Meet your creative mentors :

Learn from Advertising Greats



Written by Patrick Gravel

The best job hunting tool is a great portfolio. At Miami Ad School, world-class Creative Directors and Designers help you build one. They are award-winners, working professionals, and they’ll guide you to join their ranks. Meet just a few of our 50+ Miami Ad School instructors.

Willow Posters – Denise Cole

Denise Cole

Co-Founder and Head of Art, Juliet Creative 

Denise Cole is Co-Founder and Head of Art at Juliet Creative, one of the newest independent agencies in Toronto. A graduate of the Miami location, Denise has worked all over the US and Toronto, most recently at JWT Toronto.

Why did you want to teach at Miami Ad School Toronto?
Having been a student at the school in Miami previously, I was excited to see that Miami Ad School was coming to Toronto. When I was approached to instruct one of the courses I was definitely interested.

What do you teach in your class, Ideas First?
I’m the instructor of Ideas First, and I love this class because I feel like it’s at the heart of everything we do. Ideas are the most important thing. They are our product in advertising. That is what we make, what we produce.

How has running your agency been?
Having the independence to do things the way we want to do them is amazing. The agency is nothing more than the people in it. And we have amazing people.

Winter Swear Jar – Denise Cole

Kraft Honey Peanut Butter – Jeff Hilts

Jeff Hilts

Chief Creative Officer, FCB Toronto 

Jeff Hilts is Chief Creative Officer at FCB Toronto. Jeff’s recent projects include Down Syndrome Answers and Destination Pride, both Canada’s most awarded campaigns at Cannes in 2017 and 2018. Jeff teaches Pop Culture Engineering.

What is one of your favourite projects you’ve worked on?
For two years in a row, we’ve had Down Syndrome Answers and Destination Pride become the most awarded campaigns in Canada at Cannes. Working on these projects, using our skills to affect a behaviour change for a cause we truly believe in is probably the greatest award you could hope for in advertising. Maybe life in general.

What are you teaching the students?
I’m teaching the students that pop culture is happening around us all the time. It’s in the music, the movies, local and international events. It’s about keeping these events on your radar. These are all opportunities for brands to create meaningful and insightful connections with consumers.

Why did you want to teach?
I was more than happy to jump in and teach a course and hopefully, in some small way, give back to an industry that’s been really good to me.

Anything but Sorry – Jeff Hilts

Strength in Numbers – Kyle Lamb

Kyle Lamb

Freelance Art and Creative Director 

Kyle Lamb is a Freelance Creative Director and Art Director. He’s won almost every award in advertising, worked at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, john st., and worked on clients including Doritos, President’s Choice, and the Golden State Warriors. He teaches the Digital Campaigns class at Miami Ad School Toronto.

Why did you want to teach?
I always liked the idea of mentorship, of mentoring students throughout my career. I’ve been doing that more and more. When I had the opportunity to actually teach and do that for real, I said yes.

What is one of your favourite projects you’ve worked on?
The Golden State Warriors project was probably the most different and interesting. We got to develop a visual identity for their playoff logos and other things.  Another that I enjoyed working on was the Cheetos museum. A very simple notion, and it just exploded. It’s an insight that we picked up and really took off, that people were posting their Cheetos online.

What are you teaching in Digital Campaigns?
I’m teaching the process of coming up with good concepts and ideas, with a focus on digital media, ultimately leading to making portfolio pieces. It’s an ideas class with a digital twist.

Cheetos Museum – Kyle Lamb

Laura Serra

Creative Director, Narrative PR 

Laura Serra is Creative Director at Narrative PR, part of Bensimon Byrne / OneMethod / Narrative. Before getting into advertising, Laura wrote for The Globe and Mail. In 2018 she judged the American Advertising Awards, and teaches the Thinking Strategically course at Miami Ad School Toronto.

Why did you decide to teach?
It’s our passion projects and hobbies outside of the agency that make us better inside of the agency. I could be filling my day with work, work, work, but I make time to teach because what I learn from my students, and what I learn from myself as a teacher, ends up making me better at my job.

How did you get into advertising?
While working in journalism, I met a few people from Bensimon Byrne and got introduced to creative advertising. I took a leap of faith and joined Narrative PR. Now seven years later I’m a Creative Director at Narrative.

Where do you get your inspiration?
I find inspiration with absolutely everything. I walk around with my eyes wide open. I’m constantly touching and smelling things, and trying to immerse myself in them. Whether I’m biking down the street, or watching a movie, or dining at a new restaurant. I’m constantly looking at every little thing and taking it all in.

Casey House, June’s Eatery – Laura Serra

WWF – Mo Bofill

Mo Bofill

Executive Director of Design, john st.

Mo Bofill is Executive Director of Design at john st. At Miami Ad School Toronto she teaches the Tools class, where she shares her love of typography and design with our students. She’s won at award shows and judges plenty of them too, and recently spoke at Design or Die, a panel discussion about the importance of design and design thinking.

What is one of your favourite student projects?
One the project’s I liked was Jenai’s Netflix series. It was for Chef’s Table on Netflix. She decided to create these paper foods on a plate, so quite simple design, and simplicity is actually the hardest thing to execute against, and there was just nice balance. The paper was well crafted.

What are you teaching in Tools?
Our Tools class is highly focused on craft. It encourages the use of hands, getting away from digital. We focus on photography, craft, illustration, paper cutting, collage. The students are able to ideate through their thinking by using their hands.

What do you love about your job?
A lot of the work that we produce, if there’s passion and fun in it, you can tell. Another thing, you never know what you’re going to work on next. We can touch anything and do anything, and the idea of limitless creativity is quite exciting. That’s what gets me up every day.

BP in Bed – Mo Bofill

To learn more about Miami Ad School’s Art Direction and Copywriting programs can turn you into a professional creative, get in touch with our Admissions Director, Muneet Dhaliwal

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