Friday, March 9, 2007

Driven to Distraction, Part II

(Expensive ways to pound salt)

Mr. B. has commented earlier on the advertising campaign at BigU, Driven to Discover. Here important questions are asked such as:

  1. Is coffee bad for you?
  2. Can we study the brain from the outside?
  3. When will it be possible for humans to fly?

I’m not making this up. I couldn’t. (By the way the answer to the last question is: Humans probably won’t be able to fly.)

Despite lack of money leading to all sorts of problems, and the outlay of ca $300 mil for a new stadium, the U administrators are going to ask the BOR (Board of Regents) for a four million dollar extension of this pr campaign. As reported in the Daily:

March 8, 2007

Funds sought for new ads

University Relations seek funding approval to extend "Driven to Discover" into 2009.

By Elena Rozwadowski

More than one year after its launch, the success of the University's "Driven to Discover" marketing campaign drove University Relations to ask for a $4 million, two-year extension.

The campaign initially cost $2 million, which covered development and advertising for the first 18 months. That allocation, approved by the Board of Regents last year, will run out this month.

If approved, the additional $4 million would support further campaign development and advertising through July 2009.

Driven to Discover" officially launched in January 2006 and appeared on campus in September. The campaign sought to help the general public understand the research mission of the University, said University Relations Director Ann Aronson.

Aronson said initial reports indicate "good traction in the markets where the campaign media ran," without providing final numbers.

But some University students said they don't think the campaign does much for the University's image.

"I can think of better ways to spend $4 million, like give it to a Las Vegas casino," mathematics graduate student Nicholas Kirchner said.

Again Mr. B. could not help but compare the four million dollars being used for a publicity campaign to the amount of money for community health that BigU could not find. This public health initiative is in BigU’s mandate. An extended and expensive pr campaign is not.

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