In School of Communications, Students

BYU AdLab students’ jewelry ad promotes diversity, self-commitment and self-love

Every semester, students in the management and creative tracks of the AdLab work together on creative advertising projects during a process called Pitch Tank. The collaborative pitching project was created a couple of years ago by two senior students from the AdLab.

Rebekah Baker

“Students wanted to facilitate more collaborative learning between the management and creative teams in the AdLab,” said senior advertising student Rebekah Baker. “During Pitch Tank, we suggest advertising ideas to creative teams and the teams get to bid on the different ideas. It can be fun, hectic and crazy, but it’s a chance for teams from both tracks to work together.”

Junior advertising student Elena Deighton wanted to pitch a jewelry advertisement idea during the winter 2020 Pitch Tank, so she reached out to Baker, who had previous experience hosting the Pitch Tank.

“In the past, women might receive jewelry because of their economic dependence on men,” said Deighton. “But that’s not always the case anymore. We wanted to create ads celebrating women buying jewelry for themselves as a form of personal commitment.”

After introducing their jewelry advertisement idea during the Pitch Tank, Joseph Nugent, a senior copywriter, bid on their idea and won. His team grasped Deighton’s strategy for the project well, and she knew their creative ideas would work well for the project.

“The ring that the dancer has in our ad represents her promises and goals to herself. Not many brands in the ballet industry produce skin-toned shoes for people of color. We show the dancer painting her shoes and getting out of her comfort zone. The jewelry is a symbol of her promise to herself to become the best she can be.” 

Deighton, Baker and Nugent are grateful for the passion and hard work that all ten teammates put in the project. The roles and names of students are as follows:

Producer: Rebekah Baker

Associate Producer: Zane Frehner

Director: Josh Lee

DP: Asher Huskinson

Art Director: Asher Huskinson

Assistant Art Director: Skyler Gregerson

Copywriter: Joe Nugent

Strategists: Elena Deighton and Ariana Tolbert

Editor: Liv Johnston

Deighton, Baker and Nugent answered several additional questions about the project, and their answers are provided below.

Joseph Nugent working behind the scenes of filming.

Q: What inspired this project?

Deighton: We all loved the idea of Tiffany and Co. jewelry, so we did some research and found out more. One of the questions we had was why would a woman buy a ring for herself? We found out that more women buy their own rings and jewelry now than they used to. We felt inspired to market an ad for women about self-love.

Nugent: The greatest relationship you have should be the one with yourself, so we wanted to tell the storyline of three different women reaching whatever goals and aspirations they have in their own life. For each ad we made, we took a traditional wedding vow and flipped it on its head; we took the beginning lines of classic vows and created a poem about how you can make personal vows to yourself relating to any goals you have in your life.

Q: What has been one challenge of working on this project?

Baker: As the producer, a challenge was trying to find the right talent and locations for filming with COVID-19. I spent so much time emailing and calling to ask people to let us film at different locations. We have a scene where our dancer is dancing on stage, and it was t difficult to find a location. 

Nugent: It can be daunting to keep up the morale and believe in your idea so you can finish it, especially when it is such a long process. As a creative, you often write for the wastebasket—-you have to edit and slim and get a lot of critiques so that you get the vision at the end. It’s a process, but it’s worth it when you see the finished product.

Kennedy Pitts, courtesy of Josh Lee, Tyler Richardson and Hope Knudson.

Q: What has been the greatest reward from working on this project?

Baker: I went through so many revisions and we met so many times. To get to film it and then see the final edit was awesome because it turned out as good as we hoped. This was one of the first ads where it came out exactly the way we wanted it to. 

Deighton: It was really encouraging to see this come to life and to find validation for my ideas. And this project has been very sentimental because it’s my first one. 

Nugent:  Many people may write, but not everyone can see what they write become a reality. It’s cool for it to be tangible for somebody to watch and experience; that’s super fulfilling.

Q: What message are you hoping to spread with this ad?

Baker: I didn’t want the ad to be man-hating. I love women-empowerment, but not putting down men. I love that this ad is more about a woman’s journey of achieving her goals and being the best version of herself. That’s a commitment we make to ourselves, to be as true to ourselves as we would be to a relationship

Nugent:  At the end of the day, it’s not the jewelry that makes a woman special, but who she is. We want this ad to show that the jewelry is a reminder of personal promises, but the value and worth of a woman is herself.

Director Josh Lee talking to Weixin Le. Photo courtesy of Josh Lee, Tyler Richardson and Hope Knudson from the advertising program

View the first full ad at vimeo.com.

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