By: Victoria White, SMU Athletics
Inspired by Love For Animals, Rivait Earns Awards in TAI Creative Exhibition
Humor, fear, disgust, emotion, love and awe were advertising elements adorning the white walls of the Pollock Gallery at the Temerlin Advertising Institute’s 2018 Portfolio Night and Creative Exhibition. From stunning simplicity and splashes of color to crisp lines and expertly cut graphics, students’ projects were judged by industry professionals in an art exhibit-esque competition that capped off the fall semester.
Waiting for results of the annual showcase, suspense was thick in the air. Sophomore equestrian Sharese Rivait had two entries that she created for a concepts class in her advertising major: a Milk-Bone Brushing Chews print campaign she came up with at the start of the semester and a Bird Scooter video campaign that her and a partner finished during finals. A few names were called. Then, Rivait heard her name announced, loud and clear, as winner of Best Concept and again, for Best Video Commercial. The Orillia, Ontario, Canada, native, was thrilled.
“Especially on the commercials with my partner, we worked really, really hard,” Rivait said. “We kind of went above and beyond the expectations to even film three commercials because it was a lot of work, and they didn’t expect us to do that yet. But, we just did it anyway. So, we were very excited when our names got called, just because the hard work finally paid off.”
She said that the experience helped her to be one step closer to her post-grad aspirations. “It’s the first step in my major for basically what I’m going to be doing after I leave school,” Rivait said. “I want to be an art director once I get out of school, so this is the first step to learning how to create campaigns.”
Each campaign was integral to the class, with the first (completed alone) due on November 1st and the second (done with a partner) due in mid-December. The assignment requirements included students centering their ideas and design on a client of their choosing. “After we pick, we do a bunch of thumbnails, which are basically sketches,” Rivait said. “After we do all the sketches, then we get some critiques every day by our classmates and our professors. We get farther and farther until we actually produce it.”
Rivait chose Milk-Bone because of its brand recognition and established popularity. A personal passion was another driving force in her decision. “That was from one of my thumbnails, those sketches that we do,” Rivait said. “The brand is Milk-Bone, but specifically, it’s the brushing chews which support oral health and freshen breath. So, it was kind of just a random idea to stick like gross things that dogs get into, on their heads.”
Rivait professionally transposed different smelly items onto the dogs featured in the ads, including a skunk tail, trash can and toilet, to promote the teeth-cleaning treats of her client. “Everybody already knows what Milk-Bone is so, [I figured] that would give me a little bit of freedom within advertising,” Rivait said. “I can do what I want with it, because I don’t have to explain what it is in the advertisement, so that was good. Plus, I’m just an animal lover. I really, really love dogs, so that was another reason why I was drawn to it.”
In addition to working with horses, including her Quarter Horses up in Canada and the many school horses at SMU, Rivait’s family is big on dogs. “We have like 10 dogs at home. I’ve always grown up with like a stupid amount of dogs at my house,” Rivait said with a laugh. “Yeah actually, we just rescued two from the pound that we’re bringing home!”
On her 30 hour drive home for the holidays, Rivait answered questions in an interview over the phone, with the two new dogs in tow. “My dog, his name’s Goose. He’s a Shepherd,” Rivait said when asked what types of dogs her family owns. “We just rescued two from the Dallas pound that we’re taking home. We’ve got a whole bunch at home. We have two Jack Russells, a Havanese, a Pekingese. We have a Husky, a Rottweiler mix. Most of them are rescues, especially the recent ones that we’ve got in the past five/six years. They’ve pretty much all been rescues.”
Just like her love for animals, Rivait’s keen eye and penchant for creativity emerged early in her life. “I just really like to create things. I’ve always been like that,” Rivait said. “The production part is so tedious, but I still enjoy it. Things for the concepting itself is what I really enjoy. So far, the hardest part about my program has probably been the additional classes we’ve had to take like advertising ethics and research. They make us take those classes so we understand the industry better, but I found those really challenging.”
In advertising, just as any other industry, there are both challenges and rewarding moments. But despite the challenges, Rivait said she loves coming up with crazy ideas and seeing how they come together. Rivait and her partner’s ambitious, award-winning video commercials for the popular transportation scooters seen all around the Dallas cityscape, was another project that she got to set in motion and see to the end. “Actual filming took about three days,” Rivait said. “We have the camera for a week, so we were pretty much shooting for a week because we had to do reshoots and stuff, so that was kind of crazy. That was about a week before finals when we were really cramming and doing all the editing and the shooting.”
In her sport, equestrian, where Rivait competes in Horsemanship for the Mustangs, there’s also a competitive aspect. Some of her team goals going into the spring season include embracing consistency in the rankings and going for it all at the end of the year.
“For the spring, I mean of course, I think that we could win Nationals this year,” Rivait said. “I think if not, then next year. I think that we could totally do it. For the most part, it would be really great for us to stay within the top three. We’re second right now, so ideally it’d be nice to stay up there in the rankings.”
The Western rider, who also enjoys makeup, fashion, art, traveling and scuba diving, has been involved in equestrian since she was six years old. “I really like the bond with the horses,” Rivait said. “That’s probably my favorite part. I’ve had the same horse for nine years now. She’s about to retire, but the bond is so strong when you’ve had a horse that long. And then, the school competitions are so much different than what I was used to before I came. But, being able to ride so many different horses, I feel like it’s made me a stronger rider then I was before the program.”