URI’s ad campaign wins silver award in national contest

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KINGSTON, R.I.—March 4, 2009 –The University of Rhode Island’s “Think Big. We Do.” advertising campaign has taken the Silver Award in the 24th Annual Admissions Advertising Awards competition, sponsored by the Admissions Marketing Report, the nation’s leading marketing publication for higher education. It is the largest educational advertising awards competition in the country.

The University received the Silver Award in the Total Advertising Campaign category. One of nearly 100 entries in that category, the University’s submission included all of the “Think Big. We Do.” branded advertising in 2008, including outdoor billboards, print ads, radio spots, Web site, logo/letterhead design, as well as its recruitment view book. URI also received awards in separate categories for its outdoor billboards, view book and logo/letterhead design. A national panel of admissions’ marketers, creative directors and marketing and advertising professionals judged the entries on creativity, marketing execution and impact of message.

URI’s Division of University Advancement, working with its branding agency FORGE Worldwide, created communication and marketing materials that present a consistent, confident message and voice that distinguishes the University in the competitive higher education arena. A student viewbook developed with the Admission Office, invites prospective students to Study in a Small, Beautiful Place With Some of the Biggest Thinkers in the World.

URI’s branding initiative includes a new typographical logo, tagline, and brand mark (tagline graphic), which are incorporated on its new website, billboards, targeted printed pieces, public relations, and paid media.

In the total advertising campaign competition for schools with 10,000 to 19,999 students, only the University of Idaho ranked higher than URI, taking the Gold Award. Franklin University, Ohio received the Bronze Award while the University of New Orleans, Regis University—Professional Studies College, Colorado, and the University of Nebraska-Omaha each received Merit Awards.

“The Silver Award is a testament to the quality of our campaign to market our brand,” said Robert Beagle, vice president for University Advancement. “The power of consistency, as well as the strength of great messages, images and design, surely played a key role in earning us this award. Our thanks especially go to FORGE Worldwide, of Waltham, Mass., which developed the creative brand strategy and creative elements, as well as to the many talented individuals in our Communications and Marketing, Admission, and Publications offices for their roles in our success.”

More than 2,000 entries were received from about 1,000 colleges, universities and secondary schools from all 50 states and several foreign countries.

Recently, the publication was renamed the Higher Education Marketing Report to more appropriately reflect the expanding role of marketers at colleges and universities.