PROGRAM FEATURE: Why SMU Students Should Consider Temerlin’s Graphic Design Minor

Temerlin’s graphic design minor provides a basic understanding and development of skills necessary for message design across various media. Topics and skill sets may include identity (logos, branding collateral material, packaging), digital (social, mobile, online media), publication (magazines, newspapers, books), and other areas of design.

Professor Cheryl Mendenhall, program director for the graphic design minor, explains, “Learning to become a better visual communicator can enhance a variety of career paths. It’s so much more than learning the software used in the industry. It is about cultivating your ideas; using design principles of composition and layout; and learning about typography, imagery and color choices along with a little psychology to best present your ideas.” Research confirms the demand for graphic design skills:

  • The U.S. market size for graphic designers is $12.7 billion.
  • A Content Marketing Institute study reveals that 51% of business-to-business marketers say creating visual content is a priority.
  • According to a Digital Trends study by Adobe, 73% of companies invest in design to make their brand more recognizable than their competitors’.
  • Research by iScribblers shows that visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text and that it takes twice as long to process and recognize words.

This year the Temerlin Advertising Institute has expanded the minor to include two new-upper level electives, Image-Making and Graphic Design for Digital Media. Image-Making explores various styles and techniques to produce conceptually based imagery. The second course, Graphic Design for Digital Media, examines specific design challenges posed by various digital media and platforms, including issues of scale, color, typography, resolution, file sizes and color modes.

Preview recent student graphic design work:

Learn more and apply to the graphic design minor here.

INDUSTRY CONNECTIONS: Stone Boutique Partners with Campaigns Students

Stone Boutique is a Dallas-based fine and rare stone showroom that brings cutting-edge slab technology to the interior design consumer. Owners Francisco and Margarita Acosta are dedicated to disrupting the industry by leveraging their patented technology to pioneer a new start-to-finish purchasing experience. They explain:

“For us, discovering a once-in-a-lifetime slab is a magical experience. Over the course of our first 30 years in the industry, we watched in awe as pieces forged by the history of the world’s most intriguing places were unearthed, only to be delivered to the customer through a lifeless, inefficient, and frustrating processes. It wasn’t good enough for the customer or for us.”

The Acosta’s aspire to increase sales, expand offerings globally, and roll out a proprietary process to revolutionize the consumer journey. They have partnered this fall with Professor Peter Noble’s campaigns course seeking a complete integrated marketing and messaging strategy to achieve this goal. “We partnered with Stone Boutique for two reasons. First, they provide our senior advertising students with an unusual challenge — their business spans both business-to-business and business-to-consumer product categories. And second, with their proprietary technology Stone Boutique has the potential to rapidly grow from a relatively recent start-up into a leading global brand. They’re poised to disrupt the entire stone industry. At this stage in their brand development, Stone Boutique was interested in raising and enhancing awareness of their revolutionary stone selection process,” Noble explains. Temerlin students are eagerly working on the campaign; two teams will present a plans book and virtual presentation to the client early next month.

Our students greatly benefit from working with real-world class clients such as Stone Boutique.

STUDENT PERSPECTIVES: Corporate Racism in the Flesh

How One Person’s Viewpoint Can Topple a Whole Organization

Kayla Griffis

By Kayla Griffis
B.A. Advertising, Southern Methodist 
University ’20
M.A. Advertising, Southern Methodist University ’21

A few weeks ago the Dallas advertising industry was shaken to its core. A renowned agency has lost multiple clients in the span of a few days due to a comment made by its founder and owner. If you live in the DFW area or are a part of the advertising industry at large, you will have heard about this controversial statement made by Stan Richards and the severe fallout for The Richards Group. For those who do not know the situation and its impact, here is a quick rundown of what occurred. According to AdWeek, the 88-year-old — during an internal creative review for a campaign for Motel 6 — stated that he felt the concept to promote Black artists’ work was “too Black” for “white supremacist constituents.” This comment somehow made it to the media and Motel 6 immediately dropped The Richards Group as one of their agencies. And within the span of three days, they had lost longtime clients Home Depot, Keurig Dr Pepper, and H.E.B., and new prospective business at Cracker Barrel. The chance of recovery for this agency is in question and Stan Richards has now stated he is stepping down from all operations at the company.

A few days later, Richards seemed to double down on his controversial comments in an interview with Texas Monthly where he stated that he was only “trying to protect the client’s business” and said that the campaign would “run off…their guests.” He declared that the idea that was posed “should have been more multicultural” and that instead “It was very Black.” Richards expressed surprise when he had heard his words had garnered so much backlash and stated that “…instead of using…those three words, I could have said something that was more clouded in its meaning. And it would have saved an awful lot of trouble.” In addition, when he was asked about his white supremacist comment, he further explained that the client didn’t need to lose any of its current business, “even if it was white supremacists who chose not to do business with them.”

Richards outlined the current objectives for The Richards Group and how they plan to generate more awareness around the “potential to create [such] a problem” and said he stands by the fact that his comment was not racist and that he has “never been a racist anytime in [his] life.” He then finishes the interview by stating he will focus on helping students at the Stan Richards School at UT. Richards has also issued a video apologizing to the faculty, alumni, and the students of the school, stating it was “the biggest mistake of [his] life,” and an accompanying note from the director and dean of the Stan Richards School stated that his “racially intolerant and bigoted remarks” were not consistent with the school’s core values and that they will remain committed to “sustaining a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

Now let’s be honest. What Richards said was racist. Period. No matter his intentions, stating that he wanted to cater to white supremacist consumers and suppressing Black representation is uncalled for and quite frankly very disturbing. So the consequences that follow should be no different. During the peak of protests against police brutality and the demand for justice after the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, many companies called for the support and uplifting of Black voices and hired many artists to help create work. However, that “trend” didn’t last long, because soon after the initial news coverage of the protests started to die down, companies went back to the content they were creating before and the advocacy for Black people seemed to wane. This phenomenon was compounded by the insensitive email that was sent to a Black mural artist from Microsoft requesting that she create an art piece while the Black Lives Matter movement was still “relevant.”

Even though Stan Richards made these racist comments, which demonstrated how one remark can irrevocably ruin your reputation, the situation also demonstrates that the ramifications affect more than just him. Employees of TRG peopleThe Richards Group who didn’t express the same racist sentiments now are facing a future of uncertainty as well as unintended backlash for something they didn’t do. They have to scramble to figure out what the next best step is and balance the idea of jumping off a sinking ship or potentially going down with the captain. Now for some people, these developments may prove profitable since the newly available clients will be looking for another agency to work with and more jobs will be created in those businesses if they win. However, it still doesn’t negate the fact that livelihoods will be lost during a pandemic when the last thing anyone wants is an uptick in unemployment filings. Nevertheless, Stan Richards’ comment managed to severely damage a legacy he spent decades creating and possibly cost hundreds of people their jobs.

There is no shortage of examples for why diversity, equity and inclusion are vital to the growth and success of corporate America and society as a whole and this is just another one added to a never-ending list. Hopefully other companies who may have been remiss will realize that Black peoples’ lives aren’t a trend or something to commodify and do with as they please. This is real life and with our more socially conscious generations speaking out on the travesties and inhuman treatment that have been occurring for centuries, businesses that don’t get on board risk being decimated. So here’s a word of advice. Be a proponent of positive social change for the good of humanity and create work that pushes for a better world for everyone. And if that is too difficult, just not being a downright awful person could also help. And if that is still too much, at least realize that you will no longer make money if you alienate consumers and continue to uphold the discriminatory racist ideals that have plagued the minorities of America since its inception.

INDUSTRY CONNECTIONS: Professor Mark Allen’s Wildly Talented Students

Temerlin Advertising Institute’s Senior Lecturer Mark Allen shares his journey from high school art class to advertising professor on the We Are Next podcast. Allen found his love for advertising early on, established RedCape consultancy working with clients such as Martha Stewart, and currently feeds his passion for teaching wildly talented students at SMU.

In fact, one of Allen’s former wildly talented students, Elizabeth Entenman (B.A. Advertising 2010), introduced him to We Are Next founder Natalie Kim for the sit-down and sharing of advice learned over his varied career in the field of advertising. We Are Next is a resource for students and junior talent entering the advertising and marketing industry. This platform offers mentorships, a robust jobs board, and a variety of career advice-related content.

An interest in art, followed by a design course in high school, led Allen to major in drawing & painting and communication design and minor in advertising while in college. Post-graduation, Allen recounts leaving his creative work with recruiters at many notable agencies. He once found a note from an agency principal inside his book. Allen says, “I was so excited to see the note, but it read Nice book. Can’t tell if you’re an art director or copywriter.

He fondly retells this story to students as a critical moment in the progression of a career in advertising to help prepare them for the ups and downs that come along with building a reputation in the field. In the podcast, Allen recommends making creative portfolios stand out to potential employers by:

    1. Showing your best work.
    2. Making sure big ideas are supported by great craft.
    3. Showing a sense of restraint, whether it is in art direction, writing or the selection of products and clients. It shows a sense of maturity.
    4. Developing a good sense of taste over time by looking at lots of great work in Communication Arts annuals and The One Show, as well as Cannes and Clio award winners, to start. It is one of the most valuable things a student can do.
    5. Showcasing quality work over quantity. Recruiters usually skim portfolios, so make sure to highlight your strengths and capabilities. Also, include class or spec work that you are excited about, as it gives employers a sense for the types of clients that would be a good fit for your skills.
    6. Identifying and articulating problems, not only in a brief, but in brainstorming and day-to-day interactions. It helps to refine your craft and identifies you as somebody who can help other people, setting you up for director-level positions.

In advising students, Allen adds, “Look at ads and ask yourself questions such as, what is the problem? How did they solve it? When you see good work, identify what is compelling and deconstruct it a little bit. What makes it great? How and why did they make that?”

Listen to the full episode of the We Are Next Podcast.

See some of the creative awards won by SMU Advertising students at the 2020 National Student Show and the 2020 AAF Dallas awards show.

ALUMNI UPDATE: Network with an Advertising Alumnus

Careers in the advertising industry heavily rely on networking opportunities; jobs are often found through referrals, former colleagues, and various industry events and organizations. The Meadows School of the Arts recently conducted research that revealed current students want to engage with fellow alumni but don’t always know how to make the first step. With traditional agency tours, internships, and industry events on pause, the need for student networking opportunities is critical. Recently, SMU launched a new platform, The SMU Network, to bridge the gap between current students and alumni.

Nikki Koenig graduated from Meadows in 2005 with her B.A. in Advertising. She founded Cykochik, a handbag, apparel and lifestyle company, from her dorm room during her undergraduate degree at SMU. Koenig used the tools acquired through her advertising courses to build a successful brand and quit her corporate job to focus full-time on Cykochik in 2013.

While Koenig was an SMU student, she also interned at Group Baronet, now MasonBaronet, an agency owned by Willie Baronet. Baronet, now the Stan Richards Professor in Creative Advertising at the Temerlin Advertising Institute, joined SMU in 2014. Over the past sixteen years, they have remained close; now she regularly speaks to his Intro to Creativity students, and guest critiques many of his creative courses and senior portfolios.

“Koenig has inspired many of my students with her edgy and illustrative designs and her passion for brand building with environmentally sustainable materials,” Baronet explains.

Koenig now serves on the Meadows 2050 Council to engage and connect Meadows alumni with students and serves as a mentor for The SMU Network.

To learn more about The SMU Network or sign up, please visit: https://smunetwork.com/

FACULTY RESEARCH: How Luxury Brands Can Curate Luxe Experiences for Digital Media

As of late, luxury brands have shifted their focus to engage consumers with more meaningful and compelling digital content. According to Dr. Quan Xie, Assistant Professor of Advertising in the Temerlin Advertising Institute, only a small percentage of consumers can afford high-end luxury products, but it is not surprising to see those who aspire to this lifestyle also engross themselves in luxury branded content.

In recent research published in the Journal of Interactive Advertising, Dr. Xie studies luxury fashion brands’ content marketing practices on YouTube, and demonstrates that consumers’ perceived experiential value, social value, and unique value of the luxury branded content are positively related to their perceived brand exclusivity and customer intimacy, which in turn, will boost consumers’ loyalty toward the brand. In addition, consumers’ perceived functional value of the luxury brand’s YouTube channel is positively related to their perceived brand prestige and exclusivity. However, viewers’ perceived informative value was found not relate to brand prestige, exclusivity, or customer intimacy, suggesting that the informative value of luxury content may not play a role in brand building of high-end luxury fashion brands.

While a luxury brand like Bentley boasts around 7.8 million Instagram followers, Hermès has more than 10 million followers, and Dior maintains a following of 32.7 million. Having a large group of followers may generally be seen positively, but for luxury brands seeking to build long-term loyalty, marketers must boost consumers’ perceived brand exclusivity and concentrate on building an intimate customer-brand relationship.

Dr. Xie points to Chanel as the cornerstone for luxury brand-consumer engagement through an ambitious and meticulously planned content strategy. At the beginning of this year, they had around 52 million followers on Twitter and Instagram, and 1.65 million fans on YouTube, which makes Chanel the leading luxury brand across all platforms. For example, they post regularly and consistently while adopting a video-first strategy. This well-crafted content has successfully transformed general viewers into faithful audiences. That said, any time the focus is on luxury brand interactions, the experience must leave consumers with the perception of brand scarcity.

Brand scarcity refers to the rareness of the product or service (e.g., scarce materials, limited accessibility, and distribution) that enhance consumers’ desire or preferences. Since luxury experiences provide more customized services and cost more than conventional experiential purchases, luxury experiences are entitled to greater exclusivity. Luxury brands also aim to evoke exclusivity at all customer contact points.

In the end, Dr. Xie’s research suggests luxury brands should aim to create content that offers experiential value, such as backstage stories, intriguing legacy narratives, and content that is unique to luxury branding – like aesthetic close-up of craftsmanship, as well as content that promises social value to followers. These content values will contribute to followers’ perceived scarcity and intimacy of luxury brands, which, in turn, can build up to greater brand loyalty. Additionally, reliable social media channels can also contribute to increased brand exclusivity. Luxury brands should strategically humanize their owned social media channels to transform them into credible information sources among followers.

Click to learn more about Dr. Quan Xie and her research.

AWARDS: Celebrating Record-Setting Performance in the 2020 National Student Show and Conference

Temerlin Advertising Institute students recently competed in the 16th annual National Student Show and Conference (NSSC), sponsored by the Dallas Society of Visual Communications Foundation. The team of Kell Klopp and Allie Hartman won three awards: Best Overall Copywriting, Best of Advertising Category: Integrated Campaign, and Best of Advertising Category: Copywriting. Isaac Cordova won the prestigious Richard Patrick Memorial Scholarship Prize in Photography, given for the best body of photography work. The participants received their awards at the first NSSC virtual awards gala on April 25.

“This is an exceptionally competitive and prestigious show, and it’s a huge honor just to have your work accepted, let alone win,” said TAI Lecturer Mark Allen. “This year, we had more entries accepted than ever before and won more awards than ever before. We’re incredibly proud of these students!”

The NSSC began in 1957 as a one-day regional competition to give North Texas communication arts students the opportunity to showcase their work, and in the 1970s became the Dallas Society of Visual Communications Student Show. While there were many national competitions for established industry professionals, there were few competitions for up-and-coming students. In response, the DSVC Student Show transformed from a small, regional contest into a three-day national competition and conference in 2004. Now known as the NSSC, it is the largest  advertising and design competition for students in the country, offering over $20,000 in cash prizes and scholarship awards.

The three-day event typically features keynote speakers, breakout sessions and portfolio reviews followed by a dinner reception and awards gala. However, due to the coronavirus, the conference was canceled and the gala was moved online this year.

Allen participated in the DSVC Student Show when he was a student in the late ’90s.  He has taught in the Temerlin Advertising Institute since 2003, and was first brought on to help start the creative program for art directors and copywriters.

“I knew the NSSC was a great place for us to get our name out there and to get our students recognized,” said Allen. “I started encouraging students to compete back when I first came to SMU in 2003, and we’ve been participating ever since. The DSVC also holds a professional show around the same time every year; my fellow advertising colleague Professor Willie Baronet and I have both participated and have been fortunate enough to be recognized for some of the work we’ve done as art directors and designers over the years. It might be a ‘regional’ show but it’s got a national reputation.”

Allen played an influential role in the competition itself this past year.

“For years the only advertising categories that the NSSC recognized were the traditional big three: print, radio and television. So I worked with the DSVC to add several new advertising categories that reflect current industry standards: interactive, out-of-home, experiential and others,” he said.

He also influences his students to consider participating.

“I am the cheerleader who is always telling students to enter their work,” he said, noting that getting one’s work and name recognized with the best of the industry can help propel careers. “I also help them figure out strategically what the best categories are for them to enter. It’s easy if you have a commercial – you put it in the commercial category. But if you have an integrated campaign that has several different pieces, it can be tougher to decide where they should go.  Once we do, the students take it from there.

“The work primarily comes out of the Creative Specialization classes that Willie and I teach like Concepting, Portfolio and Advanced Portfolio, but more and more we’re also getting work into the show from students in our Graphic Design minor,” he said.

Allen said that while he was thrilled with his students’ performance at the competition, the feeling was bittersweet knowing he would soon say goodbye to his graduating seniors.

“I’m just really proud of our students for all kinds of reasons,” he said. “Our program is at a really sweet spot where we’ve got a lot of energy and talent; we’ve got a truly exceptional group all-around right now. You’d figure that we’d get used to this by now, but every year we miss our students when we have to send them off.”

The SMU winning entries are as follows:

Best Use of Copywriting ($500)
Grammarly—Kell Klopp ’20 and Allie Hartman ’20

Best of Category: Copywriting ($200)
Grammarly—Kell Klopp and Allie Hartman

Best of Category:  Integrated Campaign ($200)
Grammarly—Kell Klopp and Allie Hartman

Richard Patrick Memorial Scholarship ($2,500)
Smile Reversal (photography series)—Isaac Cordova ’21

Kell Klopp and Allie Hartman’s Grammarly campaign also won Best Copywriting in TAI’s Portfolio Night & Exhibition. In addition, it is featured on Ads of the World, an advertising archive and community that showcases creative advertising from around the world.

Grammerly Best Copywriting award

“We thought a lot about when it is necessary to use Grammarly and found that the truth is Grammarly is all around the easiest way to be the best you can be,” said Klopp and Hartman in a joint statement. “We wanted our ads to show how simple of an app it is while highlighting the importance of using Grammarly.

“It’s not easy being an advertising student, and to be able to have our work awarded like this means a lot to us. We work hard and try our best, and we couldn’t do such amazing work without our outstanding professors,” the duo said.

The NSSC was the first competition in which Isaac Cordova has entered his Smile Reversal series.

asian girl not smiling in black and white photo on gray background

“This photographic series explores the emotions we feel behind closed doors, going beyond the mask of ‘picture-perfectism,’” said Cordova. “On a path to become my most authentic self, this series came to life as I became more and more uncomfortable with how people wear a ‘mask’ meant to hide how they really feel inside. There is nothing more beautiful than a genuine expression.

“Winning the overall photography award at the NSSC is beyond rewarding. I’m proud to represent SMU and I take it as a sign to never stop creating!” Cordova said.

Altogether, nine SMU entries were accepted into this year’s competition. The full list of accepted work is as follows:

Integrated Campaign Category
Grammarly—Kell Klopp and Allie Hartman
Kong Chew Toys— Kell Klopp and Megan Cruikshank ’19

Out-of-home Category
Beyond Meat—Sam Smith ’21, Avery Bouch ’21 and Elijah Niemczyk ’21

Video / Commercial Category
Diptyque—Anna Rose Corell ’21 and Gaëlle Gachelin ’19
SelfControl App—Kell Klopp and Megan Cruikshank
Vinyl Me, Please—Charlie O’Brien ’20 and Will Sutter ’21

Copywriting Category 
Grammarly—Allie Hartman and Kell Klopp
Kong Chew Toys—Kell Klopp and Megan Cruikshank

Photography Category 
Smile Reversal (series)—Isaac Cordova

AWARDS: 2020 SMU Advertising Awards Luncheon Winners

The annual TAI Awards Luncheon was held in a first-ever virtual ceremony on Friday, May 1st. The event included COVID BINGO, senior superlatives, a video produced by seniors (below), and culminated with the presentation of awards.

2020 Award Recipients Include:

STUDENT AWARDS

Undergraduate Reader // ALLIE HARTMAN
Graduate Reader // PIPER HAMILL
Student Marshal // KAYLA GRIFFIS

Outstanding Achievement in Brand Management // MEGAN ROBERTSON
Outstanding Achievement in Digital Media // KAYLA GRIFFIS
Outstanding Achievement in Creative Advertising // ALLIE HARTMAN

TAI Outstanding Graduate Student // PIPER HAMILL

TAI Outstanding Graphic Designer // RANI VESTAL

Continue reading “AWARDS: 2020 SMU Advertising Awards Luncheon Winners”

INDUSTRY CONNECTIONS: Advertising Course Connects Students to Internships

Last week the Temerlin Advertising Institute hosted its annual communications career fair, organized by Temerlin’s Sandi Edgar and held in conjunction with her Business Communications class. The evening began with Ivonne Kinser from Avocados From Mexico and Francisco Cardenas from LERMA/ breaking down their Super Bowl strategy and the cross-collaboration needed to produce their award-winning work. Students then met with agencies hiring for both full-time and internship positions.

Have a position you’d like to share with our students? Learn more here.

Thank you to all who participated:

Agency Entourage

Avocados From Mexico

Inspire

Launch Agency

LERMA/

MarketScale

RocketBrand

Slant Partners

The Power Group

The Richards Group

INDUSTRY CONNECTIONS: Campaigns Class Lands Global Orthodontics Client

This fall, Professor Peter Noble’s undergraduate campaigns course partnered with the world’s largest manufacturer of professional dental products and technologies, Dentsply Sirona, for a unique B2B marketing challenge. In three teams, the students conducted three individual market analyses and audience surveys to conclude their capstone project with a fully developed marketing plan for how to increase visibility and drive attendance to the SureSmile multi-day education event. The winning team, Agency Incite, traveled to SureSmile 2020 in San Diego at the end of February to make their pitch live on stage.

“The submitted concepts provide valuable insights about our industry and user base. As creative strategies, they offer usable models, for example, to leverage user feedback or behavior or point out emerging trends and opportunities. For our company, this partnership returned significant assets in creative, research, and strategy,” said Dominique Mondou, Vice President Traditional and Digital Orthodontics.

Click here to learn more about campaign clients or contact Sandi Edgar for more information.