University of Minnesota, Crookston goes on air to recruit students


The University of Minnesota, Crookston came to our Grand Forks, N.D., office, SimmonsFlint, with a pretty straightforward goal: increase awareness of, and boost enrollment at, the UMC campus.

Knowing that students who tour the campus are more likely to apply to and enroll at UMC, we partnered with UMC’s Admissions Department and Office of University Relations to create three 30-second TV spots encouraging people to “come see for themselves” what UMC has to offer.

UMC on air

I’ve worked with UMC as their account manager for several years so I was thrilled to expand our efforts to a new medium. We piggybacked the creative for the TV spots off UMC’s College Essentials campaign [PDF], which consisted of award-winning student recruitment materials we designed in 2010 to promote their “Small Campus. Big Degree” atmosphere.

One commercial was created for students, informing them of the abundance of majors, small class sizes and high placement statistics.

Another was again aimed at students, but this time focusing on the active learning approach at UMC; students not only learn in the classroom, but also through interactive and experiential learning opportunities.

Since most prospective undergraduate students involve their parents in the search process, we directed one spot toward parents of potential students.

The commercials, launched in February 2012, are running in the following designated marketing areas (DMAs): Fargo-Valley City, Duluth-Superior, Rochester-Mason City-Austin, and Minneapolis-St. Paul. The ads have been running for just two weeks, but both faculty and students are incredibly happy with the upbeat commercials that are bringing to life the exciting opportunities at UMC.

What do you think makes a college recruitment commercial successful? Have any examples you’d like to share? Tell me in the comments section below!

Ericka Olin

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