Bringing the “sound on the Sound” to a New Generation

A group of University of Bridgeport students at the Greater Bridgeport Symphony presentation

If you live in the greater Bridgeport area, you have no doubt seen the posters, watched the television commercials or heard the radio spots touting the 74th season of the Greater Bridgeport Symphony (GBS). And, if it seems the campaign has a modern, refreshing flavor, that’s because it was created by University of Bridgeport students under the direction of Susan Katz, senior lecturer and chair of Mass Communication.

Katz runs two classes where students work to develop an integrated marketing campaign for a real-world client. “Some clients come to me and some I seek out,” Katz noted. “In this case, Professor Jeff Johnson, associate dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, told me the Greater Bridgeport Symphony had a need, so I asked him to introduce me.”

At a fall launch presentation for the new campaign, GBS President Orin Grossman, marveled at the quality of the work the students produced during the 15-week course. “It’s wonderful to recognize the dedication and creativity of all the students who worked so hard and created such professional work with such amazing energy and intelligence,” he said. 

The students collectively worked as one agency, broken into four departments—press and public relations, art and design, social media, and video and photography. Their goals were twofold—to help rebrand the rebirth of the symphony under the vibrant new leadership of its Music Director, Eric Jacobsen and to produce media collateral for four of the 20/20 Visions concert series.

First on tap was the creation of the new logo, designed by Graphic Design student Aaron Muniz. Its iconography combines the composition of an orchestra—strings, brass, woodwind and percussion. The logo was then animated by Graphic Design student Lou Chan Moreira and set to music. Media collateral produced by the class agency—TV and radio spots, web and newspaper ads—have been on air, online and in print used since October and will continue to run through April.

Greater Bridgeport Symphony Animated Logo
Logo designed by Aaron Muniz and animated by Lou Chan Moreira.

Brittany Yapp, a senior in the mass communication program, described the strength of bringing related disciplines together in a collaborative campaign. “We were able to come up with these great advertising pieces that the company can use well into the future,” she said.

Yapp also chaired the social media aspect of the campaign. “Social media is the way that a lot of people get their news and information each day,” she said. “It’s a great fit for the GBS company, especially since they are trying to reach a younger audience. You have to go where they live.” The social media department created prototype pages for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, a YouTube channel, content curation newsletters, a template for email blasts, and an augmented reality experience with Zappar where users could explore the symphony via their phones.

Greater Bridgeport Symphony poster
A poster designed by the Art and Design department, co-chaired by Lou Moreira and Lina Onofrio.

Lina Onofrio, a senior graphic design major, was co-chair of the Art and Design department, which designed logos, posters, banners, ads and even a bus wrap emblazoned with the GBS logo. “We all submitted logo ideas,” she said. “We each created a sheet of 10 or 15 ideas, which we gradually narrowed down to three that we submitted to GBS for final approval.” Several elements of the collateral featured a hand drawing of conductor Jacobsen created by Graphic Design student Emily Norris.

Greater Bridgeport Symphony bus wrap
A bus wrap featuring a hand drawing of conductor Eric Jacobsen created by Emily Norris and campaign slogan "The sound on the Sound" by Drew Eccleston.

The group also produced a line of promotional branded merchandise, including T-shirts and hoodies, coffee mugs, tote bags and water bottles. “It’s cool to see these things we created actually put out into the world,” Onofrio added.

Greater Bridgeport Symphony hoodies
Hoodies are among the promotional items designed by Steph Medina and Jeo Alteus.

Drew Eccleston, a senior marketing student, can claim credit for coming up with the descriptive, brand-heightening campaign slogan, “The sound on the Sound,” a reference to Bridgeport’s location on Long Island Sound. “It was a great experience because GBS gave us free rein during the creative processes.”

The agency also created 12 ads for radio, TV and the internet. The work is airing on WTNH-TV, WICC-AM and WMNR-FM.

One of four TV ads the class produced. Student Daniel DaSilva was the director/editor/director of photography.

Eccleston, who plans to one day own his own marketing agency, said the hands-on aspect of the class helped prepare him for what comes after graduation. “Now we know what to expect when we get out into the real world, but we got it here at UB so we could learn from our mistakes.”

The Mass Communications program, with concentrations in Public Relations, Advertising, Journalism, Sports Communication, and Communication Studies, teaches hands-on, real-world skills for students to succeed in the ever-evolving media industry. Mass Communication is available to UB students as a major and minor course of study.