In 2003, the AdLab took on its first client and moved into a small space in the HFAC to begin its award-winning run as one of the premier university advertising labs in the United States. Since the opening, thousands of students have moved through the doors as it has acted as an advertising hub for the BYU Communications Department.
“It all started on a napkin in a little diner as Doug McKinlay and I dreamt up a way to have the students do real advertising work in a student-run, professionally-mentored ad agency,” Jeff Sheets, former director of the Advanced Advertising Lab, recalled.
“We looked at how students learned, and saw new environments that were conducive to collaborative work. We looked at how students gathered and worked in spaces such as ‘The Wall’ in the Wilkinson Center, and we wanted creative, aspirational space which inspired students to work to accomplish the ‘next level’ of advertising,” Ed Adams, Communications Department chair, said.
“We are installing collaborative work areas so that students can more easily work together on the many group projects they have throughout the course of their studies,” Pat Doyle, manager of the AdLab, said.
“The students wrote funny sayings about the ‘death’ of the AdLab along with some of their favorite memories in the lab,” Doyle continued. “Several faculty members gave eulogies. It was just a really great time.”
Doyle also mentioned the slew of new tech upgrades coming to the AdLab including a number of new flatscreen televisions and updated software for computers. The concept for the room is based on an open design that displays past accomplishments of the AdLab along with their sponsors. A glass whiteboard wall will also be installed allowing students to brainstorm together and collaborate on projects.
The new AdLab is set to open its doors this upcoming Fall semester. A grand opening ceremony will be held.