Behind the Scenes
Advance Auto Parts Photo Shoot:
An Art Direction Strategy
ART DIRECTION

On-site at Advance Auto Parts

CLIENT

Advance Auto Parts /

NC State College of Management Supply Chain Resource Cooperative

It was literally a warehouse space full of opportunities.

“We need to build a photo library for marketing.“
“It has to be authentic.“
“It has to tell the essence of our story.“

— The NC State SCRC

The SCRC MBA at NC State wanted to show that their students work onsite, side-by-side with the Advance Auto Parts managerial team on many levels. Advance Auto Parts wanted to show their student mentorship and outreach collaboration.

Authenticity was the key component of the program’s marketing strategy, so stock photos weren’t going to cut it. And even though the photography was going to be in-context, random photos wouldn’t tell a compelling story.

So where to begin?

I was given a warehouse of products, a handful of real SCRC student (models), enthusiastic Advance Auto Parts managerial staff, and an amazing photographer, Bruce DeBoer to work with. But only one half-day to get it done.

Not knowing where these photos would end up in their future communication materials, I took a look at all their marketing strategies and targeted audience segments, then divided visual content into four key buckets for the shoot:

Advance Auto Parts team giving insight to students
Students offering insight to the managerial team
Generic shots showing breadth of product / production, with architectural room for copy
Team shots

Having examples for the to reference from with the targeted shot list, it was easy to build the shots—creating a solid library of over 100 marketing images for both SCRC and Advance Auto Parts to use in the future.





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