Category Archives: Marketing

Students Help Consumers Discover Durable

American explorers Lewis and Clark, Teddy Roosevelt and Neil Armstrong all “discovered durable” … well, among other notable things. While each may have their unique place in history, they now feature in a student-created advertising campaign, courtesy of Anne Velliquette’s Integrated Marketing Communications class at the Sam M. Walton College of Business.

In spring 2016, Velliquette directed student teams to create an ad campaign focusing on backpack manufacturer Piltdown Outdoor Company of Springdale. To give the students a hands-on project with a real company, the clinical assistant professor invited local entrepreneur Trey Ansen to introduce his backpacks to students and enlist their ideas for an ad campaign.

Piltdown3“This is such a valuable hands-on experience for the students who form small ad agencies to pitch their ideas to a real client,” Velliquette said. “They get to experience what it is like to work with a client, to hear their needs and desires and to then work as an account manager and creative team to deliver an integrated creative ad campaign that delivers the right brand positioning and the right message for the target market the client wishes to engage. “

Teams were to deliver three components for the project:

  1. A written creative brief
  2. An ad campaign with three visuals
  3. An oral presentation to the client

Walton senior Ann “AC” Hansen was a member of the winning team, along with Davis Trice, Austin Allen, Grace Ann Lile and Esther Udouj. This group of students named their agency Boulder Branding.

“We thought of the name Boulder Branding because we liked the idea of having a brand that was strong (like a boulder) and daring,” Hansen said. “Thus, the name Boulder was born.”

Piltdown1Piltdown’s two main promises to its customers are that its backpacks are made to last and are designed and assembled in the United States. The campaigns needed to reflect the product’s rugged durability and its American roots.

“We tried to give the students as much freedom as possible,” said Ansen, founder and chief executive officer for Piltdown. “We told them the story of our company then asked them to put together a social media campaign that tells that same story to our customers.”

The Boulder Branding team listened to Ansen, brainstormed ideas, researched and then designed an ad campaign using American explorers.

“I knew that Trey wanted to get across that his product was all American,” Hansen said. “He wanted to show that his brand could be trusted until the end. With those thoughts in mind, we thought up famous American pioneers and pasted the packs on them. This delivered humor and showed the true American spirit of Piltdown.”

Piltdown2“The campaigns were unbelievable,” Ansen said. “The students were in our target market and they knew exactly how they’d want to be talked to. They had the right voice and attitude and came up with several ideas that none of our professionals had thought of.”

“This project taught me a lot more about the importance of knowing your brand and not straying from it,” Hansen said. “It taught me that creativity is important and should be leveraged. I learned that taking risks is good and necessary.”

Researchers: Not All ‘Front-of-Package’ Nutrition Information Produces the Same Effect

Howlett_BurtonMarketing researchers at the University of Arkansas and their colleague at the University of Mississippi compared nutrition information labels on the front of packaged food products to understand which labels help consumers choose more healthful items. Their conclusion: It depends. Continue reading Researchers: Not All ‘Front-of-Package’ Nutrition Information Produces the Same Effect

The Picture of Health: Do We Trust Images Over Facts When It Comes to Nutrition Labeling?

Scot Burton
Elizabeth Howlett

Nutrition information on the front of packaged foods, rather than only the back, has become a powerful tool in guiding consumers to healthy selections at the supermarket. However, according to a recent study in the Journal of Consumer Research, the way the information is depicted (descriptively versus numerically) makes an enormous difference. Continue reading The Picture of Health: Do We Trust Images Over Facts When It Comes to Nutrition Labeling?

University of Arkansas Graduates First Students with Virtual Reality Expertise

Students at Sam M. Walton College of Business to graduate with certification in InContext Solutions’ ShopperMX™ platform

Virtual reality is taking over the world, with industries tapping into its power to uncover innovations and opportunities. With the retail industry being well positioned to harness the power of virtual reality, the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas announced today the first class of graduating virtual reality-trained students. Their training came via the college’s unique partnership with InContext Solutions, the leading provider of virtual reality solutions for retailers.

“At the Sam M. Walton College of Business, we pride ourselves on being leaders of breakthrough retail innovations and educating the next generation of ingenious retail leaders,”  said Sue Sedberry, managing director for the McMillon Innovations Lab at the Walton College’s Center for Retailing Excellence. “We are thrilled to offer a certification program so students can enhance their academic experience through virtual reality simulations and develop a strong foundation on which to build their future career endeavors.”

Through a partnership with InContext Solutions, students who are interested in merchandising and marketing products in a retail store environment have the opportunity to become certified in ShopperMX™, a proprietary software that allows retailers and consumer product good companies (CPGs) to ideate, evaluate and activate new concepts using 3D virtual store simulations.

“Our academic partnership further demonstrates the growing trend in retail of using virtual reality technology to make faster, smarter and more profitable business decisions,” said Mark Hardy, chief executive officer of InContext Solutions. “We are incredibly excited to have had a hand in creating the first class of ShopperMX-certified graduates, and believe these students will have a leg-up on the competition when it comes to their future career pursuits. ”

The ShopperMX certification program, created at the Walton College, is offered through the college’s Center for Retailing Excellence, an internationally acclaimed center for retail studies. Students can obtain their certification by completing a virtual reality shelf management boot camp or by enrolling in the college’s Category Management Special Topics course.

In an effort to support the Center for Retailing Excellence’s primary mission of bridging the gap between academics and retail industry professionals, the ShopperMX certification program aims to educate and play a role in shaping the retail leaders of the future.

“By having the ShopperMX certification, I feel I have a competitive edge over other college graduates that are vying for a career as a retail professional,” said Alejandro Zeballos, a Walton College senior majoring in retail. “The certification has given me the advanced knowledge I need to be of value to organizations that have a desire to use technology to be more forward-thinking and maintain or present themselves as a leader in the retail industry.”

With 50 graduating seniors certified in ShopperMX and positive feedback from students and professors alike, the Center for Retailing Excellence has re-upped their contract with InContext Solutions, with plans to train at least 70 more students in the 2016 – 2017 academic school year.

“The Walton College is continually looking for new ways to encourage innovation, which is something we are continuing to do through the help of our Center for Retailing Excellence,” said Matt Waller, Walton College dean. “It is because of the dedication by our board members, professors and partners that we are able to better prepare students to achieve their academic and professional goals.”

For more information on the ShopperMX platform, please visit

About InContext Solutions
InContext Solutions was founded in 2009 with a vision to revolutionize how virtual simulations could be used by leading businesses across the globe to research the placement of products in a retail setting. InContext Solutions provides a unique, in-depth perspective on what consumers see on the shelf, how this drives their purchase behavior and why.

About Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas
Since its founding at the University of Arkansas in 1926, the Sam M. Walton College of Business has grown to become the state’s premier college of business – as well as a nationally competitive business school.  The Walton College combines excellent academic programs with a wide range of experiential learning to help its more than 4,000 students connect scholarship with real business practice. It offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science in International Business in seven disciplines. Learn more at

Walton International Photo Contest Winners

Global Engagement photo winners
Global Engagement winners of the 2016 Instagram International Photo Contest.

The Global Engagement Office in the Sam M. Walton College of Business announces the winners of the first annual Instagram International Photo Contest. Students who studied or interned abroad in the past year submitted photos in five different categories:  #Cultures #LocalPeople #Places #Historic and #HogsAbroad.

The pictures were posted on the Walton Study Abroad Instagram page (@Walton_StudyAbroad) for students to vote on their favorite ones. The pictures with the most likes in each category were then judged by a panel of faculty members. The panel had the final vote on the photos in each category to determine the winners.

If you would like to see the winning photos in all five categories (1st – 3rd place and a few honorable mentions) the pictures are up on the wall outside of WCOB 343 or visit

Congratulations to our winners!

  • #Cultures: Wheeler Richardson, India, senior, marketing major
  • #LocalPeople: Emily English, Mozambique, junior, marketing major
  • #Places: Richard Wedding, Italy, sophomore, supply chain management major
  • #Historic: Meaghan Pulliam, Denmark, senior, marketing major
  • #HogsAbroad: Will Purdy, Vietnam, senior, management major

Faculty: Best of the Best

Congratulations to the following faculty selected by the Sam M. Walton College of Business Awards and Elections Committee for the following college awards:

Award Winning Faculty

Gary Peters

Gary Peters
Outstanding All-Around Faculty Award


Robin Soster
Excellence in Teaching Award


Tomas Jandik
MBA Teacher of the Year


Simone Peinkofer
Outstanding Graduate Student Teacher Award


Jeff Mullins
Outstanding Adjunct Teacher Award


Viswanath Venkatesh
Excellence in Research Award


David Douglas
Excellence in Service Award


Amy Farmer
Excellence in Diversity Award


President of Saatchi & Saatchi X to Speak on Lessons Learned in Business