Fired-Up Advertising

Photo by Duane Zehr

By Matt Hawkins
May 21, 2015

A sizzling outreach campaign for a local pottery studio won four Bradley advertising students a trip to New York City. The students received the 2015 Doug Alligood Award in Advertising, and the trip to the heart of the city’s advertising industry, with a campaign for Peoria Heights-based Fired Up Studios. 

Seniors Kristin Kreher of Smithton, Illinois, Kelly Shannon of Peoria, Libby Westbrook of Arden, North Carolina, and Jennifer Volk of Brimfield, Illinois, researched and designed a realistic advertising campaign for the local business.  Themed “We Got Fired,” the campaign’s creative blend of social and traditional media topped five other student projects to win the competition.

As a reward, the teammates explored New York’s advertising industry with award namesake Alligood ’56, senior vice president of special markets at BBDO New York. BBDO is one of the top international advertising agencies, with clients including Lowe’s, Starbucks and Procter and Gamble. 

The students also presented their campaign to Alligood and other BBDO executives.

“It’s nice to have people from the real world invest in us,” Westbrook said. “We’re fortunate Bradley has alumni like Doug who have deep, sincere ties to the school. You could tell he really is passionate about giving back and helping students like us.”

The project, as part of the senior advertising capstone course taught by Dr. Erin Schauster, grouped students in simulated advertising agencies who worked for local clients of students’ choosing. Teams progressed through a lifelike campaign design process.

Hard work paid off as the team stood in front of Alligood and his associates in the corporate boardroom. 

“It was truly validating to realize we could do something like this and be good at it,” Volk said. 

Students took advantage of the trip to absorb as much information about their future profession as they could. In addition to networking with Alligood and other BBDO staff, they met and later corresponded with CEO John Osborn.

Noting BBDO employees’ loyalty to brands the agency represented, the Bradley students also identified a similar passion they developed for the client through their project. This taught the students a valuable lesson for their future endeavors.

“They showed us that it’s easy to buy products when you believe in the clients you’re selling,” Westbrook said. “That’s how we felt with Fired Up. They were not just another business, but one we could fall in love with.”