$1 million ad campaign kicks off, continuing momentum


Josh Cribbs is one of the featured alumnus in Kent’s new series of commercials that we’re filmed over the summer. Photo by Katie Barnes.

Carrie Blazina

Kent State has followed up on its successful 2010 “Excellence in Action” advertising campaign with a $1 million campaign.

Four television ads, one of which features the Cleveland Browns’ Josh Cribbs talking about completing his degree at Kent State, are the highlight of the campaign, and they began airing Wednesday night. The campaign also includes an added online presence with banner ads and videos.

The ads focus on the campus’s connection to downtown Kent, the fashion school, partnerships between colleges and continuing education.

Iris Harvey, the vice president for university relations, said the ads will run on cable and network TV during premiere season for the next three weeks but will end before political ads dominate the media. She said the ads are a continuation of the last campaign.

“We want to continue the momentum to build on the success that we had [with the previous campaign],” Harvey said in a presentation about the campaign at Wednesday’s Board of Trustees meeting. “Most importantly, this advertising is brand-building. It’s designed to motivate.”

Harvey said the previous campaign proved successful in reaching students and parents. She provided research in Kent Sate’s competitive region, which is Ohio and western Pennsylvania.

According to the research, the university moved from fourth place to second place in the competitive region. The university now is only behind Ohio State.

The university also moved from seventh place to third place, behind Ohio State and the University of Pittsburgh, when the researchers asked people, “If you are thinking about going to a college, which one comes to mind?”.

Harvey also said the university’s favorability impression was up 73 percent with students and up 23 percent with parents, among whom the rating was already high, after the last campaign.

President Lester Lefton said in the post-meeting press conference that the campaign is necessary in spite of an all-time-high in student enrollment.

“To be honest, there’s a fierce battle out there for the best students,” Lefton said. “You have to be competitive. You have to show people there’s a value of our position here at Kent State that just can’t be beat.”

Contact Carrie Blazina at [email protected].