Teaching the next generation of advertising creatives.
My name is Kevin Mann and I am working creative director with over 15 years of creative advertising education leadership and experience at one of the top journalism schools in the country.
Since 1999 I have been involved in creative advertising education, teaching creative concept development skills for advertising copywriters and art directors. My courses focus on the practice and development of an advertising portfolio and how to create marketing ideas that break through the clutter and engage audiences. At the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, my students produced high-quality integrated advertising campaigns that are organized into a final portfolio. The advertising creative portfolio is a collection of work demonstrating a student’s creative abilities and a requirement for any copywriter or art director looking to get into creative fields in advertising, marketing or design.
I have trained over 200 students during my 14 years of teaching. Many have gone on to do remarkable things in the industry—working on large and small brands, for large and small agencies, winning awards for print television and digital campaigns, creating Superbowl commercials and rising through the ranks to become highly sought-after creative directors, media directors, and account service executives. All of them learned creative techniques to brainstorm, nurture ideas and collaborate. These are skills that are increasingly valuable and applicable in all walks of life, not just advertising.
What’s with the hat?
In my years at Newhouse, I was fortunate to meet and work with a number of talented people. Our classes got involved with the community, creating marketing projects for local small businesses and non-profits. We collaborated with TV production classes to create tv commercials. We entered national competitions and exhibited work in creative publications and websites. There are lots of ways to get national exposure if you know where to look for it.
My students interned with me at my studio and my agency jobs. Collaborating, having real responsibilities and sometimes getting real projects for their portfolios. A few even had the opportunity to commute with me.
Making a commitment to creative advertising education and being involved in a student’s development is the key to success. The reward is being able to watch them grow and succeed professionally. But most importantly, as much my students learned from me, I learned so much more from them. How to lead creative discussions, how to guide the work, when to step in, when to step away—all great training for creative leadership and my own personal growth as a creative.
As for the hat, through my involvement in the schools, I got an opportunity to appear in the movie. The movie The Express, is about the “Legend of 44”, Ernie Davis who played football at Syracuse and won the Heisman before tragically passing away at 23 . Its very inspirational and a real honor to be involved. All of my scenes were shot on campus at Syracuse University and I have a big close up with the star, Rob Brown. If you have not seen the movie, I highly recommend it. Look for me, I’m the guy in the hat.
Looking for a creative advertising education professor that has it all?
The advertising industry changes constantly, but one thing stays the same, breakthrough ideas that get noticed. The media or tactics used are executional. It is the idea that drives the communication no matter how it’s is used. As a working creative, I see it in my daily life, making big ideas work for clients. I combine my real world experience with15 years challenging college student to help them prepare for the real world.
I enjoy teaching and I am currently available to teach courses in advertising creative, creative development and thinking strategies, advertising and graphic design and professional creative portfolio development. I have expertise helping students get started in the creative job search process as well as the ability to critically assess portfolio concepts and prepare them for review.