This week, Mrs. McNichol’s Innovation students enjoyed a visit with alumna advertising expert, Bess Denney ’96, Group Account Director for 160over90 Creative Agency in Philadelphia. Denney’s original plan after graduating from Boston College with a degree in political science was to attend law school, but she admits that she loved all her marketing classes. She realized she could apply tactics learned in her poly-sci courses, such as debate and critical thinking, towards a fast-paced career in advertising.
For the past 20 years, Denney has held positions with Hill Holliday in Boston, AB&C in Wilmington, and LevLane Advertising in Philadelphia, leading agency teams, working with higher education institutions, and developing media strategies. Currently, as Group Account Director at 160over90, she builds relationships with clients such as Temple University, AAA, College of Charleston, Catholic University, and the Detroit Lions.
Denney opened with the alarming fact that people spend 12 hours a day consuming content. She also differentiated the myths vs realities of a career in advertising, discussed research strategies, explained brand awareness versus brand relevance, and shared some of her company’s commercials along with the process that was taken to create them. She also answered student questions about obtaining rights to music when creating content, a typical day in her office, and specific majors and universities to consider if pursuing this evolving career. Our students look forward to applying some of her key tips and strategies to their group work.