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The 2013 Rebelation Media team shows their award-winning ad concept (Photo/Peter Suh).
The 2013 Rebelation Media team shows their award-winning ad concept (Photo/Peter Suh).

UNLV’s Rebelation Media Advances to Nationals

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Faculty and students in the Journalism and Media Studies program are still buzzing with pride over a first place District 15 finish in the National Student Advertising Competition.

The Rebelation Media team received top honors in District 15 for a campaign they presented in Fullerton, Calif., April 25, 2013. The win was a first for students in the program, as they bested eight other universities. The students are now headed to the national competition June 5-8 in Phoenix to compete against 16 other first place district winners. 

“Congratulations to our team for besting USC, UCLA, and other major universities,” said Dr. Daniel Stout, JMS director. “A panel of professional judges deemed UNLV’s written campaign and oral presentation to be the best. Kudos also go to Dr. Kathy Callahan and Dan Schott as advisors.”

JMS faculty Kathy Callahan and Dan Schott advised the team, heading a class of 37 students to develop a strategic and competitive strategy for the competition. The class tackled a complete integrated marketing campaign, including research, strategy, media budget and schedule, creative concepts, social media, in-store promotions and community outreach, and public relations. Students developed a 20-page plan book and 20-minute presentation for this year’s client, Glidden Paint. The requirements of the class are extraordinary, including 20 to 30 hours a week outside of regular meeting times. “There’s almost nothing about this competition that’s like anything students have experienced in a typical class,” Callahan noted.

She recalls the excitement and joy the students experienced when the heard the news of their victory.

“The suspense was palpable as the district coordinator announced third place: California State Fullerton; then second place, USC,” Callahan said. “And finally and very slowly with dramatic pauses, ‘the winner of the 2013 District 15 championship — that will go on to represent the district at the national finals — is the University of Nevada.’ The announcer hadn’t even finished saying ‘Nevada’ when everyone on the team was on their feet, jumping up and down, cheering, hugging each other.”

The announcement validated late nights, intensive preparation, and submitting work that met the demanding professional standards of the competition, Callahan said.

“The moment that the team was announced as the winner was incredibly exhilarating,” she said. “It’s a highlight of my career and something I’ll always remember, and I’m sure the team members will as well.”

What made the Rebelation Media campaign stand out compared to the other universities? Callahan said it was the extensive research on the target audience and the client company, Glidden Paint, that led to a solid strategy. The students developed a solid campaign based on understanding the customers of Glidden Paint.

Gabriel Lapuz, one of the five students who presented on stage and a member of the creative group, was recognized along with two students from other universities with a special “Creative Ink Difference” award for his work on the creative concept and executions in the campaign.

“It takes a wide variety of skills to create this type of campaign: project management, teamwork, copywriting, graphic design, print production, film production and editing, research and analysis, critical thinking, media planning, presentation skills, understanding emerging trends in creative and media,” Callahan said. “It can only happen with   dedication, persistence and commitment to the project and to your teammates.”

For students who may want to consider being part of the experience next year, she advised: “Be prepared for the most demanding, and most rewarding, experience you’ll have in college. You’re very likely to learn things about yourself you didn’t know you could do.”

If you would like additional information about the JMS campaign class, please contact Kathy Callahan at

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