According to the Neilsen Co., an estimated 111 million people watched last year’s Superbowl. But I wonder how many people took their bathroom break during the game and stuck around for the commercials.
This advertising juggernaut has brought us some of the most iconic 30-60 second ads of all-time. Brands bring out the creative “big guns” to catch people’s attention and hopefully have them talking about their product long after the Lombardi Trophy has been awarded.
So you are probably asking yourself, “What does the Superbowl have to do with higher ed?” Well, if you’re in recruitment marketing those ads are doing something that colleges and universities need to be doing much more of — using creativity to grab the attention of key audiences.
A recent whitepaper developed by comScore addresses advertising strategies for Millennials. Given their size and purchasing power, Millennials are valuable to marketers but they’re the most challenging demographic to reach — something we’re all too familiar with in admissions and higher education.
comScore reports that Millennials tend to be more difficult to capture their attention, impress, convince and entertain. This multi-tasking age group has low tolerance for marketing messages, but they are highly engaged in the media they choose to view.
So what’s an advertiser to do — and more importantly, what can we learn from it?
The comScore report provides two suggestions. First, ads need to be creative and tailored to draw Millennials into the story. Second, this generation is drawn to powerful and differentiating reasons to buy. So identifying what’s unique about your institution and building out your story is critical to your success. Hundreds of emails or print pieces fill students’ personal and digital mailboxes — they won’t give you a second look if you aren’t telling an authentic story and doing it in an interesting way.
Don’t be afraid to take a page out of the Superbowl ad philosophy book and take a creative risk. Chances are — it might work.
So pass the chips and grab a cold one — you may not be an advertising agency with a “Super Bowl budget,” but you might find some inspiration this Sunday.
Download the full comScore report (Please note that in order to receive the report you must complete a form).
Here are two great articles relating to the comScore report that you might also enjoy:
Read more about our authors. Annemarie Nagle is the Senior Marketing Executive for TargetX. Annemarie knew she had a passion for admissions and recruiting as a student tour guide. Since then, she has worked in higher education as an admission counselor and a dual role recruiting students and managing marketing communications.