KSU launches new TV commercials

Aman Ali

This month, Kent State launched a series of television commercials to attract potential students to come to the university. Centered around the theme “learning by living,” the commercials profile three students getting hands-on experience from their professors.

In a press release issued by the university, Florence Cunningham, director for University Communications and Marketing, said the university wanted to take an alternative approach to advertising than it had done in the past.

“Rather than splashing small snapshots of our campus, we focused on individual stories,” Cunningham said. “We illustrated our faculty and student interaction by using real professors, real students and real stories. We wanted to show that students really do get hands-on opportunities at Kent State.”

Unlike many universities that prefer to advertise its campus environment, Thomas Neumann, associate vice president for University Communications and Marketing, said the university wanted to advertise its academic program instead.

“Studies indicate that students choose academics when picking a university,” said Thomas Neumann, associate vice president for University Communications and Marketing. “We wanted to get their impressions of what Kent State meant to them.”

The commercials profile Kent State’s business, journalism, science and horticulture programs. The journalism commercial was also duplicated in Spanish to attract potential Hispanic students.

To pick what stories and programs to profile, University Communications and Marketing sent communications specialists to each college in the university. They talked to program directors and deans to find out which professors had compelling stories to profile.

“We were looking for good stories,” Neumann said. “We needed the right stories to tell with visual appeal.”

Neumann said University Communications and Marketing advertised Kent’s “learning by living” commercials through integrated marketing, where advertising is launched through multiple media platforms.

“The TV commercials set the tone and are extended onto radio and billboards,” Neumann said. “You have the same visuals on different mediums; that creates more recognition.”

To make the commercials cost-effective, University Communications and Marketing hired individual producers, writers and videographers to create the commercials instead of outsourcing the entire project to a single company. Marcus Thomas, one of the largest advertising agencies in Ohio, distributed the commercials.

Contact student affairs reporter Aman Ali at [email protected].