WE’RE NO LONGER JUST SAVING BRANDS. WE’RE OUT TO SAVE THE WORLD.
SIXTY A PUBLICATION FROM
1 / BRANDCENTER MISSION
ERIPSNI EW POLEVED DNA
POLEVED DNA NOITARENEG TXEN EHT
NOITARENEG TXEN EHT PIHSREDAEL EVITAERC FO
PIHSREDAEL EVITAERC FO
,SNOITULOS DNIF OT ,SNOITULOS DNIF OT
,SDNARB WORG ,SDNARB WORG
SERUTNEV WEN GNIRB DNA .EFIL OT SERUTNEV WEN GNIRB DNA
AND DEVELOP THE NEXT GENERATION
OF CREATIVE LEADERSHIP
TO FIND SOLUTIONS,
GROW BRANDS, AND BRING NEW VENTURES
BRANDCENTER MISSION / 2
3 / TABLE OF CONTENTS
TABLE OF CONTENTS Brandcenter Mission Letter From the Director Overview + Curriculum Class of 2021 Infographic Tuition + Scholarships Giving Back Staff + Faculty Directorâ€™s Council (DC) Featured DC Member, Amber Guild Featured DC Member, Howard Jordan Jr. Alumni Info + Features
02 04 05 07 09 10 11 13 15 16 17
CURRICULUM EXAMPLES ART DIRECTION (AD) My Time at BC - Camille Walker AD Student Work
35 37 39
COPYWRITING (CW) My Time at BC - Yotam Ohayon CW Student Work
43 45 47
EXPERIENCE DESIGN (XD) My Time at BC - Pratika Appaiah XD Student Work
51 53 55
STRATEGY (ST) My Time at BC - Zavi Harman ST Student Work
59 61 63
CREATIVE BRAND MANAGEMENT (CBM) My Time at BC - Alana Loveys CBM Student Work
67 69 71
STUDENT EXPERIENCES Admissions
21 21 22 22 23 25 27 29 31 32 33
Curriculum Overview BRND-633: User Participation Platforms BRND-664: Persuasion BRND-677: The Business of Branding BRND-659: Brand Experiences BRND-630: Problem Solving for ADs BRND-651: Creative Thinking BRND-673: Experimentation BRND-648: Innovation Side Hustle BRND-622: Visual Storytelling
75 77 79 81 83 84 85 87 89 91 93 95
Life at Brandcenter Friday Forum Internships Cannes 2019 BC Sprint Overview BC Sprint Coors Light Winning Work BC Sprint Buffalo Wild Wings Winning Work Recruiter Session via Working Not Working Class of 2020 Start to Finish - Week 01/Week 60 Words from Philippe Krakowsky, COO at IPG Student Websites
WHEN YOU SEE THIS ICON, OPEN THE CAMERA WITHIN THE INSTAGRAM APP AND HOVER OVER THE PAGE FOR AN ADDED FEATURE.
THANK YOU: Hamza Ali (AD, 2021) / Pratika Appaiah (XD, 2020) / Stevenson Cerrillo (CW, 2020) / Zavi Harman (ST, 2020) / Michelle Lee (CBM, 2020) / Dani Loleng (XD, 2021) / Charleen Martin Lopes (XD, 2021) / Alana Loveys (CBM, 2020) / Yotam Ohayon (CW, 2020) / Emily Riggan (XD, 2021) / Amanda Thao (XD, 2021) / Marshal Turner (XD, 2021) / Camille Walker (AD, 2020) DESIGNER: Diana Ojibway (AD, 2002) CREATIVE DIRECTOR: KT Schaeffer (AD, 2001) EDITOR: Sarah Murphy COPY EDITORS: Rachel Ensing / Isabelle Mouton / Ashley Sommardahl (ST, 1998) / Shannon Wilke
Our work is fueled by change. With every passing day, creatives, strategists, makers, and doers are met with the same challenge: what’s next? These experts are at the helm of how society responds to a world in motion, because CULTURE, CREATIVITY, AND CONNECTIVITY WERE NEVER MEANT TO BE STAGNANT. That’s the very reason that change is in our blood at the Brandcenter. Our nonconformity demands growth and progress. As we cultivate the next wave of creative problemsolvers, we recognize the need to continually question and evolve in order to allow space for students to do the same. And yet, the Brandcenter’s ultimate challenge is not about our evolution, but the revolution we create. It’s not about a specific place or a single person, it’s about making room for the spirit of innovation and dynamic thinking. Beyond flexing their creative skills, our graduates’ footprints are seen and represented across the vast creative landscape, enacting change in business, technology, and communication, fighting anything from climate change to social injustices. A COLLECTIVE FORCE FOR GOOD. Brandcenter students don’t just learn how to navigate and lead change, they learn to create a “what’s next” that truly makes a difference. OUR EVER-CHANGING TIMES CALL FOR INNOVATION, CREATIVE THINKING, AND A COMMUNITY OF SUPPORT. Each year, a new revolutionary wave leaves the Brandcenter with these elements tucked in their back pocket. In 2020, we’re experiencing a new type of worldwide change — one that doesn’t just impact our work, but our entire existence. As society moves through this uncertainty, we’re reminded that change is where the Brandcenter finds opportunity. We rise to any challenge. We thrive in difficult situations. We unite through a world divided. At the Brandcenter, we’re no longer just saving brands. WE’RE OUT TO CHANGE THE WORLD. VANN GRAVES Executive Director
LETTER FROM THE DIRECTOR / 4
5 / OVERVIEW + CURRICULUM
The VCU Brandcenter is a TWO-YEAR, FULL-TIME master’s program for students interested in advertising/branding careers. You gain a MASTER OF SCIENCE DEGREE in business and a portfolio of creative work.
You get a degree! And you get a degree! And you get a degree! (That’s after you get in and graduate, of course).
You have options.
AREAS OF STUDY
Brandcenter students concentrate in one of the five areas of study - ART DIRECTION (AD), COPYWRITING (CW), EXPERIENCE DESIGN (XD), STRATEGY (ST), OR CREATIVE BRAND MANAGEMENT (CBM). They study within their given concentration, as well as collaborate with all tracks on team projects that culminate in presentations to their faculty, peers, and real-world clients.
What we’re feeding your brain.
CURRICULUM CROSS-COLLABORATION CLASSES SEMESTER 1: The Business of Branding (ALL CONCENTRATIONS) Creative Thinking (ALL CONCENTRATIONS) Visual Storytelling (ADs + CWs) Strategic Thinking (STs + CBMs) SEMESTER 2: Concept Development (ADs + CWs) Strategy + Design (XDs + STs) User Participation Platforms (ADs + XDs) SEMESTER 3: Brand Experiences (ALL CONCENTRATIONS) Creative Fusion (ADs, CWs, + STs) Portfolio Development (ADs + CWs) Experimentation (ADs, CWs, + XDs) SEMESTER 4: Innovation (ALL CONCENTRATIONS) Persuasion (ADs, CWs, + XDs)
CREATIVE BRAND MANAGEMENT
ELIZABETH PAUL, “KILL THE UNICORN - HOW THE MYTH OF INDIVIDUAL GENIUS DESTROYS CREATIVE (AND OUR SOULS),” JANUARY 2020, FRIDAY FORUM
- The Business of Branding - Creative Thinking - Visual Storytelling - Problem Solving for ADs
- Concept Development - Craft for ADs - User Participation Platforms
- Brand Experiences - Creative Fusion - Portfolio Development - Experimentation
- Innovation - Persuasion - Advanced Portfolio for ADs
- The Business of Branding - Creative Thinking - Visual Storytelling - Problem Solving for CWs
- Concept Development - Craft for CWs - Brand Engagement
- Brand Experiences - Creative Fusion - Portfolio Development - Experimentation
- Innovation - Persuasion - Advanced Portfolio for CWs
- The Business of Branding - Creative Thinking - Craft for XDs - Physical Computing I
- Strategy + Design - Visual Storytelling - User Participation Platforms
- Brand Experiences - Creating Gravitational Pull - Physical Computing II - Experimentation
- Innovation - Persuasion - Advanced Portfolio for XDs
- The Business of Branding - Creative Thinking - Strategic Thinking - Craft for STs
- Strategy + Design - Persuasion for STs - Comms Planning + UX - Visual Storytelling + Design
- Brand Experiences - Creative Fusion - Cultural Impact: Advanced Account Planning
- Innovation - Creating Gravitational Pull - Advanced Portfolio for STs
- The Business of Branding - Creative Thinking - Strategic Thinking - Research Methodologies
- Brand Analytics - Accounting for Comm. Professionals - Brand Design for Brand Managers - Craft for CBMs
- Brand Experiences - Persuasion for CBMs - Advanced Brand Management
- Innovation - Applied Brand Management - Advanced Portfolio for CBMs
OVERVIEW + CURRICULUM / 6
7 / CLASS OF 2021 INFOGRAPHIC
CLASS OF 2021 AREAS OF STUDY AD CW XD ST CBM
ART DIRECTION COPYWRITING EXPERIENCE DESIGN STRATEGY CREATIVE BRAND MGMT
# OF STUDENTS 23 24 22 18 16
DEMOGRAPHICS 63% FEMALE 37% MALE 41% SELF-IDENTIFIED AS PEOPLE OF COLOR
TOP MAJORS REPRESENTED ADVERTISING GRAPHIC DESIGN COMMUNICATIONS JOURNALISM PSYCHOLOGY
WHERE OUR STUDENTS ARE FROM
21 STATES + 5 COUNTRIES
STUDENTS STRAIGHT FROM UNDERGRAD
(degree received after January 1, 2019)
CLASS OF 2021 INFOGRAPHIC / 8
9 / TUITION + SCHOLARSHIPS
Tuition rates + university fees 2019/2020 Academic Year In-State: $25,863 (annual tuition + fees) Out-of-State: $26,553 (annual tuition + fees)
Unfortunately, nothing in life is free.
Scholarships Assistance is available.
In 2019, a total of 22 scholarships were awarded to Brandcenter students, ranging in amounts from $500-$17,000 $500-$17,000. Incoming students apply for scholarships during the application process and have the opportunity to apply for other awards their second year. We also share information about additional outside scholarship opportunities for our students throughout the year. Approximately 70% of our students are financing their education with federal Graduate Direct and Graduate PLUS Loans. In addition to loans and scholarships, many of our students will finance their education by working part-time through a Graduate Assistantship on campus, or taking on freelance work (we share opportunities with students throughout the year).
Partners/sponsors Our students work with national brands to help solve their marketing challenges. HERE ARE JUST A FEW OF OUR PARTNERS.
POP-UP SHOP The Brandcenter Pop-Up Shop celebrates our talented alumni and raises money for the Brandcenterâ€™s annual fund, which supports important initiatives like student scholarships, capital improvements, and new equipment to enhance the quality of education for our students.
Each year, alumni, faculty, staff, students, and friends of the Brandcenter give back to the program on a designated date. All proceeds from our Day of Giving go toward Brandcenter scholarships.
GIVING BACK / 10
ILLU STRA TION BY H AMZA ALI (AD, 2021 )
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BE NI TA
11 / STAFF + FACULTY
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Faculty BRIAN BROWN - Professor of Practice, CBM | CALEY CANTRELL - Professor, ST and CBM RIAN CHANDLER-DOVIS - Professor of Prac tice, CBM | JORD AN CHILDS - Profes PETER COUGHTER sor of Practice, CB - Professor, M Persuasion | SCOT CROOKER - Professor of Practice, Crea WAYNE GI tive BSON - P ANDREW rofessor MIK M , Creati LEVASS ANULI EUR- P ve | B K-P rofess ERWYN HU rofes o r s NG - Pro , o r of KELL XD | fessor, Pract Y Oâ€™ P A TRICE Creative KEEF ice, L E W EC I reati S - Pr Prof v o f e RICK e ssor o esso | KE f Prac PLAU r of N MAR tice, CUS TZ Prac CBM tice P r Prof o f e , s s or of esso CBM r of Pract | T ice, RENT Prac Creat PATT tice ive ERSO , Cr N e ativ Prof TOM esso e | KEV SCH r of IN D ARP A Prac N I ROT E FL tice HER RIDD , Cr Pro M I EL C eati K fes - Pr -P ve sor rof ofes ,C e sor sso rea r, of P tiv ST ract e | ice, | KT SCO CBM SCH TT AEF WIT F ER THA -P US rof -P ess rof or, ess Cre or, ati Vis ve ual Sto ryt ell ing
STAFF + FACULTY / 12
13 / DIRECTOR’S COUNCIL
The Brandcenter Director’s Council is comprised of brand leaders and visionaries from some of today’s most innovative businesses. Serving as a direct link to the business world, the Director’s Council members are committed to helping prepare students to lead the workforce of tomorrow. Their insights and support are integral to our mission, regularly spotting opportunities and recommendations for program development.
The brilliant minds championing the school.
DIRECTOR’S COUNCIL BRAD BLONDES VP, Global Brand Design - MetLife, Inc. KRISTEN CAVALLO CEO - The Martin Agency MICHAEL CHANEY President & COO - Sephina Spirits CARL DESIR Global Executive Director Diversity and Inclu sion - R/GA HERMON GHERMAY Director - Grace Blue AMBER GUILD President - T Brand / The New York Times BEN HUGHES VP Brand Design - Squarespace SLOANE HUMPHREY President - Powell Communications HOWARD JORDAN JR. (CW, 1999) TV Writer / Producer - CBS, Netflix + BET DARYL LEE Global CEO - IPG Mediabrands VAL MIDDLETON Head of Marketing, Brand Curry - Under Armou r PAM KIECKER ROYALL Head of Research, Enrollment Services - EAB PETER SHERMAN Executive Vice President - Omnicom Group SHERICE GUILLORY TORRES Marketing Director - Google RICH WHALEN Managing Director - Deloitte Digital KHARTOON WEISS SVP of Corp. Strategy & Business Developmen t - Equinox Media ALI WYSONG Account Executive - Waze / Google DIRECTOR’S COUNCIL / 14
Credit: Alfred Maskeroni
15 / FEATURED DC MEMBER
T BRAND’S AMBER GUILD ON GROWING UP AS AN ACTIVIST, THE PRIVILEGE OF PROTESTING—AND STUMPING FOR JESSE JACKSON shop talks about a childhood in two The president of the New York Times’ branded content ways. families trying to change the world in very different
Amber Guild is president of T Brand at the New York Times, the branded content arm of the news publication. In this episode of the “Ad Block” podcast, she talks about growing up as the child of political activists. “Before I could walk, there were protest rallies,” Guild says. She watched her father and stepmother organize events in their community in New Jersey. “I watched them go around the neighborhood to get people to sign up to vote, to take people to voting stations. Any time there was a mass march on Washington, we were there.” Guild and her little brother participated, too. “I don’t know that I thought that people didn’t go to protests or stand outside their local congressman’s house with signs,” she says. “At that time, apartheid [in South Africa] was still in effect, so we spent a lot of time in particular on anything around racial injustice.” When Jesse Jackson ran for president in 1988, Guild and her brother got to work. “We decided to make buttons and to sell them door-to-door
to raise money for his campaign,” Guild says. “They’re always misshapen and off-center. But we sold them for a $1 a button—really great margins.” They made $1,000. And when Jackson came to town, he asked them to introduce him onstage. At the same time, Guild was spending weekdays with her mother in Manhattan, in a community of color during the height of the crack epidemic. Though her mother had previously been involved in radical politics, it wasn’t her top priority at that point in her life. “When I would come home and ask her why she wasn’t more involved, she gave me a look and was like, ‘I’m a single mom and I’m a black woman,” Guild says. “I’m very happy your dad and stepmom are so active, but that’s not a luxury I have right now. I’m trying to get myself educated, get you educated so that we can change where we are.” Guild also weighs in on life with her British husband, questioning authority at work and the lies that ads tell kids.
can be found at bit.ly/BCAmberGuild. By I-Hsien Sherwood and Alfred Maskeroni. The full podcast
Howard Jordan Jr. (CW) is an alum from the graduating Class of 1999 and currently sits on the Brandcenter Director’s Council.
FEATURED DC MEMBER / 16
Source: Getty Images North America
The 2020 Writers Guild Awards for Children’s Episodic goes to Family Reunion’s Howard Jordan Jr.
17 / ALUMNI INFO
Brandcenter alumni work at top agencies, Brands, and consultancies around the world. Accenture Digital BCG Digital Ventures Brand Apart Bullish Butchershop Chapter Co:Collective Collins Deloitte Digital Frog IDEO Inamoto & Co Joe Smith Brand Strategy Phenomenon Red Antler Redscout Siegel+Gale SingleStone Sterling Brands Sterling Rice Group Sylvain Labs Taylor Strategy The Mom Complex VBP Orange Webb deVlam West Zeus Jones
Adobe Airbnb American Eagle Outfitters Apple Away Boeing Capital One CarMax Casper Chewy Chipotle Chobani Columbia Discover Disney Imagineering Dyson Etsy Facebook Google Hilton Worldwide IBM iX LinkedIn Lyft Marriott International Microsoft NBA NBC Universal Nestle Nike Norwegian Cruise Lines Pinterest REI Target Urban Outfitters Under Armour UNIQLO Wyndam Hotel Group Zipcar
72andSunny AKQA Anomaly Arts & Letters Creative Co. barrettSF BBDO BBH Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners CP+B David & Goliath DDB Deutsch Droga5 Fallon Goodby, Silverstein & Partners GSD&M Heat Leo Burnett McCann McGarrah Jessee McKinney Media Arts Lab Mono MullenLowe Ogilvy Olson Omelet Preacher R/GA Saatchi & Saatchi TBWA\Chiat\Day The Community The Martin Agency The Richards Group Venables Bell & Partners Wieden+Kennedy Y&R
Our alumni are also actively engaged in mentoring and recruiting our students.
Brandcenter alums utilize their creative problem-solving skills to tackle issues that go beyond sales and profit margins.
Beyond advertising CASEY RAND (CW, 2008) - CCO, POTENTIAL ENERGY In October 2019, Casey left her post as executive creative director at Droga5 to join Potential Energy, a coalition using the power of creativity to motivate urgent action on climate change. As chief creative officer, Casey notes that she hasn’t left the industry, she’s “just selling something different: not going extinct.” bit.ly/BCCaseyRand
AMY MATHEU (AD, 2012) - SENIOR ART DIRECTOR, WONGDOODY Researchers from University of North Carolina’s School of Medicine are on the hunt for clear genetic clues to address postpartum depression, which affects 1 in 7 mothers. Amy and her team at WONGDOODY created the “Mom Genes” campaign to promote the research study aimed at understanding the genetics of postpartum depression and finding a cure. bit.ly/BCAmyMatheu
ROBIN WATSON TELFIAN (ST, 2001) - FOUNDER, SHOOD After volunteering in a Richmond-area soup kitchen, Robin noticed how many individuals lacked a basic necessity: good shoes. She took action and founded Shood, a non-profit that collects gently used running shoes and donates them to Richmonders in need. Since 2017, Shood has distributed over 3,500 pairs of shoes. bit.ly/BCRobinTelfian
JASON DETURRIS (ST, 2002) - VP OF BRAND/MARKETING, APEEL SCIENCES With 20 years of experience building world-class brands, Jason shifted gears in 2019 to fight food waste with Apeel Sciences. The company develops plant-derived solutions to help organic and conventional fresh food providers increase produce quality, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions and water waste. apeelsciences.com FEATURED ALUMNI / 18
Brandcenter alums work at the companies marked with A
19 / ALUMNI INFO
SIX ALUMS NAMED TO BUSINESS INSIDERâ€™S "36 RISING STARS OF MADISON AVENUE REVOLUTIONIZING ADVERTISING" These standouts span a variety of roles in strategy, account management, creative, and beyond. The list is based on agency and peer nominations, professional awards and campaigns, how the individual has impacted their companies, and their potential to grow as industry leaders. bit.ly/BCRisingStars
MORGAN ACEINO (CBM, 2011) VP, Strategy Director, Deutsch LA LINDSAY CECERO (AD, 2016) Art Director, TBWA\Media Arts Lab
DATA ORUWAI (ST, 2015) Experience Strategist and UX Researcher, IBM iX LINDSAY WADE (CBM, 2017) Senior Strategist, Heat + Deloitte Digital
ALLISON MURPHY (CW, 2015) Copywriter, TBWA\Media Arts Lab CECELIA PARRISH (CBM, 2015) Planning Director, The Martin Agency
FEATURED ALUMNI / 20
BRANDCENTER CURRICULUM: FIXED, YET FLUID by Caley Cantrell, Brandcenter Curriculum and Learning Coordinator + Head of Strategy
One of the most important things to know about the Brandcenter is our curriculum. It’s dynamic, always a work in progress, always evolving. Sure, we stay rooted in some of the foundational elements that have guided our industry for decades. But we’re preparing our students for the worlds of marketing, advertising, innovation, communication, and design: careers that are ever-changing, so we aren’t afraid to adapt on the fly. We create problem solvers AND problem seekers, polymaths that have the world as their playground. This means our classes go beyond the norm, pulling from real-world situations and examples, often just as fast as those examples are developing. At the Brandcenter, our students “learn then apply” rather than “learn and forget.” What a CBM is learning about business models will immediately be used in a brand design class. A strategist will marry their cultural exploration to business building opportunities. Our art directors, copywriters, and experience designers are always incorporating the latest design and story trends into compelling communication. Our curriculum is dynamic, and may be scary to some, but it’s the method to the madness that keeps us all on our toes. It’s the key to our students’ success and what makes the Brandcenter the Brandcenter.
BRND-633: USER PARTICIPATION PLATFORMS (U.P.P.)
“Learning how to craft engaging experiences that encourage people to participate, become immersed, and come back.” - JEREMY STOKES (XD, 2020)
“Storytelling is the key to selling complex ideas. UPP teaches you how to construct a story that everyone can relate to and thus can relate to your product.” / CURRICULUM OVERVIEW
- LOUIS BOEHLING (XD, 2020)
“The stories we tell have the power to influence people. This class furthers your ability to tell your own unique story.”
/ CURRICULUM OVERVIEW
- LEE KUYKENDALL (CBM, 2020)
“When you thought you were comfortable but get embarrassed in front of your peers again.”
- ELYSE JOLLEY (ST, 2020)
BRND-677: THE BUSINESS OF BRANDING (B.O.B.)
“It’s about teamwork! You’ll learn how to work in a cross-discipline team, how to communicate strategic and creative ideas, and develop presentation skills. Emphasis on presentation skills.” - HALEY SCHRENK (AD, 2020)
“A reality TV show where young professionals are paired together at random for four months and asked to solve brand problems with skills they have not obtained yet, all the while being told they cannot push the beds together.” - CARA COFFIN (ST, 2020)
“A crash course in business and team building: from the ropes coursE, to projects designed to fail.” -- CAROLINE ODOM (ST, 2020)
BRND-659: BRAND EXPERIENCES Assignment: Bring vibrant new life to a mature consumer brand and shake-up the entire category.
SITUATION Despite being a part of the innovative 3M brand family, Scotch-Brite sponges are largely indistinguishable from other sponge brands.
BRAND EXPERIENCES SEPTEMBER 25TH, 2019
TENSION The cleaning category often portrays cleaning as a one-size-fits-all activity. The reality is many people clean for a variety of reasons. Some enjoy the process while others just want the outcome.
BRAND TRUTH Scotch-Brite has the product variety to support all types of cleaners. OPPORTUNITY Speak directly to our audience segments, each with their own routines, motivations, and values. STRATEGY Delight in your clean.
PRODUCT INNOVATION 1. A UV sponge cleaner that kills bacteria after each cleaning session. When not in use, the UV sponge cleaner is also a sponge holder. 2. A curved reminder sponge with embossed BRITE logotype that wears away with time, reminding cleaners to dispose of their sponge once it disappears. 3. A detailed brush scrubber that is filled with bleach or any other cleaning solution to reach those hard-to-get spots. 4. Two types of all-purpose cleaner: a simple spray cleaner and a colored foam cleaner. The foam color disappears when the surface is clean.
/ BRAND EXPERIENCES
BRITE-BOX A subscription box service providing three curated boxes based on the needs of the personas we researched.
SCOTCH-BRITE - AD: CAMILLE WALKER / CW: EMILY RHODES / ST: EMILY MASCHER / CBM: JIM BECKMANN / XD: PRATIKA APPAIAH + MAREYA STEARNS
PURPOSE The Yellow Door Project will bring Americans back together, opening doors to one another despite our differences and restoring a sense of humanity across dividing lines.
24 / BRAND EXPERIENCES
BRND-659: BRAND EXPERIENCES Assignment: Americans are deeply divided and slip too easily from disagreement, to disdain, to dehumanization. Develop a creative solution to bring them back together.
HOW IT WORKS Four eight-foot doors made of glowing, foggy acrylic, are placed in public places across the country. The first door shows the Yellow Door Project manifesto, while the others prompt viewers to respond to personal questions via text. Questions on the yellow doors include: • As a ____, I want people to understand ____. • What is the last thing you witnessed that impacted you? • What is heavy on your heart today? Answers are stored digitally, vetted for hate speech, and queued for anonymous projection on public spaces near the Yellow Doors. The projection sites have historical significance and create physical space for face-to-face discourse or silent reflection. Yellow Door Questions
Yellow Door Answers
YELLOW DOOR PROJECT AD: JOIE HA CW: KT MCVEIGH ST: ELYSE JOLLEY CBM: ART ROSS XD: LOUIS BOEHLING
“A difficult class but absolutely imperative. Pushes your limits of what you thought you could do and you end up surprising yourself with an incredible campaign.” - Elyse Jolley (ST, 2020)
“Perfecting the craft of teamwork and collaboration to deliver fresh and invigorating brand experiences that take brands to the next level.” - Jeremy Stokes (XD, 2020)
/ PROBLEM SOLVING FOR ADs
BRND-630: PROBLEM SOLVING FOR ADs ADs Assignment: Create a conceptual music poster for the artist of your choosing (past or present).
SARA SMOKROVICH (AD, 2021)
26 / PROBLEM SOLVING FOR ADs
MADELINE GUZZO (AD, 2021)
BRITTANY REID (AD, 2021)
LIAM MCKAY (AD, 2021)
ROBIN RICHARDSON (AD, 2021)
ELLIE PROCTOR (CBM, 2021) BRND-651: CREATIVE THINKING Journal Prompt #08: Creatively share, collage, or draw your biggest lessons from the semester.
/ CREATIVE THINKING
ANH NGUYEN (CBM, 2021)
28 / CREATIVE THINKING
“Creative Thinking is a course on how to push past your first idea, how to let go of the bad ones, and how to get weird while still being relevant.” - LOUIS BOEHLING (XD, 2020)
BRND-651: CREATIVE THINKING
“This is a course that teaches you about team building, self awareness, how to be scrappy and innovative with idea generation. It’s like being told to take a trip but you have no idea where you are going or how to get there. All you know is the time you have to arrive. Figuring out the rest is up to you. Oh and there are no rules.” - KT SCHAEFFER, Professor
BRND-673: EXPERIMENTATION Assignment: Create an analog game (board game, card game, etc.) that is conceptually grounded and copy heavy.
HOW TO PLAY STEP ONE: Deal out six “talking point” cards to each person. STEP TWO: Flip over one “conversation starter” to begin the game. Each person will try to work in their “talking point” cards, one at a time, to keep the conversation going. Don’t let it get awkward! STEP THREE: Once there is an awkward silence and nobody plays a “talking point” card, or if someone plays a “talking point” card and everyone agrees that it’s an awkward bust to the conversation, the round ends. A new “conversation starter” is drawn. HOW TO WIN Whoever plays all of their “talking point” cards first, wins, and they are crowned the Social Butterfly!
CONVERSATION STARTER CARDS
TALKING POINT CARDS
THIS IS AWKWARD An improv card game inspired by awkward events.
bangladeshi click farm
victorian fainting couch
a duck’s waddle
your high school diploma
the lab technician
was voided due to
started spooning you
during a sleep study
you say goodbye to your friend and walk away in the same direction
THIS IS AWKWARD - CW: CONNOR NOH, YOTAM OHAYON, JULIA SCOPER + NICK GARFIELD
BRND-673: EXPERIMENTATION Assignment: Use your creativity to bring attention (or respond) to a current social issue.
Made in USA* is a coffee table book that explores the prison industrial system and its sprawling influence. View the entire book at online.fliphtml5.com/rrkcn/nqav/
MADE IN USA* - AD: JESSE LANE / CW: CONNOR NOH + UPASTI BASAPPA
a protester threw a bucket of fake blood on you, but your coat is also fake
30 / EXPERIMENTATION
SHUT YOUR LEGS - AD: KATIE DINARDO / CW: KELLEY BARRETT BRND-673: EXPERIMENTATION Assignment: Use your creativity to bring attention (or respond) to a current social issue.
SHUT YOUR LEGS + OPEN THIS BOOK Male politicians don’t know much about women’s bodies. They do, however, legislate women’s bodies. To highlight this absurdity, we wrote a book in their voice, using some of the very intelligent and not-atall insane things they have said on the matter. View the entire book at www.issuu.com/kdinard1/docs/closeyoulegs.
"Experimentation is the time to create things we are passionate about. Working together in teams to create solutions for big societal issues that move people to start positive conversations in an effort to make changes in society." - Melissa Poe (XD, 2020)
BRND-648: INNOVATION Team Project: Make “Martini Time” a social happy hour for millennials. *In light of everything that’s happened, the team opted to repurpose their efforts that still brought people together, even when we can’t be.
Martini Time is when you enjoy a drink while catching up with someone you care about. Even during quarantine. SOCIAL
APP An app that makes it easy to schedule Martini Time with friends. It also provides video tutorials on how to prepare drinks.
AT HOME KIT A kit filled with drink recipes best enjoyed with friends or family. Be it from the comfort of your own home or through the phone.
FOR WHEN IT ENDS A kit with in-store signage would be sent to select bars across the country. These bars would also receive a discounted drink menu in celebration of being able to be around each other again post-quarantine.
MARTINI TIME - AD: JENNA ANDERSON + STEPHEN PISANO / CW: TARIK ATALLAH / CBM : MAX FARINHOLT
HUSTLE you’ll find thinkers and creators - the envelope-pushing, lightning-in-a-bottle, I'll-sleep-when-I’mHustlers who go beyond what's expected of themselves. It's not just about meeting a class deadline. have this feeling that there is something else inside just dying to get out. They don't create because want to. They create because they have to. That's the Side Hustle way at Brandcenter. #WHATSYOURHUSTLE?
ILLUSTRATIONS FOR AUSTRALIA OVERVIEW “As fires peaked in Australia in January 2020, I wanted to use my creativity and illustration skills to raise money for families in need, firefighters, and the wildlife. I created an Instagram campaign for my followers to direct message me and let me know what they’d like illustrated. Together, we raised $850 in 24 hours with 49 orders.“
ILLUSTRATIONS FOR AUSTRALIA - XD: KELSEY COWAN
32 / SIDE HUSTLE
SIDE Here dead They they
EH B’Y Newfoundland-inspired playing cards. Read more about Alana’s project on page 69.
EH B’Y PLAYING CARDS - CBM: ALANA LOVEYS JUST US - XD: TREASURE BROWN, JEREMY STOKES + DANIELLE SCOTT PATXOT
JUST US A podcast that was born from the Experience Design Independent Study, a semester-long project that culminates in a design and thought-leadership piece. A team of second-year XD students noticed empathy as a common theme in their projects, and decided to join forces to tackle the thought-leadership portion of their projects together. They also recognized a need in the podcast market for diverse voices on topics related to design. Enter: Just Us, a podcast about design from the perspective of three young designers of color. Check out the podcast at anchor.fm/just-us.
â€œThis is not your skill in life but this is how the other half lives.â€?
- JILL SALZMAN (ST, 2020)
Movie magic happens here on very low budgets.
Visual storytelling Visual storytelling introduces students to the art and technical craft of creating concept-driven, effective visual stories for traditional broadcast outlets and newer, non-traditional viewing opportunities.
/ VISUAL STORYTELLING
Students get hands-on experience in concept development and scriptwriting. They learn how to create storyboards and shooting boards. Using these skills, students learn pre-production, production, and post-production techniques to execute creative, conceptually driven visual stories. Projects range from 30-second commercials, to 6-second pre-roll videos, to longer-form fiction and non-fiction stories.
34 / VISUAL STORYTELLING
BRND-622: VISUAL STORYTELLING
CREDITS - ST: THURAYA AL-WAZZAN / AD: HAMZA ALI / AD: CAMDEN DECHERT / ST: THOMAS FREEMAN / ST: SHANNON GERETY / XD: DOMINIK HOFACKER / CW: CHELSIE KELLY / XD: MARISSA LIU / XD: DANI LOLENG / XD: JOE MRAVA / XD: AMANDA THAO / XD: MARSHAL TURNER
Press play on the student videos above â€” just open your smartphone camera and scan here.
“Art Direction is about problem solving. It’s not just about the visuals, although that is an important part of the job. It’s coming up with an idea that seems so out there, yet at the same time makes perfect sense. Then you craft an execution that delivers that idea beautifully. After trying a hundred different things, moving a tiny piece around a dozen times, you finally settle on something that resembles what you pictured in your head. It’s never perfect to you, but that’s just the way it is.” -HALEY SCHRENK (AD, 2020)
Open the camera within the Instagram app and hover over the page for an added feature.
“This project allowed me to think outside of my concentration; I am an art director who created a product innovation, and that was fun.”
- CAMILLE WALKER (AD, 2020)
The brand refresh assignment during my second year sparked something exciting inside of me. Some otherworldly being took over my body and I became mildly obsessed with cleaning supplies. There is really no other explanation than the paranormal. My team was tasked with helping Scotch-Brite, the sponge and cleaning brand, find fun and strategic ways to target consumers. My most important contribution to the assignment was a product innovation: I designed a cleaner, more efficient sponge. In our research, we found two common pain points related to cleaning with sponges: 1) most people don’t use the full surface area of the abrasive side of the sponge, and 2) most people don’t know when it’s time to throw their sponge away (the CDC recommends every two weeks!). I tackled the first pain point by changing the shape of the sponge. I designed a sponge with a curve, which uses the entire surface area when scrubbing. Next, I added an expiration indicator by engraving a word or design into the abrasive side of the sponge. The engraving wears away while scrubbing, indicating that it’s time to dispose of the sponge and get a new one. I have a patent pending on the sponge innovations, which means I hold a provisional patent for my designs. During my final semester at Brandcenter, I worked through the product testing phase with one of my professors and began talking to potential buyers. Let’s be real: my career aspiration is to be an art director not start a sponge company, but this project allowed me to think outside of my concentration; I am an art director who created a product innovation, and that was fun. The opportunity to have an idea that is supported whole-heartedly by the Brandcenter faculty is just another amazing advantage of being a student here. I am hopeful that a company will believe in my idea, too.
37 / MY TIME AT BC
MY TIME AT BC / 38
“Pretty sure he is allergic to everything or needles...”
“There’s no easy way to tell you this, so I’m going to send you to someone who can.”
PARTNER MD - AD: JAN JUNLOY / CW: STEVENSON CERRILLO / ST: CAROLINE ODOM
CROSLEY - AD: KATIE DINARDO / CW: YOTAM OHAYON
39 / AD STUDENT WORK
SWAGTRON - AD: RYAN OWENS / CW: EMILY RHODES
UFO MUSEUM - AD: MILA WIZEL / CW: KELLEY BARRETT
SIR KENSINGTONâ€™S - AD: HALEY SCHRENK / CW: RACHEL CURRY
AD STUDENT WORK / 40
BROOKLYN BRINE CO. - AD: CAMILLE WALKER / CW: ROBERT HYLTON
41 / AD STUDENT WORK
TATTLY - AD: EMILY ADAMSON / CW: JULIA SCOPER
HALO TOP - AD: MILA WIZEL / CW: EMILY RHODES
AD STUDENT WORK / 42
CONNECT 4 - AD: BRIELLE MUNIZZI / CW: CALEB YORK
BUTCHER BOX - AD: JAN JUNLOY / CW: YOTAM OHAYON
“Copywriting is being able to create a bridge between an idea and someone else’s imagination. You get to manipulate others’ imagination like a silver-handed sorcerer. Copywriting is a passion. It is taking the thoughts that you have, putting them into words, and remembering an Oxford comma.” - STEVENSON CERRILLO (CW, 2020)
Open the camera within the Instagram app and hover over the page for an added feature.
45 / MY TIME AT BC
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“My first three hours [at Brandcenter] brought me more joy than three years of building media investment decks and Excel pivot tables.” - YOTAM OHAYON (CW, 2020)
The smell of dead fish defined my childhood. I’m from a small fishing village on the Sea of Galilee in Northern Israel. Fishermen by trade, my family is filled with gifted storytellers, each with their own unique cadence, hand gestures, and ability to stretch the truth. I think watching them captivate audiences with their stories subconsciously made me want to be a writer, but first I had to learn English. Immigrating to the States was a harsh transition, and going from a small fishing village to Manhattan’s East Village had its learning curves. I remember being in 2nd grade, with no reading skills, and making up stories based on book illustrations during assigned reading time. I knew I wanted to be a copywriter in my first undergraduate advertising class. My professor’s passionate behavior and middle-aged pirate aesthetic reminded me of the great orators in my family. He was also a staunch advocate of the Brandcenter, always referring to their grads’ portfolios and suggesting we’d have a tough time competing with them for jobs. I hated him for being right. My years working as a Media Planner triggered a quarter-life crisis. I was on a career path I didn’t enjoy and worried that I was facing a lifetime of boredom, regret, and self-deprecation. In hindsight my fears were exaggerated, but at least they gave me the motivation to finally apply to the Brandcenter. My first three hours here brought me more joy than three years of building media investment decks and Excel pivot tables. Being at the Brandcenter is by far the most fun I’ve had in a professional or academic setting. While working on school projects, I’ve found myself sharing a bathtub with three of my classmates and a bottle of steak sauce. A separate assignment had me pouring buckets of fake blood onto a classmate, also while in a bath (there’s a theme here but it’s entirely coincidental). Every day at Brandcenter has brought something different and unexpected. I feel well prepared for the surprises I’ll certainly face in this industry.
PROPAGANDA MUSEUM - CW: ELEANOR FIALK / AD: KATIE DINARDO CLINIQUE FOR MEN - CW: AKIN ABODE / AD: KRISTA STANLEY
47 / CW STUDENT WORK
INTâ€™L SPY MUSEUM - CW: ROBERT HYLTON / AD: JESSE LANE
CW STUDENT WORK / 48
There are only two times that matter. Now. And not now.
SWATCH - CW: UPASTI BASAPPA / AD: RYAN OWENS GENIUS LYRICS - CW: JULIA SCOPER / AD: JENNA ANDERSON
THE NORTH FACE - CW: TARIK ATALLAH / AD: MATTEO MEOLA ST: SEVERIN DIDRICKSEN + BONNI DINERSTEIN
VITAL FARMS - CW: FUNMI ADEJOBI / AD: ALEC PLOURDE
SMUCKERâ€™S UNCRUSTABLES - CW: SOPHIE LICHTMAN / AD: KATIE DINARDO + JESSE LANE / ST: BRIANNE JOHNSON
49 / CW STUDENT WORK
CW STUDENT WORK / 50
SMITHSONIAN NATIONAL ZOO - CW: KELLEY BARRETT / AD: KATIE DINARDO
“Whether it is digitally, physically, or emotionally, experience designers are responsible for how brands show up in the world. We come from many disciplines – artists, technologists and just overall empathetic people. We spend a lot of time figuring out how to put strategy into action through interactive processes. An experience designer’s work is never done, per se, because brands are living entities that must evolve with an ever-changing world.” - LOUIS BOEHLING (XD, 2020)
Open the camera within the Instagram app and hover over the page for an added feature.
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“I used to focus on the ‘what’ when designing and would jump at my first idea or solution... Today, I focus first on the ‘why’ before jumping to the ‘what’ or ‘how.’”
- PRATIKA APPAIAH (XD, 2020)
As an assignment in undergrad, my interior design class was asked to sketch the inside of the Brandcenter. For one hour, I unexpectedly became a fly on the wall, listening to Brandcenter students spit-balling ideas to solve a unique problem. I was intrigued by their thought process, their excitement for the challenge at hand. From that point on, Brandcenter was something I thought about frequently. After undergrad, I was eager to put my interior design degree to work. I spent a few years designing high-end residential interiors and environmental graphics at an architecture firm. But after a while, I felt an itch to be more than just a designer; I wanted to pivot into creative problem-solving. This led me to enroll in the Brandcenter’s Experience Design concentration. At the Brandcenter, I’ve learned that there are multiple ways to solve a problem, and there is never just one answer. I used to focus on the “what” when designing and would jump at my first idea or solution. After two years, Brandcenter has fundamentally changed how I think. Today, I focus first on the “why” before jumping to the “what” or “how.” While backpacking in Portugal last summer, I got stuck in an airport overnight. It was terrible, but it became the inspiration behind my independent study project. I wanted to create a solution that solved for the needs of backpackers experiencing travel pains. Using my new approach to problem-solving, I designed a unique airport lounge, complete with a brand ecosystem and business case for why it needs to exist. I even had the opportunity to present my idea to HostelWorld, the company I proposed to partner with for the creation of the space! I’m so thankful for my two years at Brandcenter, where I’ve constantly been pushed to be a better designer and thinker. This is just my jumping-off point for many more years of learning in the industry.
CULTIVATE - XD: JEREMY STOKES
SERVICE DESIGN / MULTIMEDIA EXPERIENCE CULTIVATE is a self-care service that helps people plant, nourish, and grow their relationship with mental health through the exercise of raising a plant.
SERVICE DESIGN / RETAIL EXPERIENCE The Hideaway is an airport lounge designed for backpackers to rejuvenate during long layovers and delayed or canceled flights.
55 / XD STUDENT WORK
THE HIDEAWAY - XD: PRATIKA APPAIAH
MAMA - XD: TREASURE BROWN
SERVICE DESIGN / DIGITAL + WEARABLE MAMA (Managing and Mitigating Anxiety) is a wearable device that allows holistic prenatal care providers, moms-to-be, and the baby to remain connected at all times. The MAMA wearable ecosystem was born from the need to give black women a voice during their pregnancy.
XD STUDENT WORK / 56 DOCTOR DASHBOARD
SKIN-LIKE WEARABLE DEVICE
SERVICE DESIGN / CONNECTED ENVIRONMENT (IOT) AURA, or Active Uniform Response Alert, is a school lighting system that immediately alerts first responders and school faculty to the location of a school shooting incident in real time, cutting down the response time and saving lives. HOW IT WORKS
Sensors that triangulate a bullet's shockwave.
Color-changing lights to alert the school and police.
An app that immediately notifies the school and police.
AURA - XD: DANIELLE JOHNSON / AD: ARIELLE BRYANT / CW: STEVENSON CERRILLO / ST: TORY NAGEL
THE OMITTED MUSEUM - XD: KELSEY COWAN
PRODUCT DESIGN / AUGMENTED REALITY By combining object recognition, AR technology, and Vice Media journalists, The Omitted Museum app provides a platform for patrons to learn about, engage with, and discuss the artwork.
PRODUCT DESIGN / ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE René is an A.I. that uses Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing to support individualized learning by creating bespoke lesson plans and user-specific progress reports for students learning English.
RENÉ BY PEARSON - XD: LOUIS BOEHLING
57 / XD STUDENT WORK
HUDDLE - XD: DOUG WEST + PRATIKA APPAIAH / ST: ANNA BOUTCHARD / CW: EMILY RHODES
XD STUDENT WORK / 58
PRODUCT DESIGN / DIGITAL Huddle pairs readers from around the world so they can interact, share opinions, and stay accountable over the course of a book.
Additional multidisciplinary team members: Mahira Ali and Linda Alexander from VCU Dept of Biomedical Engineering and Marianne Capps and Sarah Tierney from VCU Dept of Occupational Therapy.
HUMMINGBIRD - XD: MELISSA POE + DANIEL HUFFINE
PRODUCT DESIGN / DIGITAL Hummingbird offers primary caregivers a way to easily schedule, train, and communicate with their aides in one comprehensive app.
“Strategists are like master hosts setting the table for creative work. It’s an important job, and many people don’t notice how much work goes on behind the scenes, but they sure notice when they’re missing a fork and they need it. Strategy involves a lot of translation. Translating what the client wants into what they actually need, translating business problems into human problems, and translating a giant pile of research into the most salient nuggets.” - CAROLINE ODOM (ST, 2020)
Open the camera within the Instagram app and hover over the page for an added feature.
“It’s an awful feeling to have to work a low paying job you don’t care about when all you want to do is make things you love.”
- ZAVI HARMAN (ST, 2020)
I’ve always been a little skeptical of advertising. I started undergrad as a business major, but switched to world studies after I developed an interest in my humanities courses. Outside of school, I was beginning to write and take music more seriously; I started a few mildly successful bands, got signed to labels, started going on tours. Making music catered to the artistic, humanities-driven side of me, but I began to see how important it is for an artist to maintain a strong brand image and marketing strategy in order to lead a sustainable career. It’s an awful feeling to have to work a low paying job you don’t care about when all you want to do is make things you love. So many artists have to do it, and I was determined to get out of the cycle and help others do the same. Unfortunately, this is where I realized that although humanities was very important in shaping my worldview, the decision to drop my business degree was coming back to haunt me in the professional world. When I learned about Brandcenter, I knew this was a place where I could really hone the skills I needed to support creators and their creations — be it artists and their music, or brands and their products. It was a place where I could meet others who were as obsessed as I was about finding the best path forward despite challenges. In my two years at Brandcenter, I’ve seen how advertising can influence the world in a positive, beautiful way. I’m now more certain than ever that branding and marketing is just as important as the music being produced, if not more. There is a lot of shock and awe in that realization, and with it a sense of duty to create things that are socially responsible. I want to use the skills I’ve learned at Brandcenter to make a difference in positive ways.
61 / MY TIME AT BC
MY TIME AT BC / 62
GALLERY OF RESILIENCE - ST: ELYSE JOLLEY + EMILY MASCHER
THE ASK We were tasked with studying a cultural phenomenon or topic and determining the best way to share our learnings.
THE TOPIC We chose to interview 20 people to study resilience, a skill that is protective against many physical and mental ailments, but often feels intangible.
THE OUTCOME We developed a deep understanding of how resilience shows up in people’s lives and created a platform to share the stories and learnings.
The Gallery of Resilience is a space to share the stories that connect us. www.galleryofresilience.com
WE GATHERED FOUR MAJOR THEMES FROM OUR INTERVIEWS. Our interviewees gave us new perspective and a renewed sense of empowerment in our personal approaches to adversity. Words or short phrases struck us each at various times, but there were four themes that overwhelmingly began to emerge and nearly became predictable as we conducted our interviews.
RESILIENCE IS A CHOICE From our primary and secondary research, we observed that framing the adverse situation as a choice, rather than a threat, is a key skill when facing adversity. A statement like, “I choose to engage” is more empowering than a statement like, “I am being forced to engage.” The power of choice allows us to be flexible, lean in, learn from the experience.
HOPE IS CRITICAL We learned that having a future outcome to look forward to is essential when facing adversity. The power of positive thinking is often deemed “fluffy” but mindset is critical. When we believe we can succeed, the brain pours energy and resources into success. Hope and despair are selffulfilling prophecies.
RESILIENCE IS COLLABORATIVE Nearly all of our interviewees mentioned one form of support. Whether in-person or virtual, from one person or many, for a season or for a lifetime, support offers stability and calm in a time of struggle. Studies also show that support can help protect against developing trauma-related psychopathology and reduce medical morbidity and mortality.
ADVERSITY IS TIME FOR GROWTH Many of our interviewees mentioned that they learned about themselves through adversity. Researchers have observed that by contextualizing adversity, processing what happened helps us come to terms with or even improve our conditions and outlook on the event.
INTERVIEWEE STORIES From the homepage, the user can click the photo they are interested in learning more about, bringing them to the story page.
"What I learned is this: The full story of resilience is about the whole ecosystem around you. Sharing openly and honestly how you truly feel with another takes the power of the negative beliefs away. If you don't share, you sit with it all alone and your limiting self-beliefs can become powerful. There is incredible power in not being in isolation. There is infinite power in community, service, alignment, and finding your true self."
63 / ST STUDENT WORK
ST STUDENT WORK / 64 SEPHINA - ST: MICHELLE MCGUIRE + CARA COFFIN / XD: JEREMY STOKES, TREASURE BROWN + PRATIKA APPAIAH
New label and packaging.
ASK Launch the cognac brand Sephina in New York, New York with the goal of eventually expanding nationwide.
CHALLENGE The cognac category is steeped in luxury, hip-hop, and machismo. We found that cognac isn’t always in your liquor cabinet to drink, it’s in your liquor cabinet to be seen. And when you pour a glass, it’s likely because you want to flex it, whether you’re enjoying an after-dinner Remy Martin at the country club or taking shots of Henny at the club. It’s the liquor of maturity, one that men turn to to say that they’re a gentleman or just that they finally have some hair on their chests. KEY REALIZATION The cognac status quo is a man’s world. By focusing on men, cognac brands ignore an important and growing audience: female dark liquor drinkers. OPPORTUNITY Cognac has the opportunity to screw the status quo. Sephina can change cognac from: • A drink of history and tradition to a drink that reflects today’s culture. Sephina can refresh this old school category by updating the conversation with current culture and inviting others in. • A drink to flex to a drink to savor. Sephina is a drink for savoring because you actually love drinking it, not because you feel like you should. • A drink sipped in a tiny glass to a drink of possibilities. Sephina doesn’t listen to category conventions of how to drink cognac because it doesn’t like following rules. STRATEGY Sephina is an open invitation to explore cognac how you want to, not how you’re told to.
MITT BY TASTY - ST: CARA COFFIN + MICAH DAVENPORT
PROBLEM Even though the vegan lifestyle is more socially accepted today, the struggle is real, especially when getting started.
OPPORTUNITY With no brands owning this space, Tasty has an opportunity to gather its resources and serve as a compass guiding people to vegan resources.
FINDING Vegans’ biggest pain points stem from needing an expert guide to navigating resources and getting support.
SOLUTION Mitt, a digital assistant integrated with Tasty, is your guide to starting a plant-based diet.
DESIGN RATIONALE Inspired by an oven mitt, Mitt is your friendly guide when starting a plant-based diet. Mitt’s goal is to help demystify and simplify plant-based food and nutrition.
PARTNERSHIP WITH TASTY CHATBOT
65 / ST STUDENT WORK
THE WITCHING HOUR - ST: CAROLINE ODOM, ANNA BOUTCHARD + MICHELLE MCGUIRE
ST STUDENT WORK / 66
WITCHCRAFT IS ON THE RISE Young women are embracing an identity once heavily persecuted and caricatured. We wanted to understand why. Through primary and secondary research, we gained a deeper understanding of the subculture and pieced together future implications. Our quest for answers led us to interview an anthropologist, a Wiccan, an acupuncturist, tarot deck hobbyists, and others as we delved into the cultural context of witchcraft over the years, leading up to this moment. A closer look at the subculture not only dispelled our initial assumptions, but revealed two important things:
A guide to why young women
are embracing witchcraft right now
1. There’s never been a better time to be a witch. The world has never been more open and ready to embrace people exploring their relationship with power and magic. 2. There’s no right way to be a witch. Witchcraft is flexible. It lets you adopt the practices that hold meaning for you. You may already have more in common with witches than you think.
KEY DRIVERS OF WITCHINESS
Commercialization and Normalization. Witchcraft is going mainstream as perceptions of it evolve from Halloween costume to self-care.
Fourth Wave Feminism and the Resistance Movement. Today, assuming the symbol of the witch as an act of rebellion takes new form in modern political movements.
The Death of Traditional Affiliations. As young people leave traditional affiliations behind, witchcraft is filling the need for community and faith.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?
Social Media and the Quest for Belonging. Thanks to social media, it’s easier for witches to find one another and build a community than ever before.
CREATIVE BRAND MANAGEMENT
â€œCan you turn a 3-page report into one sentence without losing the nuance? Does the intersection of analytics and pop culture excite you? Do you obsess over the details as much as the big picture? Can you find a way to take the impossible and make it achievable? You might be a creative brand manager. If you can handle all of that while juggling four projects, eight different personalities, and thousands of possibilities, then you are definitely a creative brand manager.â€? - LEE KUYKENDALL (CBM, 2020)
Open the camera within the Instagram app and hover over the page for an added feature.
I’m from Newfoundland — a big, rocky island off the east coast of Canada. Newfoundland has its own dictionary, timezone, and unique culture — ask me about the “screech-in” process. Feeling unfulfilled while heading towards a career in accounting, I decided to make a change. With a passion for branding, a curious mind, and a desire to make a difference, I left home and moved to the United States to attend Brandcenter. Being away from Newfoundland allowed me to gain a greater appreciation for the province’s beauty and culture. Many Newfoundlanders are forced to leave home to chase their dreams. During my first year in the Creative Brand Management concentration, I saw an opportunity in that departure. In typical Brandcenter fashion, I asked “how” — how can I find a way to help other Newfoundlanders who move away feel closer to home? 69 / MY TIME AT BC
MY TIME AT BC / 70
“With a passion for branding, a curious mind, and A desire to make a difference, I left home and moved to the United states to attend Brandcenter...” - ALANA LOVEYS (CBM, 2020)
I decided to design artwork for a deck of Newfoundland-inspired playing cards — a traditional Newfoundland pastime. I surveyed Newfoundlanders to ask what came to mind when they thought about the province and got to work. I taught myself Adobe Illustrator, pulled some late nights, and within seven days, “EH B’Y” cards were born. I created 14 unique designs for the card faces, a tartan print, and packaging. I secured a printer, created social media accounts, and launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the project. Within 24 days, my Kickstarter campaign was 117% funded thanks to 80 backers who purchased a total of 111 decks of cards. To sell the remaining 139 decks, I opened an Etsy shop and also supplied a local retailer in St. John’s, Newfoundland. In less than four months, I sold out of my first round of inventory. EH B’Y cards all started with a desire to learn something new and stay connected. Figuring out how to make an idea a reality — that’s just a fraction of what I learned at Brandcenter.
REALEMON - CBM: HALLE SINNOTT / ST: NICK DELEON + CARA COFFIN / XD: DANNY TIMBERS / AD: HALEY SCHRENK / CW: NATE SAUBER
REBRAND ReaLemon is in a sea of sameness on the shelf. Updating the logo gives this brand an up-to-date identity and a pop on the shelf.
ASK Bring new life to a mature brand. CHALLENGE ReaLemon’s core audience is aging out. How can we connect with a new, younger group of ReaLemon loyalists?
UPDATED PACKAGING Updated packaging helps the bottle stand out on the shelf while maintaining iconic design elements such as the yellow cap and lemon image. There is also a transparent window to let you see exactly how much is left in the bottle.
INSIGHT ReaLemon isn’t just a cooking product, it’s a problem-solver. The uses, ranging from mild to wild, are almost endless. STRATEGY ReaLemon is the most versatile product in your home. What you do with it is your business.
NEW CAPS People use ReaLemon in interesting ways. Our new cap expansion reflects that, allowing consumers to experiment and explore the power of lemon juice. This further cements the idea that ReaLemon is the most versatile product in your home.
SOLUTION Redefine the brand with a total refresh in identity and packaging.
CHOBANI - CBM: ALANA LOVEYS, CHRIS BATES, JIM BECKMANN + HALLE SINNOTT
ASK Create a new product line for dogs that is consistent with the values and voice of the Chobani brand, yet still distinct and unique within the market.
WHAT’S IN A NAME? Turkish-Kurdish businessman Hamdi Ulukaya founded Chobani. His choice of the word Chobani is a variation of a Turkish word meaning “shepherd.” In keeping with this theme, Köpek is quite simply Turkish for “dog.”
OPPORTUNITY Dog food brands have been accused of making false health claims, resulting in a loss of consumer trust. INSIGHT While not commonly known, Greek yogurt has many health benefits for dogs. Daily consumption can improve and enhance their immune systems, aid in digestion, and control and reduce high levels of total cholesterol. SOLUTION Köpek, a line of yogurt-infused dog treats, helps Chobani extend their commitment to bringing better food to more people…and their furry friends. 71 / CBM STUDENT WORK
YOGURT SOFT BITES
CBM STUDENT WORK / 72
HORTI - CBM: MICHELLE LEE
BRAND A direct-to-consumer subscription that delivers houseplants. ASK How can Horti increase customer retention to reduce canceled subscriptions? PROBLEM Horti does not offer a unique value proposition to build lasting relationships with customers. OPPORTUNITY Take Horti from being a midwife who is present at delivery, to being a lifetime partner who is present for every stage of a plant’s life. POSITIONING We are your co-parent in plant care. STRATEGY Cultivate plant parenthood through lasting support.
MATCHMAKER QUIZ Set parents up for success by matching them with plants that best fit their lifestyle and environment.
PLANT PROFILES Develop a profile feature on Horti’s mobile app. By collecting information on the plant and its home, Horti can assist the customer with giving specific care.
WATER REMINDERS Provide friendly reminders to customers when it’s time for regular caregiving routines.
BIRTHDAY MAIL Offer to ship products that customers need for nurturing their plant’s growth, such as repotting soil every six months.
PLANT POSTMORTEM When a plant reaches the end of its life, help customers learn possible causes. For next month’s delivery, use their answers to recommend other species that may be a better fit for them.
FEEL-GOOD GAMIFICATION Remind parents that they’re raising their baby well through badges and monetary rewards.
CARE INSTRUCTIONS ZINE
SWISS MISS - CBM: CODY COLVIN / ST: RACHAEL SHERMAN / AD: SHELBY BASS + MILA WIZEL / CW: KELLEY BARRETT / XD: YNES BOUCK
Swiss Miss would release new boxes throughout the year to keep Swiss Miss top of mind year-round, especially during stressful periods like playoff games and the election.
PROBLEM While Swiss Miss is a top hot cocoa brand, sales slump outside of the wintertime. How do we keep Swiss Miss top of mind the rest of the year? PERCEPTION Currently, Swiss Miss is seen as a childhood wintertime treat. That perception is holding the brand back from being seen as a beverage that adults can enjoy all year long. SOLUTION Swiss Miss will leverage the comforting vibes associated with the brand by positioning Swiss Miss as a remedy for the daily struggles consumers experience.
(for the election)
STRATEGY In your daily struggles, Swiss Miss is the comforting sip of relief you deserve. CREATIVE A hug in a mug.
GREETING CARDS We'll introduce Swiss Miss greeting cards to give to your friends who are having a rough time. Each card includes an uplifting fact and a packet of Swiss Miss as a pick-me-up.
73 / CBM STUDENT WORK
MERCHANDISE The words on the mug change when a hot beverage is added, revealing the true message.
CBM STUDENT WORK / 74
LULULEMON - CBM: ALANA LOVEYS + HALLE SINNOTT / ST: NICK DELEON / XD: YNES BOUCK / AD: EMMALINE TERRY / CW: CONNOR NOH
ASK How can lululemon create healthier communities through its store locations? PROBLEM Athletic apparel retailers are constantly sending the message of pushing yourself a little harder each time you work out.
INSIGHT Individuals feel guilty about taking a rest day. STRATEGY You have to make more of your days off to make the most of your days on. SOLUTION Balance by lululemon
Balance by lululemon is a space dedicated to an often overlooked aspect of fitness: rest. The space incorporates both passive and active methods of recovery to help address the needs of a wide range of guests. The goal is to change the perception of rest and help educate communities on the role it plays in becoming the best version of yourself.
How it Works HOW IT WORKS
balance by lululemon checks you in when you enter the space
Participate in an ambassador-led class
Replenish your body with proper nutrients
Guide yourself using lululemonâ€™s on demand health and fitness resources
Treat yourself to new products to help you feel your best
Secure your belongings in lockers or cubbies provided
PHYSICAL SPACE FUEL SPACE Refueling with the proper vitamins and nutrients is a crucial element to recovery. We made it easy by providing healthy, grab-and-go options to help you reach your goals.
MOVEMENT ZONE Join us in-store for an ambassador-led active recovery session.
RETAIL CAPSULE Shop and try on our select favorites. On-site educators can help you find the best product for your recovery goals.
APP INTEGRATION A new section in the lululemon app will help users make the most of their recovery days with specialized rest guides, events at their local balance by lululemon location, and rewards to keep them coming back.
LIFE AT BRANDCENTER /
Life at Brandcenter LIFE AT BRANDCENTER /
From the perspective of Michelle Lee (CBM, 2020).
FRIDAY FORUM /
ELIZABETH PAUL Chief Strategy Officer, The Martin Agency
Take a seat and watch a previous Forum. Open your smartphone camera and scan here.
MICHAEL FANUELE President, Media Assembly
MIKE LEAR Executive Creative Director, BrightHouse
JEAN FREEMAN Principal and CEO, Zambezi
BRIAN SALZMAN President + CEO, RQ
ALAIN SYLVAIN Founder and CEO, Sylvain Labs
Fall 2019 + Spring 2020
KATHERINE WINTSCH (ST, 2001) Founder + CEO / The Mom Complex + Author of Slay Like a Mother LAURA GENTLES General Manager, Brand / Edelman JENNIFER LONDON EVP, Insights + Strategy / Edelman DAVID BENBASSETT Senior Digital Strategic Planner / Edelman TIM GORDON (CW, 2008) Executive Creative Director / Droga5 NICK MASCHMEYER (ST, 2012) Brand Strategy Director / Droga5 JONATHAN ROSEN (AD,1999) Visual Artist + Creative Director BARBARA SOALHEIRO Founder / MESA ELIZABETH PAUL Chief Strategy Officer / The Martin Agency JEAN SCOFIELD Executive Creative Producer / Mophonics KRIS ROGGEMANN Executive Creative Producer / Mophonics
Friday Forum Our Friday Forum Speaker Series invites the industry’s top professionals to share their experience, insights, and advice with Brandcenter students. Hosted most Fridays at the VCU Institute of Contemporary Art, Friday Forum provides Brandcenter students an opportunity to learn from a diverse collection of movers and shakers in the fields they’re pursuing. Following Forum, our speakers spend the remainder of their visit meeting with students.
FRIDAY FORUM /
JOHN MATEJCZYK Co-Founder, CCO + CEO / MUH-TAY-ZIK/HOF-FER KATIE RAMP Director of Talent / MUH-TAY-ZIK/HOF-FER HENRY FERNANDEZ Account Director / MUH-TAY-ZIK/HOF-FER
Wisdom from creative leaders.
INTERNSHIP PLACEMENTS Arizona
Apple barrettSF Erich & Kallman Goodby, Silverstein & Partners Honey Observatory On Board Experiential R/GA TBWA\Chiat\Day Team One Venables Bell & Partners
Georgia Coca-Cola Digitas
EnergyBBDO FCB mcgarrybowen The Escape Pod
Young & Laramore
Arnold Worldwide Hill Holliday
Bullish Code and Theory EP+Co ESPN Creative Works Giant Spoon Google Creative Lab Hudson Rouge MullenLowe Powell Communications Publicis Redscout Squarespace Sylvain Labs
GSD&M Saatchi & Saatchi The Richards Group
CarLotz CarMax Madison+Main POOLHOUSE RedPeg Marketing The Martin Agency Vantage Point Consulting
Washington Google Possible WONGDOODY Wunderman
While it’s not a curriculum requirement, most Brandcenter students intern at companies across the country during the summer between their first and second year. Summer internships give our students the opportunity to apply the skills they’ve learned at Brandcenter and start making connections. Leading up to the summer months, we create an internship site for our students with a curated list of paid opportunities to browse by discipline, city, or keyword. We also host internship workshops to help students prepare for the internship search and interview process. After completing their internship, students return to school in the fall and begin their second year with renewed confidence in their abilities. Most students say Brandcenter professors are tougher than any CD or planning director they encountered in the real world.
WHAT I LEARNED LAST SUMMER “WE MUST BE WILLING TO STEP INTO THE FIRE TOGETHER.” What do you do when your effort meets rejection, again and again? Come back the next day and knock on their door. Be the one to ask the hard question, even if no one wants to hear it. Argue. Actually argue. See the fire and step into it. Know that it’s going to hurt.
- BRIANNE JOHNSON (ST, 2020)
1. Every work party should include a yacht. 2. Iguanas are big af and everywhere in Miami. 3. BRANDCENTER DEFINITELY PREPARES YOU FOR ANYTHING.
- JESSE LANE (AD, 2020)
My favorite advice from my internship; “THINK STUPID FIRST.” The best ideas are born ugly. Don’t pitch ideas that make sense, but make sense of bold ideas. Dare to think the ridiculous, because the fun part will be figuring out how to make it work. - Michelle Lee (CBM, 2020) INTERNSHIPS / 80
CANNES 2019 /
Cannes 2019 Roger Hatchuel Academy Watch John Legend perform live. Get career advice from the CMO of Burger King. Party all night on the French Riviera. Network with Google employees. If you had told me that I’d do all of those things during my time at Brandcenter, I wouldn’t have believed you. But that’s exactly what I did last summer. I was one of 40 students from 33 countries invited to attend the Roger Hatchuel Academy at the 2019 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. The Academy is an accelerated learning experience designed to help students interested in advertising. Throughout the week, we discussed the value of diversity and inclusion in the industry, as well as the importance of not losing our voices. We did a 48-hour sprint and pitched our idea in front of a panel of global marketing leaders. At the end of the week, we received invitations to visit Google Headquarters’ Creative Campus during the fall, where we continued the conversation about diversity and networking. Before I attended, I thought people were exaggerating when they said that Roger Hatchuel Academy is a life-changing experience. However, after spending a week surrounded by peers from
all over the world, I can say that I was truly inspired and proud to be standing in the same room as them. I believe that in order for an individual to think outside of their creative perimeter, they must appreciate the world outside of what they are used to. Because I had spent most of my life in the U.S., I realized that I was used to a particular way of thinking and acting. In spite of some language barriers, being able to hear every individual’s story and how their culture affects their creativity changed my perspective on the industry and allowed me to broaden how I approach my work. In turn, being able to share my story gave me the confidence to step up as a next generation leader. I started the Academy as a student with a desire to live in the advertising world; I came out a young creative knowing that I will make a positive impact on the industry. I am proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone, for traveling on my own and building diverse global networks. This opportunity would not have happened without the Brandcenter’s sponsorship; I thank the Brandcenter with all my heart for giving me this once-in-a-lifetime experience. - JAN JUNLOY (AD, 2020)
CANNES 2019 /
Want more behind the scenes of Jan’s Cannes adventure? Open your smartphone camera and scan here.
83 BC SPRINT /
No pain. No Gain. (Live client experience.)
BC Sprint The weekend before classes kick off each January, second-years have the opportunity to participate in a 4-day strategic and creative sprint. Teams are briefed by the client on Day 1, then they work throughout the weekend to develop innovative solutions to the brief. Presentations are on Day 4. Participants get real-world experience with clients, work to feature in their portfolio, and tons of free food.
2020 SPRINT CLIENTS + via
COORS LIGHT - CBM: HALLE NURSE / EDWARD BECKWITH (VCU SCHOOL OF BUSINESS) / XD: JESSICA FATHERLY + TREASURE BROWN / ST: SEVERIN DIDRICKSEN + BONNI DINERSTEIN
ASK Coors Light needs a summer music activation targeted at 21-to34-year-olds to get them to choose Coors Light in their moments of chill. It should build off their ‘Made to Chill’ campaign in order to continue their upwards sales growth. CHALLENGE Summer is thought of as a time for freedom and exploration, but that requires time and money — resources that many 21-to-34year-olds don’t have; Coachella costs 2-weeks’ pay for the average person in this group. For those in ‘music dead zones,’ the idealistic summer music experience can be completely unreachable.
OPPORTUNITY Provide an exciting live-streamed summer concert experience for our audience, without having them empty their bank accounts. CONCEPT Coors Tours: Free Music. Unlimited Chill. We will bring three concerts to one venue simultaneously by pairing live streaming technology with the silent disco phenomenon. Coors Tours concerts will be at Dead Zones, the neglected cities tour buses always skip.
THE EXPERIENCE Step 1: Check ID Step 2: Checkout Headphones The ID will allow guests to check out a pair of silent disco headphones. When leaving the activation, guests will return their headphones in order to get their IDs back. Step 3: Receive 21+ Wristband Guests who are 21 and up will be given a drinking wristband. Step 4: Stream. Enjoy. Chill. After receiving headphones and wristbands (if eligible), guests are able to start streaming music and enjoying themselves.
AWARENESS SOCIAL POLL Fans will have the power to choose where the CoorsTours Bus will stop next! We’ll put out a social media poll on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram platforms two weeks prior to the next show and give the fans the option to choose between three dead zone cities. Once the poll is finished, we’ll release a video reel that reveals which city has been chosen.
COORS LIGHT WINNING WORK /
BEER GARDEN Guests with 21-and-up wristbands will be able to redeem one free can of beer from the Coors Light branded Beer Garden. While this will easily attract current Coors Light lovers, this will also be a great opportunity for first-timers to try the beer brand if they have not done so already.
BWW WINNING WORK /
Competition. Medals. A torch relay. No, it’s not the Olympics, it’s the Ultimate Blazin’ Championship.
ASK Make Buffalo Wild Wings the most legendary place to celebrate the 2020 Summer Olympics. CHALLENGE Due to licensing restrictions, Buffalo Wild Wings cannot use the word “Olympics” in any marketing materials. How do we create an Olympic-themed campaign without actually talking about the Olympics? SOLUTION Buffalo Wild Wings holds their own epic competition, complete with medals and a torch relay, on National Chicken Wing Day, which happens to fall during the Summer Olympics.
OPPORTUNITY National Chicken Wing Day falls on July 29th, which is right in the middle of the Summer Olympics. Buffalo Wild Wings already has competitive eating built into the menu. Enter: The Blazin’ Challenge. Walk into any BWW, eat 12 of the bar’s hottest wings in under six minutes, and win your name on the wall plus (what else?) bragging rights for life. National Chicken Wing Day feels like the perfect opportunity to take this competition up a notch or five.
THE RELAY This summer we’re traveling across the country in a giant buffalo car. The Olympic torch relay begins in Olympia, Greece; so naturally, we’re starting ours at the Buffalo Wild Wings location in Olympia, WA. Our instantly-iconic Buffalo Mobile will then travel all the way across the country to the OG Buffalo Wild Wings location in Cleveland, OH.
THE TORCH Yes, we’re carrying a giant flaming buffalo chicken wing from city to city. The Blazin’ Beacon is kind of like the Olympic torch, but better because it’s a chicken wing. The beacon and the buffalo travel to 6 cities between Olympia and Cleveland, picking up a Blazin’ Championship semi-finalist at each stop along the way.
THE CAULDRON And lighting a fire-breathing buffalo head. No, it’s not the Olympic Cauldron, it’s better. It’s a buffalo head that we light upon arrival in Cleveland, signaling the official start of National Chicken Wing Day. It roars, breathes fire, and looks really, really cool. All in order to find America’s Ultimate Blazin’ Champion.
BUFFALO WILD WINGS - XD: MELISSA POE, SAM PIETRZAK, LOUIS BOEHLING + MAREYA STEARNS / ST: MADISON MCCRACKEN / CW: RACHEL CURRY
MARKETING We created an own-able event around the Olympics that lives within the Buffalo Wild Wings brand.
HEADLINES The goal of the event is to garner attention for Buffalo Wild Wings during the Olympic season. We created several headlines to pitch our idea with the kind of headlines we would expect to see during Summer 2020.
BRAND TOUCHPOINTS Because Buffalo Wild Wings has such loud visual language, we felt that it would be necessary for our event to show up in the same loud way.
BWW WINNING WORK /
SOCIAL Buffalo Wild Wings has a huge loyal following of real followers on their social accounts. We wanted to leverage this in our communication plan when it came to getting the word out about the event.
WNW RECRUITER SESSION /
VCU BRANDCENTER VIRTUAL RECRUITER SESSION WEEK MAY 11-15, 2020 Due to COVID-19, we weren’t able to host our annual Recruiter Session event in person. Instead, we partnered with Working Not Working — an online, curated community of our industry’s top talent — to debut the Class of 2020 virtually. Over 200 recruiters from a mix of agencies, companies, and consultancies participated in the Virtual Recruiter Session Week.
"It was a no-brainer for Working Not Working to team-up with the VCU Brandcenter. The talented Class of 2020 now faces a unique challenge in the transition from education to creative career. Our partnership will enable these graduates to be discovered and provide community resources to get them through this crisis and onward in their creative journey."
- Manda Wilks, Talent and Brand Manager at Working Not Working
WNW RECRUITER SESSION /
STUDENT WEBSITES /
CLASS OF 2020
Danielle Scott Patxot
STUDENT WEBSITES /
START TO FINISH /
START TO FINISH
A lot can change in SIXTY weeks. Here's what the Class of 2020 has to say about their transformation.
WEEK 01 WEEK 60 I’m ready! Nervous, Excited, Stupid Ambiguous, Energetic, Hopeful Skeptic Excited, Motivated, Married Open, Excited, Confident Excited, Imposter Syndrome Eager Excited, Nervous Reserved, Dichotomous Thinker, Cocksure Well-rested and shy. 1. Unaware 2. Excited 3. Willing Nervous and Naive Eager, Excited, Unsure Definitely clenching here. Uncertain Anxious, Excited Just keep swimming. Excited, Eager Nervous/Excited/Hungry Anxious, Excited Excited. Curious. Nervous. Wide-eyed and Enthusiastic Excited but Clueless Caffeinated, Eager Apprehensive and Timid Anxious and Open-Minded Curious, Imaginative, Excited Unsure Nervous. Excited. Clueless. Ambivalent Hesitant and Curious Wide-eyed, Naive Energetic, Hopeful Wandering, Lost, Confused Eager Beaver Fish out of Water Optimistic, Exploratory, “doing a lot of everything” A blank slate
I’m readier! Self-assured, Hopeful, Tired Confident, Eager, Emotional Inspired Driven, Hopeful, Divorced Teammate, Curious, Connected Optimistic, Sentimental, Grateful Ready Excited, Nervous Confident, Professional, Humble Capable, Confident, and F#@king Exhausted. 1. Metamorphosis 2.Intrepid 3. Relieved Grounded, Humbled, Energized Adaptive, Ready, Excited Calm. Over-caffeinated. Ready. Equipped Anxious but hopeful Shaken, not stirred. Bittersweet Confident/Kick-Ass/Hungry Anxious, Excited, Learned Excited. Curious. Confident. Equipped and Hopeful Confident and Hopeful Wireframes, User Journey, Empathy Map Confident and Optimistic Versatile and Qualified Adventurous, Conceptual, Passionate Focused Ready. Set. Go. Collected Eager and Hopeful Spirited, Laughable, Chill Energetic, Powerful Focused, Proud, Confident, Electrified Fully Submerged Optimistic, Dialed-in, “Let’s go!” Less slate like
WEEK 01 WEEK 60
Empathetic, Unapologetic, Awkward Fearless, Proud, Resilient Confident, Resilient, and Full Master of stress Read the hoodie. 1996 Dodge Stratus Concept! Ready to rock! Aged Cabernet Sauvignon (complex + getting better with age) Relentless, Fervent and Hungry Meatlord666 Confident, Word-smith, Specialized Caffeine-dependent Relieved, Hopeful, Anxious Whelmed Hungrier Ready, Excited, Ambitious Bee Confidently Uncertain Câ€™mon and Zoom! Art Director Bushy-haired Observant, Developing, Excited Mambo No. 5 Creative, Self-assured, Analytical Curious, Driven, Hopeful Confident, Excited, Ready Driven and Hopeful Confident, and Even Hungrier Unemployed, Broke and Even more Tired Quick-witted, Empathetic, Persistent Curious, Confident, Excited Enterprising Terrified, Good Portfolio Prepared and Optimistic Grateful, Encouraged, Optimistic Still hopeful Big boy tie
START TO FINISH /
Shy, Broken-foot, Awkward Confused, Terrified, Insecure Timid, Unsure, and Weary Bachelor of stress Hello? 2020 Mercedes S-Class Concept? Anxious and Excited A rum and coke (simple but good; a little mixed up) Nervous, Gutsy and Hungry Vegetarian Excited, Hungry, Jack-of-all-trades Wide-eyed Excited, Anxious, Determined Overwhelmed Hungry Uncertain, Overwhelmed, Excited Sponge Nervous, Hopeful Cool, Virginia Graphic Designer Bright-eyed Curious, Talkative, Passionate Young, Dumb + Broke Shy, Hesitant, Methodical Curious, Driven, Hopeful Nervous, Excited Nervous, Uncertain, Excited Hungry, Nervous, Small Tired and Eager Excited, Nervous, Stubborn Curious, Nervous, Quiet Aspiring Terrified, No Portfolio Eager and Nervous Excited, Nervous, Energized Hopeful Clip on tie
PHILIPPE KRAKOWSKY /
Incrementalism won’t do. We need to reinvent. INTERPUBLIC'S PHILIPPE KRAKOWSKY'S RALLYING CRY TO YOUNG TALENT.
This is an edited version of Krakowsky’s commencement address to this year’s 2020 graduation class of the VCU Brandcenter: As we reflect back on this moment, one of things that I think will really stand out is how many contradictory feelings and emotions we’re all experiencing, and having to process simultaneously, as a result of this massive disruption. Off the top of my head, and in no particular order, in the past couple of days I’d call out: anxious, frightened, bored, angry, caring, exhausted, bewildered. You could doubtless add many more. I’m sure that they’re actually all quite similar – because they’re what make us human, and they underscore the ways in which we are connected to, and ultimately dependent on, one another. “We’re all in this together” may be starting to sound stale to some people. But, let’s face it, that has never been more true. Even though it’s fair to say that human attention span has likely never been shorter, and that our need for instant gratification has never been higher, I’d guess that the people who prevailed through wars, plagues, and other disasters that took years to survive and overcome would probably not give us a pass for starting to run short of resolve after just eight weeks of Coronavirus quarantine. So, here’s a first takeaway – well, it’s actually more of an ask. You are a cohort of incredibly talented problem solvers, communicators, creators, connectors, and innovators. I’d give you this brief: Think about that neighbor who lends a helping hand with a mundane chore. Or the front line workers, like nurses, doctors, first responders, as well as the people picking foods in our fields, working in retail, and delivering needed goods to our homes.
Consider the family, friends and colleagues stepping into the breach at this time of need. What these people, their narratives, and this crisis are bringing most vividly into focus is the solidarity that can and should bind us together. How do we truly capture that spirit? How do we animate and transmit it? And how do we keep it alive and pay it forward, so that when the current danger is past, we don’t settle back into complacency around tolerating division, divisiveness and inequality? What role can you and your unique skill sets, honed at the Brandcenter, play in helping answer those key questions? From that moral imperative, let’s now turn to the world of work. There’s no sugar coating the challenges that we face economically, or the fact that the class of 2020 is stepping into the workforce at a very difficult time. You have my empathy, because as is the case for you today, I graduated high school and college during the double-dip recessions of the early 1980s. Unsure of a career path, laden by student debt, the first few years of my working life involved a number of false starts, a bunch of freelance assignments, and an idealistic (that’s a polite way to describe the overconfidence that comes with immaturity) decision to start up an AI software company. It wasn’t the most conventional, or the safest, path. But it did involve a very broad range of interesting problems, a fair bit of drudgework, a lot of adaptability, and a steep learning curve. We’re in for one of those when it comes to what lies ahead for every business. The economic crisis will fast track trends that we were already seeing, and that many corporate leaders have been moving to address, in recent years. For any company hoping to survive and prosper, the “digital transformation” that’s been making
tons of headlines is going to have to happen on an accelerated timeline.
uncertainty” that are “more open to creative energy than any other time in history.”
Incrementalism won’t do. Business models will have to be actively re-thought and re-invented. Which sounds like it could be right up your alley, since you are all graduating with both a master’s degree in business and a “healthy appreciation for the power of original thinking.”
Despite basing that observation on a myth, he sure got the last part right! We are living in interesting, and truly historic times, times of danger and uncertainty. Your creative energy will be needed more than ever. It can make an impact on the kind of society we live in, on a more compassionate collective response to today’s challenges, as well as on the role business will play in people’s lives going forward.
Thinking about where the virus is taking business, there are a number of themes that will clearly be with us for the foreseeable future. Like what does “contact-free” mean for your industry? How agile and responsive to change can your service model become? What does your core business see as its purpose, and what is the critical path to balancing the needs of customers, employees and shareholders alike? All these questions have implications for business strategy, the promises a brand can reasonably and credibility make, every dimension of the customer experience, and all design elements connected to a company’s interactions with consumer and business audiences. Who better to figure out the implications of these massive challenges than the “best creative problemsolvers in the world of brands?”
Congratulations, graduates. your families good health. And be staying tuned to see the and innovation you bring as this crisis.
I wish you and I’ll definitely kinds of ideas we emerge from
By Philippe Krakowsky, Chief Operating Officer at Interpublic Group (IPG). Mr. Krakowsky prepared his commencement speech for our graduates though the Class of 2020 Brandcenter graduation ceremony was rescheduled due to COVID-19.
The next six to twelve months won’t be easy for any of us. They’ll doubtless make it more difficult for you to find the career on-ramp you were thinking would be there for you upon graduation. But, in the mid-term and the longrun, the skills you’ve learned and honed, and what likely brought you to the Brandcenter in the first place – a rigorous, unconventional, collaborative, hands-on learning experience at the forefront of marketing and media – will only become more valuable and impactful.
PHILIPPE KRAKOWSKY /
The phrase “may you live in interesting times” is widely reported to be a Chinese curse, masquerading as a blessing. It’s neither. It was invented, pretty much out of whole cloth, by a British diplomat in the 1930’s, and made famous when JFK inserted the expression into a speech he gave to a group of students in Cape Town, South Africa in 1966. In it, he said interesting times are “times of danger and
STUDENT WEBSITES /
ART DIRECTORS BARBRIANNA ADAMS / www.barbrianna.com EMILY ADAMSON / www.emilycadamson.com JENNA ANDERSON / www.jennanderson.org CLAIRE BAFFOE / www.clairebaffoe.com SHELBY BASS / www.shelbybass.com ARIELLE BRYANT / www.arielle.world KATIE DINARDO / www.katiedinardo.com SALOMÃ‰ GURULI / www.salomeguruli.com JOIE HA / www.joieha.work JAN JUNLOY / www.janjunloy.com JESSE LANE / www.jrl.horse MATTEO MEOLA / www.matteomeola.com BRIELLE MUNIZZI / www.briellemunizzi.com RYAN OWENS / www.ryanowens.is STEPHEN PISANO / www.stephenpisanodesign.com ALEC PLOURDE / www.alecplourde.com JENNY RITTER / www.jenny-ritter.com HALEY SCHRENK / www.haleyschrenk.com KRISTA STANLEY / www.kristastanley.com EMMALINE TERRY / www.emmaline.site CAMILLE WALKER / www.camilleleithwalker.com
AKIN ABODE / www.akinabode.com FUNMI ADEJOBI / www.hifunmi.com TARIK ATALLAH / www.tarik-atallah.com KELLEY BARRETT / www.kelleybarrett.work UPASTI BASAPPA / www.upasti.com STEVENSON CERRILLO / www.cerrillocreative.com RACHEL CURRY / www.rachelcurryfanclub.com ELEANOR FIALK / www.eleanorfialk.com NICK GARFIELD / www.nickgarfield.com CARA HANSON / www.cara-hanson.com ROBERT HYLTON / www.robertrhylton.com SOPHIE LICHTMAN / www.sophielichtman.com KT MCVEIGH / www.heyimkt.com CONNOR NOH / www.connormaybe.com YOTAM OHAYON / www.yotamohayon.com KARAN RAIKAR / www.karanraikar.work EMILY RHODES / www.emilyrhodes.work NATE SAUBER / www.natesauber.com JULIA SCOPER / www.juliascoper.com LAUREN SITTERLY / www.laurensitterly.com CALEB YORK / www.calebyork.work
MILA WIZEL / www.milawizel.com HALEY YACAVONE / www.haleyacavone.com
Creative Brand managers
alchrisbates.com CHRIS BATES / www.there m-beckmann.com JIM BECKMANN / www.ji colvin.com CODY COLVIN / www.codycksonkdowney.com JACKSON DOWNEY / www.ja -max gnotworking.com/93480 MAX FARINHOLT / workin aylareneejohnson.com SHAYLA JOHNSON / www.sh ylorkepley.rip TAYLOR KEPLEY / www.ta ekuykendall.com LEE KUYKENDALL / www.le chylee.com MICHELLE LEE / www.mi
VIRGINIA ADAMSON / www.virginiaadamson.com PRATIKA APPAIAH / www.pratika.me LOUIS BOEHLING / www.louisboehling.com
ANNA BOUTCHARD / www.annaboutchard.com
YNES BOUCK / www.ynesbouck.com
CARA COFFIN / www.caracoffin.com
TREASURE BROWN / www.treasurebrown.com
MICAH DAVENPORT / www.micahwhy.me
KELSEY COWAN / www.kelseycowan.club
NICK DELEON / www.nickdeleon.net
JESSICA FATHERLY / www.jessicafatherly.com
SEVERIN DIDRIKSEN / www.severindidriksen.com
CATHERINE GELLATLY / www.catherinegellatly.com
BONNI DINERSTEIN / www.bonni-dinerstein.com
ELLIOTT HARTZ / www.elliotthartz.com
ZAVI HARMAN / www.zaviharman.com
DANIEL HUFFINE / www.danielhuffine.com
BRIANNE JOHNSON / www.brianne-johnson.com
DANIELLE JOHNSON / www.danielle-johnson.com
ELYSE JOLLEY / www.elysejolley.com
MEOSHA JUPITER / www.meoshajupiter.com
AARON LEE / www.aaronjlee.co
JIMMY KRAHE / www.jkrahe.com
EMILY MASCHER / www.emilywho.com
ANDREA OWENS / www.andrea-owens.com
MADISON MCCRACKEN / www.madisonmccracken.com
SAM PIETRZAK / www.ptrzk.com
MICHELLE MCGUIRE / www.michellermcguire.com
MELISSA POE / www.melissapoe.com
TORY NAGEL / www.torybnagel.com
JAMES REALUBIT / www.jamesrealubit.com
CAROLINE ODOM / www.carolineodom.com
DANIELLE SCOTT PATXOT / www.daniellesp.com
DAVIS RHODES / www.daviswestonrhodes.com
MAREYA STEARNS / www.mareya.me
JILL SALZMAN / www.jillsalzman.co
JEREMY STOKES / www.jeremy-stokes.com
RACHAEL SHERMAN / www.rachaelsherman.com
DANNY TIMBERS / www.dannytimbers.com
CHRISTOPHER SUAREZ / www.yolosuarez.com
DOUG WEST / www.dougwest.me
ALANA LOVEYS / www.alanaloveys. com ANNIE MADDOX / www.anniemaddox. com HALLE NURSE / www.hallenurse.com JOE REILLY / www.joereilly.net
ART ROSS / www.aross.co
EMILY THOMAS / www.thomasemilyc .com
STUDENT WEBSITES /
MASON SHUCK / www.masonshuck.com HALLE SINNOTT / www.halle-sinnot t.com ALISHA TAYLOR / www.alisha-storm .com
HOW TO APPLY Visit brandcenter.vcu.edu/admissions for more details on the admissions process, deadlines, and requirements.
It all starts here.
Let us know you are interested Join our mailing list to make sure you don’t miss a thing: bit.ly/BrandcenterLearnMore
If you don’t tell us, how will we know?
Visit us Visit bit.ly/VisitBrandcenter to: - Schedule a 1:1 tour and meeting with admissions. - Register for an information session. - See where we’ll be recruiting.
I promise you will talk to a real person.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to: - Sit in on a class - Come to a Friday Forum - Connect with a current Brandcenter student - Ask a question
Contact us 804.828.8384 email@example.com 103 S. Jefferson Street Richmond, VA 23284
It’s even better in person.
We won’t file a restraining order.
Follow us facebook.com/VCUBrandcenter Instagram @vcu_brandcenter Twitter @vcu_brandcenter linkedin.com/school/vcu-brandcenter
Wisdom gifted to the Brandcenter Class of 2020 during Week 1. Thanks, Arts + Letters.
O N ER ’ EW R EGNOL TS U J GNIVAS .S D N A R B TUO ER ’ EW EVAS OT .D L R OW E H T