Next Top Ad Exec competition: ‘No pitch? Don’t bitch!’

The second annual bout has launched with YouTube support, inspirational creative and a pair of powerful prizes from Mitsubishi.

Mitsubishi Motors has again teamed up with the DeGroote School of Business at Hamilton’s McMaster University for the second Canada’s Next Top Ad Exec competition.

While last year’s challenge was to develop an experiential campaign for a particular Mitsubishi car, this year the goal is a branding campaign for Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada with a focus on new media. They’re giving away two Mitsubishi Lancers, and they’ve set an ultimatum that’s hard to ignore.

Launched Nov. 7, the national advertising and marketing case competition is supported by an ad campaign targeted to 48 business schools and over 20 MBA schools across the country. The posters, coasters and rolls of packing tape branded with the URL were developed by this year’s creative sponsor, The Brand Factory, based in Woodbridge, Ont., in cooperation with Canada Coaster, Sharon Express and Pillar (which handled the tapes).

The posters feature only the URL and the tagline, ‘The only thing more brilliant than the car you WIN is the IDEA that wins it.’ As of yesterday, 30 business schools and 10 MBA programs had responded with requests to participate, contest student chair Adam Vespi tells MiC. ‘We’re getting people from schools across the country,’ says Vespi, adding that he’d like to see the number of applications double from the 170 qualified registrations last year.

The contest is also supported at, and through the group on Facebook, which already has 273 members. ‘You’ve got to put yourself where your target audience lives, and our target audience lives on Facebook,’ says Vespi.

This year’s contest is open to MBA and business minor as well as undergrad biz students across the country, which increases the potential student base to around 160,000. And because participants can enter as either individuals or in teams of two, two Mitsubishi Lancers are up for grabs instead of just one. One student will also win an internship at Toronto-based ad agency BBDO in Toronto, last year’s creative sponsor.

‘Advertising is teamwork, and out in the real world you work alongside other people. So if we’re going to promote an advertising competition, we’ve got to try to make it as real-world as possible,’ says Vespi, who was recently hired by Canadian Tire Financial Services as a marketing associate in the MasterCard product development group.

The deadline for initial submissions is Jan. 25, after which a panel of judges will select a winner from a final group of 10 finalists on Mar. 25.