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Brandcenter alum Jessica Collins (ST, 2010) admits she “came in the ad game a little late at 31,” but the VCU Robertson School assistant advertising professor caught up fast when she was named 2020 Ad Person of the Year. In addition, this year’s virtual Richmond Ad Show honored over a dozen other Brandcenter students and alumni for outstanding work last year.

Collins says she “worked on some of the biggest brands and with amazing companies,” before ending up in the classroom, “where I was supposed to be all along.” She was instrumental in coordinating the virtual VCU Camp ADventure, which attracted 200 campers from 64 universities in 2020. “Over 60 of them leveraged camp to attain a job,” said Collins proudly. The summer internship and creative competition has been so successful, it has already grown to include students from 72 universities this year, including 12 from the Philippines. Collins was also involved in bringing The One Club for Creativity to Richmond in 2019.

In the Best in Show Student Category, David V. Ligon (AD, 2021) and Nathan Bennet (CW, 2021) took home the coveted cannonball trophies. Their Alcaraz Island tourism campaign won in the integrated campaign category. “The project really solidified for me that I truly am an art director,” said Ligon. “Working with Nathan is always a joy, and I became more confident in my skills, making this project feel really special.”

This year’s awards were presented in five categories: advertising, design, interactive, production, and student campaigns. Whereas various size cannonballs have been the traditional award for the past 30 years, the Advertising Club of Richmond has now decided to retire the design. Because the cannonball was seen to have a connection to Richmond’s Confederate history, a new trophy will be introduced next year. Helping to run the Ad Club and that initiative will be Tiffany Boggs (CBM, 2022), who was named as the new vice president. 

Meanwhile, this year, the Brandcenter at VCU celebrates the following Richmond Ad Show winners:

Jessica Collins (ST, 2010)
Assistant professor at The Robertson School

David V. Ligon (AD, 2021) and Nathan Bennet (CV, 2021)
=Alcatraz Island tourism campaign


Charles Hodges (CW, 2009), NJ Placentra (AD, 2012), Jon Hirsch (AD, 2016),
Sam Case (CW, 2017)
“Hey Google, Let’s Go to the Movies” (Arts & Letters)

Kate Overholt Placentra (AD, 2012), Matt Mattox (ST, 2005)
Geico/Bundling Made Easy (The Martin Agency)

Jerry Hoak (AD, 2005), Jacob Pankey (CW, 2016), Allison Apperson (AD, 2016)
Buffalo Wild Wings/Bone Thugs N Harmony (The Martin Agency)

Jerry Hoak (AD, 2005), Allison Apperson (AD, 2016), John McClaire (XD, 2011),
Stuart Good Hayhurst (ST, 2017)
Buffalo Wild Wings Rally Caps (The Martin Agency)

Jerry Hoak (AD, 2005), Cecelia Sompayrac (CBM, 2015)
Oreo Mystery (The Martin Agency)

Ron Villacarillo (AD, 2001)
Stories over Stigma/Virginia Dept. of Justice (Yebo)


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