Students respond to new ads
Tamonda Griffiths – News Writer
Ian Bergemann, vice president of the Student Government Association’s Board
of Outreach and Communication, said the Southern advertisements he has seen are silly.
“A billboard that just kind of says ‘Be Creative’ doesn’t advertise Southern too much,” said Bergemann.
He said it would be a much better idea for the university to advertise its low tuition, academic programs or convenience for students who may need to commute to school.
“I would really market out the nursing program – we have a strong nursing program,” said Bergemann. “We also have an entire business school which I think goes very unrepresented.”
Director of Integrated Communications & Marketing Patrick Dilger said he and the branding team have been working for over a year on the new marketing slogan: ‘Expect more. Be more.’
Dilger said the university conducted a survey through a marketing firm called SimpsonScarborough, which conducts marketing research for institutions of higher education.
Yodsapath Anata, a junior, and computer science major, said the only advertisements he has come across are through radio broadcasts.
Karlyn Jackson, a sophomore, and English major, said, the online advertisements are more prevalent.
“I don’t really see advertisements that much in my experience,” said Jackson. “I live in Hamden which is right nearby, and I think they’ve had, like, a billboard one time”.
Dilger said they interviewed students, faculty, and alumni in order to determine how people “defined” the university.
“The whole ‘Expect more. Be More’ is part, you know, [what] we want when students come here, you know, they want to become more,” said Dilger.
The most common words that “resonated” with students, he said were “words like daring, driven, connected, and inspired.”
He said ‘Expect More’ refers to students expecting more of both themselves and the university.
Dilger said students may not have come here as their first choice, but eventually they realize all the “wonderful things that we have here.”
“We’ve always been an institution that’s historically passed on access and affordability,” said Dilger.
He said one reason they do not specifically advertise the university’s affordability is because to some people “affordability means cheap.”
“We get these themes out in other ways,” said Dilger.
According to Dilger, the university has seven digital billboards in various parts of the Connecticut. While the university does utilize “traditional” marketing platforms such as newspapers and radio stations, he said they have also established a strong social media presence.
“Now we try really…when you’re marketing – a multi-pronged approach,” said Dilger. It is important for the university, he said to spread the word out about itself because “you can’t rely on other to do it for you.”
“We don’t use models,” said Dilger. “all the people in our billboards, in our viewbook, on TV, they’re all real Southern students.”
Photo Credit: Palmer Piana