google Ads that cost less and increased sales. The students also created a slide deck to present to the international jury for the competition.
A team of 10 students worked on the campaign with Durfee as the faculty mentor and student Jessica Curtis as the account executive. During the spring semester, the students researched the advertisements before the start, continuously improved the campaign and repeatedly revised their final presentation in front of the jury.
“We spent hours on it, stayed long after the staff meeting,” said Curtis. “We had to go back and rework countless times.”
The confirmation of the win has paid off the work.
“Getting those results back was definitely a huge win,” said team member Ashlyn Thompson.
The victory was achieved with mixed feelings. Y Digital was disbanded this summer to start the new PR Intelligence Lab. The aim of the new laboratory is to include all students in the previously produced work Y Digital, and not the 32 students who were accepted into the previous laboratory. But for students who have worked at Y Digital, which was highly regarded by companies and maintained a 100% job placement after graduation, it is difficult to know that the same program will no longer be active in the coming year.
“I think bittersweet is a great way to put it,” said Blakely.
Durfee said he was incredibly proud of the work his students did. While sad that Y Digital no longer exists, he is grateful for the legacy of his work and the opportunities it has offered his students.
“Never in my life have I been more proud of my work than seeing how successful these students are. I’ve never been more proud than watching these students win prizes, ”he said.
Readers can find the results of the 2021 competition on the website of the Global Online Marketing Academic Challenge with the BYU team under the CID number 616-763-8868.