Executing a Big Idea – Syracuse.edu

Nicole Aramboles seated at a table with papers in front of her.

As a spokesperson for diversity and creative approaches, Nico Aramboles ’22 plans to make an impact in the advertising industry.

When Nico Aramboles ’22 explains why she aspires to be an art director, the advertising student begins with the sense of empowerment she discovered during a public advocacy class in her home major at University. of Syracuse. The mission was to develop and present an idea for an awareness and education advertising campaign on a topic of his choice. She came up with an ad about skin whitening and how it’s marketed to women of color. It is a project close to his heart.

Aramboles had come to Syracuse ready to capitalize on new opportunities. “I had never visited campus and was in awe of everything I saw and did,” she says. “I was really ready for a fresh start.” To make the most of her college experience, Aramboles was determined to absorb it all (“to be a sponge,” as she puts it), and to constantly consider and reconsider her direction and plans. “As I reflected on what I was learning, I realized how much the public interest course had influenced me,” she says. Aramboles recalled a time in her life when she didn’t like her skin color and wished she could change it. “I started thinking about how, through advertising, I could use what I’m learning in college to fight for causes I care about.”

Syracuse gave me the opportunity to be all me. Being a woman, being an immigrant, being black, all of that is hugely important to me in the advertising industry.

—Nico Aramboles ’22

Originally enrolled in the College of Visual and Performing Arts as a communications and rhetorical studies major, Aramboles soon discovered a perfect fit with the undergraduate advertising program at Syracuse’s SI Newhouse School of Public Communications. She dropped out of her previous study program in the second year and felt ready for the jump. “Everything I learned in communication studies and rhetoric has helped me a lot, as a student and as a communicator,” she says. “I think it shows that when we’re on the right track, everything is really connected.”

A new take

For Aramboles, who was born and spent her early childhood years in the Dominican Republic, a good education has always meant financial stability and a successful career. “Since I was very young, school has always been my thing,” she says. After her family emigrated to the United States, she continued to love learning and perform well, promising to be the first in her family to attend college. Her original plan was to be a lawyer.

But she started as an advertising major at Syracuse University – studying copywriting, graphic design, photography and strategy and seeing how they work together in exciting and influential projects and career areas. The experience had its challenges, and one of the first was Portfolio I. In this required course, students learn all the major components of creating ad campaigns, including conceptual thinking, art direction, and copywriting. . “This course was very different from any I had taken before,” she recalls. “Sometimes I questioned my decision to change my specialty.” But with the support and mentorship of her teacher and advisor, Mel White, she maintained her resolve. “Professor White is so inspiring and she really pushes us,” says Aramboles. “She really enjoys our work and helps to ensure that we produce the best work possible.” White says Aramboles’ talent shone from the start. “Even in his first creative advertising class, Nico showed strong conceptual skills,” White says. “She uses feedback to push her ideas to interesting places and has an eye for typography, design and photography.”

Nico Aramboles and Professor Mel White are seated at a table in front of a large open book.

Professor and advisor Mel White helped Nico Aramboles ’22 push himself toward creative design solutions.

In the third year of the program, advertising students choose a track based on their career goals: creation or ideas and strategy. When it came time for Aramboles to select a lead, she had gained a first-hand perspective that helped guide her decision. “One of the benefits of the program is that it becomes very specific and we can choose what we want to do, rather than finding out about it later in our work,” she notes. Various creative assignments provide diverse relevant experience. For example, after an editorial assignment to write 40 tracks, Aramboles decided to focus more on the art direction, management, and “big picture” aspects of the creative track. “Writing headlines wasn’t my favorite assignment, but it was decisive for me!” she laughs.

Professor White is so inspiring and she really pushes us. She really appreciates our work and helps to ensure that we produce the best work possible.

—Nico Aramboles ’22

Creative direction

Last summer, Aramboles had the chance to work in the role of art director with a real client during an intensive fellowship that resulted from an internship with the Advertising Club of New York. Through an initiative called Giving Real Opportunity With Talent and Heart, a virtual agency for diverse students, she collaborated online with a team of students at colleges across the country to develop and execute an advertising campaign, working on everything, from strategy to deliverables. Organized as an agency team, the students worked with a Bronx community organization to promote their efforts to establish a land trust that would protect their homes and properties from the effects of gentrification and overdevelopment. The group produced a 30-second television ad and digital billboards which were featured during the campaign.

I started thinking about how, through advertising, I could use what I’m learning in college to fight for causes I care about.

—Nico Aramboles ’22

This was not Aramboles’ first experience with a local agency or helping organizations promote causes they are passionate about. During her first two years at Syracuse University, she articled at an immigration law firm and also volunteered as a graphic designer for Students for Farm Workers, which raises awareness about systemic inequalities and economic disparities between agricultural workers and their families. Aramboles has also been involved with the University’s LGBTQ Resource Center and the organization Students Advocating for Sexual Safety and Empowerment. “I immediately joined these groups in Syracuse because they deal with topics that are very close to my heart – race, gender equality, empowerment – ​​and it was a safe space to explore them” , she says.

Nico Aramboles stands in front of a screen with artwork displayed on it.

“Glide Through”, Nico Aramboles’ advertising campaign for Oral-B Glide, is featured in the Graphis New Talent Annual for 2022. “It’s a strong, fresh and unexpected visual solution,” says Professor Mel White.

The big idea

As art director, Aramboles says she learned the importance of research and “discovering everything there is to know about the client’s challenges and goals.” And she had the opportunity to fully appreciate the “big idea” of a creative project. Before a creative team begins to generate a project for a client, they must be fully aligned with their campaign fundamentals with a clear, overarching goal and message.

For Aramboles, personally, the big idea also remains paramount. “Syracuse gave me the opportunity to be my whole self,” she says. “Being a woman, being an immigrant, being black — all of that is hugely important to me in the advertising industry,” she says.

White says diversity in messaging and representation will be welcome in the advertising industry. “The creative departments of ad agencies lack black women’s voices and perspectives,” she notes. “I see Nico being part of positive and inclusive changes in the future.”

Aramboles says it’s a challenge she looks forward to. “Knowing how influential advertising is in this world, I’m really looking forward to starting my career.”

Betsey A. Brairton

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