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UFCJC Students Win Top Prize in Page Student Case Study Competition

A team of students from the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications (UFCJC) has won the prestigious 2024 Jack Koten Page Principles Student Case Study Competition grand prize for their exploration of the historic repositioning of the iconic Barbie brand.

The team was comprised of Public Relations seniors Rebecca Wolff (team captain) and Mariela Dothe, junior Chloe Oakes, and Katrina White, B.S. Public Relations 2023. Public Relations Professional in Residence Pat Ford was the team’s faculty adviser. This is the fifth consecutive year that UFCJC students have received case study competition recognition and the first grand prize honor.

From left: Rebecca Wolff, Chloe Oakes, Mariela Dothe, Kristina White

The winning submission, “Were Mattel’s Efforts Kenough?” analyzes Mattel’s strategy to reposition the Barbie brand in the minds of consumers as part of the live-action movie released in 2023. Mattel’s iconic Barbie doll has been a cornerstone of American pop culture since its launch in 1959, but controversy over Barbie’s prior lack of inclusivity and unrealistic standards for women cast a shadow over the doll’s reputation. The students explored how Mattel successfully transformed Barbie and recontextualized the brand for future generations of fans.  They also assess the impact of the campaign on stakeholders, as well as evaluate it in accordance with the Page Principles.

“The first time I reviewed their case, I thought they had something special, and I’m so glad that the judges agreed and awarded them the grand prize,” said Myiah Hutchens, Public Relations Department chair. “The Mattel team created a challenge for themselves through the selection of their case. With beloved brands there’s temptation to go too fluffy and fawn over the company, but this team was insightful, thoughtful and critical in all of the best ways.”

The awards will be presented at a virtual event on May 10, where the students will have an opportunity to discuss the case study with Mattel’s executive vice president of Corporate Communications Catherine Frymark.

The Case Study Competition, sponsored by Page and the Institute for Public Relations, awards students whose original case studies best contribute to the profession’s body of knowledge and provide practical suggestions for improving corporate communication as a function. This year’s competition drew 39 entries, 29 from communications schools and 10 from business schools, from 19 educational institutions across the United States, China, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

Page is a global membership organization that brings together the world’s leading communications executives to strengthen the enterprise leadership role of the chief communications officer (CCO). The Institute for Public Relations is an independent, nonprofit research foundation dedicated to fostering greater use of research and research-based knowledge in corporate communication and the public relations practice.



Posted: April 10, 2024
Category: College News, Student News
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