The National Student Advertising Competition is the premier college advertising competition that provides more than 2,000 college students the real-world experience of creating a strategic advertising/marketing/media campaign for a corporate client.  

Competition Finals | June 3, 2021
Winners Announcement | June 4, 2021

There is no better way to learn about the advertising campaign process than by actually developing a campaign for a real client. Each year, a corporate sponsor (client) provides an assignment or case study outlining the history of its product and current challenge. The case study reflects a real world marketing challenge. Students must research the product and its competition, identify potential problem areas and devise a completely integrated campaign for the client. Each student team then "pitches" its campaign to a panel of judges. Judging is conducted by professionals in the advertising, marketing and communications industry. Judges at the national level are selected from the client and their advertising agencies.

Each of the AAF's college chapters can form a team for the National Student Advertising Competition on its campus. All students participating on the NSAC team must be dues-paying AAF College Chapter members. The AAF is divided into 15 geographical regions, and based on their school location, student teams first compete at the district level, either in-person or virtually. The winning team(s) from each district then advances to the semi-finals, where NSAC teams compete for one of eight spots at the finals.

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2021 NSAC Finalists

The last and final round of the NSAC competition is Finals. This year's competition will be virtual, June 3-4, 2021. Only the top eight teams who qualify will compete in the Finals, moving the best of the best forward. During the Finals, the judges’ panel considers the plans book and presentation score sheets, reflects on the work of all of the teams and determines the rankings. All finalist team presentations will be available to view during ADMERICA, and the 1st- through 3rd-place winners will be announced during the Salute to Achievers session.

Endicott College


Grand Valley State University


Loyola University, New Orleans


Texas Christian University


University of California, Berkeley


University of Kentucky


University of Missouri, Columbia


University of Virginia

Awards & Prizes

The top three teams will be awarded with trophies and cash prizes: 1st place $3,500; 2nd place $2,500; and 3rd place $2,000. Additional prizes and awards will also be distributed:

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Best Research Award
This award includes a $1,000 grant and a trophy, and is given to a finalist team who has demonstrated the best marketing research in their NSAC presentation and plans book.

Inspired by Insight Award
This award includes a $1,500 cash prize and a trophy to the team with the best application of research demonstrated in their NSAC presentation and plans book.

AAF District 7
Bolton-MacVicar Best Presenter Award
Every year judges select an individual student whom they felt did the most outstanding job in their presentation and rewards him/her with a $500 cash prize.

AAF District 10
 Jeanie Ruedy Best Presentation Team Award
New in 2019, this award and the $2,500 prize will be given to the team that the judges had the best collective presentation.