This is a call for entries so to speak. I write this post to ask if you want to share a brief or an assignment for a senior/grad student class that I teach at Boston University. Should you be selected, we/I would gladly sign a non-disclosure (if needed) and would share work with you when we’re done. It could be for an existing client or project or something you wanted to do in past but never got to pursue.
The class is called Strategic Creative Development and it’s a course that puts as much emphasis on strategic creativity as on the work; better yet it tries to blur the lines between the two as much as possible. Students are future strategists, creative, UX professionals and pretty T-shaped. Or at least they are by the end of the semester.
Ideally I would like relevant, real-world assignments that challenge students to create a full-blown brand experience that includes positioning, digital utility, social media, UX and some form of advertising across the spectrum of brand/consumer interaction. I typically give students three weeks, working in teams of five, to develop something comprehensive.
For example, this year I am thinking.
Create an entire campaign to re-launch the VW microbus: craft a positioning; develop a connection strategy, preferably sans traditional advertising; re-invent the dealership experience; conceive a basic website; invent a mobile app/utility; and come up with buzz-generating social launch event.
Re-invent the entire check in experience at a major hotel TBD: consider everything from the confirmation email; to an original app that lets users customize their experience; the physical space they encounter upon arrival; the greeting issued by welcoming staff; materials handed out at check-in; the elevator interior and experience; even the contents of the room.
Develop an all online bank: name it; conceive basic products; write a strategy for acquiring customers; create incentives to leverage the user base in attracting new customers; explore ways to use mobile; determine the role of paid advertising; consider how to earn attention via social media; and create alternative or hacked-media executions to generate awareness.
Obviously in a class like this we will spend less time on specific skills, i.e. writing, design, wire-frames, video editing, etc. and more on campaign development. Don’t worry, Sanam Petrie, there are other classes that emphasize the basics. The purpose here is to get students to understand that advertising today covers a lot more than print, TV, online interactions and social media posting and instead is about how you connect and engage on a user’s terms, build behaviors and user experiences that inspire loyalty, and do things worthy of being advertised.
Let me know if you, your agency or your brand has an inspiring assignment.