The premise for this course started in 2003 when some volunteers with AdInk, Northwest's student advertising club, participated in the American Advertising Federation's national collegiate advertising competition. The client that year was the Matrix automobile. Our students worked hard to compete among 13 regional university entries. I was proud that they placed 11th; afterall this was our first attempt, and we were up against schools that had up to 10 times as many students, and thousands of dollars in funding.
We tried the AAF's competition one more year, this time the effort was organized around a "special offering" course. The client was Florida tourism, and the class had a strong showing, placing 8th in the regional competition.
From these experiences, it was obvious that the competition was not for us. It was too expensive, and too rigid, not allowing us to weave in all of the curriculum items we'd wanted (like media planning, search engine optimization, etc.).
That's when the concept was turned into a full-fledged course and integrated into the curriculum for Advertising and IDM majors.