Newhouse students run professional ad agency


May 10, 2017

TNH, the fully-functional professional advertising agency run entirely by Newhouse students, is garnering a fair amount of attention.

Since its inception in 2007, TNH (which stands for The NewHouse) has chalked up an impressive slate of advertising competition placements and wins. In 2014, TNH flew to Qatar to take first place in the Qatar 2022 Women’s Soccer Challenge advertising competition. They have competed in the National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC), run by the American Advertising Federation (AAF), more than any other college; six of the last nine years. They won in 2009, and placed second in 2007 and 2010.

In this year’s NSAC clash, TNH took the regional title; they will move on to the semi-final round this month, and hope to compete in nationals next month in New Orleans.

TNH bills itself as the largest student-run advertising agency in the nation, and the numbers support that claim. With an average of a dozen clients and 120 student workers every year, TNH is a serious outfit, and the array of students from different programs working in TNH shows that it’s not just of value to advertising students.

“We bring in TRF students, we bring in students from VPA Com Design [Communications Design], we bring in Whitman students, we bring in iSchool students,” Russell says. “We bring people from all over.”

The clients come from all over as well. As part of their advertising campaign services, TNH provides logo and web design, as well as social media strategy for a handful of national and local clients.

“We have 13 clients including the likes of Google, an international non-profit… a tiny fashion brand we are putting on the map and various local clients we are doing terrific work for,” Russell says.

That tiny fashion brand is J. Allen Inspired, a New York City startup specializing in bow ties and lapel pins. The TNH team created a social media strategy, designed print ads and edited language on the website to provide cohesive branding.

One non-profit TNH is working with is The Hero Project, a media advocacy campaign out of India focused on challenging harmful stereotypes that promote gender inequality.

TNH is not just a large advertising agency, it’s also a hard-working one. Depending upon the needs of the client, and the needs of the student, a TNH worker can clock in anywhere from 20 hours a week to 20 hours a semester.

“We seriously did not want this to impede on schoolwork,” Russell says, “so we always try to have enough students that nobody’s going to be drowned.”

On April 25, TNH students shared their work at the end-of-semester pitch night, highlighting the student-generated Greenhouse program, in which a senior student partners with a first-year student to work on a campaign.

“[The Greenhouse program] is for freshman who probably haven’t taken an advertising course, they’re just in the intro course,” Russell says. “They do a project with the seniors, which is very cool.”

While the accomplishments of the past 10 years are impressive, TNH President Elizabeth Young ’18 is looking to the future.

“I would like to get more of our amazing alumni involved in the agency. I want to make sure that our members see that the skills they are developing with us now, truly can be translated into skills you can use in the ‘real world’,” Young says.