MOJO Ad Provides and AOL Creative Integrated Marketing Solutions

Melanie Buford
Public Relations Account Executive

Columbia, Mo. (May 10, 2010) — With‘s new entrance into the marketplace, AOL turned to MOJO Ad to introduce this subsidiary of AOL to 18-24 year old aficionados to help build their pool of quality writers.

MOJO AdMOJO Ad, the Missouri School of Journalism’s student-staffed strategic communication agency, specializes in creating solutions to reach the passionate “youth and young adult” (YAYA) market. This specialized focus was a driver in AOL’s decision to employ MOJO Ad to develop ways to reach the market for Seed, a content-generating subsidiary of AOL.

Three MOJO Ad teams took on the challenge, each hoping to have top executives choose their campaign to implement in the following year. After grounding themselves in primary and secondary research conducted by their peers, each team leveraged consumer insights about the 18-24 year-old market to develop an insightful and creative campaign. Students matched AOL and’s goals with the initiatives of their campaigns.

MOJO Ad Staff Presenting Three Campaigns to AOL Executives
MOJO Ad staff presented three campaigns to AOL executives Grant Belaire and Saul Hansell. Each campaign took an unique approach to promoting to the YAYA market.

Grant Belaire, director of global brand marketing at AOL, and Saul Hansell, programming director for, joined MOJO Ad for presentations April 30 in Fred Smith Forum of the Reynolds Journalism Institute. Other Seed and AOL executives watched the live telecast from their New York office and submitted questions and praises via Twitter.

Belaire commented that the quality of work MOJO Ad presented was just as good, if not better, than pitches they have seen from tenured advertising professionals.

“Each team was spectacularly prepared, polished in their presentation and came off as well as any presentation from a true-life agency we have seen,” said Belaire.

Even with the same challenge, each team took a different approach in generating a solution.
“Each team was spectacularly prepared, polished in their presentation and came off as well as any presentation from a true-life agency we have seen.” Grant Belaire, Director of Global Brand Marketing at AOL

“Grow with Seed” Campaign
Team Anomaly devised a campaign that focused on inspiring growth by taking current YAYA commenters and turning them into contributors through some of Seed’s programs. The campaign utilized a multitude of media, primarily non-traditional with strong emphasis in digital and social media.

“Becoming the Guru in You” Campaign
Team ImADgination employed a campaign focused around YAYAs as the go-to source with messaging delivered through print and interactive digital tactics as well social media, a nationwide contest and a college campus tour.

“Be Heard” Campaign
Created by Team FLARE, this campaign leveraged YAYA’s need to be heard with online display advertising, experiential events and social network support for Seed’s content creators.

After three quality presentations, executives choose Team ImADgination’s solution. While the choice was hard because each team brought a strong strategic and creative solution to the table, Belaire felt ImADgination’s solution had a unique approach to communicating with the target market.

“The iconic style of the ads and messaging and the approach really stuck with us…the way the campaign could seamlessly flow into various creative units and interactive executions was awesome,” said Belaire of ImADgination’s campaign.

For students this hands-on experience offered them more than a friendly competition, the program gave them an opportunity to grow as professionals and learn about advertising in a real agency situation.

“It’s been an amazing experience to work for real clients and know that you are helping their brand,” said Kate Kerans, traffic manager and member of Team Anomaly. “Knowing how to create a strategy, execute it and sell it is the most valuable thing I could take away from my four years at Mizzou.”

Updated: May 11, 2020

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