In 2007, Newhouse advertising associate professor Edward Russell launched The NewHouse, a student-run advertising agency that provides service to real clients in Upstate New York, to prepare students for future careers in the industry. Russell wanted to create a place outside of the classroom where students could practice their craft. “Broadcast had television studios, [television, radio and film] had radio stations, newspaper majors had The Daily Orange and there are lots of options for magazines,” Russell says. “Advertising didn’t have an agency and that just seemed kind of silly.”
The NewHouse, which has since been shortened to TNH, was created after Procter & Gamble led a two-week competition to create campaigns for Herbal Essences hair products, Russell says. The company gave Newhouse $5,000 in prizes, which was awarded to the top three winners. The remaining money went toward founding TNH.
“Our goal is to produce client work that is memorable, impactful and visible in Syracuse,” TNH President Jared Rosen says.
TNH’s client list includes the Lemon Grass restaurant, Empire Brewing Company, Phoebe’s restaurant, the Jefferson Clinton Hotel, Middle Ages Brewing Company, Red Carpet Runway and its newest client, Credit Karma. TNH is run like a professional, real-world advertising agency as much as possible. Its staff includes account managers, account planners and this year, a creative team.
“Initially, I was hoping to start a small ad agency with students working on actual accounts,” Russell says. “We soon figured out that everyone leaves at least once or twice a year for holidays and breaks, so having ongoing business would be very difficult.”
TNH continued with its core ideas, but evolved to focus more on specific client projects and competitions, Russell says.
Last year, TNH entered a competition led by the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee that was aimed at motivating Qatari girls to play soccer. The TNH campaign, “Find It In Football,” encouraged young girls to play the game for more than its health benefits; girls learn leadership skills, confidence, courage and discipline. TNH made it to the final round, flew to Qatar to present directly to the committee and won first prize.
Rosen says TNH works a great deal on rebranding and building social media presence for clients. “Small businesses don’t understand the value of social media,” Rosen says. “So we try to bring about success on a micro level.”
TNH launched a new website, tnhagency.com, in 2014, began working on a blog, added more clients to its list and entered a new project-based competition involving Credit Karma.The agency also had a hand in starting the Eric Mower Advertising Forum speaker series, which brings industry professionals to the Newhouse School.
“TNH has really taught me professional development, balance of creative expertise and business savvy and the ability to work in a group,” Rosen says.
—Eliza Weinreb, sophomore, Newhouse School