Eller, Chevy combine marketing efforts

By Danielle Rideau
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Students are getting firsthand marketing experience with a partnership between the Eller College of Management and Chevrolet.

The Chevrolet Marketing Internship Program allows students from 25 universities across the country to take advertising into their own hands and develop a marketing campaign for the Chevrolet Cobalt, meant to be targeted to college and high school students, according to a press release.

The project, which has taken the form of a class, is intended to combine corporate industry with education, better preparing students when they enter the work force, said Michelle Leal a marketing junior who is a member of the public relations side of the project.

"The project bridges the gap between the corporate America industry and education," Leal said.

Students in the program learn about the Cobalt and then come up with marketing techniques that would appeal to a younger market.

"Our goal is to promote this car to college and high school students. We want to increase awareness so people know it's out there," Leal said.

The students created a marketing agency, Wildcat Commotion Promotions, and are in charge of the promotion campaign for the Chevrolet Cobalt, Leal said.

"We are in charge of every aspect of the campaign," Leal said. "We have to identify and evaluate our market, create a strategy and do the entire marketing campaign."

To get students informed about the car, Kristen Garcia, the project's public relations coordinator, said the class is hosting events and programs on campus.

"We are going to have an event on the Mall with an radio station to get the car out there and have people see it," said Garcia, a marketing senior. "We will have an obstacle course and events for students to do, to get them involved and see the car."

The students are also passing out surveys and making promotional supplies like posters and flyers, Leal said.

With a $2,500 budget, the students are making T-shirts that advertise the car, as well as banners and posters that appeal to their market, Leal said.

The last step in the project is a presentation for Chevrolet executives. In the presentation, students will discuss their plan and tell executives how successful their campaign was, according to a press release.

Garcia said the experience has taught her how much work goes into marketing a product.

"I learned how much of a time-consuming process advertising a product really is," Garcia said. "There is so much that goes into it as far as the planning and implementing that plan than I expected."