Students Rebrand a Sustainability Nonprofit
Sixteen undergraduate students in the Spring 2022 ADV 4800 Advertising Campaigns course developed two unique branding strategies for ExpeditionTLH, a nonprofit that provides an online space and resources for people to learn about nature and their environment in and around Tallahassee.
Led by Dr. Kelly Kelly, Specialized Faculty in the College of Communication and Information, the students divided into two groups to conduct market research, create original logos and other graphic design elements, and prepare a brand launch strategy involving an in-person event.
“This class is the capstone course for advertising majors,” said Dr. Kelly. “It’s always very applied, but this semester was unique because students were working with a start-up nonprofit. The objectives were loose, and there were no client constraints. For example, students were able to rebrand and rename the organization. The students really acted as consultants, and while the project was challenging, it opened up cool opportunities!”
One group of students, the Fusion Agency, chose to rename ExpeditionTLH to TallyXP, which was meant to highlight the organization’s new slogan of “Expedition, exploration, experience.” Students in the Fusion Agency created an immersive presentation using all elements of their TallyXP branding guide to present their vision for new merchandise, a launch event at Lafayette Heritage Trail, and other media strategies.
The other group of students, Global Group, chose to rename ExpeditionTLH to TallyVentures and focused their campaign around the message, “Get  out there.” Their slogan could be customized for different audiences, and their logo had a vintage design. They also integrated Tallahassee’s iconic Spanish moss into their brand aesthetic.
Overall, the project partners from ExpeditionTLH were appreciative of the students hard work, particularly the immersive brand elements of their presentations, their SWOT analyses, and their ideas for interactive advertising strategies.
“This project gave us a lot of content to pick and choose from,” said Caleb Crow, Executive Director of ExpeditionTLH. “Nonprofits don’t usually get to work with advertising firms, so this was a great opportunity for us!”
The students enjoyed working with a real-world partner for their applied capstone course. Some students pointed out that working with a client made the class more fun and rewarding. Others believed that working with a client allowed them to better understand the process of creating a campaign and helped spark their creativity.
“Working with ExpeditionTLH, we were able to start from the bottom up,” said one student. “We got to work with advertising and branding, but we also got to look at the project through an entrepreneurial lens, too. We applied not only what we’ve learned in the major, but also new skills of business development, specifically strategy on revenue streams, which was cool, as well.”
Another student liked that he was able to work with an organization that aligned with his values.
“I care about the environment and nature, and having a real-world client with the same mission and goals helped us root a lot of our ideas in how we want people to interact with our environment moving forward,” said the student. “I was happy to promote ideas that sponsored nature and developing that interaction with it!”
To learn more about ExpeditionTLH, visit expeditiontlh.org.
To learn more about the Campus as a Living Labs program, visit sustainablecampus.fsu.edu/academics-research/campus-living-laboratory.