TV commercial contest engages students, attracts press

Communicators at the University of Michigan-Flint encourage students to create videos, use YouTube. Video

Communicators at the University of Michigan-Flint encourage students to create videos, use YouTube

In October of 2007, University Relations executive director Jennifer Hogan and her eight-person team were brainstorming on how to reach students and the community. They already had MySpace and Facebook pages, but weren’t getting the two-way communication they wanted.

The solution? Create a YouTube channel for a television commercial contest. Students could submit their videos to the channel, and the winning spot run locally during the most watched event of the year—the Superbowl.

The goals were to generate buzz and promote UM-Flint to the community, to allow them to test out social media and to see if students heard the messages that University Relations wanted them to about diversity, safety and the success that a UM-Flint education will provide.

“We wanted to quietly dip our toe into social media and see if students would get engaged,” said Hogan. “We also wanted to see if the messages we’ve been giving students had gotten through to them.”

Experience it here

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