New York University’s Communication Studies Program is offering a new twist to the standard advertising internship. Beginning on January 3, seven students selected from NYU Steinhardt will intern at Source Communications, a national advertising agency located in Hackensack, N.J., for two weeks to devise and develop a conceptual advertising campaign for MetroNaps, a company touting nap pods for individuals looking for a short-term sleep escape. At the same time, a creative team composed of seven art directors and writers from Source will work on their own pitch to MetroNaps.

“This is an exciting way for our students to learn what really happens in the agency environment. They’ll be their own account team and will work separately to craft and create their campaign, and ultimately pitch to a real client,” said John Lang, acting director of Steinhardt’s undergraduate program in Communication Studies. “There’s no better resume builder — these are the skills and experiences they’ll need in order to be viable in the marketplace when they graduate.”

The “Apprentice”-like competition, with the tagline, “The Fresh Factor® Challenge — Homogenize Nothing,” was conceived by Source Communications, and is aimed at positioning the best communications students against seasoned advertising agency professionals. Source Communications represents leading brands including Nikon, Hewlett Packard, and Amtrak. Barry Bluestein, managing partner for the The Fresh Factor® Challenge, is also challenging his agency and employees. “This competition will hone the freshness of our creative thinking while providing students with real agency experience.”

Source Communications is providing students space, resources and transportation to and from NYU’s campus to the firm in New Jersey where students will work 50-hour weeks on site. In the final phase of the competition, Source will put students up at a local hotel overnight. The students are challenged to mount their campaign by including such marketing elements as outdoor, print, guerilla, Internet, radio, and business-to-business components.

The pitch to MetroNaps will take place on Friday, January 14. Media interested in more information about the competition or to attend the pitch should contact Jennifer Zwiebel, NYU’s Office of Public Affairs, Steinhardt School of Education at (212) 998-6797, or Joana Casas at (212) 966-9000,

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