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Is this what we really want from Higher Education advertising?

By | Advice, Advice for Businesses, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, Government, News | No Comments
A quick mock up of an advertisement inspired by the recent La Trobe University advertising campaign

A quick mock up of an advertisement inspired by the recent La Trobe University advertising campaign

As a follow up to my blog post on the less than impressive state of higher education advertising, we have decided to award the most poorly designed higher education advertisement to La Trobe University.

La Trobe University has been running a series of advertisements with a student set against a backdrop of something that they did or hope to do as a result of their University experience.

We believe that these advertisements have been poorly put together and look like a combination of stock images, even though it is a picture of a real La Trobe University student.

The La Trobe University advertisements are also full of stereotypes and clichés. The wording includes the less than original tag line “just think”, we could not help but be reminded of Nike’s famous “Just do it”.

One of the advertisements depicts a mature age student studying town planning in Sri Lanka with an elephant in the background.

The original advertisement at South Yarra Station

The original advertisement at South Yarra Station

The La Trobe University website has a video in which the student talks about his experience in Sri Lanka, however we cannot help but think that his experience could have been depicted by so much more than just an elephant. This video also depicted the student in the same clothing as the advertisement, confirming our suspicions that this advertisement was photoshopped.

In celebration of this poor marketing effort, in particular the advertisement with the mature age student and the elephant; and in celebration of Australia day we have decided to do our own photoshopped advertisement. This advertisement follows the themes that this ad campaign is trying to capture.

Our advertisement took a few hours to mock up by a junior designer, leaving us to question if LaTrobe University received value for their money in terms of their advertising spend.

La Trobe University is a highly regarded tertiary education provider and we believe that their current advertisements do not do the University justice in terms of the quality of its education, experiences and opportunities. This University deserves better advertising.

Higher Education should Inspire – Why doesn’t their advertising?

By | Advice, Advice for Businesses, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, Government | 2 Comments
Deakin (MIBT) advertisement at Richmond Station

Deakin (MIBT) advertisement at Richmond Station

Having made the decision to go back to University next year to study my Masters, I could not help but notice the lack of innovation and creativity in University and TAFE advertising. Australia has some of the best higher education providers in the world; they deserve to have inspirational, eye catching advertising, and they need to step up and stop creating ads that are dull and predicable.

Going to university or TAFE is a serious decision. It is a decision often made by year 12 students or older people such as myself who want to learn new skills. Higher education is costly and completing a course requires time and effort. However the experience and opportunities that come after finishing a course can outweigh the costs.

Swinburne University advertisement at Richmond Station

Swinburne University advertisement at Richmond Station of a wholesome young woman in a cardigan

Having bland and similar advertisements can lead to confusion over branding and may mean that capable students go elsewhere.

Most University and TAFE advertisements recently seem to have common elements, they use faces and have a tag line.

An example of this concept are the ads for Swinburne University, which this year seem to have taken to profiling their future students. From a wholesome young girl in a cardigan, to muscular confident looking young man in a black t shirt these individuals personify the Swinburne experience.

While the idea of personifying a higher education provider is not a bad strategy, it seems to be done by many different universities year after year.

Another concept that seems to dominate higher education advertising is the use of stock imagery or photos that could easily be sold as stock images. This makes ads seem generic and difficult to distinguish between one provider to another.

La Trobe University has been running an ad with a mature age student who was interested in town planning in Sri Lanka. This ad had an elephant in the background. This ad is quite poorly put together and looks like the combination of two stock images even though they have used a real student.

Higher education providers need to focus on determining what makes them unique and to distinguish themselves from other competitors. They should look more closely at who they want as their future students and create advertisements that reflect the experiences they seek to create.

An ad for La Trobe University at South Yarra Station

An ad for La Trobe University at South Yarra Station looks like two stock images poorly pasted together

Melbourne University advertisement at South Yarra Station

Melbourne University advertisement at South Yarra Station