With every college president across the land seeking to find a new marketing angle that will provide an edge in enrollment, I've been lucky to land at Alma, where our team has been working hard for years to develop new ways to tell the story. I have to admit I was a bit taken aback when I first heard that we were thinking of a television commercial -- I wondered whether tv ads aren’t just for the for-profits, whom I see peddling their wares with annoying regularity -- but I was quickly won over. Even if we can only afford to run the ad during some select cable programs, we now can tell Alma’s story out to tens of thousands of high school students whom we are getting to know.
I don't expect we would have done such a thing 10 years ago, when marketing was still a four-letter word in academe. But now that such efforts are more accepted for the story telling that they are, I don't anticipate objections from campus or from our alumni, who will in fact be proud to see our story told in this thoroughly 21st century style via YouTube:
The commercial, developed in-house by a combination of talented students and professional staff, uses stop motion photography, upbeat music and humorous visual affects to promote the “Alma Experience.” It incorporates more than 500 still images into a 60-second storyline that illustrates the many transformative opportunities that students have to learn and grow during their four years at Alma. We’ve tied it to a Web landing page where we encourage our alumni to submit their own Alma Experience videos.
We’re eager to assess its effectiveness over the course of this academic year. It’s another tool in our effort to tell the Alma story to new audiences, even as we engage those who know us well.