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Communications & Marketing

The Communications and Marketing Jury reviews and evaluates team deliverables and the public exhibit experience.


Very well-organized, multidisciplinary team who exemplifies the spirit of the Decathlon. Have a very clear mission that they articulated across design, construction, and sponsorship. Exhibits a refreshing sense of gratitude.

  • Very cohesive, multidisciplinary team
  • Great relationship between mentors and students
  • Very enthusiast communicators
  • Really elevated gratitude and sharing as part of their communication
  • Pitch was a clever skit
  • Unique use of mascot for marketing and communication including engaging children with game to find mascot and stickers
  • Informative and educational signage
  • Traffic control issues
  • Unique sustainability concept of seed business card
  • Created a communication opportunity with a display tent while unable to open home to public

Students were engaged in completing construction of home but unfortunately did not have the opportunity for a complete communication presentation.

  • Easy to navigate website with a nice color palette
  • Did not have engaging pitch or communication materials on site
  • Lots of pride in student made interiors
  • Lacking external signage
  • Wayfinding was not in place
  • Internal signage for plans and sponsors were on display
  • Student presenters were informative about building materials
  • No business profile provided to OCSD
  • Did not attend team meeting

This project had great heart but too few team members to manage their marketing and communications requirements.

  • Website showcased a disjointed story but tour was clear about the vision for their build
  • Team was passionate and proud about showcasing their work, their educational attainment, and their home
  • Would have benefitted from a clear strategy and more team cohesion
  • Small but resilient team
  • Would have been helpful to have a more interdisciplinary team to respond to all the elements of the Decathlon
  • Social media outreach was not a focus
  • Submitted a thoughtful business profile to OCSD

Impressive and mission driven team that embodies the spirit and collaboration that the decathlon is promoting. Very well organized, reflective, and responsive. Everything about them was very professional and engaging.

  • Really nice integration of community data and project (discussed community health, demographic, and community)
  • Pitch was thorough and well presented
  • They expressed gratitude across the board
  • Each student understood every aspect of the project
  • Great job of communicating mission with the project
  • Did everything that was asked of them in a professional and timely way
  • Mission is adopted and clearly communicated by everyone
  • Very branded, lots of team synergy
  • Students worked well with mentors
  • Thoughtfully responsive to suggestions about wayfinding and adult participation

Created a priority of communicating to UCI and larger community and an understanding of sustainability with a focus on sharing implementable strategies towards that goal. Made it a priority to explore an alternative building material and were very clear in communicating their research and its value.

  • Nice video flythrough of project
  • Would have been nice to have more student public presentation over mentor(s)
  • Team meeting was informative with a strong student presenter
  • Had a clear wayfinding plan
  • All members understood the project well and the work that went into decision making about materials
  • Diverse ways of promoting sustainability (e.g. website, journal, academic outreach program, etc.)
  • Online presence was strong and informative
  • Strong social media outreach (Facebook, Instagram, and campus blasts)
  • Inconsistent impression of teamwork communicated
  • Nominal business profile provided to OCSD

Very cohesive and impactful team that show the effectiveness of professor and student collaboration. Strong visual and oral communicators who articulate their project mission well. They present as a well-organized multidisciplinary team.

  • Strong consistent brand based on strong and clear story
  • Importance of mission and vision as a unifier by their logo as used throughout marketing
  • Thoughtful and informative website
  • Cohesive and well-spoken team
  • Extensive, informative, and eye pleasing visuals in the home and in presentations
  • Clear vision with an emphasis on supporting non-profit
  • Strong lot entry but little to no emphasis on public wayfinding thereafter
  • Need a strategy to engage and welcome multiple guests at one time
  • No exterior greeters

Ambitious project bridging across the Pacific, it was hard to appreciate the goals of the project until we had the opportunity to meet with the student team members. Students invested a lot of effort to respect the cultural values of the participating communities and it would have been really nice for them to showcase that.

  • Presentation was unclear about who did what on the project
  • Did not have adequate educational and marketing materials on site that communicated their process, mission, and vision
  • Little to no social media outreach
  • No business profile and nominal team profile provided to OCSD
  • In one-on-one meeting the team provided a clear description of the project and showed a team connection

Strengths of each individual came through but cohesion was lacking. Online presence and branding was strong and informative but did not feel as if it carried through with the communication and marketing materials on site.

  • Submitted a visually pleasing and informative brief.
  • Very informative about shipping containers sustainability as well as innovative planting solutions
  • Greenhouse and food concepts included clever use of recipe cookbook which is also available digitally
  • Website graphics were thorough
  • Attractive and thoughtful online presence
  • Submitted brief to OCSD
  • Seemingly very little connectivity between team member projects
  • On-site communication materials were lacking

This contest evaluates each team’s demonstrated capacity to explain and promote their skills, ideas, and sustainable designs through compelling communications and marketing methods and materials. The goal is to create public understanding and acceptance of the model home and its constituent strategies, themes, systems, and components. Each team must emphasize the intended California target market for their completed model home, including household composition, income level, and geographic location.

Each team will devise a background “story” about their model home. This story should be a coherent narrative that explains why the team developed a particular style and design. The story should connect to the target audience, telling how and why this home is well-suited to their needs. The story should also help visitors better understand the design of the model home and provide a set of well-connected talking points to inform their experiences when touring the model home. The story can highlight elements from the ten contests to illustrate why this home is a suitable match for the target audience and how it will enhance their daily life, while honoring the overarching theme of sustainability. Each team will present its story to the visiting public and the Communications and Marketing Jury.

A jury of qualified professionals will assign an overall score for each team’s communications and marketing strategies, materials, and efforts to educate, inform, and persuade homebuyers and the general public of the value of their model home. The jury will consider the team deliverables and the effectiveness and delivery of communications and marketing activities at the competition site. The jury will consider the following criteria:

  1. Quality and delivery of public profile content for the OCSD23 website, social media engagement, printed materials, audio-visual media, the public exhibit experience, education and outreach activities and events on and off the competition site, the on-site presentation to the jury, a business brand/website, etc.
  2. How appropriate is the message for consumers in the identified target market?
  3. How well does the team highlight the sustainability and livability features of the model home to improve consumer education and marketability?
In addition to and separate from the score assigned to each team for the Communications and Marketing Contest, the jury will assign each team a score for innovation. This score will become one-fifth of the total score for the Innovation Contest. The jury will consider the following questions:
  1. How innovative is the team’s approach to earning acceptance of their design in the target market?
  2. How innovative are the team’s strategies to inspire and motivate consumers to take action steps toward opportunities for sustainable housing?
  3. How creative and innovative are the materials for public display and methods of communicating with the public?

Ellen Pais

Lee Vujnovich

Patricia Martinez