Academy of the Arts University Appoints Notable Brand and Creative Specialists Doug Van Praet and Anna Vilano to Director Roles of New School of Brand Communication

SAN FRANCISCO, August 23, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Academy of Arts University today announced the appointment of renowned industry professionals Doug Van Praet and Anna Vilano to the roles of Co-Executive Director for the newly established School of Brand Communication.

“We are thrilled to welcome these two highly experienced experts to our Academy of Arts faculty,” said Dr. Eliza StevensPresident, Academy of Arts University. “Both Doug and Anna have achieved exceptional success in their respective careers, and I’m excited that our students will be able to directly benefit from this hard-earned experience and use this 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 as a pioneer in applying behavioral science to the challenges of creativity and innovation. He has held senior leadership positions in top-tier agencies in both The angels and new York, Doug has spent his career working with many of the world’s best-known 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 branding leader in the US by Superbrands Worldwide, and Inc. magazine. named his book Unconscious Branding: How Neuroscience Can Empower (and Inspire) Marketing as one of the Ten Best Marketing Books.

“The Academy of Arts University has a rich heritage and over the years has honed a keen sense of how to prepare its students to become leaders in the ever-evolving creative industries,” said Doug Van Praetexecutive director of the School of Brand Communications, Academy of Arts University. “Located in San Francisco with its Silicon Valley roots, the university thrives on the fusion 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 us all.”

Anna joins the university having been at the forefront of the evolution of the advertising industry from pre-digital to digital and was one of the first to use social media platforms as a key channel in advertising 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 the role of Creative Director, she led multiple teams to create some of the most innovative and successful advertising campaigns. Anna was previously a professor at University of California, Los Angeles where he teaches graphic design and digital media.

“As a creative director and teacher, I’m here to help students teach students using my real-world professional experience. I’m excited about honing their skill sets and building on their unbridled sense of curiosity and creativity.” said Anna Vilanoexecutive director of the School of Bran Communications, Academy of Arts University. “The business is at a critical point where, if it doesn’t grow, it will fade away. Our job is to prepare students to take on this expanding landscape, and the School of Brand Communications gives them the right practical tools to help them develop creative acumen and business acumen.”

The appointments follow the recent announcement of the launch of the Academy of Arts’ new School of Brand Communication. Providing a cohesive umbrella over several renowned design and communication programs within the university, the School of Brand Communications will seek to build on each of the strong programs it brings together, further refining curricula and degree pathways and ensuring they are in step with current and future industry requirements to give students a strong edge in the industry.

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SOURCE Academy of Arts University

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