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NMSU’s Marketing and Communications Department wins two gold AVA Digital Awards

The New Mexico State University Marketing and Communications Department is off to a great year being awarded with two gold AVA Digital Awards for 2018.

A photo of two trophies and a certificate with a black background.
New Mexico State University's Marketing and Communications department received, last November, two gold MarCom Awards from the International Competition for Marketing & Communication Professionals for the "Discover NMSU. Undergraduate Viewbook" and the "No Limits. No Boundaries" I-10 corridor billboard. (NMSU photo)

The AVA Digital Award is an international competition that recognizes excellence by creative professionals responsible for the planning, concept, direction, design and production of digital communication.

The competition is judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals, which also sponsors the MarCom Awards. MarCom Awards honor excellence in marketing and communication while recognizing the creativity, hard work and generosity of industry professionals.

One gold award was given in the video production category for the 30-second “No Limits. No Boundaries” commercial spot. The video is now being aired on broadcast and cable television, movie theaters and YouTube. The second gold award was given in the creative web-based production category for the Chile Facts Flip Card website, which features NMSU’s Chile Pepper Institute.

This was the first year that the department entered the AVA Digital Awards and came out with an immediate win, but it is not the first time the group has been successful in AMCP competitions. In November, NMSU captured two gold MarCom Awards and one honorable mention. Melissa Chavira, NMSU’s director of Marketing Services and Web Communications, explained that since 2015, the group has received four gold MarComs, one platinum MarCom, one MarCom honorable mention and the recent two gold AVA Digital Awards.

Chavira was inspired by the department’s great work to enter the competition.

“I have always thought we have done stellar, award-winning work in marketing and I am continuously looking for ways to highlight the team,” Chavira said. “The MarCom Awards competition is known as one of the largest, most-respected creative competitions in the world and it is humbling to know that NMSU and the work we do stands out among the 6,000 entries.”

The 2018 AVA gold and 2017 MarCom gold award for the video “No Limits. No Boundaries.” was produced by the LNG company. Chavira was inspired by the company’s work for Organ Mountain Outfitters.

“They have built a strong brand, their values in giving back to the community is admirable and they have a strong social media presence,” Chavira said.

Chavira worked with LNG to approve scripts and concepts but note that the credit for the cinematic spot goes to the company. Jeany Llorente-Ontiveros, NMSU Marketing Services’ publications coordinator, developed the headline and the billboard was created by Reyna Diaz, graphic designer. The billboard is a part of the brand’s awareness campaign, Chavira explained.

“No Limits. No Boundaries.” is a brand awareness campaign that applies a fresh take on what NMSU offers. Opportunities for student success and self-discovery have no limits,” Llorente-Ontiveros said. “A student’s imagination and whom they choose to become have no boundaries. At NMSU, we encourage outside-of-the-box thinking, and this campaign expresses that idea.”

Chavira was the web developer and designer for the Chile Facts Flip Card Website. The website is intended to celebrate the Chile Pepper Institute and to provide insight into future developments. Chavira had a goal of creating both an entertaining and interactive digital version of the institute’s well-liked product, the chile flavor wheel. She wanted a website that was informative and amusing to explore.

“The inspiration I had was to create a sortable, sharable, digital deck of cards that highlighted each chile, its Scoville heat scale and provide information such as flavors and heat profiles,” Chavira said.

The “Undergraduate Viewbook” was another project awarded with a 2017 MarCom Award. It was designed by the marketing team as a premiere recruitment publication to prospective students. Chavira explained that Llorente-Ontiveros and Diaz drove the imaginative path for the project.

Chavira said that the best part of a potential project is the artistic process. Her role on each project varies from being more hands-on and developing a website to providing creative directional strategy on recruitment efforts.

“It is always great to see our billboards on the highway and our commercials on television but working through the design and the trial and error is the part that I personally enjoy the most,” Chavira said.