‘I Chose UMSL’ campaign shifts focus to opportunity, outcomes

UMSL students Marissa Sutherland and Braxton Perry

UMSL students Marissa Sutherland and Braxton Perry are featured on a billboard for the “I Chose UMSL” campaign. (Photo by August Jennewein)

UMSL students look to the university to create life-altering opportunities. UMSL alumni prove-out those opportunities with solid successes. That’s the story of the newest chapter of the “I Chose UMSL” branding campaign launched in October. This is the fourth iteration of the popular initiative.

The emphasis on students is seen prominently on outdoor advertising dotting interstates across the St. Louis area. The billboards focus on current UMSL students followed by a successive board featuring a highly respected UMSL alumnus.

“We felt it was time to dramatically contrast ‘opportunity’ with ‘outcomes’ for the fourth installment of the campaign,” said UMSL Chief Marketing Officer Ron Gossen. “Our students’ opportunities –whether to perform at the renowned Touhill, be true scholar-athletes, prepare for their careers or get a quality education close to home — are juxtaposed with the ‘outcomes’ represented by our distinguished alumni.”

Pairing students with high-profile alumni not only provides depth to an already well-received and successful campaign but also offers a chance for students to get involved personally.

“The ‘I Choose UMSL’ campaign is another way I get to share with my friends the positive experience I am having,” said Braxton Perry, freshman chemistry major, Pierre Laclede Honors College student and “I Chose” campaign participant.

Marissa Sutherland, a junior nursing major and Pierre Laclede Honors College student was pictured with Perry on a billboard focused on campus living. Sutherland liked that the “I Chose UMSL” campaign highlighted “real reasons” students were happy with their college choice.

“The biggest benefits I experience with living on campus are convenience, friendship, and involvement,” she said. “I have a busy schedule filled with clinical nursing classes, cheerleading practices and events, and working two on-campus jobs. The convenience of living on campus helps make my busy schedule manageable.”

In tandem with these boards, UMSL is running eight different radio spots. The spots feature well-respected professional alumni calling from all over the world to echo the campaign’s “I Chose UMSL” statement. The spots include, FroYo owner Jason Jan, Missouri State Treasurer Clint Zweifel, and NASA research scientist Marty Mlynczak, as well as actress Phyllis Smith from the popular television series “The Office.” Other prominent – and not-so-prominent, but hugely successful – alumni in the campaign include the president of Marymount University, head of research at Harvard’s teaching hospital Massachusetts General, president of The Muny, and a Tiffany’s store director, among others.

The combination of outdoor, radio and online advertising marketing magnifies UMSL’s visibility while driving home the opportunity that students gain by attending UMSL. The campaign will continue through November and pick back up again in February.

Visit the UMSL Flickr page to view the billboards and click here to listen to the radio spots.


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