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New DSU Ad Shows Lifeless, Abstract Campus

Maybe I shouldn't do media criticism until I've had my raisin bran, but I wake up to a new DSU ad (hat tip to fellow DSU denizen John Nelson) that doesn't help me sell me university:

Hmmm... first impressions:

  1. Our lush campus has been Tronned into a lifeless alpha version of The Matrix that can't render trees, people, or the horizon.
  2. Some cataclysm has leveled most of the buildings on campus.
  3. The three buildings remaining--Beadle, Tunheim, and Science Center--have all been bounced to the same side of campus, in defiance of current topography and architecture.
  4. One walks onto campus, feels the momentum, sees the product, senses the undercurrent of excitement... and can only stand it for about 20 seconds before turning and making a dash back to the gate.
  5. Unfortunately, on the way out, we get dizzy and veer off the sidewalk, thwacking our heads on black banners.

On the good side, the ad is nicely serious and mellow, with no one skydiving out of an office.


  1. JohnSD 2011.01.05

    Good voice work. Pretty cool.

  2. John 2011.01.05

    Go ahead and have that raisin bran! It's okay, a sure step in the right direction--take one message and hammer it home.

  3. East of Egan 2011.01.05

    Yup, this commercial seems to be missing a certain Trojan Tom.

    Although, Trojan Tom jumping from an airplane, while in the matrix, landing on the the shores of Lake Alvin, good stuff.

  4. East of Egan 2011.01.05

    A little more...

    I'm often unsure why Dakota State uses televison-based campaigns, especially timeslots during the Kelo newscasts (as which 17 yr old kid is watching that) and more so, the use of billboards along interstates (which have already been changed once through this current ad-cycle probably because they couldn't be read, even after the 5th trip to Sioux Falls)

    This is not a good commercial, not even an alright spot, it's just really bad, so much so, it has a cringe factor of 5 (kind of fitting). I say this with love DSU, really, we're all in this together.

    We can make this work.

    As Northern State seems to have us beat as so far as cool techy televised campaigns, I would abandon the 1950's, and make more use of social media, with facebook, youtube, twitter, even blogging, and just maybe knock on a few doors with a 9 Clouds tag too. (these are where your prospective students are right now, don't tell Northern, shh)

    That, and use Trojan Tom, more, everywhere, this kid is gold.

  5. tonyamert 2011.01.05

    Does anyone else think it's ridiculous that each of the SD universities has its own advertising budget and competes against each other for students? Each university really does provide a unique niche to a large extent. I would much rather see a combined effort selling the whole university system and a website that asks students about their goals and directs them appropriately.

  6. Nick Nemec 2011.01.06

    tonyamert, yours is the smartest comment I've read on a blog in a long time. I hope someone at the Board of Regents reads it and takes it to heart.

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