“I came into this event expecting that one student might lead our project idea, but I was so impressed by the variety of pitches and the leadership skills each student portrayed,” said Olufemi Olaifa ’18 CLAS, a Psychology major and member of the winning team.
The event kicked off on Feb. 2 with 36 students from across the University’s colleges in the Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship Institute’s Idea Accelerator. The Y&R team introduced the event, and Julia Blumenstyk, director of Strategy and Evaluation at Ad Council, explained the challenge.
“The Ad Council’s mission is to create social change by leveraging the power of communications industry. We work with awesome agencies such as Y&R and bring leading nonprofits and government agencies to the table in order to address some of the most pressing social issues in our country,” she said.
In a national effort to eliminate bias and hatred, the Ad Council launched the Love Has No Labels platform in 2015. This award-winning campaign promotes diversity and inclusion in the workplace, schools and communities by flooding culture with diverse images and acts of love to inspire togetherness. Villanova students had to create and pitch a new idea for the campaign.
Each team of students worked through the night, perfecting their pitch presentations. By the late afternoon on Saturday, Feb. 3, students presented their ideas to Blumenstyk, and the two other judges Olivia Collins, chief of staff at Y&R Global; and Julie Pirsch, PhD, assistant professor and associate dean of teaching and learning at Villanova School of Business.
Students used mock images, videos, hashtags and toolkit materials to articulate their campaign vision. It was an exercise in critical thinking, creativity and passion that Dana Hausman ’19 CLAS found directly applicable to her career goals.