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Brandcenter Wins Big at the Richmond Ad Club Awards

graphic for the Richmond ad club awards show titled Ad_Machina

Brandcenter showed up in style for the Richmond Ad Club’s annual awards show last week!

Awards were won by our students, faculty and staff, including Best In Show for Student Work and Best in Show in Design for the latest issue of our annual SIXTY magazine

Check out the award-winning teams and projects:

graphic with orange background, a graphic of a dad looking figure in a home dept apron that says Dad G P T and text that says empowering home improvement in home depot branded typeface

WINNER – Best in Show – Student Work: “DadGPT”

  • Alyssa Hwee (Experience Design, 2025)
  • Alex McKinley (Experience Design, 2025)
  • Agrim Prakash (Strategy, 2025)

DadGPT, an app prototype for Home Depot, acts as a virtual father figure who can provide guidance, support and advice for a wide range of home repair tasks, all on your phone. Using step-by-step tutorials, image analysis for problem identification, and integrated shopping, the app helps you diagnose home repairs and tackle them with the right tools.  And it’s not just about fixing things, it connects back to Home Depot’s purpose: to equip “doers” with the knowledge and confidence to take on home improvement challenges and succeed. 

out of home advertising with bold white text on a black background that reads our main demand is simple: ban gun advertising by closing the gunfluencer loophole. any less would bea. compromise paid for with our lives. disarm the algorithm. read the letter here with a q r code and team enough logo

WINNER – Gold – Student Work, Public Service: “Disarm the Algorithm”

  • Jack Franco (Copywriting, 2024)
  • Kevin Kelleher (Experience Design, 2024)
  • Ed Keithly (Strategy, 2024)
  • Caitlin Kreinheder (Art Direction, 2024)
  • Chynna Napper (Strategy, 2024)
  • Taylor Sarlo (Creative Brand Management, 2024) 

“The gun industry and Gen Z are both thriving on YouTube. But only one of them has a right to be there.” – Disarm the Algorithm

Brady United asked Brandcenter students to develop a content strategy and comms plan to recruit young people to Team Enough, a youth movement and Brady affiliate whose mission is to educate young voices about gun violence and mobilize them to take action against it. 

Disarm the Algorithm disrupts influencer-made gun content on YouTube. Because most platforms have banned gun ads, the industry hides in plain sight by paying “gunfluencers” to positively review their products through third party influencer marketing firms. Disarm ignites Gen Z’s passion for change  so that they, in turn, put pressure on advertisers, media outlets, and gunfluencers in order to deplatform the gun industry.

out of home advertising that shows a run down looking house with scare B n B logo and 3 days, 2 terrifying nights. boystown ghostown ruins. terlingua, texas. brave the unknown. book now.  and a q r code

WINNER – Bronze – Student Work: “ScareBnB”

  • Debashish Dumbre (Copywriting, 2024)
  • Sarah Gray (Strategy, 2024)
  • Madeline Miranda (Art Direction, 2024)

How does AirBnB create a new travel season for Americans? By highlighting its rentals during the scariest season of them all – Halloween. Presenting ScareBnB.

This thrilling campaign for AirBnB features spooky out-of-home ads, unique media placements targeting horror movie streamers, creepy rental experiences, and afterlife stays for your post-mortem needs.

Walid in a suit holding a golden richmond ad club bridge award and smiling

WINNER – Excellence In Creative Education Scholarship

  • Walid Al-Tinawi (Experience Design, 2025)

The Excellence In Creative Education Scholarship recognizes extraordinary creative talent and is a $1,500 scholarship awarded annually to an outstanding student at VCU’s Brandcenter.

photo of sixty magazine on a galaxy background

WINNER – Best in Show – Design: “SIXTY Magazine”

  • KT Schaeffer (Professor, Creative Director / Art Direction, 2001)
  • Diana Ojibway (Designer in Residence / Art Direction, 2002)
  • Michal Howick (Strategy, 2022)

SIXTY offers a comprehensive look at the Brandcenter program and experience, showcasing students and their work, in addition to celebrating our amazing alums.

We also had two students whose work with teams at professional companies was recognized as well – Taylor Martin (Art Direction, 2024) worked on “Hampden-Sydney Swagalog” with Familiar Creatures, and Chelsea Glowacki (Strategy, 2024) worked on “Ruff Canine Club Rebrand” with Campfire & Co. 

Want to see more Brandcenter student work?