Students learned about Muslim culture and values through a marketing workshop.
On Friday, October 16, a group of about 15 marketing students from Wilmington College in Ohio visited CAIR-Chicago’s office for a presentation on marketing toward the American Muslim consumer. After Outreach Coordinator Gerald Hankerson gave them a tour of office, they joined the communication and government affairs interns in the conference room, where Hankerson began a brief overview of Islam and an introduction to Muslim culture. The students were well-prepped by their teacher, Ellen Novar, and were able to answer some of the questions he posed at them.
Communications Coordinator Renner Larson took over from there, beginning his presentation with a discussion on various ad campaigns. He asked Novar and her students how they imagine various ads would be received by the American Muslim community, based on the value represented in them. Once the students had a grasp on the different values that are important to American Muslims, Larson explained how understanding the consumer trends of various demographics is important and how marketing companies would benefit from doing so. At the end of the presentation, the students had a chance to break into groups and come up with their own, unique ad campaign and slogan for Olive Garden. Some were more successful than others in bringing together all the elements of a successful ad campaign, but all had the opportunity to share their campaign ideas with the class.