Marketing campaign promotes university life

Emma Dejong

Emma DejongManaging Editor

In bold font and striking colors, SDSU’s new marketing taglines are featured on I-29 billboards, directing drivers to the university.

“Be great. Start here.” is the premise of the new awareness campaign, which replaced, “You can go anywhere from here.”

“The design of the new billboards look great and they easily catch your eye when you’re driving by,” said Ben Meyerink, a senior biology major. “The slogans on them represent SDSU well.”

The goal of the new campaign is to make current and potential students, staff, alumni and other university affiliates more interested in university life.

Mike Lockrem, director of marketing and communications for University Relations, said “You can go anywhere from here” was successful in its 7 to 10-year run, but “there’s a shelf life to any campaign.”

“”You can go anywhere from here’ talks about what can happen when you leave,” Lockrem said.

Now, the intentions of “Be great. Start here.” are to make people interested in what happens prior to graduation.

“It was a subtle change, but a very strategic change in the tagline,” Lockrem said. “I think as this campaign grows over time, we’ll talk about the opportunities that exist on campus.”

In order to implement this campaign, over a series of summer meetings a selection committee of seven SDSU representatives developed a Request for Proposal to hire an outside consultant.

In June the committee started reviewing 16 responses to the RPF and eventually selected a firm called the Image Group.

“I felt after seeing their proposals and seeing their presentations, they understood students, and they understood advertising,” said Students’ Association Vice President Erin Kennedy, the student representative on the selection committee.

The Image Group is a firm from Holland, Mich., that works with a number of universities and colleges in various methods of marketing. Lockrem said there is a Integrated Marketing and Communications Committee at SDSU, but as the university just reconstructed its committees, it was not active when the campaign started. As of now, though, he said the committee already has started being involved in the process.

“We’ll transition this into that group,” he said.

The two other taglines in the campaign are “These colors never fade” and “For those who need to know.”

“Overall, the things [the Image Group] came up with, they really require thought,” Kennedy said. “I hope that the campaign instills pride … especially “These colors never fade.'”

Lockrem said “For those that need to know” should get people asking questions.

“What does it get you thinking?” Lockrem said. “…This is to get them interested in what goes on at SDSU.”

The campaign’s total cost has come to $300,000, and Lockrem said this figure is not more than what was budgeted for the old campaign.

“Certainly we’ve been very conscious of where budgets stand at the university,” Lockrem said.

While the success of marketing is difficult to measure, Lockrem said the university has planned for evaluations in the future.

“We’ve developed a 3-year overview for it, but certainly you have to be able to develop and adjust as that campaign goes on,” Lockrem said.

Meyerink said that overall, he is pleased with the new campaign and the efforts being put into it.

“Marketing is more important for our school than most people realize, so I think it is necessary for our school to put such a large emphasis on it through this campaign,” Meyerink said.

Now that the campaign is in motion, Lockrem said he is excited because of his hopes that more people will be drawn by the successes of SDSU.

“We have very well-respected programs on campus that we talk an awful lot about, but now we’re discussing how we can market those effectively,” Lockrem said.

#1.1814424:994425306.png:New-Ad-Campaign-Ethan-Swanson.png:This billboard north of Brookings attracts potential students along the interstate while supporting the new ad campaign.:Collegian Photo by Ethan Swanson