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Newhouse School's student-run ad agency, The NewHouse, wins Honda Media Challenge

December 21, 2010

Jaime Winne Alvarez
(315) 443-3784

A team of students from The NewHouse (TNH), an award-wining, student-run advertising agency in Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, recently won first place in American Honda’s Media Challenge for Honda’s CR-Z sport hybrid.

tnhThree students represented TNH in the challenge and presented their social media and public relations campaign to American Honda executives and marketing professionals in Torrance, Calif., on Dec.14. Seniors Yang Yang ’11 of Singapore and Adam Beilman ’11 of Buffalo, N.Y., and junior Jennifer Brotman ’12 of Westfield, N.J., presented the campaign. The team also received significant production support from senior Matt Conte ’11 of Tinton Falls, N.J., TNH creative director. All are advertising students in the Newhouse School.

SU was one of three schools represented in the national finals of the competition, which was organized by EdVenture Partners. The other finalists were the New England School of Communications in Bangor, Maine, and the University of La Verne in La Verne, Calif.

At the start of the competition, 32 teams submitted a total of 40 proposals. The top 10 schools each received a 2011 CR-Z for six weeks to use in the implementation of their proposed campaigns, which were submitted in October. The strategy behind the campaign was to emphasize the uniqueness of the car, which is innovative because it is the first sport hybrid car on the market, and yet also intimate because it has only two seats.

The SU team embraced the second theme in designing their campaign, “CR-Z: You & Me,” which included producing a YouTube-based series,, which took the form of a “speed dating” competition. In the show, SU students were set up on “dates” in the CR-Z, which only lasted as long as the ride in the car. Viewers were able to vote for the best dates directly from the video page on YouTube.

“We designed it to be a mix between ‘The Bachelor’ and ‘Cash Cab’,” says Brotman. “We created an entertaining and genuine show, rather than using traditional and ineffective product placement.”

The campaign also harnessed Facebook and Twitter in the campaign. The group held photo events on Halloween and before the SU football game against Connecticut and allowed students to take pictures with the car. They could then go online to the team’s Facebook page and tag their own pictures for a chance to win a gift card. The team also posted updates on Twitter at @youmecrz.

A primary goal of the campaign was to generate earned media coverage. TNH succeeded in doing so, with coverage from The Daily Orange,, Citrus TV, InsideSU, and more. Overall, the campaign generated more than half a million impressions worth of free coverage.

This marks the fourth national competition victory in three years for TNH. The agency previously won the GM+U marketing challenge last December, which was also organized by EdVenture Partners.

For more information about TNH or this campaign, contact Beilman at (716) 816-6627, or at

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