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December 2020

What's new

Four examples of student work from 2020 [View Image]

ONE SEMESTER, FOUR REAL-WORLD PROJECTS 

Brandcenter students often get the opportunity to work on real-world projects outside of class. This fall was no exception—in fact, teams of students completed major projects for four different entities, many of which focused on social and cultural causes.

Read more about each project below.

Black Black Friday logo [View Image]

#BLACKBLACKFRIDAY

In a move to reframe the conversation around Black Friday into an activation to support Black-owned businesses, a team of second-year Brandcenter students partnered with Seattle marketing agency DNA to create the #BlackBlackFriday activation. The online and social media program enables consumers to show their support for the stores where they shop by posting digital stickers inspired by “I Voted” stickers.

READ MORE >>

ADWEEK COVERAGE >>

 

 

 New Freeman Mavericks logo [View Image]

FREEMAN MAVERICKS

Across the country, from pro sports teams to colleges and universities, people are grappling with the decision to replace culturally insensitive team names and mascots.

In Richmond, Freeman High School, formerly home of the "Rebels," partnered with Brandcenter students on its new identity development. After two months of strategy and design work, the new mascot was unveiled in November: the Freeman Mavericks.

Special thanks to Steven Ebert (ST, 2016) and Newman Granger (ST, 2015) for helping to advise the team.

 

 Looking down on a person in jeans holding a mint green book with the words [View Image]

LIGHTHOUSE LABS

Brandcenter students worked with an array of small businesses this semester, thanks to a partnership with Lighthouse Labs: a nonprofit business accelerator that provides mentoring, business planning resources, and funding for promising new businesses.

The project allowed second-year students to work in cross-functional teams within their Brand Experiences course, developing everything from new brand identities to in-person activations.

 

 Where Are All The Black People? logo [View Image]

WHERE ARE ALL THE BLACK PEOPLE?

A team of ten Brandcenter students developed the digital marketing strategy for The One Club for Creativity's Where Are All the Black People? conference—but they didn't stop there. The students crafted all of the digital assets used to promote the event, including a video manifesto and social media filters. They even explored what it might look like to extend the conference beyond the three days, building out a microsite to monitor agency diversity.

 

Brandcenter Forum

 Portrait of Mira Kaddoura [View Image]

WRAPPING UP A VIRTUAL FALL

We're so thankful to have been able to bring some of the most brilliant minds in our industry to the Brandcenter this semester, virtually. From "Move Culture or GTFO" by Vanessa Toro (VP Creative Strategy, Digitas) to a Simulated First Year of Advertising by Jarrod Higgins (XD, 2010) (Creative Director, Wieden+Kennedy Portland), our speakers covered a wide range of topics that left our students informed and inspired.

Most Forum sessions are available to watch on our website via the link below.

FORUM DETAILS & VIDEOS >>

 

Alumni Giving

 Couple of students walking past the front of the VCU Brandcenter Mike Hughes Hall sign. [View Image]

THANK YOU
It’s been a tumultuous year, but the support we received for our student scholarships—particularly our three endowed scholarships that prioritize a more diverse industry—has been extraordinary. We are endlessly inspired by our alumni and industry partners who are committed to supporting these and many other important causes.

If it is within your means and you’re looking for ways to give back, we hope you’ll consider making a gift to one of the Brandcenter scholarship funds. Every little bit helps and directly supports students in their pursuit of a Brandcenter education.

Learn more about giving options at the link below, or contact Angela Bartee, our development lead.


MAKE A DONATION >>

 

Alumni Spotlight

 Shirtless African American male in blue jeans and white cowboy hat, mounts a horse. [View Image]

BEATS BY DRE // YOU LOVE ME
You love Black culture.
But do you love me?


This question drives the powerful new two-minute spot for Beats by Dre, created by Paige Rollins (XD, 2019) and her team at Translation. A montage of scenes featuring Black celebrities and Black culture pair with a beautiful, bold poem.


WATCH THE SPOT >>

 Box of Ritz crackers and a phone displaying text messages. [View Image]

RITZ CRACKERS // TASTE OF FAMILY


This holiday season, Ritz crackers explores the beauty of chosen families: a connection at a homeless shelter, a LGBTQ couple with friends, a retirement home gathering. Great work by alums Hannah Levy Luse (CBM, 2018), Sara Grunden Kuhs (CW, 2004), Cecelia Parrish (CBM, 2015), Eleanor Fialk (CW, 2020), and their team at The Martin Agency.


WATCH THE SPOT >>

 A human skull with an arrow going through the top is displayed in a museum case. [View Image]

NETFLIX KOREA // THE MASSACRE OF KINGDOM


Devin Altman (CW, 2016) and his team at Wieden+Kennedy Tokyo brought the Netflix horror series Kingdom to life in a chilling museum exhibition experience and mockumentary film. The Massacre of Kingdom: Artifacts of the Undead presents the fictional plotline of Kingdom as reality. After a six-month hold due to COVID-19, the work was finally launched at the Songwon Art Center in Seoul, Korea.


VIEW THE WORK >>

 

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