SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 23, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Academy of Art University today announced the appointment of notable industry specialists Doug Van Praet and Anna Villano to co-executive director roles for the newly established School of Brand Communication.
"We are thrilled to be welcoming these two highly accomplished experts to our Academy of Art faculty," said Dr. Elisa Stephens, President, Academy of Art University. "Doug and Anna both have achieved extraordinary success in their respective careers and I'm excited that our students will be able to benefit directly from this hard-earned expertise and use that insight as they embark on their own unique careers."
Doug, a leading brand expert and best-selling author, joins the University after a highly-successful career pioneering the application of behavioral science to creativity and innovation challenges. Having held senior leadership roles at top-tier agencies in both Los Angeles and New York City, Doug has spent his career working with many of the world's most notable brands including Volkswagen, P&G, Nike, Johnson & Johnson, GM, AB InBev, Bank of America, Burger King, Dr Pepper, Snapple, Toyota, and Lexus. Doug was also named a top 10 U.S branding leader by Superbrands Worldwide and Inc. magazine named his book 'Unconscious Branding: How Neuroscience Can Empower (and Inspire) Marketing' one of the "Top Ten Marketing Books."
"The Academy of Art University has a rich legacy and over the years has honed a keen sense of how to equip their students to become leaders in constantly evolving creative industries," said Doug Van Praet, Executive Director for the School of Brand Communications, Academy of Art University. "Based in San Francisco with its roots tied to Silicon Valley, the university thrives at the confluence of culture and technology. It's a rare perfect storm. I'm excited about the opportunity to help shape the minds of these artists who will in turn shape a brighter future for all of us."
Anna joins the University having been at the forefront of the ad industry's evolution from pre-digital to digital and was one of the first to use social media platforms as a key channel within ad campaigns. She has worked for top-tier agencies including Deutsch, FCB and VaynerMedia supporting clients such as Volkswagen, Taco Bell, Microsoft, Neutrogena, Unilever, Naked Juice, Sonic Drive-In, Toyota, and P&G. At VaynerMedia, where Anna held a Creative Director role, she led multiple teams to create some of the most innovative and successful ad campaigns. Anna was formerly a Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles where she taught graphic design and digital media.
"As a Creative Director and teacher, I'm here to help instruct students utilizing my real-world professional experience. I'm excited about honing their skill sets and building upon their unbridled sense of curiosity and creativity," said Anna Villano, Executive Director for the School of Bran Communications, Academy of Art University. "Businesses are at a critical juncture where if they don't evolve, they will fade away. Our job is to prepare students to take on this widening landscape and the School of Brand Communications gives them the appropriate hands-on tools to help develop creative acuity and business acumen."
The appointments come after the recent announcement on the launch of the Academy of Art's new School of Brand Communication. Provide a cohesive umbrella over several celebrated design and communications programs within the university, the School of Brand Communications will look to build upon each of the strong programs it brings together, further advancing curricula and degree pathways and ensuring they are in lockstep with the current and future demands of the industry in order to give students a strong industry edge.
For more information, please visit https://www.academyart.edu/
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SOURCE Academy of Art University