| posted by Joe Hice |

Student perspective on NC State marketing

NC State student John Tucker is a disciple of NC State.  No, it’s not a religion, but Tucker is passionate about the place.  He gets it when I close my blogs with Passion Rules!  Last week I asked people to comment about our marketing efforts here on campus and Tucker had a lot to say. Good stuff, all.  He even produced his own version of an NC State television commercial.  More good stuff.

Whether you agree with him or not, for John Tucker, Passion Rules!  See his comments and television commercial below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIMu2Dz0×4U

The current NC State commercials aren’t REALLY NC State. Ask a student what they think of the commercials- they’re ostly used as punch lines to jokes (Nano what?). To most people those commercials feel just that- too commercialized. The best way to sell something is to connect a certain feeeling and emotion to the product that way everytime that person has that certain feeling, it reminds them of the product (NC State). Yes, the bridge commercial is high tech and nice, but it doesn’t create a connection to the consumer. They are great commercials, to air during a TED talk or on the History Channel.

The main goal is to create a connection to NC State with all walks of life, but it has to start with the students- if every student doesn’t believe NC State is the greatest place to be, then how are outsiders supposed to be convinced that it truly is the greatest place to be. When making new commercials and in anything we do, the goal should be to find out what makes NCSU the best place on earth?

When a young person watches this commercial, they should think: “Wow, I really want to go to NC State and experience what I just saw.”

A Current student should think “Wow, that is exactly what it’s like here.”

An alumnus should watch it and think “I wouldn’t trade those days for anything.”

That’s what this school needs- a community that feels an emotional connection. Now I’m not saying a commercial alone can do that, but it will help get the ball rolling on the process.

That was the motivation and inspiration for this short clip I made. I am by no means good at making videos: but hopefully this will inspire you all to come up with something of your own. Heck, we don’t even need to spend money on making commercials- students should do it. Who better to capture the essence of NC State than the students who live it everyday?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIMu2Dz0×4U

Enjoy and leave some criticism!

Passion Rules!

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11 Responses to “Student perspective on NC State marketing”

  1. Donna says:

    Wow, that is great input. As someone who has been involved in the making of the “institutional message” for about 20 years, it’s nice to hear from the students what they liked, didn’t like and would like see. Often feedback comes in the form of “that sucked” or “we love it”. Not really the most enlightening for those of us who are looking for what to do next.

    The only problem with John’s ideas is that he’s looking at it from a very narrow perspective. Every constituent group of the university thinks that they are the most important. I don’t want to get into the “the students are the reason we’re all here” argument, because no doubt they are very important. But you have to keep in mind that there are other audiences that this spot must speak tol, many different groups that we must address , multiply messages that have to be stated. And all in under 30 seconds!

    That being said, I love the sentiment in John’s script. I wonder if he’d let us use it in the spot we’re getting ready to produce. I’m already thinking of images we can use and how the music should be sound.

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  3. Chandler says:

    Passion Rules! I completely agree with John’s opinion/commercial about the University. I love this place, and a commercial that evokes the passion students, alums, faculty feel about this place is what we need. The 54 things to do at NC State deck of cards is my first step to spreading the “traditions” and passion for the University…then hopefully following up with a traditions website will really help the process. =) Joe, I get excited reading all of your blog posts!!

  4. Steve B. says:

    This commercial, even done so simply is a great start to what NCSU defined is. Although Donna points out that this is a narrow perspective, I think that since it attracts a smaller group than the entire population is a good thing. Trying to please everyone with one small simple task is sure to fail so maybe several small pieces are needed to help attract all groups.

    Donna, you are right that we must attract everyone but I don’t believe it should be done in just one single 30 seconds. Developing different spots or products for each different group is the best thing we could do.

    John said it best when he said
    “When a young person watches this commercial, they should think: “Wow, I really want to go to NC State and experience what I just saw.”

    A Current student should think “Wow, that is exactly what it’s like here.”

    An alumnus should watch it and think “I wouldn’t trade those days for anything.”

    Being able to attract all these different groups is surely a difficult task and should be looked at from different angles. Sure, it would be great if we could really attract each one with one single spot or product, but in all reality, that isn’t possible…Unless: we can develop one image or one phrase that will create the desired feeling in all of these people. Maybe the different spots could all lead up to the same image or phrase. Something that no matter what demographic someone is in, they say “We ARE the Wolfpack” or “We ARE North Carolina’s College” or whatever it may be.

  5. Sherry says:

    I agree with Donna about the input from John being important. I felt while working at NC State that the commercials in recent years were developed more to win awards by advertising agencies than in helping get the true identity of NC State disseminated.

    The commercials were well-done technically, but going more for all audiences with the unspoken goal of not looking like all the other university spots. Getting alumni, student, faculty, staff, donor, prospective student and parent buy-in is not easy. My former boss used to say that the “We ALL go to NC State” was the best slogan for N.C. citizens and alumni to have buy in and I agree.

    I’m an alumna, former employee and interested citizen. NC State is a great university and more than STEM-based in its successes in research, etc. John’s script was simple and to the point and spoke to me. Photos of student-led initiatives like the shack-a-thon, Art to Wear fashion show peppered in instead of mostly football would have more resonance for some folks.

    It is extremely difficult to roll all of NC State into one tagline, but “We ALL go to NC State” is catchy and accurate!

    Kudos for the post, Joe! Lots of good work has been done so far under your leadership. Onward!

  6. NCSU should host a video contest for all constituents to participate in creating a 30 second commercial. There would have to be a prize for the winner, but the competition itself would be its own campaign for NC State.

    Students, alumni, staff, faculty, etc…could all participate to create their own version of the NC State message — upload it — and then share it with others in order to try and win. By the end of the contest (which would include public voting), you will have many different videos to work with (not to mention, a winning video). You could do mash-ups of the best videos, use individual submissions as they stand, or create something entirely new using the theme of the most popular video(s). You will truly have the real message of the constituents.

    Viral contest marketing is an excellent way of building community, creating buy-in, generating buzz….and it’s very very affordable! Let the people do the work.

    I have participated in, won, and hosted viral video contests over the past 3 years at The Friday Institute. Many corporations/companies/businesses have used this way of marketing, and have been very successful at harnessing web 2.0 and social networking to spread the word of mouth marketing about their product.

    NC State should do the same.

  7. Dave Green says:

    A video contest open to all members of the NC State community? This sounds like a democratic approach to communication that really is inclusive. It’s bold. I like it!

    The buzz around the contest could be as important as the end product(s). Just remember: there is a difference between the cerebellum and cerebrum. (An “opps” in the previous video)

    As long as we are looking back to move forward… I think the previous Achieve! theme was excellent and had meaning for all members of the NC State community.

    Let’s Achieve! some more.

  8. Amy says:

    NCSU should host a video contest for all constituents to participate in creating a 30 second commercial. There would have to be a prize for the winner, but the competition itself would be its own campaign for NC State.

    Students, alumni, staff, faculty, etc…could all participate to create their own version of the NC State message — upload it — and then share it with others in order to try and win. By the end of the contest (which would include public voting), you will have many different videos to work with (not to mention, a winning video). You could do mash-ups of the best videos, use individual submissions as they stand, or create something entirely new using the theme of the most popular video(s). You will truly have the real message of the constituents.

    Viral contest marketing is an excellent way of building community, creating buy-in, generating buzz….and it’s very very affordable! Let the people do the work.

    I have participated in, won, and hosted viral video contests over the past 3 years at The Friday Institute. Many corporations/companies/businesses have used this way of marketing, and have been very successful at harnessing web 2.0 and social networking to spread the word of mouth marketing about their product.

    NC State should do the same.

  9. Joe says:

    Huh, after having the benefit of reading your post before watching the commercial, I got it. It was pretty good. Forgive me for being blunt but my the biggest criticism I have is that I don’t think it distinguishes the school from any other public university. There’s potential for it too though, if you have the right images.

    Also, I assum if you run a Power Point commercial you are saving resources for more substantive print ads in larger markets that tout our accomplishments.

    Of less importance, having the military personnel is kind of cliche and doesn’t remind me of NC State so that was a disconnect from one of your stated goal of having alumni watch the commercial and feel like it represented their time there. I even lived with an ROTC guy in my fraternity house and never once saw him in uniform and he never even talked about it. Maybe show the jets flyover the football stadium if you want to work the military angle.

    Also I’d show Mario Williams in a picture as he’s much more famous than TJ Williams who didn’t even make the NFL. Mario is the ONLY #1 overall draft pick out of the ACC.

    I assume that QB was Phillip Rivers but I’d make it more apparent who it was. He’s very famous, especially on the West Coast but people need to see his name on the jersey.

    Show the students rushing the court in the RBC center. That arena is one of the nicest in the nation and distinguishes us more so than our f-ball stadium which is nice in quality but small.

    I’d incorporate the lighting of the Beijing Olympic Ceremony by our spin off company, Cree. I think we can show something better than the eco car.

    Those are some of my thoughts. Thank you for sharing yours on this blog. I appreciate the transparency.

  10. Joe says:

    Oh yeah, show a picture of Valvano rushing the court.

  11. John says:

    Joe,

    I see where you coming from with a lot of what you said. I made the video in about in hour late one night, and picked random images. The two girls in ROTC had to do with the line printed on the screen focused around the word “destiny.” The two girls shown are going to be 2 of the first women ever to serve on a submarine, and they both graduated from NC State. This was just a basic video with random images from google, so thanks for the input!

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