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Northwest Missouri State University


News Release

Todd Hill, president of Tri State Ford in Maryville, and members of Knacktive's 2013 class discuss marketing ideas the students recommended for the dealership.

Above, Todd Hill, president of Tri State Ford in Maryville, and members of Knacktive's 2013 class discuss marketing ideas the student-driven agency recommended for the dealership. Below, Knacktive's 2011 class produced the the “Eyes Save Lives” campaign for LasikPlus Vision, and it was spun off nationally within three months. Applications are now available for Knacktive's spring 2016 course. (Northwest Missouri State University photos)

Sept. 17, 2015

Applications available for spring 2016 Knacktive experience

Knacktive's 2011 class produced the the “Eyes Save Lives” campaign for LasikPlus Vision, and it was spun off nationally within three months.

For more information about Knacktive, contact one of the faculty members listed below.

Northwest Missouri State University’s sixth Knacktive class is now accepting applications from students interested in joining its team for spring 2016 and working with its latest client, Hy-Vee.

Thirty-two Northwest students will be selected to work in four competitive interactive, digital media marketing teams to produce a comprehensive campaign for Hy-Vee’s new Market Grille dining concept, which is being rolled out at stores throughout the Midwest.

The application deadline is Monday, Sept. 21, for one of the team’s eight positions: project manager, public relations director, strategic planner, copywriter, media manager, art director, graphic artist and interactive/digital manager. Students can apply through the Knacktive website at www.knacktive.com.

Sheridyn Greenwalt, the culinary marketing manager for Hy-Vee’s corporate office in Des Moines, said she and her team are excited about the prospects working with the class agency.

“We want students to take a look at increasing brand awareness around our grilles,” Greenwalt said. “We are still learning what we want to be when we grow up. We think this marketing team is just what we need to help us identify that solution.”

Piloted at Northwest during the spring 2011 trimester, Knacktive is a selective educational experience for advanced undergraduate students that incorporates, through actual client interaction, the creative demands and intensive teamwork environment of a technology-oriented, professional marketing communications agency. The course provides students with an invaluable opportunity, unique to other universities, to build their portfolios with real-world experience while learning to work with others in a fast-paced team setting.

Students selected for Knacktive annually work with a professional client to create practical solutions for their marketplace challenge and earn three hours of academic credit by successfully completing the course. The course culminates with Knacktive teams giving a formal, professional pitch to the client.

While the course incorporates principles, strategies and tactics of design, marketing and public relations, it is a melting pot of majors from the schools and departments of Communication and Mass Media, English and Modern Languages, Fine and Performing Arts, Business, and Mathematics, Computer Science and Information Systems.

Knacktive members earn three hours of academic credit by successfully completing the course.

“Hopefully at the end of the trimester, each of these students will have a dynamic portfolio piece, and probably an internship, if not a real job,” said Steven Chappell, a Knacktive faculty member and instructor in the School of Communication and Mass Media. “The end result of this class is a lot more valuable than just a grade and classroom experience.”

The inaugural Knacktive class in 2011 was charged with designing a comprehensive marketing campaign for Cincinnati-based LasikPlus Vision. The client ultimately chose one team’s approach of marketing its vision correction procedure to individuals in protective services, and the “Eyes Save Lives” campaign was spun off nationally within three months. Key elements of other two teams’ proposals were implemented in campaigns targeting the college market, among others.

Subsequent Knacktive classes have tackled rebranding projects and marketing campaigns for clients such as Science City at Kansas City’s Union Station, Tri State Ford auto dealership in Maryville, Northwest’s Horace Mann Laboratory School and digital start-up Engage Mobile in Kansas City.

During the same time, alumni of the program have gone on to obtain jobs at some of the region’s top advertising and marketing agencies, including Bozell, VML and Plattform Advertising.

In addition to Chappell, the 2016 Knacktive faculty are Deborah Toomey, assistant professor of marketing; Christopher Graves, assistant professor art; and Joni Adkins, assistant professor of computer science and information systems.

Business owners interested in learning more about working with Knacktive should contact the Northwest Foundation at 660.562.1248. To learn more about Knacktive, visit www.knacktive.com.


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468