May 25, 2019  

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USM Gulf Park Marketing Students Participate in TV Commercial Project

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Students in Lance Hopkins’ marketing class at The University of Southern Mississippi enjoyed a unique opportunity to work with a major production company in developing a series of TV commercials earlier this semester.

Approximately 15 students from Hopkins’ Integrated Marketing Communications class on the USM Gulf Park campus got an up-close look at the production of commercials for the Stinson Group, a company that owns several successful restaurants along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

The students worked with the Dallas-based Axcess Group, one of the oldest and largest creative services and commercial production companies in the U.S. The Axcess Group’s portfolio includes McDonald’s, Sears, Budweiser, and dozens of other national advertising campaigns.

Hopkins points out that the students’ opportunity to gain hands-on experience sprang from the esteemed reputation USM’s College of Business has cultivated with many businesses on the Gulf Coast.

“We have been working with several businesses for years on student placement, internships, marketing support and several other activities. And this relationship generated an invitation from the Stinson Group,” said Hopkins, professor of practice in Marketing at Gulf Park

Students participated in the three basic phases of TV commercial production – the preproduction, shooting of the commercial, and some preliminary post-production. During the process, students were able to interact with the creative team, as well as the client.

“We were able to see how tedious the director’s job is. His job requires to make sure all small and large objectives are met while dealing with several different actors, extras, and staff,” said class member Kerri Russell. 

Added Chad Estes, a junior marketing major from Biloxi, Miss., “The production crew’s attention to the fine details of making the commercial was outstanding.”

Hopkins notes that the students benefitted immensely from watching first-hand how precise the production must be to achieve a thumbs-up from all involved.

“They clearly saw that there is no room for error. Being good is not satisfactory. It must be excellent,” said Hopkins. “They saw and recognized how important communication is. The directors had to clearly communicate to the talent and production crew what was expected. Details like the lighting and product placement were featured. In addition, the talent was expected to have the right appearance; the correct facial expression, etc. If it wasn’t perfect, it was redone.”

To learn more about marketing programs offered at USM, call 601.266.4659 (Hattiesburg) or 228.214.3447 (Gulf Park) or visit: