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Keep it simple, smarty.

By June 10, 2008March 14th, 2021One Comment

Last week, I spoke at the Northwest Career Colleges Federation Annual Convention about Responsible Marketing. It was the third time I’d spoken to the group, and quite frankly I was surprised I was invited back. You see, I’ve prattled on about how poor advertising is in the education category.

So often, education marketing falls into one of the categories below:

  • Amateurish, busy campaigns that are so bad, they are almost painful to watch.
  • Slightly better campaigns that feel like they are part of a direct response marketing template (because they often are). You know, these are the ads with the CSR’s with headsets saying, “call now!”
  • Advertising that tries too hard to be be ‘authentic’ and connect with college-age students. Kinda pathetic, like the 40-something white guy in the office talking about ‘street cred.’
  • Some unholy amalgamation of the above.

Because of this, I always enjoy finding something good in the education category, in any medium.

I discovered the following ads today from UNICID, Universidad Cidade De S. Paulo (roughly, The City University of São Paulo). I wish I found them sooner.

The Headline:

Competition starts earlier than ever.
Stand-out with a post-graduate degree from UNICID.

Click on any of the following ads to view a larger version.

So often, advertising tries to cram so much in so little space. And so little is actually read.

But these ads are simple, creative and confident.

One glance and you get it. The concepts are strong so the copy reinforces more than it explains.

By keeping it simple, UNICID zigged when this category typically zags. Bully to them for having the nerve to say less.

And by keeping is simple, it makes UNICID look pretty smart, indeed.

If you’ve seen good marketing in the education category, I’d love to see it.

Comment below to share.

. . .

Inspiration for this post came from Ads of the World.

Advertising Agency: FabraQuinteiro Comunicações, São Paulo, Brazil
Creative Directors: Paschoal Fabra Neto, Marcelo Aragão
Art Director: Bruno Cirello
Copywriter: Ricardo Frezza
Photographer: Marcelo Ribeiro
Image Retouch: Fernando Vido, Burti HD
Published: November 2007

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Jeff says:

    What a great message and relevant visuals.
    My example is from the opposite end of the spectrum. St. John’s College (with campuses in Annapolis, Md., and Santa Fe, N.M.) is a classical liberal arts college in which all students participate in the same Great Books-based curriculum over four years. Parents have a lot of concerns about the relevance of this curriculum in today’s bottom-line-driven culture. When I was a student there, I was frequently asked, “Yes, but what can you DO with an education like that?” This is a case in which simplicity wouldn’t work – the sell had to come from several directions. The result the following series of promotional videos: The most effective, in my opinion, is “Why Should I Hire Someone From St. John’s”, in which employers who specifically recruit “johnnies” are interviewed.

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