Third-year Sheridan Advanced Advertising and Marketing Communications – Management students recently completed a real-world learning experience, producing two videos for Awake Chocolates and Reko Pizelle Cookies as part of an Advanced Creative Development course. The 62 students, under the guidance of Professor Iryna Molodecky, found out what it’s like to produce a commercial with real clients and a production house.
This type of realistic workplace experience helps students gain a better understanding of the complex working relationships and processes involved in advertising creative development and the production industry. “We were fortunate that Awake Chocolates and Reko Pizzelle were both looking for ways to reach millennials through social media and were enthusiastic to have our students create and produce YouTube commercials for them,” says Molodecky.
Working closely with Prionnsias Murphy and the team at Sheridan Production House (SPH), the process took eight weeks from conception to final product. Each class was assigned one client and divided into seven agency groups with their own brand name and logo, which they created. The clients briefed each class and then each team developed multiple concept storyboard options for their client.
After in-class presentations amongst their peers, a final concept was selected for each team to develop for presentation to the client. The professional quality, digital presentations included background and target information, a developed storyboard with video and audio scripts, production notes and a creative rationale for their concept. John Flanagan of NuStef Foods, commented on the Pizzelle presentations: “The creativity, thinking and quality of work is impressive.
“The creativity, thinking and quality of work is impressive” – John Flanagan, NuStef Foods
Clients selected one concept to be developed into a finished commercial for upload on their YouTube channel. According to Matt Schnarr of Awake Chocolates, “the winning concept for the video was selected because we felt it was most clearly reflected our core brand personality and would most effectively engage our target audience of college students.”
All teams merged as one agency in a collaborative effort with SPH to produce the final commercial. Students were assigned responsibilities to aid with art direction, script, sound, casting and props. The winning concept team became the lead team and liaison between the SPH Director and the agency teams. Another team was assigned the role of liaison with the client, making sure the client’s branding needs were met.
All students had the opportunity to participate in pre-production meetings and tasks, the filming and the editing stages. Students came together to make decisions and problem-solve issues and challenges that arose throughout the process. And throughout, it was an enjoyable experience. The students of the lead team for Awake – Saurabh Ananth, Andrew Ranjan, Jevon Hilton and Zain Hashmi – echoed the sentiment of all students: “It will be an experience we will remember forever.”
The screening of the final commercials took place in the last week of the school term in April 2016 and both clients were very happy with the professionalism of the end product. The hard work of both the students and the SPH clearly paid off.
The Awake Chocolate commercial titled “Shoulda Been Awake” is on YouTube has received more than 900 views since being uploaded in April 2016. Watch it below. The Pizzelle commercial “How do you Pizzelle?” will debut here in the summer.
Pictured at top of post: The Sheridan crew filming How Do You Pizzelle? commercial
Written by: Iryna Molodecky, Professor in Sheridan’s Pilon School of Business.