CCI Alumna Nikki Méndez Helps Create the First-Ever Edible Mascot for the Pop Tarts Bowl

The Pop Tarts Bowl will feature the first-ever edible mascot, created by the Kellanova team at Weber Shandwick, including College of Communication and Information (CCI) alumna, Nikki Méndez.

As an Art Director, Méndez works with a team to develop brand activations, present them to internal account personnel, and later take them to clients. Méndez summarized her role: “I’m part of a team where I lead the visual direction for our ideas and campaigns.”

When asked how she came up with the idea for the first-ever edible mascot, Méndez told CCI, “When I’m in brainstorm mode, I just start thinking of like, what is bizarre? What is absurd? What has never been done before? Even if it’s not physically possible, or biologically possible, or anything possible, I just write it down.” When the idea for this came to mind, she proposed, “What if they ate the mascot?”

Méndez told CCI that networking was the most valuable skill she built during her time with the College. “Between networking events or just learning things one-on-one with professors. That’s really helpful in the real world.” Another valuable lesson CCI taught her was how to work with people. “Working in teams with other people in school, where no one’s getting paid and not everyone wants to be there is very difficult. So that kind of taught me some relationship-building skills that were really helpful before entering the workforce.”

When asked her best advice for students interested in a career like hers, she said, “Be confident. I think that self-doubt and impostor syndrome is the biggest killer of people trying to enter the creative field, they think ‘Oh, I’m not creative enough,’ or ‘I’m not as good as these other people that I’m looking at,’ whatever it is, it always seems like the goal is a mile away. Just be confident in your work and know that you will improve the more that you work on your craft. And just keep doing it, don’t let anybody push you into another territory.”

Tune in on December 28 to watch the Pop Tarts mascot get sacrificed to the winning team created by CCI’s very own!