“You Can Go Anywhere From Here” is a slogan most SDSU students and many area high school students are familiar with.
The slogan is the brainchild of three SDSU alumni, Mark Glissendorf, Carey Grosdidier and Dave Haan.
All three are employed at Lawrence and Schiller Marketing and Advertising Agency in Sioux Falls and were on campus Monday to talk about their work as part of Journalism Week.
In 1999, President Peggy Miller wanted to shift the focus of the university’s marketing to recruitment.
University Relations started looking around for an agency to handle the campaign. Lawrence and Schiller was selected to take on the task, and that’s when the real work began.
The challenge, the advertisers said, was to design a campaign that would appeal to both parents and high school students, deliver a recruitment message and allow SDSU to compete with high-profile out-of-state schools.
This was an important factor in the advertiser’s decision.
“Where students go to college is a 50/50 decision,” Glissendorf said. “Fifty percent student and 50 percent parents.”
“The research showed that quality students perceived out-of-state schools to offer better education and career opportunities.” Glissendorf said. “SDSU was thought of as an ‘Ag College’ and if you went to school within the state you were stuck in South Dakota.”
Research also showed many were unaware of SDSU’s many programs, scholarships and record of academic excellence.
Two ideas were presented to the university leadership:
“Go Jacks” used the Jackrabbit mascot to deliver a different silly message in a subliminal sort of way, while “You can go anywhere” featured SDSU alumni who were making an impact in their fields around the globe.
“University leadership liked the ‘Go Jacks’ campaign,” Glissendorf said. “But when both campaigns were shown to prospective students, ‘You can go anywhere’ was the one that made them want to come to SDSU.”
Each segment shows three alumni, one of which works within South Dakota. Three ads are produced a year.
The campaign has been part of record success for SDSU. Enrollment increased from 8,719 (fall 2001) to 9,952 (fall 2002). The percentage of students attending SDSU from out of state also increased by 12.4 percent.