RPI Clubhouse Pub

proposed rebranding & advertising campaign for the bar in the Renssealer Student Union

On an upper floor of the Rensselaer Student Union there's a pub that is open to all students, faculty, and alumni of legal drinking age. It's been running for over 20 years and has seen great success. During my time at RPI, I worked at the Student Union and worked closely with the director of the Clubhouse Pub offering advertising support.

After studying advertising strategies and corporate identity design, I realized there was a lot of room for improvement and growth for the Pub's identity and advertising strategy. So a friend and I got together to work on it.

We began by doing research to understand the history of the Clubhouse Pub and the mission of the director. I also spoke to peers and professors who frequent the pub to see how they felt. Most of the people I talked to were suprised to hear that the actual name of the bar was "The Clubhouse Pub". They had never heard it referred to anything other than "The Pub" or "The Pub at the Union". They also perceived it to be a bit outdated. It had an old stodgy bar stigma. We also discovered that The Resnsselaer Student Union, the home of the Clubhouse Pub was undergoing a logo change at the time as well.

It seemed to us that a slight name change was in order to align better with what everyone already called it. One of the major trends we noticed in speaking with people was also that the location, right on campus and inside a building that students were in often, was the most valued aspect of the Clubhouse Pub. In order to create even better recognition for that differntiating aspect, we realized changing the name to include "at the Renssealer Union" would be valuable.

To roll out the new identity, we designed branded T-shirts, beer glasses, and hats to serve as both usable items and sellable items. The collateral pieces usee the logo and brand colors of deep red, dark grey, and cream to create a cohesive and fun image for the establishment, while also fitting in with the broader Rensselaer Student Union brand. The style of the items was geared toward the casual and fun atmosphere that the new brand was trying to convey.

The Clubhouse Pub had been run for years without any sort of web presence as well. So along with the branding and advertising campagn, we created a landing page to kick off a web design project in the future. The use of a website was very important to users because that is where most of them said they'd go first to find information. All of The Pub's competitors had websites, and users said they frquently checked those to learn about specials or events going on.

Our kick off of the design of the site aimed at clearly relaying all the information a perspective and returning customer would need to know, including contact information, the hours of operation, the menu, and a calendar of events. We also viewed it as an opportunity to create an online shop for branded merchandise.

A formal report of the proposed advertising campagn and assets were shared with the director of the Clubhouse Pub upon our graduation.

The Team

  • Director: Martha McElligott
  • Designer: Ann Novelli
  • Advertising Strategist: Zlata Chernyshanko