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UTSC team makes top 10 in national marketing competition


Dane Gomez and Omar Elmezaini grabbed the attention of the judges with their innovative marketing plan, making them the only full team from U of T Scarborough to ever reach the top 10 of Canada’s Next Top Ad Exec, a national marketing case competition.
“We are both ecstatic,” Gomez says. While he and Elmezaini are the only full team from the University of Toronto to get the honour this year, Sabitha Ganapathipillai, a U of T student partnered with a student from Laurier, has also made the top 10.
Gomez was right to be excited; reaching the finals puts him one step closer to the chance to be the creator of a real-life corporate marketing campaign — and win a brand new car.
Canada’s Next Top Ad Exec is a competition run by McMaster University that gives pairs of business students the chance to use what they’ve learned in class and learn new skills while working on a practical project. This year, the task was to create a marketing campaign for Chevrolet’s underused Preferred Pricing Program, which allows employees from eligible companies like Scotiabank or RBC to purchase vehicles at a reduced rate.
Teams submitted a two-page “elevator pitch” outlining their idea. The best 25 were chosen from 178 entries, and those top teams submitted a full 15 page strategy document. Ten were chosen to do a final in-person presentation in Toronto on March 31.
Gomez, currently in his fifth and final year of UTSC’s co-op management program, first heard about the competition when its executive visited campus in the fall of his fourth year. “Their attractive signs and neon shirts caught my attention instantly,” he says. He paired up with Elmezaini, a friend from his classes, because of their complementary skill sets - Gomez has experience in consulting and strategy, and Elmezaini is proficient in marketing and design.
After he graduates, Gomez hopes to work in consulting, perhaps starting his own firm some day. “This competition provides great exposure to the consulting industry,” he says. “It tasks competitors to solve real world business problems with time constraints and in-depth research.” The competition also opens the door to internships to students, and previous participants have received offers from companies like Canadian Tire, McDonalds and GM.
Now, they are deep into preparing their final presentation, rehearsing and receiving feedback. “Both of us view this competition as a marathon,” Gomez says. They’ve put in a lot of work over the past two phases - Gomez estimates over 130 hours between research, interviews, writing and editing - but they’re still excited and motivated to finish the competition strongly.
“I am beyond excited to make it to the Top 10,” says Gomez, “and humbled to join the other split U of T team as the first two teams in the history of UTSC’s campus to make the Top Ad finals.”

© University of Toronto Scarborough