News Release

REF NO.: 108

SUBJECT: Memorial University launches "Rant like Rick" advertising campaign

DATE: January 31, 2007

Memorial University of Newfoundland is taking an unorthodox approach to a new student recruitment advertising campaign.
            The campaign “Rant like Rick” is based on the concept of Rick Mercer’s rant component of his show The Rick Mercer Report. Two TV ads have been created, one featuring a male and one a female, both “ranting” about some of the factors that prospective students would have to consider when choosing a university. Rick Mercer liked the idea and lent his name to the project.
            The ads were created with the university’s new brand squarely in mind. The university recently launched a brand around the idea of “Become” and aims to highlight the university as a place of freedom, exploration and creativity.
            Admittedly this campaign is a little different,” said Michael Pickard, associate director (marketing) with Memorial University’s Division of Marketing and Communications. “Most universities tend to default to smiling faces, campus photos and fast facts as the core of their advertising message. We felt that expressive creativity and freedom were better represented through students ranting.”
            Memorial University President Dr. Axel Meisen will officially unveil the first of the two ads at the annual Rotary Club luncheon in St. John’s on Thursday, Feb. 1.

            The first of two ads will begin airing on Friday, Feb. 2, in movie theatres and on television in four select markets: St. John’s, Halifax, Ottawa and Kingston. The second ad will begin airing later in the campaign. The ads will also appear online at www.mun.ca  and on popular youth websites, including youtube.com.

            The ads will include a contest, encouraging students across the country to send in their rant, with a chance to win free tuition. Three winners will be selected and each winner will receive a tuition voucher for two semesters, currently valued at $2,550.
            “In order to remain competitive with other Canadian universities we needed to do something distinctive and innovative in our approach to promoting the university,” says Sheila Devine, director, Office of Student Recruitment at Memorial. “The mediums we use to promote the university are very important to recruitment and how we connect with our target audience.”
            The “Rant like Rick” contest is open to all students who are currently enrolled in high school and who will have graduated and be eligible to attend Memorial University in September 2007. The contest deadline is March 16, 2007. Details and rules are available at www.mun.ca/rant.

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