MSU Senior Marketing Communications Manager and Manager of Strategic Partnerships, Tony Frewen, Shares His Unplanned, Yet Extraordinary Path
By Haley Klein
1986 advertising alumnus, Tony Frewen, says he felt right at home when he took his first class as a new MSU advertising major, ADV 201. Despite his original intent to study business, Frewen says a degree in advertising allowed him to combine his skills with his passions. He has held jobs as a copywriter, copy chief, account executive, creative director, music and video writer and producer, and even studio vocalist.
Just like students today, in his ADV 486 campaigns class, Frewen was creative lead in charge of copywriting a real campaign for a real client. He says the class allowed him to express himself in new ways. Having always been a musician, Frewen wrote a series of radio commercials for the campaign, which included multiple voiceovers, sound effects and music.
After college, Frewen began his career in advertising at Jacobson’s, an American regional department store chain formerly based in Jackson, Michigan. Starting as copywriter for catalogs and newspaper ads, he was eventually introduced to radio production for the department and advanced to regional copy chief. After six years, Frewen moved to an ad agency, where was as a copywriter, then transitioned to account supervisor and creative director. He also began doing more work in music and jingle-writing production for nonprofits, banks, retailers and community colleges. Frewen eventually returned to his alma matter with a job running marketing operations for the auxiliary units of the university and its Division of Residential and Hospitality Services, where he oversaw organizational strategic communications. In his current position with MSU’s University Communications, Frewen is a senior marketing communications manager and manager of strategic partnerships. He has been involved in MSU brand marketing campaigns, brand education across campus, as well as other communications and marketing activities, such as licensing and communications consulting.
“Advertising, marketing and PR are all about understanding the audience and what drives consumer behaviors. I remember not loving my consumer behavior and research classes, but those disciplines are more important than ever in today’s world of personalization and creating strong brand relationships through insight and data,” Frewen said.
After 33 years in the advertising industry, Frewen continues to be involved in music and interesting recording projects. As a long-time studio vocalist, he has been featured on numerous jingles, songs, commercial videos and shows. Most recently, he completed a collection of re-recordings for London Music Works of popular TV theme songs, as well as voicing numerous characters from The Muppets movies – including his favorite, the role of Miss Piggy. Frewen has also shared the stage with many iconic artists in opening performances for Journey, Rick Springfield, Loverboy, Tim McGraw, Clint Black and many more. Frewen is proof-positive that even if you don’t have a set career direction, armed with an AD+PR degree, you’re sure to find your way.