Valenti students develop advertising campaign for Bayou City Arts Festival


This spring, Valenti advertising students poured themselves into developing a campaign for the Bayou City Arts Festival, an event celebrating artists and their work. Together, students in Professor Larry Kelley’s media planning and account planning classes researched the festival and developed strategies for growing its audience base – particularly among Generation Z and Millennial audiences.

“Professor Larry Kelley approached me with the idea,” said Roger Bare, executive director of the Bayou City Arts Festival. “I had just joined the organization and thought it would be valuable to have fresh minds help with our branding, messaging and community.”

Bare details how one of the biggest challenges the festival faces is staying relevant, since it only happens twice a year. They needed help keeping people excited and familiar with the event. Ultimately, the students developed a plan book, which was presented to the client in groups after the spring festival.

“The students created a campaign focused on making the event a Houston attraction,” added Bare. “They wanted individuals to attend for the experience itself and not solely for the art.

”October’s festival, the year’s second iteration, put ideas from the campaign into practice. The event included live music and entertainment that “made it more compelling to younger adults.”

Bare and his team had areas they wanted to transform. The students helped develop their ideas to attract more young people to the event.

“Having the students’ direct input was very beneficial,” concluded Bare. “I want to thank them and Professor Kelley not only for their time, but also the great ideas that we used in our October festival.”

Since 1972, the Art Colony Association has been hosting the Bayou City Arts Festival, an event that has raised more than $3.6 million in support of local nonprofit organizations.