Monday, April 15, 2013

College Marketing 101

You can gauge where you're at in life largely by what's in your mailbox.

For instance, when my two daughters were born, we started getting catalogues from Toy R Us.

Five years later our mailbox was stuffed with invitations to birthday parties. Yeah, that's what I want to do during the NFL Playoffs, spend a Sunday afternoon eating cake and cookies with a bunch of spoiled toddlers.

Then it was the bar/bat mitzvah circuit. And because I have two daughters who are also Irish twins, born only 17 months apart, this period of time seemed to last longer than the wandering in the desert. I've seen that Torah coming in and out of that ark more often than Lindsey Lohan entering a rehab center.

And now we're in the college preparation stage of life.

The big schools like UCLA, Notre Dame, Boston College, and such, don't send out recruitment brochures. The competition to get into those schools is so high, they don't have to. Either that, or my kids aren't as bright as I think they are. The point is, we don't see a lot of recruiting material from those institutions.

As a result, the Tier Two, Tier Three and Tier Four schools must actively seek out students who want to pursue a higher education. Witness the four color trifold brochure we just received from Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa (where one of the newsworthy attractions is a large painted rock).

I've never pretended to be an art director but I know bad art direction when I see it.

I'd like to see the other cover options pinned to the wall before the communications professional in the Grand View Administration chose this one. Three different typefaces. Crappy photography. And nearly half the image is buried under some childish doodles.

Let's take a look at that black and white photo. And we'll ignore the fact that it has a certain Shindler's List quality about it.

Who is this skeezy older guy leering at the girl (?) in the red shirt? His fidgeting hands tell me he is less interested in teaching her about the works of Longfellow and more interested in bringing her back to his rented apartment to show her his collection of "photography".

The brochure also details many of the exciting 38 majors available at Grand View University, including Church Music, Sports Management, Organizational Leadership and Pre-Med. Tempting as all that sounds, my daughter will not be attending your esteemed, and surprisingly, accredited, university.

Also, if your surgeon did his or her undergraduate work at Grand View, you might just want to hold onto that tumor.

1 comment:

Bob said...

Well, at least the headline ("Do the view") and the visual (a hole-shaped window) work well together.