National Student Advertising Competition

The Future of Our Industry

The National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) 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. Students develop a marketing plan and then pitch their work to advertising professionals at the district, semi-final and national levels.


How the NSAC Works

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.

Structure of the NSAC Competition

Each of the AAF’s college chapters can form a team for the National Student Advertising Competition on its campus. 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. The final round of competition is held during ADMERICA, the AAF’s annual national conference.


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.

Past NSAC District Winners

  • 2024 – UC Berkeley (Tide) *National Winner*
  • 2023 – University of San Francisco (Indeed) *National Finalist*
  • 2022 – UC Berkeley (Meta Quest 2)
  • 2021 – San Jose State University (Tinder)
  • 2020 – UC Berkeley (Adobe)
  • 2019 – Unknown (Wienerschnitzel)
  • 2018 – University of Nevada, Reno (Ocean Spray)
  • 2017 – San Jose State University (Tai Pei)
  • 2016 – UC Berkeley (Snapple)
  • 2015 – San Jose State University (Pizza Hut)
  • 2014 – UC Berkeley (Mary Kay)
  • 2013 – University of Nevada, Reno (Glidden)
  • 2012 – UC Berkeley (Nissan)
  • 2011 – California State Chico ( JC Penny)
  • 2010 – University of Nevada, Reno (State Farm)
  • 2009 – UC Berkeley (Century Council)
  • 2008 – University of Nevada, Reno (AOL)
  • 2007 – California State Chico (Coca-Cola)
  • 2006 – University of Nevada, Reno (Postal Vault)
  • 2005 – UC Berkeley (Yahoo!)
  • 2004 – Unknown (Visit Florida)
  • 2003 – University of Nevada, Reno (Toyota Matrix) *National Winner*
  • 1985 – San Jose State University (Burger King Corporation) *National Winner*
  • 1977 – San Jose State University (Frito-Lay Inc.) *National Winner*

Is your college interested in competing?