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Robertson Rush keeps the creativity flowing

May 5, 2021

Posted in: News

By Zobia Nayyar, Communications Assistant

A graphic of the Robertson Rush Spring 2021 eventThe Robertson Rush is a week-long advertising event.


The COVID-19 pandemic is not stopping advertising students at Virginia Commonwealth University from creating content and developing their skills for an up-and-coming brand.

VCU’s Robertson School of Media and Culture and the Advertising Club at VCU are putting together a week-long advertising event, putting teams together from different universities to compete to create content for one brand: Scrubbi.

Robertson Rush is one of four events VCU’s advertising club hosts, to give students experience working with real brands and real deadlines. This is a quick creative project open to all undergraduate and graduate students, targeting creative development.

The kick-off event had an attendance of about 70 people on Zoom, full of excited students and mentors ready to take on their next challenge.

“We've done a really nice job in the ad sequence of creating events for students for all kinds of real life scenarios,” said Jess Collins, the professor in charge of the event.

Robertson Rush is one of many advertising events held at the university. In the Fall, there is a strategic workshop, in the Summer there is the camp, in the Spring they have CreateAthon and Robertson Rush.

Students are put into ten teams of five or more people where they compete to work off a real client brief to create visual elements.

“It's called the Roberson Rush because it's super fast.” Collins said. “They have a week to get all of this stuff done. It's a week-long, creative sprint to develop creative materials, creative assets and a creative campaign for a new product.”

The brand the students are competing for is Scrubbi, which is a hand sanitizing sponge that is convenient for on-the-go cleaning and sanitizing. It’s made to be an alternative to just using a squirt of hand sanitizer and rubbing it in your hands. The creators behind the brand hope the product continues to be useful, even after the pandemic.

A picture of partipants of the Robertson Rush on a video conferencing screenStudents from 14 different universities participated in the Spring 2021 Robertson Rush.


The teams consist of students from 14 different universities including VCU, University of Virginia, University of Florida, University of Pennsylvania, University of South Florida, Boston University and more.

President of the Advertising Club at VCU Allison Farrell said that one of the benefits of this event is that you’re able to build your network with people all across the country, which prepares you for the future as connections are important in the advertising industry.

“We’re trying to find the best resources to get students to be as successful as possible once they graduate, just because not everyone is fortunate enough to maybe have access to the brand center or other portfolio schools,” Farrell said. “This will help them build their portfolio so hopefully they won't need to spend that money on an ad school.”

The idea of Robertson Rush started with former president of the Advertising Club Kevin Nguyen, who did the groundwork for creating the creative sprint before the coronavirus changed his plans for the Spring of 2020.

Robertson Rush’s event is going on throughout this week, with mentors from Capital One for each team. The event is also sponsored by Tilt and Fable. The winners and runner ups win informational interviews from these sponsors. 

“I love this event, and everything that we do because I think it continues to solidify VCU’s reputation as being an undergraduate program that provides more real life opportunities to students than any other advertising program out there,” Collins said.