As with most big ideas, Northeastern alumnus Ben Adams started with a question: “What are the most challenging aspects of working on a campaign team,” he wondered, “and how could I fix them?”
At the time, in 2012, Adams was working on co-op on presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s campaign team, and from that experience sprouted the idea for Advoc8—a brand experience and advertising agency he co-founded about a year ago.
In their first nine months since founding, the team at Advoc8 has produced major events for CNN and other major brands at events like South by Southwest and the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, made over 150 advertising spots for major companies and campaigns, and has created more than half a million products for brands.
And from the start, Adams has been adamant about hiring Northeastern co-op students.
“Our work is a lot of high-profile, interesting, exciting opportunities; it’s not the sort of thing where you’re sitting in an office all day,” said Adams, SSH’15. “I wanted our co-ops to have real responsibilities. That’s the experience I had, and it helped me figure out exactly what I wanted to do.”
The company’s first co-op student, Divya Erram, AMD’17, worked onsite in Cleveland helping coordinate and plan logistics for the national news media during the 2016 Republican National Convention.
Advoc8’s current co-op student, Carina Deandreis, has been just as busy. Earlier this year, the former captain of Northeastern’s women’s soccer team spent a week in Austin, Texas, turning a restaurant into the CNN Bungalow for SXSW. That CNN space hosted some of the most highly reviewed panels, content launches, and parties of SXSW 2017, Adams said.
“Going to South by Southwest was incredible,” said Deandreis, AMD’18. “While there were many challenges, I was fully involved both in the planning and on-site development and was awarded the opportunity to see all the ins and outs of creating an impactful brand experience for a larger client.”
More recently, she helped plan for two events related to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner—one with the news and opinion site Independent Journal Review prior to the dinner and the other a CNN White House Correspondents’ Brunch the morning after.
Deandreis, who described the brunch as “a great success,” explained that the labor-intesive setup began at midnight that day.
“We had a significant number of large scenic pieces throughout the space that required assembly and configuration, so a portion of the team needed to be on site starting at midnight. Overall, we were able to transform the space at the LongView Gallery to fit the modern carnival theme of the party.” She added: “Truly, the experience has been one-of-a-kind and I can’t thank the team enough for the opportunity.”