The conference that puts YOU centre stage

November 25, 2016
Pantages Hotel Toronto




It is a one-day marketing conference (and party for marketing superstars) in the heart of downtown Toronto on November 25, 2016. 

Spotlight is designed to be as interactive as possible. Two ways to get engaged at Spotlight are: (1) apply for your Spotlight moment beforehand or (2) seize engagement opportunities at the event.

> Items you can apply beforehand are: Talk Hours, Ad Challenge, Mini Challenge, and our main case competition, Survival of the Boldest.

> Opportunities to shine on the day of: Workshops, Networking, and Carnival 

Both Rotman Commerce and external students can apply.

Applications to compete are closed, but you can still attend!

If you don’t want to participate in the events, we welcome you to participate as a Networker. You will still be able to listen to the speakers and network with partners at Spotlight. Apply here: Networker Application

Pantages Hotel Toronto

It’s the perfect place for you to let your creative and critical juices flow!

For Rotman Commerce Students, Early Bird Tickets are $30, and regular tickets are $40.
For external students, Early Bird Tickets are $40, and regular tickets are $50.
Early Bird Deadline ends October 31st.

Your admission comes with two delicious meals, a day full of opportunities, and a chance to win cash prizes.

Let us help you create your own custom Spotlight, and help you shine the brightest.


To explain this customization process, let’s use a lamp as an analogy.

This is the foundation to run your conference experience. No matter where you go from here, you are guaranteed:
– A workshop on a trending marketing skill with one of our partners
– A first-class seat to watch a Google Keynote, a Talk Hour, a Case Competition Final, and a mini challenge
– A comfortable networking session with recruiters and professionals in the marketing industry


How do you want to shine?

You are given 3 opportunities to participate in:


You can participate in all 3, just 2, just 1, or just spectate (no pressure!)

Now, are you ready to shine? Click on the tabs above and have fun creating your own personal brand of light. Good luck with your applications, and we hope to see you soon!

It's just you and your talent against the world, bring it on


Ad Challenge

What is it?

It’s your time to shine! Spotlight your video production prowess by creating a 30 second to 1 minute ad spot for this year’s feature product (revealed in our application). Showcase your creativity, and prove to our judges that you have what it takes to be Spotlight’s next great advertiser.

How does it work? 

Work on your own or in a group of up to three and submit your video for deliberation. The top teams will be chosen to present their ad to the audience and the esteemed judges at Spotlight to win our mystery prize.

Mini Case Challenge

What is it?

Flex your social media skills, and develop an influential multi-platform online campaign for Mary Kay. Take your ideas to the next level, and show us that you have the talent to be a marketer in the digital age.

How does it work?

Find the mini-case and instruction in the Spotlight application, and submit your slides as outlined. From the pool of applicants, judges will select a group of finalists to present their campaign at Spotlight.

Judged by:

Hosted by:


Ad Challenge

1. Select Ad Challenge in your application to indicate that you will be submitting an ad.

2. Draft a script of your ad.

3. Check your email for your video submission deadline (deadlines will be assigned on a rolling basis).

4. If you are chosen as one of the finalists, your ad will premier at Spotlight!


Mini Case Challenge

1. Select Mini Case Challenge in your application to indicate that you are interested in competing in this challenge (either SOLO or with a PARTNER).

2. Find specific challenge instructions from Mary-Kay in-application.

3. Submit your slide deck with subject line “Spotlight 2016 Mini Case Challenge Application – Team Liason’s Full Name to

4. If you are chosen as one of the finalists, get ready to present at Spotlight in front of the judges!


Coming soon...







Take Centre Stage and Share your Knowledge on the Topic of Your Choice


Apply to give a 6-minute presentation to your peers and professionals on one of the featured discussion topics. Be creative!


A World of Brands
A World of Brands
What are the effects of globalization on the concepts of branding and product positioning?



Marketing Gone Wrong
What can be learned from the biggest marketing mishaps in history? Where did they go wrong?

Marketing of the Future
How has technology changed the game for marketing? What do you think is next?




Brought to you by:


Brought to you by:pepsico

Brought to you by:P&G



1. Click yes in your application saying that you will be applying to a Talk Hour
2. Choose one of the three topics to give your Talk Hour on
3. Tell us why you chose this topic, give us 3-5 detailed talking points about what you want to say, and highlight what over-arching message you will be conveying that pertains to the topic at hand

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who is the Boldest of them All?

How it Works

“Grow the Ontario Market”– Mary Kay Canada has lost significant ground in both sales and total number of Beauty Consultants in the province of Ontario. We are looking for creative ideas to increase our recruiting efforts because we know that when we increase our Consultant count, we increase sales. We are also targeting a younger demographic, promoting the fact that a Mary Kay business is completely flexible and can be worked on a full- or part-time basis. The case includes recent statistics and a description of our current customer, current beauty consultant and product line!

Have you been waiting to show off your creative, analytical and marketing savvy skills? Spotlight is giving you a stage to do just that and more. In a team of one, two or three, put on your critical marketer hats to provide an in depth solution to an issue at hand, provided by Mary Kay Canada, who wants to take their campaign to the next level.You will be presenting in front of fellow Spotlight participants and a panel of judges from Mary Kay Canada who will be judging you on your presentation, critical thinking and plans on how to grow their market. If you prove to be the boldest marketers at Spotlight and that your plan is the best, your team will win $1,000!


Next Steps

1. Select the checkbox for Survival of the Boldest: The Ultimate Marketing Case Competition on the Steal The Show section of the Spotlight Application.
2. Recruit up to two of your most promotionally agile amigos to join the cause.
3. Elect a Team Representative – s/he will act as the liaison between the Spotlight team and your Case Competition team.
4. All team members are expected to complete the SOTB Spotlight Application section separately.
5. Review the case linked on the application and complete one 2- or 3-page Executive Summary to be submitted per team by the Team Representative via email with the subject line in the following format: Spotlight 2016 Survival of the Boldest – Team Liaison Full Name (Do not forget to include the names of all team members in the email body!)
6. f your team is selected by Mary Kay to proceed to the next round, you will be provided with an email ahead of the conference with next steps and expectations.

View frequently asked questions

Are workshops mandatory? Do we need a team?
The workshops are not necessarily mandatory. Once you have been accepted, your preferences will be taken into consideration on a first come, first serve basis. There will be a Talk Hour and the semis of the SOTB case comp at the same time as workshops, so you will have a choice of which you wish to spectate (or participate!) in. You do not need a team, but the workshop may have you work with those around you.

When will we know if our applications are accepted?
You will know if you have been accepted by November 15th the absolute latest, giving you at least 10 days to get pumped for Spotlight 2K16!

When do we need to submit our ad challenges / marketing campaigns?
You need to submit everything (executive summary for SOTB, marketing campaign, ad challenge idea, etc.) with your initial application by November 6th, 11:59 PM. The only exception to this is for Ad Challenge. You need to submit your idea for your ad by November 6th. On November 8th you will be informed if your ad has been selected, and you will then need to submit the completed ad by November 13th at 11:59 PM (emailed to

What are the prizes for ad challenge / talk hours?
The prize for Ad Challenge is $250, and the prize for the Mini Case Challenge is also $250. The talk hours do not have a prize.

Do I have to sign up for all of the activities that day?
No, you can pick and choose to apply to whichever ones interest you the most, and spectate others.

I’m not in marketing/management, are there opportunities for finance and accounting students?
Yes! This conference is not limited to simply marketing/management students, it is open to all who are passionate about marketing!

What happens if I don’t get chosen to present at Spotlight?
Your application will still be considered and if you are chosen to attend, you are still given the option to spectate in the various activities.

Will I be at a disadvantage if I don’t go to Rotman?
Unfortunately, we are restricted to only allowing 30% of the event attendees to be non-Rotman Commerce students. Other than that, all applications are viewed and considered equally.

Am I allowed to be in a group with external students if I go to Rotman?
Yes, just be sure to indicate their names on your application.

How many meals will be provided at the conference?
Breakfast and lunch will be provided, so two meals.

Do I pay after applying or only after I get accepted?
You only have to pay after you have been accepted.

Can I do the ad challenge by myself?
Yes, you can do the ad challenge by yourself.



2016 Sponsors



2016 Partners