“BG and You” debuts today

Adults and young adults sit on the edge of their couch cushions, eyes glued to the television, they wait to see how the election will end. Voting polls are closing and election campaigns have ended, but a new campaign is taking over the airwaves.

Tonight is the official launch of BGSU’s newest advertising campaign – “BG and You.” New commercials for the University will hit television sets while viewership is high during election coverage on stations in northwest Ohio, Cleveland and Columbus.

Fred Connor, director of marketing at the University, thinks the commercials will really make an impact tonight.

“We know that it is a good time to be on the airwaves,” he said. “We’re pumped.”

The television spots are just one part of the campaign’s outreach. One hundred billboards were plastered with BGSU’s new ads, posters were slapped up in high school hallways and informational packets featuring the new design have been sent out in the mail.

The campaign was finished in July, and the staff behind the effort has been anticipating going public. In September, when it was time to start recruiting high school students, the Office of Admissions sent out 70,000 information packets bearing the new look. Then the University’s Web site was updated to match.

Black and white photography, paired with boldly colored accent colors is the backdrop to the newest slogan: Changing the world by degrees.

This campaign, according to Connor, is meant to foster a deeper understanding of what the University stands for. The last campaign – Dream B!G – had more upbeat commercials that were more about the community of BGSU.

“We’ve been very successful in the past six years with top-of-mind awareness,” Connor said.

That means previous campaigns have been set up to let people know about BGSU and make Bowling Green State University a household name in Ohio especially. And now that the Marketing and Communication Department feels BGSU is on the top of people’s minds, it is time to tell them more about it.

Part of the new campaign is a new set of University selling points that the marketing department, after months of research, decided to use in promotion. The three points that the campaign boasts are explore, inspire and achieve.

“BGSU isn’t leaving our identity behind, we’re just developing it a little further,” Connor said.

The geographic area the University is reaching out to is growing with this campaign. This will be the first time television ads are running in Columbus – which Connor said is a very expensive area to advertise in.

Other Universities though, are not concerned with reaching out with their advertising. Miami University in Oxford, Ohio does not advertise on television at all.

Arlene Werts, the president of University Communications at Miami, said the it hardly does any advertising at all. She said because Miami recruits more nationally than most universities, it is not reasonable to advertise on television or with outdoor ads like billboards.

“It would be too expensive, it’s just not reasonable for us,” she said.

Instead, Miami relies heavily on direct mailing to recruit students.

Kent State, on the other hand, does everything it can to reach high school students before they decide on a college.

“You name it, we do it,” Tom Neumann, associate vice president for university communications and marketing, said about advertising techniques.

The main selling point for Kent is the practical experience the university offers. And they review their advertising strategy every year.

In the years to come, BGSU will continue to develop the BG and You campaign. Connor called the next step “channeling” the brand of BGSU. That means within the University the new look and the words explore, inspire, achieve will trickle down to each college and each department. The consistency of the brand through the different parts of the University will even further continue the development of the BGSU identity. And push the new slogan “Changing the world by degrees.”

“That will be the fun ahead of us of the next few years,” Connor said.