AdLab Kicks Off the Semester with Creative Shootout

This year’s winning campaign: “Handle with Care.”

Boston University AdLab, the country’s largest accredited student-run agency, has begun another semester at full speed. The creative shootout was the first challenge students faced this school year: an exercise in developing a quick brief into a well-rounded campaign in just a little more than a week.

Every semester, the AdLab executive board and faculty advisors Tobe Berkovitz, Pegeen Ryan and Michelle Sullivan, gather to evaluate and select the best work.

“The creative shootout offers account teams the opportunity to work with strategy, to come up with a clever and appropriate execution,” Berkovitz said. “It is a wonderful chance for the creatives, the account people, and the planners to work together and achieve a goal for a client.”

“[The creative shootout] is a great tool,” Kara O’Hearn, current AdLab president (COM ‘19), said. “Especially for a creative starting out, to stretch their creative muscles and figure out what they like and don’t like.”

This year, the teams exercised their muscles on a particularly important challenge: getting BU students who ride bicycles to wear helmets. Teams had to come up with strategy, concepts, and different executions for this message.

The final work was first collected and reviewed by the vice president of creative, Nihal Atawane (COM ‘19), who was in charge of the first screening. Then the executive board and advisors had their say.

After deliberation, the executive board announced the winners at general assembly on Monday, October 1. The prize went to Alexia Molina, Linzi Zhou, Daying Luo, and Natalia Jaroszek on Team D.

From left to right: Natalia Jaroszek, Daying Luo, Alexia Molina, and Linzi Zhou.

“We worked on it together,” Jaroszek, the copywriter for the group (COM ‘19), said. “It was very collaborative from the beginning. We were struggling at first because we had some other stuff that wasn’t working.”

Daying Luo (COM ‘19) was responsible for the art direction on the team.

“Other groups were working on the same things,” Luo said. After digging online for new inspiration, the team was found it in videos of people protecting fragile objects when traveling.

This year’s creative shootout had a lot of space for creative thinking and out-of-the-box ideas. Indeed, teams did a great job looking for inspiration beyond enticing fear in order to get other students to wear helmets.

The best strategic work was done, the executive board added, by this semester’s intern team. Developed by James Bishop, Miranda Xie, Will Burnett, and Lindsey Rosenblatt, the campaign rose to the top strategically during the executive board meeting.

“They came up with what was possibly one of the best ideas despite having little-to-no guidance or supervision,” Atawane said. “I think that was an important lesson for everyone in AdLab. You can’t get ahead of yourself, or you can’t take creativity for granted, because whenever there is a new brief, everyone is on the same level playing field.”

May this same creative spirit fuel all of these teams as they continue to develop the next set of big ideas for different clients this semester.

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Bianca Chaer, Contributing Writer

Bianca Chaer is a Brazilian writer and second-year graduate student in the Mass Communications program at Boston University.  Antsy by nature, she ventured into journalism and PR before landing in advertising, where she found her place as a strategic planner. This fall semester, she is also the VP of Social for AdLab.

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