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Ad Club hosts second One Club Workshop at Robertson School

Nov 23, 2020

Posted in: News

By Ebonique Little, Communication Intern

For the second year in a row, the Strategic Workshop of the One Club for Creativity made its way to the Robertson School of Media and Culture earlier this month. The Ad Club at VCU partnered with the One Club to help students develop their strategic skills. 

The three-day advertising boot camp, which was held virtually Nov. 6 to 8, provided more than 100 students from 25 universities the opportunity to learn more about the strategic side of advertising through the help of various mentors, industry professionals and advertising agencies.


“This is just another initiative that the Ad Club at VCU does to establish us as the premier advertising program,” said Jessica Collins, assistant professor of advertising and faculty advisor for the Ad Club at VCU. Collins supported Ad Club students Khalied Bashri, Michelle Mead and Allison Farrell with the organization of the event. 

Hosted in tandem with the One Club — a nationally recognized organization that stimulates creative advertising ideas for businesses and promotes the professional development of students — the Strategic Workshop granted students guidance and hands-on experience in the industry.

The One Club has previously hosted workshops for other universities in cities like London, Amsterdam and Los Angeles. This Strategic Workshop, however, allowed students to learn from and connect with different representatives from local companies.

Four Richmond advertising agencies — Arts & Letters, Fable Branding, Familiar Creatures and The Martin Agency — hosted information sessions, covering topics such as how to craft a brief and sharing insights about the advertising industry.

With this new knowledge, the participating students were tasked with reviving a brand by producing a creative advertising brief. They were split into teams of five. The teams were further categorized based on three different brands — Abercrombie & Fitch, Hertz and Kodak. 


The Strategic Workshop culminated in a competition in which the students’ briefs were critiqued by judges from the event’s sponsors, including Capital One and Good Run Research and Recreation. 

One of the groups presenting a brief for the car rental company Hertz was considered the “best in show.” This team consisted of VCU seniors Samra Giorgis and Julia Bruski, Brianna Price from University of Nebraska, Lauren Spencer from Liberty University, and Makeda Blackwood from the Miami Ad School.

Their 22-page slide deck, which was due on the third day of the workshop, explained Hertz’ current challenges and presented them with opportunities for growth. After compiling consumer and cultural research, the winning team suggested Hertz update their business model by offering a subscription service of eco-friendly cars for urban city dwellers.

Senior Kyle Reed further represented VCU in the winning Abercrombie & Fitch group, while the Kodak winners consisted of VCU senior Sydney Crockett and alumni Jordan McIninch and Hannah Hugeback.

Many teams had to work collaboratively in varying time zones, but Michelle Mead, vice president of strategic planning of the Ad Club, said the circumstances provided greater opportunities as they were also able to learn from international participants. 

“This year was doubly challenging working with peers and not being able to communicate in person, and also the time crunch the Strategic Workshop presents,” Mead said. “My biggest takeaway was that new challenges present new opportunities to grow.”