university advertising Archives - Syneka Marketing

Seek’s new marketing campaign – an example of a brand becoming too comfortable and losing its focus

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A few years ago I wrote a post about the state of University advertising and how at the time it failed to inspire. Recently, I was quite surprised to see that Seek was following a similar style to these advertisements.

Seek was one of the first businesses in Australia to succeed as a disruptive start up. The impact of Seek has been prolific, it has been able to transform the job market and in doing so, it has demonstrated how technology adds value for both job seekers and employers.

Against many odds, including the international players in the market, Seek has become the market leader as source for finding jobs and recruiting positions.

In the past, Seek undertook a cheeky and innovative approach to advertising, creating campaigns that were witty and clever. Now it appears as Seek has grown, it has changed this approach.

A past campaign

A past campaign

A play on words Source: Smart

A play on words Source: Smart

Seek in its latest campaign, has decided have focused on photographing a series of people, both young and old, who want change in their lives. The tag line “make it count” has been used to reinforce the change. While advocating for Australians to go out there and change their lives, the implementation of this campaign has been poor.

The subjects used in the photography all have serious and unhappy looks on their faces, almost analogous to individuals in not-for-profit advertising, portraying that they have been hard-done-by. These advertisements do not connect with those of us who may be unhappy in our jobs and are looking for a change. Instead the people in these advertisements seem stuck and unable to escape the situations that they are in, reinforcing that sometimes life isn’t fair.

One of the advertisement at a tram stop

One of the advertisement at a tram stop


Seek's Make it Count campaign

Seek’s Make it Count campaign

Universities in this country have the advantage of being in a market where there is strong demand. They also do not have an extensive number of competitors and can sometimes, unfortunately make do with poorly implemented marketing campaigns. Seek on the other hand cannot.

With the technology sector consistently building on its innovations, Seek cannot afford to become comfortable. Seek was able to become a market leader because it took risks, focused on being innovative and demonstrated its value to the Australian public. It seems to have forgotten this strategic approach.

We would encourage Seek to revisit their strategy to ensure they continue to position themselves as a market leader and innovator.

Is this what we really want from Higher Education advertising?

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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.