Eastern Washington University is launching a brand positioning campaign to get the word out to prospective students and the greater community about everything that Eastern has to offer.
‘The New Think,’ which officially debuts this week, features a variety of television, streaming, radio, print and social media ads – including some highlighting research and academic accomplishments from all the colleges.
‘The New Think’ includes bold and vibrant imagery, like these billboards in Spokane, that promote Eastern’s many attributes to prospective students, alumni and donors.
The concept is a collaboration between University Relations and their advertising partners at Chapter & Verse in Spokane. Plans to launch the campaign in 2020 were sidelined until now, one of many interruptions during the pandemic.
“Welcome to The New Think” 60-second Spot for TV and streaming services like HULU and ESPN+
“We’re excited to get ‘The New Think’ out there in front of our community to remind them Eastern is here to meet the needs of our evolving world through innovation and excellence,” says Sam Buzby ’07, EWU director of marketing.
The campaign utilizes a strategic investment of funds from university leadership to reestablish and fine-tune Eastern’s image, expressing the role the university plays in powering the region’s workforce and discovering new ways to solve old problems. Drawing inspiration from the “eXp” movement on campus, the spots showcase Eastern’s strength as a multidisciplinary university that collaborates with governments, businesses, nonprofits and other leading organizations to develop skills that position EWU graduates to succeed today and into the future.
“We’re highlighting the great work our faculty and students are doing throughout the university, and turning it into authentic stories that will excite our community,” notes Lance Kissler ’04, ’10, EWU associate vice president of University Relations. “This campaign provides us with a platform to continue more storytelling from a variety of our academic programs for years to come. It’s an opportunity for us to partner with our faculty colleagues to celebrate their work with our students and the community.”
EWU billboard featuring imagery evoking our music composition program’s Musical Algorithms project which uses natural sequences (like migratory patterns of salmon) to create melodies.
Ryan Gaard ’02, who has done award-winning design work for EWU over the past two decades, is excited to incorporate ‘The New Think’ brand positioning elements into digital and print designs “to create something that is uniquely Eastern.”
Gaard, graphic design supervisor for University Relations, says “the choices of bold colors, photography, typography and reusable graphics, coupled with visual phrases, resonate with current and future Eagles, alumni and other community supporters.”
Be on the lookout for billboards throughout north and south Spokane, and into the valley, as well as television spots on KREM, KXLY, KHQ , KAYU, ESPN+ and HULU. Radio ads will also be broadcast on local FM stations that include KISC, KZZU, KKZX, KXLY, KCDA, KPND and KBBD, along with underwriting PSAs on Spokane Public Radio (KPBX) and Thin Air Community Radio (KYRS).
30-second spot featuring honey bee research, musical algorithms, and geosciences.
Additional spots for TV and radio are currently in production featuring academic examples from all four of the university’s colleges, including the award-winning Center for Entrepreneurship, the history program’s work with the National Park Service, the Prairie Restoration Project, a new US Cyber Defense Center, and the dental hygiene program’s work with pregnant women from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Eastern’s campaign is also featured in the Journal of Business’ Book of Lists and the Workforce Summit piece.
All of the advertisements point interested viewers to the EWU Admissions’ lookbook, which is also produced by the University Relations team.
In addition to the placements on more traditional media, a series of quick video ads will also appear on the social media platforms TikTok and Snapchat, which are popular with younger generations. EWU Admissions will also distribute materials and hold info sessions during extracurricular events in local high schools through a new partnership with the Greater Spokane League (GSL). The partnership with GSL provides EWU with an exclusive opportunity for the university to engage prospective students and their families at sporting events, theater productions, concerts and other high school activities.
An example of the Snapchat and TikTok ads that appear on the platforms for prospective EWU students.
After working extensively to build out key concepts for production, Buzby and his team are thrilled to finally have the campaign go live.
“This campaign is an opportunity to highlight the great work that Eastern does, both in the classroom and in departments like ours that work to serve our university and our students every day,” Buzby says. “It is a reinvestment in, and modernization of, the university’s image which we expect will lead to increases in enrollment, retention and philanthropic support in the coming years.”