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As I sat to write my SIXTY letter, I wondered what I could teach you that we didn’t already cover during your sixty weeks here. So here is what I decided to share... 10 Things to remember upon leaving VCU Brandcenter to embark on your professional careers - and various other endeavors - wherever they may take you. 1. A fleece hoodie is not appropriate rain attire. Time to invest in a raincoat. 2. As you improve your grad school eating habits, some tips on dealing with junk food withdrawal - https:/completewellbeing. com/article/parting-pangs/ 3. Sleep, quite often, can now be substituted for coffee.

I have to say, I envy you.

4. When you enter the actual business of branding you’ll appreciate the importance of BOB class. (Well, most of it...)

You have such power. You are a special group. You are the 20th Graduating Class of VCU Brandcenter. Not to put too much pressure on you but let’s face it: you are the future. Who knows what you’re going to accomplish? Whether you continue in advertising and marketing or start your own business or use technology to forward humanity or dedicate yourself to raising a family or take off to the top of a mountain - you will always be creative problem solvers in your minds and in your hearts. That will set you apart from the linear thinkers of this world. That will keep you young even when you’re not.

5. Your first job might not be your dream job but it could be your best first step to it. 6. In five or ten years from now you’ll think, “So THAT’S what Fenske meant.” 7. You will realize that you are better prepared than anyone else at your level in your first job after graduation...Practice humility until it seems natural. 8. You are never alone. You have about 1,400 soul mates out there known as the Brandcenter alumni network. 9. Your professors, who intimidated, challenged, and pushed you beyond your limits, will be your most trusted advisors going forward. Don’t be afraid to reach out. 10. Fate is not an acceptable excuse. You’re the designated driver.

Take some life advice from Steve Jobs. “Follow your intuition and your curiosity.” They will always lead you someplace you’ve never been before. And you’ll never, ever, be bored. Mazel Tov, Class of 2017. It has been my great pleasure to watch you grow. HELAYNE SPIVAK Executive Director VCU Brandcenter Two

Twenty years ago that statement was as close as the Brandcenter came to a manifesto. And, for the times, it wasn’t bad. After all, our founder, Diane Cook-Tench, was committed to establishing a place where students would be taught to master the art of producing great work. That focused commitment immediately set a high bar for evaluating students and their portfolios.

Don Just, Managing Director - VCU Brandcenter

“we’re not out

to change the world --- just advertising.” Three

Since our founding, the demands of brand marketing changed in ways and at a pace that took the industry and Brandcenter by surprise. The rise of social media, the advent of the digital age, big data, the sudden importance of “everywhere connection” enabled by a variety of mobile platforms – in a previous time any of these might have been the factor that by itself was the long term defining influence on brands and brand management. Those days are gone as new technologies now enable change at a breathtaking pace. Marketers developing new technologies for understanding consumers at a deeper level, as reflected in the design of brand experiences beyond advertising that not only reflect a more respectful understanding of their hopes and dreams but also the cultural zeitgeist that surrounds them. All that past revolution, together with the cataclysmic changes that lie ahead, require that we at the Brandcenter adopt a new manifesto that keeps us focused on our vision of “inspiring students to improve the world” and supports our mission “to train an elite force of creative problem solvers.” It’s a mission centered on our students who by their actions will take the lead in defining our place in the future, a world that will require solutions to problems that we have not yet imagined. You are about to take your place as part of that elite force of problem solvers. Remember, you’ve been trained well. For two years, you’ve proven your resolve and your mettle and emerged as professionals prepared to add immediate value as you do your part to improve the world. In short, you’re ready. As you leave this place, carry our new manifesto with you as a reminder of our shared commitment to raising the bar that was set so high twenty years ago. In a very real sense, our future is in your hands. Good luck and Godspeed.

1996 was a simpler time.

can improve the world.

We set out to instruct the best writers, art directors and strategists – challenging them to do great work. And, over the past two decades students have gone on to win awards, help businesses grow, lead agencies and make advertising that impacts culture.

That success comes as no surprise to the people who know this place and understand its transformative value. They’ve come to realize that the Brandcenter is the training ground for an elite force of creative problem solvers who are eager to take the captain’s hat and point to new shores - wherever they may be.

In short, we succeeded. Or did we?

Because embedded in the DNA of this special place is a focused commitment to inspire students to understand the potential of powerful ideas - the kind that make you dizzy as you contemplate the seemingly endless ways to give them voice – ideas born of truth and shaped by a commitment to applying creativity to uncovering solutions that will make things better for all of us.

As the years passed, we came to realize the truth. We were wrong. Our goal was too small. We discovered that the harder we tried to assign our students to boxes filled with traditional thinking, the faster they began ripping those boxes apart and kicking them to the curb. Some started agencies. Some helped define the digital age. Others formed companies. And still others have become creative leaders with a whole new perspective on how their creativity

And that will never change.




COPYWRITER: Jeff B. Tune, ART DIRECTOR: Frank Garguilo

Hydro flask COPYWRITER: Kelly Cabaniss ART DIRECTOR: Jansen Yoder


Levi’s denim

EXPERIENCE DESIGNER: Katie Cullinan APPROACH Apply UX practices to retail design to find a better way to shop for jeans.

A user-centered shopping experience CHALLENGE Jeans are one of the most difficult things to shop for, and the Levi’s online and in-store shopping experiences are cluttered and overwhelming. Also, industry-wide, shopping has become an increasingly digital activity, and many established brands are closing stores, including Levi’s.

SOLUTION A store design and shopping app that work together to engage, inspire, and help you find the perfect jeans. The retail store includes places to work, linger, and connect with the brand for a more streamlined, interactive, and hands-on shopping trip.


Search for jeans based on the criteria of your choosing.


Send options to fitting room, share with friends or save to buy later.

Explore looks and styles.



Jeans are organized first by size, horizontally, then by fit and wash, vertically, for easy find-ability.


Bass Pro COPYWRITER: Matt Waronker ART DIRECTOR: Matt Waronker



Vital Cuffs

COPYWRITERS: Conor McFarland, Elizabeth Bassett, ART DIRECTORS: Jansen Yoder, Frank Garguilo

Books for dummies



Ten 1

View order history, reorder, track shipments and contact Bunn for any extra support you may need for a more reliable coffee ordering experience.


COPYWRITER: Kaitlin DeMayo, ART DIRECTOR: Steph Langan

Ten 2

Ten 3


COPYWRITER: Jeff Dunn, ART DIRECTOR: Josh Gherghel

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Ten 5

Photo by Alex McClelland, AD 2017

cbm Creative brand manager

The transportation industry is the next to embrace creativity - and disrupters already have. Today, more than ever, we see companies fail because of their lack of quick response to changes in the market (think Blockbuster vs Netflix.) Automotive and tech companies have already started approaching new ways of doing things, from an infrastructure standpoint to how cars are operated. The future of creativity will manifest as diverse thinking utilized to solve complex problems. What’s next for creative people is finding a voice outside. The most successful creativity comes from diverse thinking. Creative people need to embrace diverse minds, both creative thinkers and traditional thinkers. Creativity is the future, and the future is now. We need to elevate the definition of what creativity is, who is creative, and what creative can do. Creatives need to speak up and endorse the status quo as outdated, because we (all people are creative) are the future. I prepare for what’s next by being a part of the thinking that will take us there. I’m not in advertising to make ads. I’m in advertising to solve problems and tell people about it. I admire Elon Musk. He copes with what’s next by being dissatisfied with what’s now, challenging the status quo and bringing fresh ideas and approaches to the table. The Brandcenter experience asks you to figure out what’s next, rather than preparing you for it. The school pushes you to think bigger - that’s why there’s a greater focus on innovation and solving business problems than on traditional advertising.

Ten 6

The New Yorker COPYWRITER: Caroline Gallalee ART DIRECTOR: Chris Lumain

Ten 7






Dairy queen


Ten 8

HERE BE MONSTERS That’s what ancient maps would say. Any point, beyond what had been explored, would bear a warning. Etched in ink —a caution for some, a challenge for others— it would read, “here be monsters.” And only the brave, with steel in their stomach and water colder than the sea running through their veins, would go forward. They would go north. Through frozen expanse, against storms, they went. Against all warning, perhaps in spite of it, they went. They ignored Mother Nature and every howling gust of wind she spit in their direction. And when they finally reached the edge of the map, they paddled into black water,

They tested oblivion.

Extreme cold weather wetsuits.

Finisterre COPYWRITER: Matt Waronker ART DIRECTOR: Samantha Jolley

THIS IS HELL Dante wrote that Hell was a frozen lake. He wrote that the water, razor cold and surging, came from the tears of humanity. That any soul abandoned on that water was doomed and destined to freeze. There was no light or life or warmth. Only isolation. But still, it was meant to be explored. The empty sets and concrete walls of surf were waiting to be challenged. Someone was meant to move forward, downward, without fear of what could be found. This is hell, sure. Buton the other side of that desolate expanse, there is a reward—


Ten 9

Extreme cold weather wetsuits.

Armor required The original epics describe a warrior who was all but invincible. He was baptized in a sacred river —submerged in the abyss between our world and the one few dare to speak of. The water became his armor and he was given a choice: glory and death or a long life of obscurity. The warrior never hesitated. He chose glory and the world revered his name. Achilles. From that moment forward there was no fear because there was nothing to fear. Not the sharp cold that engulfed, and like an enemy, intended to kill. Not the beasts or bones or darkness lurking beneath. No, there was only water. Only armor.

And to choose that is to choose glory.

Extreme cold weather wetsuits.


Twenty 1


COPYWRITER: Jeff Dunn, ART DIRECTOR: John Worthington

Ben & Jerry’s

CREATIVE BRAND MANAGERS: Rian Chandler-Dovis, Troy Gary, Caitlin Murphy, and Ben Patty

BACKGROUND Our team was tasked with creating a potentially successful product extension combining two unlikely things: Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream and dog food.

The result has been the humanization of pets, especially dogs, and a trend toward all natural and premium dog food and treats. Pet parents no longer just want to “treat themselves;” they want to treat their dogs too.

APPROACH Bring all of B&J’s iconic personality to the pet food market. In order to make this unlikely combination work, we needed to fully understand what trends were influencing the dog food market. We found that millennials are having children later or not at all, and instead are focusing their affections on their pets. Today, more Americans own dogs (44%) than have children.

In fact, 63% of pet parents celebrate their dog’s birthday. With the consumer demand toward celebrating pet birthdays, an all natural, frozen doggie birthday treat in an ice cream cone rubber toy is just the ticket! And what brand can create a more delicious frozen treat for the celebration than Ben & Jerry’s?

PRODUCT INNOVATION These three flavors of treats fall in line with Ben & Jerry’s humorous packaging and cultural messaging and can be injected into a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream cone rubber dog toy. Any of the Doggie Dough flavors can be frozen in the ice cream cone for hours of fun for your favorite pooch. Doggie Dough is perfect for a birthday celebration or any other special day for your doggie.

Twenty 2

If you don’t trust yourself to wake up on time, then you really don’t trust yourself to back up important files. So we created a hard drive that stores two copies of everything automatically. Relax, we’ll be paranoid for you.

Western digital COPYWRITER: Conor McFarland ART DIRECTOR: Elliot Eliash

Twenty 3

Come on, what are the chances of three flat tires? Whatever they are, you know it’s a possibility. Just like we know it’s possible you’ll forget to back up an important file, which is why we developed a hard drive that saves two copies automatically. Why take a chance?


COPYWRITER: James Gross, ART DIRECTOR: Wesley Ruff

Task Rabbit

COPYWRITER: Mike Cardamone, ART DIRECTOR: Jansen Yoder

Twenty 4

A Gigatooth and app that track your brushing habits. If you're brushing incorrectly the app will notify you and you will kill the Gigatooth. If you're brushing correctly you keep the tooth happy and healthy.

Phillips sonicare COPYWRITER: Kaitlin DeMayo ART DIRECTOR: Jansen Yoder STRATEGIST: Lauren Tresco Twenty 5

RETAIL EXPERIENCE REDESIGN PROBLEM Chuck E. Cheese is considered a birthday destination, thus parents only take their children there once a year. SOLUTION Combine physical play and a rotating narrative throughout the entire in-store experience, giving kids a new way to play every time they return.

BOOK A new narrative is introduced seasonally through a children’s book series in which Chuck, the mischievous mouse, gets himself in trouble. The adventure to help Chuck begins once inside the retail experience as each book’s ending is left open-ended.

LEVEL 1, 2, 3 The new Chuck E. Cheese space is separated into three levels. The store has interactive walls and floors that act as blank canvases, each able to digitally change to each new narrative. By creating an interchangeable environment, the story never gets stale.

chuck E. Cheese

INDIVIDUAL GAMES Each narrative’s plot comes to life through the game modules. Kids can play narrative-specific games to gain points and access the next level.

COPYWRITERS: Lizzy Hopkinson, Matt Klugman ART DIRECTORS: Maria Kouninski, Chris Lumain STRATEGIST: Katherine Gannon, CREATIVE BRAND MANAGER: Colleen Hiegel EXPERIENCE DESIGNER: Shawn Hurley

Twenty 6

Twenty 7

Photo by Alex McClelland, AD 2017

CW copywriter

The best kind of creativity is unpredictable. Sure, we can talk about the future of VR or AI, but I like to think that whatever is next for creativity is so mind-blowing that I can’t even fathom its existence. Or better yet, it’s something that’s so mind-blowingly simple that in a matter of years we’ll wonder, how did we live without this? Businesses want to be creative but lack the creative thinking to make that happen. Children are creative and curious by nature, but as we age where does that go? If school systems infuse creativity into the curriculum, kids will have the tools they need to bring creativity into their future careers. Justin Timberlake is a celebrity who’s managed to survive in the spotlight for the majority of his life. The man can act, dance, sing, rap, write...need I go on? He’s managed to stay true to his brand (well, himself) while simultaneously adapting to the changes of the world around him. That takes creativity. Creativity is constantly changing and I prepare for the what’s next by taking things one day at a time. Like, maybe I’ll wear a raincoat when there’s a 40% chance of afternoon showers, but I’m not building a doomsday bunker in my backyard, you know? Creative people will impact the future if their creative thinking is applied to traditionally non creative fields. Technically, I’m receiving a Master’s in Branding, but what I’ve really mastered is the fine art of handling rejection. Your idea falls flat? Your work doesn’t go through? That’s not personal, that’s advertising.

Twenty 8

Don't let

Twenty 9

Dr. Scholl’s

odor ruin your story

COPYWRITER: Kevin David, ART DIRECTOR: Jasmine McCrae

Honda ruckus

COPYWRITER: Jeff B. Tune, ART DIRECTOR: Ken Tsuchiya




Thirty 1

samsonite COPYWRITER: Kelly Cabaniss ART DIRECTOR: Jessie Kemmerling

Thirty 2


Thirty 3



COPYWRITER: Tim Shumar, ART DIRECTOR: Holly Younce

Thirty 4

We redesigned the Lonely Planet books to look more like a travel journal. Now travelers can document their experiences alongside the author's suggestions with the new “Notes� sections throughout the books.

Thirty 5

lonely planet

COPYWRITER: Caroline Gallalee, ART DIRECTOR: Elliot Eliash

Lonely Planet will host location-specific, public "My Stories" on Snapchat. Users in each city or country can submit a snapchat pertaining to a Lonely Planet recommendation in their area to be considered as a featured picture or video.

Thirty 6

The Bobcat E32 Compact Excavator exerts over six thousand pounds of force at the pull of a lever.

Bobcat Sandbox

The Bobcat 418 Compact Excavator delivers eighteen hundred pounds of digging force. You just pull the lever.

Thirty 7

The Bobcat S530 Skid-Steer Loader can carry eighteen hundred pounds for hundreds of yards. All you have to do is steer.

Bobcat COPYWRITER: Maddy Baldwin ART DIRECTOR: Tony Avila

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Thirty 9

Photo by Alex McClelland, AD 2017


art director

I believe creativity will continue to evolve outside of the normal confines of “creative fields.” I think you’re going to start seeing businesses and industries try to branch out and make themselves more creative to grow and boost their business. The government needs to embrace creativity. We really only see creative thinking during the election season, which quickly fizzles out soon after the election is over. Government institutions and bureaucracies need to think more outside of the box in order to tackle the growing number of problems that exist here in the U.S. and abroad. I don’t see that much changing for creative people other than that they will be sought after for jobs in other fields outside of advertising. Our ability to think creatively and solve problems will serve us well in all aspects of ad business innovation, not just marketing and advertising. We’re starting to see a shift in the world where creative thinkers are needed to solve bigger issues, and I think that’s where they will have an impact on the future. This is kind of cliché, but I’ve always admired Steve Jobs for his ability to solve problems and push the boundaries of innovation. He handled “what’s next” by simply looking at how he could create tools that would improve and simplify our lives. His goal went beyond making a profitable company: he wanted to change the way the world works. He succeeded. Brandcenter prepares you for “what’s next” by breaking you down to a point where you feel like you have nothing left in the tank, then rebuilding you to not only be a better problem solver, but also a more efficient and confident individual. You leave with the feeling that you can accomplish anything.


IKEA COPYWRITER: Chris Kessler ART DIRECTOR: Samantha Jolley

Forty 1


COPYWRITER: Matt Neylon, ART DIRECTOR: Héctor Rivas

With award winning anti-virus protection on your side, it’s okay to be a little curious.

Norton Anti-virus



With award winning anti-virus protection on your side, it’s okay to be a little curious.


Anti-Virus TM

With award winning anti-virus protection on your side, it’s okay to be a little curious.



COPYWRITER: Dennis Chen, ART DIRECTOR: Chris Lumain Forty 2

A Movement to Empower Creative Ad Moms ​THE SITUATION The glass ceiling in advertising is a hot topic, but here’s who no one’s talking about: moms. Many female creatives are hesitant to return to work after having kids because ad agencies lack the support they need, which contributes to the fact that only 11% of CDs are women. Our mission is to increase the percentage of female creative directors by increasing the percentage of moms returning to advertising after having kids. We created this campaign to not only support current MadMoms in agencies everywhere, but also to create a better future for MadMoms-to-be.

Our "Agency Spotlight" is a database where you can search agencies to check out their mom-friendly programs and policies.

"The MadMoms Ten" is a checklist that states ten things an agency can do to be mom-friendly. We'll send these to agencies to encourage them to join the MadMoms movement.

Forty 3

Individuals can fill out a questionnaire to be matched with a mentor/mentee according to his or her preferences.


COPYWRITER: Caroline Gallalee, ART DIRECTOR: Jessie Kemmerling, EXPERIENCE DESIGNER: Andrea Vega

The “Let’s Talk About It” section of the Community page is a place for moms to ask questions and share advice.

The “Let’s Do It” section gives moms access to job opportunities.

Moms can post their books to the "Portfolios" section to find a partner, find someone to job share with, or for recruiters to check it out.

We created a music video that lightheartedly addresses some of the issues these moms face.

Forty 4

The beauty of honest labor is that it’s simple. Clock in, finish the job, and clock out. Good beer that goes down easy is cut from the same cloth. Yeast, barley, and hops. Done and done.

When you’re more likely to roll up your sleeves than turn up your nose, you need a beer that simply gets its job done too. Snobby microbrew critics might wave off a pint of ours, but those are men who consider writing work.

Forty 5

When the steam whistle blows, it’s time to go to work on some beers. But not floral scented, fancy spiced microbrews - just straight up lagers. Beer the way it should be, brewed that way for people who deserve it.

Rainier beer

COPYWRITER: Jeff B. Tune, ART DIRECTOR: Jessie Kemmerling Forty 6

Dr. Scholl’s ODOR-x

COPYWRITER: Jeff B. Tune, ART DIRECTOR: Elliot Eliash


COPYWRITER: Kevin David, ART DIRECTOR: Majic Aubert

Forty 7

SPOTIFY: Listen together EXPERIENCE DESIGNER: Hunter Noxon COPYWRITER: Tom Daley COPYWRITER: Caroline Gallalee COPYWRITER: Lizzy Hopkinson COPYWRITER: Rich Whelchel PROBLEM Music streaming services have changed the way that we experience music. More people are listening than ever before, but more people are listening alone. OPPORTUNITY Spotify can leverage its platform to not only bring people music, but bring people together.

ACTIVITY TAB Create your own Jam or join a friend’s. The green circle around a user’s profile photo indicates that they’re hosting an active Jam. See what songs are being played in different Jams on your feed.

SOLUTION Spotify Jam, a space within the Spotify app for users to listen to music in real-time with any other Spotify subscriber, whether they’re in the other room, or across the world.

JAM SESSION Thumb up or down songs in the queue to influence the next song played. Chat with other listeners currently in the Jam.

FOR ARTISTS Artist Jams gives artists the chance to release new music and interact with their fans in real-time.

FOR BUSINESSES Business Jams serve as a digital jukebox. When customers enter the business, the Jam will appear in their activity feed. After joining, listeners can suggest upcoming songs.

Forty 8

Forty 9


COPYWRITER: Matt Waronker, ART DIRECTOR: Beth Hughes

Sleepytime celestial seasonings


Flexible Flyer

COPYWRITER: Jenny Yoon, ART DIRECTOR: Jasmine McCrae


Fifty 1

Photo by Alex McClelland, AD 2017



There is no “what’s next;” there’s just people trying to force fit square pegs into round holes. Every once in awhile one of those squares meets one of those holes and we get “the next big thing.” We call the people who do this stupid, until it works. Then they’re innovators. Just keep mashing as many squares into as many holes and see what happens. Creativity is not a solo endeavor. Every artist, musician and marketer draws inspiration from the world and culture around them. The more we surround ourselves with others, the more connected we become. Ultimately, creativity is connecting seemingly disparate ideas together to make something beautiful and interesting. Embrace the collaborative. eSports culture is exploding. Helping chart the course for selling digital sport to a world that has largely scoffed at it is going to be such fun. Mainstream media needs to embrace creativity. Everyone clamors to the podium to pound their chests about being unbiased, but the trust has been broken. A creative solution is needed. The future of creativity relies on more people trusting the moments when the hair stands up on the back of their neck. Every creative person we like to admire didn’t cope with what’s next, they created it. Brandcenter sucked. It was two years of all-nighters, strained relationships and more Red Bull than I care to recount. But it also taught me to revel in the pressure of the moment, to rise above it and conquer the beast ahead of me.

Fifty 2

Bear Archery has a storied past that began with our founder, Fred Bear, one of the greatest bow hunters of all time. We design our bows the way he did—to take down anything. You can rely on them to throw an arrow faster and hit harder than you’ll ever need. The rest is up to you.

as strong as your nerve

Bear Archery has a storied past that began with our founder, Fred Bear, one of the greatest bow hunters of all time. We design our bows the way he did—to take down anything. You can rely on them to throw an arrow faster and hit harder than you’ll ever need. The rest is up to you.

as strong as your nerve

Bear Archery

Fifty 3

Bear Archery has a storied past that began with our founder, Fred Bear, one of the greatest bow hunters of all time. We design our bows the way he did—to take down anything. You can rely on them to throw an arrow faster and hit harder than you’ll ever need. The rest is up to you.

COPYWRITER: Chris Kessler, ART DIRECTOR: Jessie Kemmerling

as strong as your nerve

WALL DISPLAY Bear Archery will find stories of people who have taken down huge animals with Bear bows, put the trophy on walls inside Bass Pro and Cabela’s, and illustrate the actual size of the animal. Beside it will be a write up of the hunt and the bow model that took it down.

APP Once you grab yourself an animal, where are you going to share it? Facebook is hardly the place you’ll gain the appreciation you deserve. Introducing Takedown by Bear Archery, an app for you to share your bow kills, connect with other hunters, and gain badges for your progress.

ARCHERY RANGE You can test your aim at a normal archery range, but not your nerve. This quick draw experience will feature 3D models on tracks that come at you at unexpected times, so hunters can really find out what they can handle.

Fifty 4

Hair Cuttery Fifty 5

COPYWRITER: Tim Shumar, ART DIRECTOR: Raiven Delisle

golden corral COPYWRITER: Jeff Dunn ART DIRECTOR: Samantha Jolley

Fifty 6

Fifty 7

TJ Maxx

COPYWRITER: Lizzy Hopkinson, ART DIRECTOR: Liwen Xu

Fifty 8

You don’t bump into a lot of cute, compatible people in the middle of nowhere. Bringing The Country Together

Fifty 9

It’s for this reason they invented the Internet.

Bringing The Country Together

Love at first sight presupposes, you know, sight. So if you can’t see him out there, you can find him on here.

In the country, good prospects are few and far between. And we do mean very far between.

Bringing The Country Together

Bringing The Country Together

When you live in the country, it’s hard to find a lady of your own species who isn’t your mother. That is, until now.

For Out-of-Home, we created barn ads and a corn maze that spells out a message when seen from above.

Farmers only

COPYWRITER: Jeff Dunn, ART DIRECTOR: Jessie Kemmerling


The fastest roadside assistance, so you'll never have to go into survival mode.

AAA CAR BUTTON Currently when you're in an emergency and need to contact AAA, you have to find your membership card and the toll-free number on it, sit through a long list of menu options, and wait to be connected to someone—all while you might be in an unsafe location. For an extra fee, AAA will instead offer an OnStar-like system for any member's car. When the member pushes the emergency button, they are automatically connected to a AAA representative who can already see their car's attached membership ID and GPS location.

AAA Sixty 1

COPYWRITER: Jessica New, ART DIRECTOR: Josh Gherghel

Hello COPYWRITER: Will Bareford ART DIRECTOR: Jessica Sugerman ART DIRECTOR: Alex McClelland STRATEGIST: Ekta Shah CREATIVE BRAND MANAGER: Caitlin Murphy EXPERIENCE DESIGNER: Kelly Padget THE BRAND Hello Products is a design-focused brand with a friendly personality. Their current offerings consist of oral care products: toothpaste, breath spray and mouth wash, all made with natural ingredients, in packaging sleek enough to display on your counter. THE BRIEF Extend Hello Products into another product category where they could be successful utilizing their current brand ethos. WHERE TO TAKE HELLO PRODUCTS NEXT? We saw opportunity in the intimacy aisle.

Sex is being oversold, over-hyped and highfived to the point that no brand can be trusted.

OUR ULTIMATE GOAL Eliminate awkward from the intimacy aisle by designing a more approachable, more empowering sexual wellness brand.

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Sixty 3

Photo by Alex McClelland, AD 2017


experience designer

To me, creativity is going to be everywhere in people’s lives. It will be incorporated into the tiniest moment seamlessly for creating a more delightful life experience to all. Eventually every industry will embrace creativity. Creativity brings innovation and evolution. Health, education, and government services are still very conservative in the context of a fast - changing world. Essential to society, these industries should stay relevant and agile in order to provide the best service. Creativity possesses the power to achieve this goal. I think the boundaries between different creative tracks will become more vague. Eventually, creative people will have multiple skill sets, and they can play different roles, such as communicators, problem solvers, etc. More importantly, creative people are innovative pioneers. Their revolutionary thinking will influence people’s perspective deeply and finally shape the landscape of the world. Rei Inamoto is a multi-disciplinary creative person with a calm and thorough mind. He’s always exploring new creative elements and how ways we smartly use them to solve greater problems. Learn from the past, respect the present, and imagine the future. I think this is how great creative minds work. Brandcenter is a creative force. Living in this force for two years is painful and joyful at the same time. By running into many challenges time after time, I’ve become a stronger person. The Brandcenter experience encourages me to mold the future with a humble heart and an ambitious mind.

Sixty 4

Viceland Sixty 5



COPYWRITER: Kaitlin DeMayo,ART DIRECTOR: Majic Aubert Sixty 6

Sixty 7


COPYWRITER: Kevin David, ART DIRECTOR: Beth Hughes

facebook horizon

Reconnecting a generation to the world PROBLEM The number of nursing homes equipped with wi-fi services is increasing at a high rate. While many residents would love to have smart phones, tablets and computers, they simply cannot afford them. The average guest has roughly $30 to their name every month, and most would rather spend that money on things like birthday presents for grandchildren than save the money for themselves.


WHAT IS IT? Facebook Horizon is a Plug & Play TV Interface designed to create a guided social network experience for seniors, at the lowest possible cost.

OPPORTUNITY About 90% of all nursing home residents have a television which opens up a unique opportunity to build from there. SOLUTION Facebook Horizon, a tool designed to help reconnect nursing home residents to the world. Horizon has core Facebook features, such as news feed browsing, photo sharing, and video calling; this creates a life-changing experience for nursing home residents who will now have access to their friends and family at the touch of a button.

The 9 square buttons on the remote will allow the user to interact with the corresponding panel on the grid interface. Users will be able to save photos & videos from their news feed to their device. This will allow the user to easily collect and share the content that means the most to them.


HDMI Plug-in


Camera Facebook Horizon distills down to its core features and adapts the platform into a simple senior-friendly TV interface.

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Sixty 9




uniqlo COPYWRITERS: Kaitlin DeMayo, James Gross ART DIRECTORS: Ken Tsuchiya, Jason Goldberg STRATEGIST: Eric Anderson CREATIVE BRAND MANAGER: Troy Gary EXPERIENCE DESIGNER: Mason Brown

Rei Inamoto, Founding Partner of Inamoto & Co., approached four Brandcenter teams and gave them a brief: reinvent retail.

CHALLENGE/ASK When it comes to the retail experience, traditional brick and mortar retail is struggling to adapt to the changing digital landscape. Find a way to reinvent retail for Uniqlo to thrive in this new landscape.

OPPORTUNITY Take clothing from an occasional interaction to a ritualized purchase. Change the way people interact with Uniqlo by expanding their presence and creating a new digital foundation.

PROBLEM Over sixty percent of our closets go unworn. How can we sell people more clothing without adding to the mass of clothes that hang in closets with the tags still on.

STRATEGY Create a new business model centered around accessibility and function.

FINDING People are looking for more accessible, curated experiences, but the current closet model cannot provide this.

INTRODUCTION Introducing the Uniqlo Everywear Platform. A system that allows users to rent, use, and buy clothing on their terms.

The Uniqlo EveryWear platform is built off three pillars.




WHAT DOES EVERYWEAR DO? IT ALLOWS USERS TO KEEP A DIGITAL CLOSET. The digital closet feature compiles all Uniqlo purchases into an easy to scroll through app. It also suggests new clothing and combinations based on your purchase history.

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IT LETS YOU GET CLOTHES WHENEVER YOU NEED THEM. Whether you’ve spilled coffee on your shirt or need a blazer for an evening, EveryWear gives you the ability to rent or buy clothes at a moment’s notice. All you have to do is find the nearest EveryWear vending machine or Uniqlo retail store.

IT LETS YOU FLY WITHOUT A BAG. Using the EveryWear app you can pick up and drop off clothes at the airport to avoid packing a bag. Just enter the airport and duration of the trip and type of occasion. EveryWear will suggest clothes based on that criteria and the forecasted weather. Lockers located at major airports for users to pick-up/drop-off their items.

IT LETS YOU SAVE CLOSET SPACE AND AVOID LAUNDRY. An EveryWear subscription allows you to rent or buy clothes on a weekly or monthly basis, and can be delivered through Uniqlo’s courier service directly to your work or home. DELIVERY BIKES send out subscription items to users.

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Photo by Alex McClelland, AD 2017


art director

I believe creativity needs to be channeled into product innovation. We are living in a time where technology makes productivity higher but makes people lazier. We need to be using our top creative minds to make products that change the world. Innovations in the medical field, products to prevent environmental destruction and things to help better the human race. In the end, ads are just ads. Everything is changing; technology, the way we communicate. Being a creative person, I not only have to have the skills to adjust to change, I must also see where the change is needed. Cindy Gallop once said, “You’ll never own the future if you care what other people think.” I admire Cindy because of the way she identifies the need for change, and acts on it. Everyone has the ability to sit around and talk about the problems of the world, but Cindy is vocal, strong and takes action regardless of others opinions or the backlash that might follow. My track is technically Art Direction, but I consider myself a creative. The Brandcenter prepares you to be “T-Shaped” instead of having a narrow focus in one skill. I am leaving here confident that I can adapt to any role I am given or any change within the industry. I am excited for the next step because I am leaving the Brandcenter with all of this momentum, ready to go full force into the industry. The biggest worry is the uncertainty. I have always planned out my life 10 steps ahead, but for the first time I am unsure. Being this vulnerable is exhilarating, and I know with the Brandcenter under my belt, I can confidently handle any adversity that faces me.

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EXPERIENCE DESIGNERS: Kelly Padgett, Hunter Noxon, Shawn Hurley, Dan Cotting



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SaddleBack Leather Seventy 9

COPYWRITER: Matt Waronker, ART DIRECTOR: Maria Kouninski



Keeping a classic skateboarding magazine brand relevant in the digital world. CHALLENGE Thrasher Magazine, a leader in covering the skateboarding scene has made little effort outside of its website to grow its brand in the digital world. Magazine subscriptions, its main source of income outside of ad space, has been on the decline for the past fifteen years. SOLUTION Create a cross-platform digital service to enhance the skateboarding experience. This service would serve as the ultimate tool for everything skateboarding. The service would allow the Thrasher brand to create a connection with skateboarders like never before. FEATURES • Read the latest skateboarding news. • Plan skateboarding trips with friends. • Watch huge library of skate videos. • Participate in spot trick challenges. • Discover new places to skateboard. • Browse user uploaded skate content.

LOCATION BASED INTERACTIONS Skateboarders will be able to discover and interact with skate spots based on their location. This will allow the Thrasher brand to host remote events at spots across the globe.

Designing with “cards” allows the platform to be easily adapted to any interface.


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mud gloves gauntlet COPYWRITER: Elizabeth Bassett, ART DIRECTOR: Andrew Jones

mophie Eighty 1

COPYWRITER: Lizzy Hopkinson, ART DIRECTOR: Chris Lumain

COPYWRITER: Kelly Cabaniss, ART DIRECTOR: Ken Tsuchiya

Find their place at space camp.

Find their place at space camp.

space camp Find their place at space camp.


THE TASK - PRODUCT DESIGN Design a toaster for Dwell that expands the brand into an uncharted category. THE CONTEXT Dwell is a contemporary architecture and furniture publication known for its post-modern aesthetic. Simply designed, artfully innovated.

The Dwell toaster uses ceramic heating technology (commonly used in hair dryers) for a quicker and more even cook. A ceramic warming plate keeps finished toast 'toasty' while additional slices are prepared. An intuitive, all-in-one dial lowers the toast and helps users visualize cooking time.

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Utah COPYWRITER: Jeff Dunn ART DIRECTOR: Jake Broglio

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wite-out COPYWRITER: Matt Neylon ART DIRECTOR: Josh Gherghel


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ALLY+1 COPYWRITER: Jessica New, ART DIRECTOR: Abby Walter ART DIRECTOR: Samantha Jolley, ART DIRECTOR: Steph Langan

PROBLEM/CHALLENGE The United States doesn’t have mandatory paid parental leave. APPROACH Create the Ally+1 savings tool for Ally Bank to help future parents take control of their parental leave. SOLUTION Not only did we create a tool that helps parents calculate how much to save for their parental leave goals—we also became an official brand ally for parents during a difficult time. By bringing awareness and a solution, we hope to positively contribute to the conversation today around parental leave.

After answering a series of questions, future parents will get a tailored savings plan for their parental leave.

Future parents are also given the option to open an Ally+1 credit card, with rewards for purchases that go toward their child’s needs. We understand that it’s not just financial woes that keep people from taking parental leave. The Ally+1 Slack extension allows parents to stay in the loop at work, even when they’re spending time at home.

A customizable Chrome extension helps savers check their progress and count down to the day their child arrives.

As a more personal form of communication, Ally Bank will send greeting cards at different milestones throughout the savings process.

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Eighty 7

Photo by Alex McClelland, AD 2017



It’s my dream that one day creatives won’t be held back by business or quotas or schedules or money or whatever. Because when that happens, originality will flourish. When the safe somehow becomes lucrative, you see it all over the place. Everything is the same, or a sequel to the same thing, or a reboot of the same thing. I’m tired of the same movies, the same games, the same commercials, same everything. If I only do one thing worthwhile it’ll be just to make people go “Well that’s something I’ve never seen before.” Next time you think creatives are worthless, think about how hyped you are for Star Wars 34: Return of the Jawas. Macho Man Randy Savage knew that as long as Hulk Hogan was around he would always be in his shadow. So he did something about it. He wasn’t as tall as Hogan but he was larger than life, his persona was infectious and his ring work was astonishing. And I’ll always like him more. There will always be Hogans in our lives towering over us, trying to hog the spotlight, but that doesn’t mean we can’t outshine them. The Brandcenter taught me to fail a whole lot. I’m still failing, but I’m pretty good at it now. Someday a lucky person will pay me to fail for them. Then when I’m old I’ll be good at what I do but too tired and disinterested to do anything. That’s the dream. All I know is that I’ve learned a lot and worked hard to get where I am; now I’m ready to drink the blood of my kill.

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Canned peaches were already cheap. Somehow these were even cheaper. Was it the expiration date? Maybe. That just meant she’d have to eat  them faster.

big lots! COPYWRITER: Kaitlin DeMayo ART DIRECTOR: Héctor Rivas

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Hobie Catamaran COPYWRITER: Lizzy Hopkinson ART DIRECTOR: Alex McClelland Ninety

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COPYWRITER: Jenny Yoon, ART DIRECTOR: Maria Kouninski Ninety 2

converse EXPERIENCE DESIGNER: Shawn Hurley

BACKGROUND Converse shoes are as much a part of American music culture as leather jackets and sewn on patches. Converse fully backs this association through their Rubber Tracks program. Rubber Tracks is the music branch of Converse. They take unknown and unsigned bands, help them make a record, put it out, and play a concert. PROBLEM Rubber Tracks (the Converse music brand) and Converse (the apparel brand) are treated as separate entities, but the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. SOLUTION A physical and digital interactive experience to help bridge the gap between Converse and Rubber Tracks.

PHYSICAL STORE Converse stores will be outfitted with drum machine shoe boxes. These interactive shoe boxes will look just like a Converse shoe box but be branded with the Converse Rubber Tracks logo. When a customer touches the box, it will play a sample.

DIGITAL STORE The Converse web store will also be modified with a built in music player. While a customer is shopping, they will be asked if they would like to listen to a Converse music artist while they browse. If they opt in, an unobtrusive music player will pop up in the bottom right corner. With these executions, converse will expose their musical roots, drive more converse fans to rubber tracks, and sell more shoes to music fans.

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WHAT IT IS / HOW IT WORKS Using the Bare Conductive touch board, samples loaded on an SD card, some conductive paint, an old speaker, and a cardboard box, I created a shoe box drum machine! As an in-store display, this would allow customers to have a bit of fun while making a song and start to show them that Converse is more than an apparel brand. Near the display will be fliers and pamphlets that give a little background on Rubber Tracks as well as a download link for the most recent Converse artists.


Orb of Power

The orb could only be wielded by a wizard who understood its properties. The slightest error would send it rolling back into the Sands of Doom. Before him a hill giant loomed in his path. Phil was no ordinary practitioner of magic, however. With one swift chip shot he was able to hole out for birdie at the 16th.


2006 AD Phil Mickelson Memorial Tournament The legend of golf continues...

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Powering your home with solar panels saves over 5,000lbs of coal from being burned every year. TURN EVERYDAY TASKS INTO HEROIC ACTS

Powering your home with solar panels reduces your reliance on the grid and saves thousands of dollars annually. TURN EVERYDAY TASKS INTO HEROIC ACTS

solar city Ninety 5

COPYWRITER: Will Bareford, ART DIRECTOR: Jason Goldberg

Black Insomnia COPYWRITER: Jeff B. Tune ART DIRECTOR: Jessica Sugerman

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funyuns Ninety 7

COPYWRITER: Matt Klugman, ART DIRECTOR: Steph Langan

X-ACTO STYLUS As a playful nod to the world of digital art, X-Acto creates a limited run of the X-Acto Stylus, compatible with Photoshop, Illustrator, Paper 53, ProCreate and more. It not only serves as a conversation piece among digital artists, but it also reminds them of the world of paper craft.


COPYWRITER: Dennis Chen, ART DIRECTOR: Jessica Sugerman Ninety 8

Ninety 9

Photo by Alex McClelland, AD 2017


Creative brand manager

It is impossible to know what is next. Creativity is very fickle that way. But I do know that creativity always finds a way. The next industry to embrace creativity is retail. The classic brick and mortar retail experience is no longer enough for a consumer. Classic brands will have to be creative in the way they adapt in order to compete with internet based companies where brick and mortar is not necessary to sustain their brand. I don’t have one creative person that I admire but rather admire many creative people for different skills they have. The thing that makes creative people interesting is that everyone is truly different, so everyone copes with what is next differently. The best way I know how to prepare for “what’s next” is to surround myself with people that are smarter, more creative, and down right just better than I am to learn everything I can from them. If you can constantly be learning you will never be caught off guard by something new, because you are so used to new. Brandcenter is like having someone clean out your attic and find a really incredible tea set worth an absurd amount of money on Antique Road Show. If not for the Brandcenter experience, I would have never seen that antique tea set as anything other than just something I have; but Brandcenter showed me what it was worth – what I was worth. Creativity doesn’t change, but what we create with it and how we access it are constantly changing. With that in mind, hopefully the future of creativity means I get to do more work from the beach.

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The Jiffy app makes your experience faster, better, and less intimidating.

jiffy lube COPYWRITER: Rich Whelchel ART DIRECTOR: Steph Langan

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Not only can you track the progress of the entire 17-point oil change while you wait, but you can also make instant decisions on additional replacement costs without the pressure of a sales associate trying to up-sell you. When you’re done, you can pay directly from your phone, allowing you to get in and get out as quickly as possible.

soft lips for harsh conditions.

soft lips for harsh conditions.

soft lips for harsh conditions.

soft lips for harsh conditions.



COPYWRITER: Dean Weber, ART DIRECTOR: John Worthington

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The woods of 45 째 31 '5 7.3 " N , 123 째 3 9 ' 3 5 .6" W



2 7 째 5 5 '25 .5 " S , 6 8 째4 8 '17. 4 " W heig ht s



Hilleberg tents 1 Hundred 3

COPYWRITER: Dean Weber, ART DIRECTOR: John Worthington

Disney’s The Watering Hole ART DIRECTORS: Jake Broglio, Josh Gherghel, Holly Younce COPYWRITER: Dennis Chen Semifinalist in the Walt Disney Imagineering 2017 Imaginations Competition CHALLENGE Apply Imagineering design principles to create a new outdoor space within VCU that addresses current student, faculty and visitor needs while providing a respite from the stresses of college life. INSIGHT Everyone relaxes differently. SOLUTION Introducing The Watering Hole, a destination where visitors can refill their water canteens and participate in a little rest and recreation. And because people are just as diverse as the animal kingdom, that means everyone relieves stress in their own way. After rehydrating, visitors can choose to explore three separate biospheres, each a unique experience, but all with the same goal: to help you relax. THE JUNGLE THE ARCTIC



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Goldtoe COPYWRITER: Mike Cardamone ART DIRECTOR: Jessica Sugerman

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weeki wachee springs

COPYWRITER: Elizabeth Bassett, ART DIRECTOR: Liwen Xu

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Mouth guards required.


We c a n ’ t wa ste g a m e time looking for missing teeth.

A grass field just means plenty of dirt


We ’ re n ot a s co n ce r n e d about winning.

We ’ re m o re fo c u s e d on survival.


USA rugby 1 Hundred 7

COPYWRITER: Matt Waronker, ART DIRECTOR: John Worthington

to rub on our wounds.

La sportiva

COPYWRITER: Conor McFarland, ART DIRECTOR: Liwen Xu 1 Hundred 8


SITUATION Tetra is the long-standing market leader in the fish product category. However, the brand is stale. To increase sales for Tetra, we realized we need to go beyond selling fish products. Rather, we need to get more people interested in the hobby of fish keeping.


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APPROACH Owning a cat or dog is about companionship, whereas fish keeping is more of a hobby. We took a deep look into why fish keepers pour so much time and energy into their tanks. INSIGHT Fish keepers meticulously craft every detail of their tanks, combining an artistic eye with a scientific touch. Creating and maintaining a home for their fish gives them a sense of total control. Ultimately, fish keeping makes them feel like gods of their own tiny universes. STRATEGY Design as you desire. CONCEPT The Aquaverse is yours.

REBRANDING It’s not easy to change the branding of a company that has been the category leader for more than 60 years. However, Tetra was due for an update. To make sure we didn’t lose the brand equity, we kept its wavy features and a similar color palette. The new logo gives the brand a simple and modern look and feel.





To prevent smelly hands and stale flakes, we invented fish food dispensers that function like pepper grinders.

PACKAGING To combat the clutter of the fish food aisle, we redesigned the packaging, giving Tetra a distinguishable new look.

Manuever the sub with this controller. HOW DOES IT WORK? The camera on the front projects an image back to a VR device or to a computer screen. The remote control allows users to guide it through their Aquaverse.

VIRTUAL REALITY After creating an Aquaverse, fish keepers will have the opportunity to explore it from inside the tank. We invented TetraSwim, a miniature submarine that allows people to “swim” with their fish.

MICROSITE Our website redesign allows people to virtually create an Aquaverse. After selecting a tank and fish, they can experiment with building an Aquaverse before purchasing the pieces. After getting creative on the microsite, people can share their virtual Aquaverses to social media.

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Photo by Alex McClelland, AD 2017



I don’t know if we have enough control over creativity to predict what it will do next, but I’m in the business so I can have a front row seat to watch it take the world by storm. Politics needs to embrace creativity. The sooner everyone gets on board with creativity outside of creative industries, the sooner we can start solving problems bigger than brand problems. Creativity will always surprise us. The element of surprise is what makes creativity so engaging. If we could figure it out easily or get ahead of it quickly, our jobs wouldn’t be half as fun. Creative people will fight against things that stifle their creativity. Too often people say they’ve lost the spark or are struggling to get inspired, but in the future they will need to do something about it. Creativity is the oxygen that our industry needs to survive, and it is up to creative people to stand up for it. I admire stand up comedians like Mike Birbiglia. They take creativity into the future by getting to the heart of human truth and prioritizing what people really feel about a subject above all else. Brandcenter has made me fearless. We jump in, head first, every day here. Sometimes you stick the landing and sometimes you belly flop, but the attitude allows us to relentlessly pursue what is next without the fear of failing holding us back. I am constantly thinking about how I can think differently to keep up with creativity’s supersonic speed. How can I approach the same information in a new way and generate better ideas, faster?

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COPYWRITER: Kaitlin DeMayo, ART DIRECTOR: Alex McClelland


COPYWRITER: Will Bareford, ART DIRECTOR: Maria Kouninski, STRATEGIST: Divya Ganesan

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1 Ten 5

COPYWRITER: Jenny Yoon, ART DIRECTOR: Gianna D’Amico


COPYWRITER: Matt Klugman, ART DIRECTOR: Elliot Eliash

Attachable Bluetooth Tracker

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Attachable Bluetooth Tracker

Attachable Bluetooth Tracker

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feminist fight club

EXPERIENCE DESIGNER: Kelly Padgett, Keilani Mansfield

THE BOOK Part manual, part manifesto, Feminist Fight Club provides practical, no-bullsh*t advice for how to combat today’s sexism. THE PROBLEM While an inspirational read, the FFC book was missing entry into an official membership. People who wanted to join the movement didn’t know how. We asked - how could we maintain the aesthetics and messaging of the FFC, while transforming 294 pages into a manifesto for feminists to create action around a global movement? THE SOLUTION We set out to build a campaign that would expand on every experience, from how a book could communicate to more than just one person at a time through a post card, to elevating the web experience with communication platforms and merchandise. Subsequently, we gave members the information and tools they needed to take initiative and get involved. And through these initiatives the #SLAYSEXISM campaign was born. THE #SLAYSEXISM CAMPAIGN #SLAYSEXISM continues the conversation by branding FFC as a tribal community. The campaign has three main sections that feminist followers will experience in sequence: 1. The Postcard 2. The Digital 3. The E-commerce


THE POSTCARD Multi-use postcards will be inserted into FFC books to encourages readers to join, and invite others to, a larger channel of communication.

Query codes direct users to FFC website Prepaid stamps

Peel-away address stickers for multiple recipients #SLAYSEXISM

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Personal message of #SLAYSEXISM campaign with call to action

THE DIGITAL Reorganization and simplification of the information architecture helped provide clarity and intuitive navigation. Other pages were added including ‘Join’ and ‘Start’ to strengthen the physical presence of the club and entice engagement.


THE E-COMMERCE Half the fun about being part of a club is getting to rock the cool merch! Members can show their #SLAYSEXISM pride with t-shirts, mugs, posters, stickers and more.


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REFUSE TO CLEAN THE TOILET AND STILL HAVE A GIRLFRIEND. You can’t fight about cleaning something that rarely gets dirty, which is why Toto developed toilets with a super smooth ceramic glaze - preventing dirt from sticking to its surface. So clean less often, without turning people off.

Toilets that think about you.

JANUARY MAKES YOU WISH FOR SMALLER THIGHS. Toilet seats in winter months are torture to bare thighs, which is why Toto offers toilets with heated seats. So you can start liking January again.

Toilets that think about you.

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THE ENTIRE FAMILY KNOWS WHEN YOU PEE. They wish they didn’t. Drop the lid on a regular toilet and it thunders throughout the house, which is why Toto developed SoftClose lids that don’t startle anyone at 4 AM.

Toilets that think about you.


COPYWRITER: Conor McFarland, ART DIRECTOR: Josh Gherghel, STRATEGIST: Stuart Good

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country fried steak and had to put checkers on the front porch


welcome to the

country, y’all

Cracker barrel

welcome to the

country, y’all

COPYWRITER: Matt Neylon, ART DIRECTOR: Jasmine McCrae

welcome to the

country, y’all

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Hot, and off.

DA D DY W I L L N E V E R B R E A K YO U R H E A RT. He might clog it, but he’ll never break it.

Let Daddy fry it.




Fry daddy COPYWRITER: Matt Neylon ART DIRECTOR: Gianna D’Amico

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When I was a boy, my father would read to me. Every night before bed, he would scan his tall, red-stained, bookshelf, slowly flutter his hand down the wood grain, and tap his beefy fingers on a title. I would wait anxiously, hypnotized by anticipation and excitement. And then he’d say what he always said. “We have a winner.” With calloused hands, he’d lift me onto his knee, clear his throat, and begin with his nasally, gruff voice. “Once upon a time…” The traditional trigger of our nightly adventures. My father is no longer here. Nor the towering bookshelf. But still, every night, I peruse my collection. And when my finger lands on a title, I can’t help but mutter those words. “We have a winner.”

It’s true. There’s something peculiar about holding a book in your hands. The culmination of bubbling thoughts that have prodigiously bled from human hand onto the blank page. Again, and again. And a noble messenger of art, science, or history enters the world. The whimsical idea that you are actually holding an author’s heart and soul. A special connection. One strong enough to bond readers and writers, regardless of their generation. We are lucky, to say the least. For a story to be simple, yet complex enough to be subject for debate. We breathe in each word, like air. And we can’t get enough. So if there’s something special about holding a book in your hands, imagine holding thousands.

Read more.

Read more.

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amazon kindle

COPYWRITER: Matt Klugman, ART DIRECTOR: Liwen Xu 1 Twenty 2

1 Twenty 3

Photo by Alex McClelland, AD 2017


experience designer

Creative thought itself isn’t likely to change anytime soon. However, the types of problems that we solve with creativity will be products of the evolving area that we live in. New technology leads to new consumer behavior, which in turn, leads to the need for new creative solutions. Great creative thought will have to be multi-modal and cross-disciplinary. Banking and finance need to embrace creativity. There are few things that make people more upset than when something bad happens to their money. If banks continue to provide “bank-first” customer experiences, they’re going to lose in the war to protect their image. It’s a business model that’s ripe for disruption. The company that can creatively shift how it does business will be poised to dominate the marketplace. Immersive and interactive media are the future. 360° video and virtual reality are beginning to provide us with new ways of telling stories and changing the perception of what’s possible for brands. Consumer/brand interactions are going to be increasingly seamless as we implement handsfree interaction such as AI and voice. The key is to remember creativity is broader than any medium or technology; it’s about creatively expanding the capabilities of the medium or technology. I admire Elon Musk. This might seem like a cop-out, but right now, he’s the best combination of a creative problem solver who understands how creative innovation can serve commercial needs AND the needs of the greater good. So many schools teach you how to “do,” but the Brandcenter truly teaches you how to think. I know it sounds like a cliché, but in this case, it’s true.

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INSIGHT The wage gap is a very real problem in America, as women are paid $0.80 for every $1 men earn. Women are forced to work under unfair conditions. They are paid less for doing the same amount of work.

IDEA Show that Hasbro is against the gender wage gap and advocates for equal pay for all employees by creating a new edition of Scrabble. This edition has double sided tiles; one side is the original tile, and the new side for women to use is pink. The original side has the normal letters and point values, but the pink side has letters with point values adjusted to reflect the gender wage gap. For every 1 point the original tile is worth, the pink side of the tile is worth 0.8 of a point.

scrabble wage gap edition COPYWRITER: Kelly Cabaniss ART DIRECTOR: Jansen Yoder 1 Twenty 5

kamaka ukulele

COPYWRITER: Elizabeth Bassett, ART DIRECTOR: Jansen Yoder

1 Twenty 6

UP WITH THE SUN ALARM APP If you’re the kind of person who is ready to attack the day as soon as the sun is up, you don’t need a specific alarm—this alarm app has one alarm setting, and that’s sunrise. If you do hit snooze, the sun will begin to move across the screen letting you know immediately that you’re wasting precious daylight.

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NIGHT SHIFT BILLBOARD When you’re going all in, you don’t concern yourself with things like the setting sun. This billboard reflects that sense of outdoor dedication when transitioning from day to night. A light on the bike comes on at night, illuminating the copy.

bull frog

COPYWRITER: Chris Kessler, ART DIRECTOR: Steph Langan, STRATEGIST: Robin Greenbaum

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Photo by Alex McClelland, AD 2017



The next thing in creativity is the development of new and improved mediums that will continue to extend the reach of creativity. Forward - minded thinkers are applying old concepts in new ways so that we can live in a more progressive world. The country’s education system is generally damaged and needs a dose of creativity. Education is vital to advancement for every industry and consequently the standard of living everywhere. Future creative work will surely have elevated elements of things we’ve seen in the past. Learning more about yourself and drawing on personal experiences sticks with you, and when that gets layered with inspiration, it opens opportunities for something original. It’s all in positioning. Pharrell Williams is my idol. He never aimed or claimed to be a triple threat, he just is. He doesn’t excessively brag about his work, it’s strong enough to speak for itself, yet he’s incredibly humble about the end result and always shares his process. Advertising is a lively business that speaks to people of all walks of life, but diversity in ad staff doesn’t necessarily reflect that - hoping that strong candidates of all ages and backgrounds continue to apply and flourish in the industry. I’m ready to jump back into real life, but also some kind of strange parallel universe that you don’t realize you’re in until you leave the school for summer/winter break. Feeling a little anxious, a lot of excitement, and completely ready to apply what I’ve learned here. And God, so ready to get more than five hours of sleep.

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Who needs 21 gears? The best part of biking is coasting. You’ll know you’re going too slow when you stop.


The Schwinn Cruiser Classic only has one speed: the speed you’re pedaling.

The Schwinn Cruiser Classic doesn’t have a speedometer. However fast you’re going is probably fast enough.

Aerodynamic is just a fancy word for no wind in your hair.

schwinn COPYWRITER: Maddy Baldwin ART DIRECTOR: Raiven Delisle

THE SPEED OF LEISURE The Schwinn Cruiser Classic wasn’t designed for speed. It was designed for the ride.

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As the bombs fell, only one thing was on everybody ’s mind: ll the i w n e h w eady? r e b i k a ken teriy




From our bunker to yours

CRossbow, fifty gallons of diesel fuel, roll of tp, and a human scalp. it’s crazy the things a vegetarian will trade for the last black bean burger on earth.

The city had become a wasteland devoid of all life and sustenance. We had only two options for survival, cannibalism or Fettuccine Alfredo.



From our bunker to yours



From our bunker to yours

Augason farms

COPYWRITER: Tom Daley, ART DIRECTOR: Frank Garguilo

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CURB NO METERS. NO RECEIPTS. App connected digital parking device allows users to remotely control meter parking with the tap of a button. Think EZ-Pass for parking.

Search parking regulations

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Skip parking dilemmas

Monitor and update account with direct city payments.

A podcast series exploring cultural trends presented by the Strategy track

Podcast Episodes: Astrology: An Ancient Algorithm in a Modern World Stuart Good Emy Theodorakis

Is Pop Music Still Popular? Mishaal Abbasi Katherine Gannon

Twitch: The Anatomy of a Stream Eric Anderson Melanie Thompson

Craft Beer Boom or Bursting? Bobby Johnston Andrew Vessels

Fake News: The Classroom Impact

Retail: Novelty is the New Loyalty

Sports: Fandom of Chronic Losers

Is Technology Changing Love?

Caitlin Blumer Lauren Tresco

Eric Enninful Christin Johnson

Divya Ganesan Robin Greenbaum

Ekta Shah

Undercurrents of the Whisky River

Nick Spinner

Tune in on the VCU Brandcenter website 1 Thirty 6

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fenske fenske o n

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leave an indelible image. And if you’re starting out in any creative line of work, learn to embrace it. Stop being active, and try being passive. Sit back quietly back and absorb the moment more often. After all, no one ever learned anything while speaking. Observation is an obvious tool in photography. Some assume that it’s a gift. But we can all get better at it. What it takes is the willingness to observe from different distances and perspectives until something original presents itself. As much as the eyes can soak in, the ears have the same power. We have all vicariously heard expressions or stories at a restaurant, on a train, or in line for a movie that you could never write on your own. Observation will also make you more emotionally intelligent. If you’re listening and absorbing the body language of every person in the room, you can more easily drive the conversation to a desired outcome. Comedy has been about observation for as long as there have been jokes. Comedians make us laugh because their powers of observation are often many steps ahead of the rest of us. Science has even proven that funny people are measurably more intelligent.

CREATIVE DIRECTOR, Venables Bell & Partners, Class of 1998

It is rare that anything great in this world is introduced - a bridge, a piece of art, a business - without someone observing a need or an opportunity for it. When you embrace observation, you can see not only what is present, but what is not present. This is where the most creative people shine. Powers of observation are deeply embedded in their DNA. The mind is like a pinhole camera. If given enough time to soak in the environment around us, it can give you clarity and 1 Thirty 9

There is quite literally nothing we cannot solve by observing it. We need to look no further than the sky above us. Ancient civilizations learned about the mechanizations of the entire universe by simply staring at the sky. Ptolemy discovered that the earth revolves around the sun a full 15 centuries before Copernicus confirmed it. Observation not only offers us solutions to problems, it actually makes us better people. It can make us smarter, funnier, and more emotionally aware. By focusing on everything but yourself, you can also actually learn a lot about yourself. Like the pinhole camera, what you record is an impression of who you are.

alumni summit

To celebrate the Brandcenter’s 20th Anniversary, we held our first Alumni Summit. All speakers and attendees were Brandcenter alums from varying years and tracks. 100+ alums descended on RVA for 2 days of professional development, thought leadership and networking. Several new initiatives born from this event are being developed now. All further proof of what we’ve known all along... Our alumni network is a very special (and powerful) thing!

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Annual 1st years vs. 2nd years kickball game

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student talent show 1 Forty 2

Majic Aubert, Tony Avila, Jake Broglio, Gianna D’Amico, Raiven Delisle, Elliot Eliash, Frank Garguilo, Josh Gherghel, Jason Goldberg, Beth Hughes, Samantha Jolley, Andrew Jones, Jessie Kemmerling, Maria Kouninski, Steph Langan, Chris Lumain, Alex McClelland, Jasmine McCrae, Héctor Rivas, Wesley Ruff, Jessica Sugerman, Ken Tsuchiya, Abby Walter, John Worthington, Liwen Xu, Jansen Yoder, Holly Younce,

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COPYwriting Maddy Baldwin, Will Bareford, Elizabeth Bassett, Kelly Cabaniss, Mike Cardamone, Samuel Case, Dennis Chen, Tom Daley, Kevin David, Kaitlin DeMayo, Jeff Dunn, Caroline Gallalee, James Gross, Lizzy Hopkinson, Chris Kessler, Matt Klugman, Conor McFarland, Jessica New, Matt Neylon, Tim Shumar, Jeff B. Tune, Matthew Waronker, Dean Weber, Rich Whelchel, Jenny Yoon,

CLASS of 2017

Art direction

Student index

Strategy Mishaal Abbasi, Eric Anderson, Caitlin Blumer, Eric Enninful, Divya Ganesan, Katherine Gannon, Stuart Good, Robin Greenbaum, Christin M. Johnson, Bobby Johnston, Ekta Shah, Nick Spinner, Emy Theodorakis, Melanie Thompson, Lauren Tresco, Andrew Vessels,

Experience design Mason Brown, Dan Cotting, Katie Cullinan, Xia Du, Dheeraj Govindraju, Grace Higginbotham, Stanley Hines, Shawn Hurley, Margaret Karles, Keilani Mansfield, Hunter Noxon, Shako Oteka, Kelly Lockwood Padgett, Alex Rice, Tasha Sligh, Limah Taeb, Andrea Vega, Yanci Wu,

Creative brand management Michelle Barnes, Surabhi Batra, Bryn Bissey, Rian Chandler-Dovis, Troy Gary, Marissa Hardison, Colleen Hiegel, Kate Lane,

Connor Miranda, Jen Moody, Caitlin Murphy, Ben Patty, Jennifer Regan, Jerry Valencia, Lindsay Wade, George Zeigler,

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