VCU Brandcenter

Announcements

Three Brandcenter board members inducted into AAF Hall of Fame

Three VCU Brandcenter board members will be inducted into the American Advertising Federation's Hall of Fame this evening.

Congratulations to the following:

Bob Greenberg, Founder, Chairman and CEO of R/GA, and member of the Brandcenter board of directors

John Hegarty, Chairman of Bartle, Bogle and Hegarty, and member of the Brandcenter advisory board 

Mike Hughes (1948-2013), former President and Creative Director of The Martin Agency and founding chairman of the Brandcenter board of directors

Bob Greenberg, John Hegarty, Mike Hughes AAF Hall of Fame
Greenberg, Hegarty, and Hughes

The AAF Hall of Fame "is a virtual museum celebrating the extraordinary men and women who have made significant contributions to advertising and society. Each has helped raise the standards and level of professionalism in the industry, while inspiring and mentoring future generations, laying the groundwork that encourages us all to strive for excellence."

We are so proud of our board members who are receiving this honor.  

See More >


Martin Agency chair shares lessons and regrets from past 40 years

One Regret: never having been laid off

 


Martin Agency chair presents ‘The Advice I’d Give If I Were Inclined To Give Advice’

Plaque honoring John Adams, chair of the VCU Brandcenter, will be unveiled

University Public Affairs
(804) 828-2725


The Virginia Commonwealth University Brandcenter Friday Forum this week features John Adams, chairman of the Brandcenter Board of Directors and chairman of The Martin Agency, who will have a plaque unveiled in his honor following the talk during a private reception.

Adams has been a supporter of the Brandcenter since its inception as the VCU Adcenter. While much of his role over the years has been behind the scenes, his support, encouragement and knowledge were instrumental in its growth. The school is fortunate to now have Adams appointed as its board chairman. The plaque honoring Adams will hang alongside former honorees Harry Jacobs, chairman emeritus of The Martin Agency, and Ed Ney, chairman emeritus of Young & Rubicam Advertising, on the "Wall of Inspiration” in the VCU Brandcenter’s building, Mike Hughes Hall, which is named for Adams' former partner at The Martin Agency.

Adams will present “The Advice I’d Give If I Were Inclined To Give Advice” on Friday, March 21, at11 a.m. at the VCU Brandcenter, 103 S. Jefferson St.  Adams will share in 40 minutes the most valuable things he’s learned in 40 years. This presentation is free and open to the public.

Following the presentation, a private reception with John’s friends, family and colleagues as well as Brandcenter students and faculty will take place as the plaque is unveiled. During the reception, a few words will be shared on John’s behalf by Helayne Spivak, director of the VCU Brandcenter, who will read a few words from VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D., and fellow honoree Harry Jacobs, chairman emeritus of The Martin Agency.

See More >


Brandcenter students launch #OutRVA campaign

This week, a team of Brandcenter second year students launched #OutRVA, a project for LGBT Tourism in Richmond.

Blair Warren, art director, Frank Guzzone, art director, Jimmy Burton, copywriter, Trey Keeler, creative brand manager, and Liam Schaefer, brand strategist, worked on the project for Professor Kelly O'Keefe's Brand Campaigns class, and the organization loved their ideas so much they produced them.

Check out the video below as well as the website, www.richmondisout.com.


Watch three Winter Olympics Commercials by Brandcenter Alumni

Now that the Winter Olympics in Sochi have come to a close, take a look back at some of the Olympic and Paralympic-themed commericals by Brandcenter alumni:  

Citi: "Long Shot" 
Alum: Mark Svartz (CW, 2002), Freelance Creative Director/Copywriter
Alum: Jon Bunning (AD, 2002), Freelance Art Director/Photographer

 

P&G: "Tough Love"
Alum: Susan Land (AD, 2010), Art Director at Wieden + Kennedy
Alum: Erin Swanson (CT, 2011) Writer at Wieden + Kennedy

 

Hilton: "Weekend" featuring Ashley Wagner
Alum: Kat Ford Scaglione (AD, 2010), Art Director at Publicis


Watch 9 Super Bowl Commercials by VCU Brandcenter Alumni

Eleven VCU Brandcenter alums worked on nine Super Bowl (plus one Puppy Bowl) commercials in this year's big game. Take a look at their spots below, and see what Brandcenter students and alumni are saying about the commercials using hashtag #BCBigGame.

 

Heinz Ketchup "Hum"
Alum: Kristopher Kennedy (CW, 2009)
Copywriter at Cramer-Krasselt in Chicago

 

Chobani "How Matters"
Alum: Karen Land Short (AD, 2008)
Copywriter at Droga5, NYC

 

Carmax "Slow Clap" + Puppy Version
Alum: Jillian Dresser (AD, 2008)
Art Director at Silver + Partners, NYC
Alum: Howard Finkelstein (CW, 2005)
Creative Director at Silver + Partners, NYC
Alum: Casey Rand (CW, 2008)
Copywriter at Droga5, NYC, but the spot was done when she was at Silver + Partners, NYC

 

 

KIA "The Truth"
Alum: Mike Wilson (AD, 2011)
Art Director at David & Goliath, LA

 

US Cellular "Hello Better" (running in spot markets)
Alum: Lauren Geisler (AD, 2010)
Art Director at Mullen, Boston

 

WeatherTech floor mats for cars
Alum: Tom Wilson (CW, 1998)
Creative Director at JWT, Atlanta, but the spot was done when he was freelancing

 

Jaguar "British Villains"
Alum: Joseph Quattrone (CBM, 2008)
Group Account Director/Social Media Strategist at GroupM / M80 

 

Volkswagen "Wings"
Alum: Marika Wiggan (CS, 2010)
Brand Strategist at Argonaut, San Francisco

 

T-Mobile "What can Tim Tebow do with #nocontract?"
Alum: Neil Slotterback (CBM, 2010)
Strategist at Butler, Shine, Stern + Partners


VCU Brandcenter tapped for commentary on Super Bowl commercials

VCU Brandcenter has become the place to turn for commentary on Super Bowl commercials, especially in the Richmond area. The local community looks to the Brandcenter for insights on what makes a great Super Bowl ad and which advertisers are doing it right. 

This year, Director Helayne Spivak was invited to be a guest on ESPN Radio 950's "Hardly Workin' with Greg Burton" for an interview with VCU Athletic Director Ed McLaughlin as a Super Bowl preview. Brandcenter Professor Kelly O'Keefe was interviewed on the WRVA 1140 morning show the morning after the big game. The Richmond Ad Club has also invited Helayne, Kelly, professor Cabell Harris and alum Adam Stockton (AD, 2003) to sit on its Advertising Bowl panel Tuesday.

You can also see Brandcenter students' and alumni tweets about the commercials using #BCBigGame.

Ed McLaughlin interviews VCU Brandcenter Director Helayne Spivak on ESPN Radio 950

 

Gary Hess interviews Brandcenter Professor Kelly O'Keefe on WRVA 1140

 


Winter 2014 Alumni Newsletter Now Available

The VCU Brandcenter Winter 2014 Alumni Newsletter is now available. Catch up on what's been going on at the Brandcenter and with our alumni. 


Look for Nine Super Bowl XLVIII Spots from Brandcenter Alumni

If you watch the commercials as closely as the big game, keep an eye out for the nine Super Bowl XLVIII spots that Brandcenter alumni have worked on:

Heinz Ketchup
Alum: Kristopher Kennedy (CW, 2009)
Copywriter at Cramer-Krasselt in Chicago

Chobani
Alum: Karen Land Short (AD, 2008)
Copywriter at Droga5, NYC

Carmax
Alum: Jillian Dresser (AD, 2008)
Art Director at Silver + Partners, NYC
Alum: Howard Finkelstein (CW, 2005)
Creative Director at Silver + Partners, NYC
Alum: Casey Rand (CW, 2008)
Copywriter at Droga5, NYC, but the spot was done when she was at Silver + Partners, NYC

KIA
Alum: Mike Wilson (AD, 2011)
Art Director at David & Goliath, LA

US Cellular (running in spot markets)
Alum: Lauren Geisler (AD, 2010)
Art Director at Mullen, Boston

WeatherTech floor mats for cars
Alum: Tom Wilson (CW, 1998)
Creative Director at JWT, Atlanta, but the spot was done when he was freelancing

Jaguar
Alum: Joseph Quattrone (CBM, 2008)
Group Account Director/Social Media Strategist at GroupM / M80 

Volkswagen
Alum: Marika Wiggan (CS, 2010)
Brand Strategist at Argonaut, San Francisco

T-Mobile
Alum: Neil Slotterback (CBM, 2010)
Strategist at Butler, Shine, Stern + Partners


Registration open for the VCU Brandcenter Recruiter Session: Apr. 23-24th

Registration is now open for the annual VCU Brandcenter Recruiter Session, Apr. 23-24th, 2014, at the Brandcenter in Richmond, Virginia.

Our Recruiter Session is set up like a reverese career fair, where the graduating students from our five tracks are able to show their work and meet with visiting recruiters. We are grateful for all of our industry support and look forward to having everyone.

If your agency or company is interested in attending the VCU Brandcenter Recruiter Session, you can see more details and register here.   


Request a Brandcenter Summer Intern

The VCU Brandcenter is now taking requests for summer interns.

Our students can intern from mid-May through mid-August over the summer between their first and second years at the Brandcenter. If your agency or company is interested in hiring a Brandcenter summer intern this year, please see more details and fill out our intern request form here.  


Dates are set for six Brandcenter information sessions this spring

The VCU Brandcenter will hold six information sessions this spring for anyone interested in our Master's program.

* Learn about the VCU Brandcenter Master's program and its 5 tracks: Art Direction, Copywriting, Creative Technology, Communications Strategy, and Creative Brand Management
* Hear from current Brandcenter students on a Q&A panel
* Take a tour of the Brandcenter
* Speak with an admissions representative

Spring 2014 Information Session Dates
Please register for the date you wish to attend.

Friday, Jan. 24th, 2pm-3:30pm REGISTER

Monday, Jan. 27th, 6:30-8pm   REGISTER

Friday, Feb. 21st, 2pm-3:30pm REGISTER

Monday, Feb. 24th, 6:30-8pm   REGISTER

Friday, Mar. 21st, 2pm-3:30pm REGISTER

Monday, Mar. 24th, 6:30-8pm   REGISTER 

Location 
VCU Brandcenter Lecture Hall 
103 S. Jefferson Street
Richmond, VA 23284

Parking
Guests who will be driving may either street park for free along Cary or Canal, which run along either side of our building, or pay to park in the visitor's lot (JL Lot) on 200 W. Cary Street.

Questions?
Contact Admissions Coordinator Hawley Smyth, smythh@vcu.edu.

Can't make any of these dates?
Schedule a one-on-one meeting with Admissions Coordinator Hawley Smyth: smythh@vcu.edu.

We look forward to meeting you!

See Admissions Information >


Mike Hughes Hall

 
A Message from VCU Brandcenter Director Helayne Spivak to the Brandcenter Students

Every day we enter Mike Hughes Hall.

Every day, several times a day, we pass by the very large painting of Mike displayed against the brick wall watching over us.

I'm sure some of you might have heard that Mike Hughes passed away after a 15 year battle with lung cancer.  No one lives 15 years with stage 4 lung cancer.  Mike did.  With an extra year thrown in for good measure.‌

Mike Hughes Mural in VCU Brandcenter Stairway When you all get back from break…the first time you go through our doors in 2014, please go right to that big picture and say a silent thank you to Mike Hughes.

He helped our Founding Director build this school.

He was our first Board Chairman.

He was our champion in the community.

He was our advisor and friend.

He was a great man who loved great thinking, great work and great works.

He asked just one thing of his friends, family and thousands of far-flung close acquaintances: "Enjoy every minute of your life" and "keep me in your thoughts."

Let's all do what he asked.  
 

Helayne  

 


VCU Brandcenter Application for Fall 2014 Admission is Now Available

The 2014 application is now available for request on the Brandcenter Admissions page. We will begin receiving applications January 6th.  


Creating RVA: How VCU Brandcenter students helped craft the logo that took the city by storm

University Public Affairs
(804) 828-6051
 

Katie Chapin knew they had a good idea. She just didn't know how good. Chapin was part of a team of students in the VCU Brandcenter wrestling with a project for a local branding effort. Venture Richmond, an organization devoted to enhancing the vitality of the Richmond community, was exploring ways to brand Richmond as a way of building pride within the city and attracting attention outside of it.

Chapin’s class had been tapped to develop concepts. Chapin and her partners, who included Jarrod Higgins, Michael Whitten, Cecilia Bogardus, Pankaj Rawat and Sara Cobaugh, had come up with a deceptively simple concept: A logo with the letters “RVA” that was a sort of blank canvas, open to interpretation by artists, businesses, organizations, anyone who wanted to place their own personal stamp on it. The idea, they figured, was that the brand would be the community’s in the most authentic way possible.

“It was a way to give people a chance to own that term,” Chapin said. “Richmond means different things to different people.”

Years after the idea was born, the RVA brand – with its distinctively overlapping letters – is everywhere. Bumper stickers, T-shirts, posters, signs, store windows, business logos, on the side of the city’s garbage trucks and police cars, as ubiquitous in the suburbs as it is Downtown. Residents take the brand with them when they leave town, and it is often spotted far outside the city’s borders, such as when eagle-eyed locals caught sight of it on a musician’s case on Saturday Night Live.

The logo is integrated in myriad ways into not just official city efforts but into small and large projects that simply boast Richmond as their home. The RVA term that was formerly used only by the creative class has become a type of citywide rallying cry – a knowing shorthand for residents and others, taken to goosebump-raising heights in Richmond-based NO BS! Brass Band’s “RVA All Day” – and the effect on metropolitan pride is undeniable. Outsiders have taken notice, such as in the form of plaudits from such entities as Fast Company, a magazine devoted to cutting-edge business practices, and CEOs for Cities, a civic innovation lab and network of urban leaders looking for new ways to improve American cities.

 

See More >


Brandcenter Alumni Freelance Directory Now Available

Results from the Alumni Salary Survey conducted by the Brandcenter last winter showed that around 8% of VCU Brandcenter alumni freelance. Since we often get requests from recruiters for freelancers, we developed a directory where recruiters could search our alumni freelancers and freelancers themselves could search for possible partners.  

The VCU Brandcenter Freelance Directory is now available, and it's searchable by discipline or location. Please share with anyone who might have freelance needs!

Alumni who would like to be included in the Freelance Directory can contact Ashley Sommardahl at asommardahl@vcu.edu.


Brandcenter to Hold Five Information Sessions this Fall

Sept. 10, 2013

The Brandcenter is holding five information sessions this fall for anyone interested in our master's program.

* Learn about our 5 tracks: Art Direction, Copywriting, Creative Technology, Communications Strategy, and Creative Brand Management
* Hear from current Brandcenter students on a Q&A panel
* Take a tour of the Brandcenter
* Speak with an admissions representative

Register for the date you wish to attend.

Information Session Dates
2-4pm on Friday, Oct. 11th Register
6-8pm on Wednesday, Nov. 13th Register
2-4pm on Friday, Nov. 15th Register
2-4pm on Friday, Dec. 6th Register
6-8pm on Tuesday, Dec.10th Register

Location
VCU Brandcenter Lecture Hall
103 S. Jefferson Street
Richmond, VA 23284

Parking
Guests who will be driving may either street park for free along Cary or Canal, which run along either side of our building, or pay to park in the visitor's lot (JL Lot) on 200 W. Cary Street.

Questions?
Contact Admissions Coordinator Hawley Smyth, smythh@vcu.edu.

Can't make it to any of these sessions?
Schedule a one-on-one meeting with Admissions Coordinator Hawley Smyth: smythh@vcu.edu.

We look forward to meeting you!

See Admissions >

Fall 2013 Friday Forum Schedule Posted

Sept. 6, 2013

 

The VCU Brandcenter Fall 2013 Friday Forum Schedule [PDF] is posted and we are thrilled to have such an exceptional line-up this semester.

For more information on our speakers, visit our Friday Forum page.

Brandcenter Welcomes the Class of 2015

Aug. 23, 2013

 

This week the VCU Brandcenter was thrilled to welcome 108 first year students, its largest class yet.

Here's a little about the Class of 2015:

Average Age: 25
44% Female
56% Male

52% In-state
48% Out-of state
7% International

18 from VCU
9 from UVA
7 from UNC
Most popular undergrad majors: Advertising and Business Administration

Average GPA: 3.25
Average GRE score (for those that had to take it): 306
Average GMAT score: 543

Brandcenter Welcomes Geoff Mcgann, Newest Creative Faculty Member

Aug. 22, 2013

 

Geoff McGann

Geoff McGann's initial career began as an advertising major at Art Center College of Design in Pasedena, California. From there he was hired at Wieden + Kennedy in Portland, where he was one of the initial, principal creative forces behind the "Just Do It' campaign, which he worked on for eight years with responsibilities as both a writer and art director.

Geoff left Wieden in 1997, working as a freelance creative, as well as developing his fine-art design and poetry, which has been shown at exhibitions in NYC, Chicago, Miami and Los Angeles.

In 2005, Geoff was elected as writer/creative director at Public Interest, a non-profit advertising agency/production company dedicated solely to socially-aware, cause-marketing initiatives, funded by The Gates Foundation (Amnesty, AIDS-AID, Partnership for a Drug-Free America, Wounded Warriors.)

From 2010 - 2012, Geoff held the writer/CD position at 72andSunny, working on in-house clients as well as managing the program director position at 72U, the in-house advertising and communications school.

Geoff also served as interim co-director at Wieden + Kennedy 12, the in-house advertising school at Wieden + Kennedy.

Class of 2013 up to 84% Job Placement

Aug. 1, 2013

Congratulations to the Class of 2013 who has already reached an 84% job placement rate as of Aug. 1st. The students graduated May 11th.

Here's where they will be working...

Communications Strategy
Mohammad Al Robain - Campbell-Ewald
Sloane Beaver  - Mullen Boston
Anna Bedineishvili - Pereira & O'Dell
Harper Bokum-Fauth - Goodby Silverstein & Partners
Chris Brumleve - Lowe Campbell-Ewald
Lisa Guadagni - Mullen LA
Cristina Hall - Y&R Chicago
Kayte Hamilton - Brado Creative Insight
Rilee Harman - LPK (Cincinnati)
AJ Hickcox - Wieden + Kennedy Portland
Sara Lezama - Pereira & O'Dell
Kirstie Maryott - Goodby Silverstein & Partners
Annie Pryatel - Barefoot Proximity (Cincinnati)
Brad Perry - Create Digital
Johnny Roelofs - Wieden + Kennedy Portland
Kevin Rosen - Lowe Campbell-Ewald
Gerhard Steine - CP+B LA
Zack Stergar - Goodby Silverstein & Partners
Tom Vassallo - Erwin Penland

Art Direction
Parker Bell - The Richards Group
Cory Bowles - Fallon
Sam Cantor - Wieden + Kennedy Portland
Kelsie Clegg - POSSIBLE Seattle
Corey de Groot - Disney's Yellow Shoes
Danielle Delph - Wieden + Kennedy Portland
Max Gustofson - Apple
Cori Johnson - McKinney New York
Chris Kim - McKinney New York
Richard Lutz - Fallon
Zack Madrigal - Wieden + Kennedy Portland
Erynn Mattera - Energy BBDO
Kara Noble - Mullen Boston
Cody Pate - McKinney New York
Mauricio Perez - Mullen Boston
Jon Robbins - Wieden + Kennedy New York
Malone Roberts - 180LA
Allison Sobolewski - Walrus
Tyler Wriston - Mother New York

Copywriting
Gary Baker - McGarrah Jessee
Maddison Bradley - Wieden + Kennedy New York
Daniel Chen - 180LA
Ian Downey - Walrus
Mary Gross - BooneOakley
Faye Ibars - DraftFCB Chicago
Andrew Kong - Wieden + Kennedy Portland
Michelle Lamont - 360i
Chris Martin - Wieden + Kennedy Portland
Matt Meszaros - Deutsch LA
Zac Milner - McKinney New York
Kai Neddersen - Mullen Boston
Don Principe - Mcgarrybowen Chicago
Christina Semak - Cavalry Chicago
Matt Skibiak - Wieden + Kennedy Portland
Adam Tetreault - Wieden + Kennedy Portland
Katlyn Williams - Capital One
Megan Winterhalter - Fallon

Creative Brand Management
Abbey Birsch - Target
Jenn Clinehens - AT&T Innovation
Cameron Ferrin - M&M/ Mars
Sarah Garman - CP+B Boulder
Russ Gottwald - Operation Bedlam - political strategy firm/ issue advocacy
Emily Kennedy - POSSIBLE Seattle
Elizabeth Maksim - The Richards Group
Katy Nash - CP+B Miami
Whitney Newman - Target
Hunter Pechin - Health Warrior
Lacy Quarles - Clear Channel Outdoor
Kerith Rae - ICF International
Mike Razim - Weiden + Kennedy Portland
Jessica Sartoretto - Made Movement

Creative Technology
Olivia Abtahi - Mullen San Francisco
John Briney - Translation
Christina Chern - Mullen San Francisco
Chelsea Garber - R/GA New York
Ted Makarewicz - Redscout SF
Fitz Maro - 360i
Nick Marx - 72andSunny
Charles Merritt - 80 amps
Kiera Rooker - Made Movement