Missouri Method CapstonesWhich one is right for you?
Two capstone choices are available to strategic communication students, MOJO Ad and AdZou. In both capstones, student teams work for real-world clients who are seeking a solution to a communication problem. Each team solves that problem through the creation of a comprehensive strategic communication plan.
While MOJO Ad and AdZou share many similarities, they are different in a few key ways
The structure for developing those plans is identical, no matter which capstone a student chooses. In both MOJO Ad and AdZou, students conduct secondary and primary research, then analyze the findings. Using the insights gleaned through the research phase, each team develops a campaign strategy, identifies a target and a big idea for the campaign, executes creative tactics to achieve objectives, determines a media plan and outlines a campaign budget. Relevant research findings and campaign components are presented in a formal plan book that is given to the client. Both capstone experiences culminate with teams pitching their campaign to the client during an end-of-the-semester presentation. Students should expect to spend significant time outside of class hours for their capstone course, whether it is MOJO Ad or AdZou.
The Enrollment Process
Because MOJO Ad works with one national client along with several agency projects during the academic year, there is an application process for students to enroll in this capstone. A total of 33 students are selected each semester to participate in MOJO Ad. These students apply for a specific position and are chosen based on their coursework experience and abilities to contribute to the overall project effort.
This capstone is an open enrollment course, meaning any student in the final semester of the strategic communication program can enroll in AdZou. There is an application students fill out before registration to attempt to place each student with the client and/or position of their choice.
There are three teams, each made up of 11 students who all serve a specific role within their team. The positions are: account executive, account planner, public relations account executive, researcher, media planner, copywriter, content manager, social media specialist, art director, graphic designer and video/producer. All three teams compete against each other to “win” the client’s business at the end of the semester.
Each lab consists of three to four teams that are made up of five to eight students. Once the semester begins, the lab instructor designates students for a specific role based on their previous experiences in both classes and internships. The positions are similar to MOJO Ad, but vary depending on the skills of the students and needs of the client.
Each semester students work with a single national company to create innovative programs to reach the Youth and Young Adult (YAYA) market, which is made up of those who are 18-24 years old. Past clients include Hallmark, Tostitos, Purina, Enterprise CarShare and Almond Breeze Almondmilk. Students do not know who their client will be when they apply to be a part of MOJO Ad.
Most clients are businesses and organizations from the region, state or mid-Missouri area, with some national clients as well. These clients have the option to hire between one and four teams in each lab. If a client selects to hire more than one team for the semester, those teams will compete for the “win” in similar fashion to MOJO Ad. Clients represent multiple industries, including sports promotion, health care, state and local government, business, finance, nonprofits and education. The projects can represent any audiences or type of business or organization. Past clients include Fox Sports, True/False, Central Missouri Humane Society, Boone Hospital Foundation and Veterans United Home Loans. When possible, clients are assigned to lab sections prior to course registration so students can choose their lab section based on clients or industries that most interest them.
Students report to a specific faculty member of the MOJO Ad management team, with that faculty member determined by the student’s position on the team. Students attend two 105-minute class sessions each week. This in-class time is a mix of lectures and breakouts with their assigned faculty member to focus on specific project tasks (e.g. researchers working on a survey or data analysis; art directors and graphic designers creating a design concept for the Strategic Communication Career Fair). Along with the work students do on the client project, there also is significant work done for MOJO Ad as an agency, including putting together the Strategic Communication Career Fair and the State of the YAYA book and presentation.
Students attend a one-hour lecture and then a two-hour lab each week. The lecture covers general elements of the plan, such as research, design, creative insights and more. The lecture is done by the AdZou faculty director, while each lab is overseen by an instructor and focuses on the clients for that lab. AdZou students work only on their client projects.