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Students Dive into Personal Branding and Youth Brand + Festival Development with PJ Loughran of Superfly


By Charlie Wein


What is a brand? A logo? A product? A name? Yes, all of those things can comprise a brand, but what about an idea, or a person, or you? Are you a brand? Do you market yourself? Many people would say no. Pull out your phone, do you have Instagram? Facebook? Snapchat? If so, then according the PJ Loughran, Executive Creative Director of the major creative company Superfly, you are.

Students of the MSLCE program at Northwestern University spent a day with PJ learning the ins and outs of branding in the creative world. PJ presented to the students some of the work he’s done with Superfly including the branding and advertising of major festivals such as Bonnaroo and Outside Lands- as well as personal branding for high profile celebrities like Kesha.

The seminar couldn’t come at a more perfect time as the MSLCE students are currently studying subjects such as marketing and team leadership. PJs lecture touched on some of the major themes of those classes. Building a strategy is important, but you must understand the tactics you’ll take to enact that strategy. Triggering the audience, keeping them hooked, and getting them to come back again.

At several times during the seminar, PJ split the students into groups and asked them to brainstorm events, strategies, and tactics that would effectively produce a successful marketing campaign and customer experience. Students addressed designed hypothetical advertising strategies for events such as the Murakami exhibit at the MCA and Lollapalooza. As each group presented their ideas, PJ would offer advice and insight as to the viability of the plan or activity and give some suggestions on how they could improve it. The seminar was a great exercise in looking at any creative endeavor from different perspectives.

Creative marketing strategies and project management are activities that will soon be a major part of the students lives as they finish up the year and head into the next step of the careers. Thanks to PJ, they have a better idea of how their future projects can attain great success.