Category Archives: January 2011

Keeping Your Paws Clean in the Professional World

By Brianne Kimmel

What every student can learn from Arm & Hammer’s catfight with Clorox

The recent legal battle between Arm & Hammer’s Super Scoop and Clorox’s Fresh Step not only sparks witty jokes and cat puns, but also valuable lessons for CCI students. Although we may never have clients lacking opposable thumbs or verbal communication, this law suit has real life lessons.

1. Be practical

Clorox’s research for Fresh Step kitty litter consisted of 158 cats, 2 brands of cat litter and 14 problems.

Of the 158 cats:  6 rejected litter boxes filled with Fresh Step, while 8 rejected boxes filled with Super Scoop.  This illogical method for collecting data was not only messy, but unsuccessful. Fresh Step’s 2 cat advantage on Super Scoop was nothing to meow about.

2. Go against the grain

Get creative. If the industry is known for puffery and exaggerated claims, try something new. Cats don’t talk, don’t pretend they do.

3. Get selfish

You have 30 seconds to get your message across; don’t waste it on your competitor. Focus on your brand, nothing else. Showing two brands can lead to information overload or free ad space for your competitor.

As you begin to think ethically and legally about whatever CCI related field you go into, there are lessons learned from the advertising industry. How you conduct yourself professionally will get you hired, promoted or fired throughout your career.  In any research scenario start with viable research methods and make sure your statistics are honestly worth sharing. Standing out against competitors in any field is vital, look for a new angle or spin to get your company noticed. Above all else, never give your competitor an advantage.  Devote your time to earning customer loyalty and bettering your product or service.

Brianne Kimmel is a senior advertising major and marketing assistant in the Dean’s Office of the College of Communication and Information.

Ad Week Article

CCI Student Focus: The Bubble Process

By Nicole Gennarelli

Two VCD graduates casually started their ideal business in February 2006. Now more than four years later it’s still going strong.

Sean Higgins,’05, and Nicholas Rezabek,’03, were roommates at Kent State. After graduation, they went their separate ways; Rezabek went to New York City and Higgins stayed in Cleveland. A few years later, the two realized they needed to create a job they both loved doing, because no one was going to do it for them. That was how The Bubble Process was born.

“Our main focus is primarily involved with the implementation and execution of limited edition silk-screened rock and roll posters, but that isn’t our only facet of creativity,” Higgins and Rezabek said. “We are also involved in editorial illustration and branding as well as a couple other areas of interest. We just like to cover our bases with everything we can get our hands on.”

Higgins and Rezabek said they work on mainly everything together. Living eight hours apart is tough, but it works for them.

“We talk to each other all the time over the Internet,” they said. “Instant messenger has been our lifeline these past couple years. We always try and stay heavily involved in each other’s worlds, but not to the extent of overkill. It is just the perfect amount.”

Generally, both of them work on everything together. Sometimes projects are suited for one of them, but they are always helping each other.

“We do everything from pencil, to pen, to marker, to watercolor, to computer, to torn paper and then some,” Rezabek said. “Right now, our print shop is in Cleveland with Sean, but we look forward to setting up in Brooklyn soon.”

Higgins and Rezabek said they haven’t faced any major hardships so far.

“There are obviously ups and downs with a business, dealing with clients and the workload, but we really cherish everything we do,” Higgins said. “Since we screen-print 95percent of the posters we design, there can often be unforeseen hurdles to get over outside of the “creative” aspect of what we do. But that’s been part of the learning process.”

The name of the business has a link to Kent State. When Higgins and Rezabek were roommates in Koonce Hall, part of Tri-Towers, they always referred to the building as “the bubble.”

“Basically it had anything you really ever needed,” Higgins and Rezabek said. “You really never had to leave. So we always called “home” the bubble, and the name spawned from that.”

The Bubble Process makes a profit in a few different ways. Most of the time the guys are commissioned to make posters for an event or company.

“Sometimes we work with bands that have a limited budget, and we offer our services with the right to sell the poster on our site and at events,” Higgins and Rezabek said. “Although sometimes this pays off, we really do this as a labor of love. Outside of posters we are commissioned for our designs and illustrations.”

Higgins and Rezabek have received a lot of recognition from both art and design groups.
“We have had our posters and art featured in various art galleries around the world and have been featured in multiple design publications and contests as well as online magazines,” Rezabek said.

Classes at Kent State helped them in the real world. Both developed a work ethic from the VCD program that has helped them achieve success.

“The conceptual foundation of the VCD program is really the one thing we took away from the program and has always been the first thing we address with our projects,” Higgins and Rezabek said. “That is something that has helped to make us stand apart.”

Keep trying and keep learning are the biggest pieces of advice they can give to current students pursuing their dreams.

“We are constantly honing our skills and pushing ourselves to the next level,” Higgins and Rezabek said. “If you can’t find that goal you are searching for, you may have to go out and make it yourself. We did, and we have zero regrets.”

Nicole Gennarelli is a junior public relations major and marketing assistant in the Dean’s Office of the College of Communication and Information at Kent State University.

Ethics in 100 Words or Less: Jan Leach

What exactly is ethics? Jan Leach, Assistant Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, enlightens us in the video below.

Post by Brianne Kimmel

Brianne Kimmel is a senior advertising major and marketing assistant in the Dean’s Office of the College of Communication and Information.

Friendly Reminder: Last Day to Drop Classes

Hello Friends!

Just a friendly reminder, today is the last day to add or drop a 15-week course without getting a ‘W’ (withdrawal) mark on your transcript. Remember, if you need to be full time for financial aid purposes, you must have 12 credits.

Here are some helpful links:

WhyCCIKent’s post about adding and dropping

WhyCCIKent’s post about scheduling

KSU’s Financial Aid Office – financial information

KSU’s Registrar’s Office – course information


VCD Graduate Student Plays Integral Role in Campus-Wide Improvements

By Brianne Kimmel

Visual Communication Design (VCD) Master of Fine Arts Graduate Student Aimee Crane continues environmental design project from her undergrad.

Photos courtesy of Aimee Crane

Through her Fall 2008 Environmental Graphic Design course with VCD Professor David Middleton, Aimee Crane has designed ten pedestrian wayfinding signs to improve Kent State University’s campus. Crane’s design was selected, along with VCD Alumna Kimberly Hall’s color coded map design, to appear strategically throughout the campus.

She continues to work with Professor Middleton to update and expand Kent State’s environmental design to create an efficient, easy-to-navigate campus for visitors and incoming freshman.
Photos courtesy of Aimee Crane

Crane is a third semester graduate student and plans to become a VCD professor in 3D design. The 3D program at Kent State is growing and students should consider this much needed field, said Crane. She attributes much of her success to her experience with KSU’s two- week, intensive SEGD Workshop. The networking and skills learned during this summer program gives you confidence to become a more knowledgeable graphic designer.

Photo from:

Crane is involved with the Society of Environmental Graphic Design (SEGD). She also writes for Kent State’s VCD Graduate Student Blog.

Brianne Kimmel is a senior advertising major and marketing assistant in the Dean’s Office of the College of Communication and Information.

Senior advertising major and marketing assistant Brianne Kimmel brings her passion for media and all things Kent State to the CCI Dean’s Office.

Photo of Brianne Kimmel

Kent State University has given Brianne Kimmel much to talk about. During her time at KSU she has been involved in multiple organizations, both on and off campus. She has been a Kent Student Ambassador for three years, and has served on the executive board as web coordinator and participation chair. She enjoys working with prospective students in the admissions office as a tour guide, telecouselor and blogger. She served as the marketing director for TOMS Kent State, an organization which provides shoes to children in need. Brianne’s passion for community service has earned her the 2009 Most Impactful Service Award and the 2010 Spirit of Service Award. Her volunteerism has taken her to New Orleans with Kent State’s United for the Gulf Coast in 2008 and 2009, and she has taught in the Dominican Republic for three summers.

Brianne is a member of the American Advertising Federation in Cleveland. She was the recipient of the Marcus Thomas LLC Scholarship in 2009, and she earned this year’s Arras Group Scholarship. She has received the Wyse Advertising Scholarship in both 2009 and 2010, and Kent State University’s Paul Ashby Lewis Award for outstanding advertising. After she graduates, Brianne would like to work for a non-profit organization in corporate communications or marketing.

She spent last semester working at a Teen Challenge facility in Kansas and she hopes to one day start her own facility. In her free time, Brianne enjoys writing articles for World Vision, going to concerts and traveling. She spent time in Australia this past summer volunteering with Hillsong Church.

Brianne was chosen as the 2010 Kent State University Student Leader of the Year and will graduate in May.