Advertising class makes a "splash" in honor of fellow Spartan, Jessica Starr

Students present merchandise concepts as part of their integrated advertising marketing campaign.
Carol Starr, Jessica’s mother, holds a concept photo of the splashpad.
Student teams present creative ideas to their guest clients.
Members of Jessica Starr-Rose’s family attend the ADV 486 class presentations as a client.

Students in the Advertising + Public Relations capstone course received a special assignment this year: create advertising and communications plans for a new community splashpad in honor of the late FOX 2 meteorologist and Michigan State University College of Social Science (’05) alumna, Jessica Starr-Rose.

Presentation Day 

As the Spring 2022 semester ended, members of Starr’s family and representatives from the Novi Parks Foundation listened to pitches led by four student ad agency teams in David Regan’s ADV 486 classes.

The capstone assignment was to deliver an advertising and communication plan to a client, to be used for a real-life campaign. In this case, the campaign was near-and-dear to the hearts of the Spartan community and Detroit-area residents alike: a splashpad at Bosco Park — complete with weather-themed features — to be enjoyed by Jessica’s two children and children from across the area, according to the City of Novi.

“I can think of no better avenue to express her joy and zeal for life than to create something like this where kids will laugh and enjoy themselves for years into the future," said City of Novi Mayor Bob Gatt. “It is something that will live on forever.”

In life, Starr “provided so much light” to her local community, said Fox 2 staff. For the four student groups, bringing that light forward was important.

“It was a delightful and very interesting afternoon full of bright visuals, innovative creative/media strategies and exploratory discussion. The members of the panel were thoroughly impressed and inspired by what the student groups unveiled, with plans to incorporate and/or build upon many of the ideas presented,” said Jessica’s aunt, ComArtSci alumna Victoria Digby (’78).

Instructor David Regan is proud of his students’ work and honored to be given the opportunity to “pay it forward” to a grieving community.

“In this class we've had big clients, like McDonald’s and State Farm, and you wonder where the student work goes … you wonder how much gets pushed forward, or thought about, or discussed in their boardrooms or their meeting rooms,” Regan said. “But to know that this student work was going to have an immediate, beneficial help for a good cause — that's a powerful thing.”

Donations for Jessica’s Splashpad are currently being accepted at the Novi Parks Foundation website.  


— Jessica Mussell