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Advertising Team 'Pit Crew' Wins Toyota Marketing Competition

Public Relations
Posted: Tuesday Dec 17, 2013

Dec. 17, 2013

The Pit Crew was chosen over three other teams of Saint Vincent College students in Rebecca Dinning-Brinkman’s Advertising and Promotion course that made presentations of a Toyota-themed advertising campaign on Dec. 12 at Saint Vincent.

Judges were Yoshimi Inaba, executive chairman, Toyota Motor Sales USA (via Skype), Gary Semanchek, general manager, Toyota of Greensburg; and Kevin Whalen, CEO of Ascent Automotive Group of Houston, Texas. Inaba commented that all of the presentations “greatly exceeded his expectations.”

Members of the winning team include Greta Edgar, senior communication major from Export; Abby Geisel, senior communication major from Schnecksville; Ally Hydeman, senior communication major from Murrysville; and Jeramiah Senic, senior management major from Grapeville. Each received a $200 cash award. In addition, Toyota of Greensburg presented a check for $5,000 to Dr. Gary Quinlivan, dean of the Alex G. McKenna School of Business, Economics and Government, for the McKenna School’s Scholarship Endowment Fund. Two students were also selected to receive a paid internship at Toyota for the summer of 2014.

The winning campaign was titled, Everywhere You Go. “Our approach is based on research that shows that Generation Y likes to be the center of attention yet they do not like going into dealerships,” the team explained. “The idea is to wrap a Toyota and have an employee drive it around and take it to special events in the area to bring the dealership to the Generation Y. This Toyota will be fully stocked with all of the latest gadgets that Generation Y loves. The rear seats will have iPads with information about Toyota. Those who visit the car will have their pictures taken and be featured on digital billboards advertising for Toyota.”

Other students participating in the competition included the GM&B team of Andrew Gauntner, junior computer science major from Avon, Ohio; Michael Mackowick, junior communication major from Monroeville; and Matthew Blon, senior management major from Irwin, the Dynamic Advertising Agency team of Verne Bergstrom, junior communication major from Natrona Heights; Emily Bruner, junior marketing major from Champion; and Daniel Moore, junior accounting major from West Newton; and the MEDS team of Michael Molinaro, sophomore marketing major from Glassport; Emily Terrick, sophomore marketing major from West Mifflin; Dwayne Hewitt, sophomore communication major from Hollywood, Fla.; and Scott Schramm, junior marketing major from Pittsburgh (15239).

The generation Y marketing competition was coordinated locally by Megan Clark Erney, director of advertising and public relations at Toyota and Hyundai of Greensburg. The competition is a national project designed to engage college and university students in a marketing competition to assist dealerships in enhancing their communication with young consumers. Erney is a 2008 graduate of Saint Vincent. Other members of the Toyota dealership who attended the presentations were Brad Pavlik, general sales manager; Patrick Martin, Internet manager; Anthony Tisone, fixed operations director; Dawn Torres, controller; and Carrie Clawson, customer relations manager.

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Photo: Gary Semanchek, left, general manager of Toyota of Greensburg, and Kevin Whalen, fourth from left, CEO of Ascent Automotive Group, Houston, Texas, congratulate members of The Pit Crew, the winning marketing team in an advertising competition sponsored nationally by Toyota. From left are Jeramiah Senic of Grapeville, Ally Hydeman of Murrysville, Greta Edgar of Export and Abby Geisel of Schnecksville. All are senior students in Rebecca Dinning-Brinkmann’s Advertising and Promotion course. 

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