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Presenting The Future: Marketing Strategies in Creative Industries

By Brenna C. Cronin
With NBC executives present, the 2019 MSLCE cohort presented their marketing plans for the future of NBC Universal, our class case study and learning sponsor this quarter. Charged with designing a rebranding strategy for NBCU, the cohort underwent nine weeks of research, design, and implementation of our brand concepts. “The project for our final was a really great opportunity. It’s very relatable to me and my background. It was truly helpful to navigate my current company’s problems. We are really struggling, and a lot of the insights from the course were helpful,” shared MSLCE student Jayoung Yang.

As a required core course in the MSLCE program, the entire cohort was involved. With varying levels of expertise and awareness of the marketing world, Professor Judy Franks was fantastic at an almost impossible deliverable: cover nearly an entire marketing degree in a 10-week quarter! “This class reminded me of a lot of the topics I learned in previous positions, but elevated many major points that I’ll be taking into my next position,” shared Huiyuan Xu. Sterling Goodrich commented on the value of storytelling, an absolutely essential piece to any creative enterprise. “I appreciated Judy recognizing the value of storytelling and helping us work through the archetype concept of the brand. It’s about building a community with the consumers and solving their problems.”

Personally, the weekly case studies were the highlight of the course. Diving deep into the incredibly moving campaign of The Handmaid’s Tale, the creativity of The Trash Isles campaign, and the humor of Spotify: 2016 Wrapped were fantastic examples that our group referenced throughout the preparation for our final project. Researching the brand promises of The New York Times and The Guardian in our case study helped to navigate identifying the brand promises of NBCU. Yayun Wang shared, “Judy really encouraged us to bring our own spin to the projects. She wants us to do the learning, but she wants to be surprised with what we come up with too.”

My personal passions of development, nonprofit leadership, and corporate partnerships came alive during our case study on Van Gogh’s Bedrooms, an exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago in partnership with Airbnb. The lesson here, and through our entire marketing class, is to lean into the inherent creativity of the “creative enterprises” to deliver content and market it to your audiences in ways you may not previously have considered. Humor (Spotify), creativity (Trash Isles), social justice (Handmaid’s Tale), and mutually beneficial partnerships (Van Gogh), are all powerful ways to communicate the story—and gain significant buy-in and loyalty from your customers.