Familiar Creatures

Workshop Provides Fast-Paced, Professional Lessons in Strategic Advertising


VCU NEWS | November 15, 2020


The team tasked with reimagining the SlimFast brand impressed the judges.
"They built a story through research,” said Alice Eldridge, research director at Good Run Research & Recreation. (Courtesy photo) 


By Dina Weinstein

Wheaties is a washed-up cereal that has built its brand on other people’s success. Claire’s accessory stores lost their position as a girl’s best friend. Things Remembered has become an un-memorable gift store. Jell-O has lost its fun, quirky identity. Chef Boyardee is viewed as a boring staple that’s not very palatable. And Victoria’s Secret only caters to unattainable body types.

Those were some of the brand problems bluntly identified in student presentations at The One Club for Creativity Strategic Workshop at the Virginia Commonwealth University Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture. The students’ goal was to deliver new life into a failing brand by creating a basis of a new brand campaign. Held at the VCU Brandcenter on Nov. 8-9, panelists from 10 advertising firms across Richmond listened to and graded the students, who only had 24 hours to create their presentations.

The industry experts said every great story offers hope.

“We’re not into the va-va-voom,” said Justin Bajan, co-founder and creative director of Familiar Creatures, when asked for advice on what to do if the brief lacked a dazzling element. Instead, Bajan urged the students to hone in on asking, what was the single most important idea the brand must accept?

Read the full article at VCU News.