"Real World" Applications for FCMS Students
By HOLLY KOZELSKY - Bulletin Staff Writer
Watch out, Bernadette Moore. You soon might be out of a job.
Moore is the director of marketing and public relations for Piedmont Arts Association. On Monday morning, instead of creating promotions for the museum, she was judging proposed advertisements created by others.
Four student groups in Janet Lewis' seventh-grade English class at Fieldale-Collinsville Middle School each created a print ad and a 30-second television commercial for Piedmont Arts Association. Piedmont Arts Association Executive Director Kathy Rogers joined Moore in watching and evaluating the presentations Monday.
Other student groups created and presented advertisements for Kimbanet, an Internet access provider, and Fenderz, a Collinsville restaurant.
The class has been studying the state Standards of Learning on persuasive techniques. Students used the book "Made to Stick" by Chip and Dan Heath to learn about what the Heath brothers call "Success Framework" - that traits of good ads are simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, emotional and a story. Additionally, the students studied techniques including testimonials, emotional appeals, appeals to prestige or snobbery, and name-calling or innuendo, also part of the SOLs.
Students used PowerPoint and Movie Maker software to create their ads. Lewis said working in groups was the best way to tackle this project because "creativity flourishes best when you work with other people. They really found they pushed each other's thinking."
On Monday and Tuesday, April 30 and May 1, representatives of the organizations for which the students created ads watched the presentations. The representatives and the students in the audience had a copy of a checklist they used to mark off each technique they saw used.
Once the four presentations for Piedmont Arts were completed, Moore and Rogers went into the hall to consult. They returned to the classroom to choose the advertising package they felt best represented Piedmont Arts.
They selected Lizzy Hutchens' and Cheyenne Dodson's presentation as the best. Their print ad had a "layout like a magazine," Rogers said, complimenting the "color and visual" elements. Their "focus on membership and support" also was good.
Later, Cheyenne said their goal in creating the ad was, "If it was on a billboard, it would be nice and short where they (people) could read it."
Lizzy added that the pair wanted to show that Piedmont Arts appeals to a wide range of people, from children to adults.
"It was a fun class project," Lizzy said.
"We should do more stuff like this," Cheyenne added.
Student Josh Doss said, "It was really fun. (We) had a good time doing it."
His group used Piedmont Arts' website to get information about the organization. The students decided to focus on "what Piedmont Arts means to the community," that its programs and exhibits are free and that it is in a convenient location on Starling Avenue in Martinsville.
Creating the commercial "took a while, because we were experimenting with the program," he said.
Lewis said the students studied famous effective ads, but when it came to creating their own, she wanted them to work with local groups. Her goal was to create an interesting and real experience for the students, she said.