Jasmine Merith in 'The Promise Lives' commercial

College of Business alumna Jasmine Merith is featured in one of the commercials.

Promise ad

The half-page ad seen here accompanied an "advertorial" in the August editions of Cincinnati and Pittsburgh magazines.

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University shows how "The Promise Lives" in new marketing campaign


Four new TV commercials and several radio spots promoting the University will debut this month.

This marketing campaign is an evolution from last year's "discover the promise" theme to a more direct and personalized message of "the promise lives in you."

According to Renea Morris, executive director of University Communications and Marketing (UCM), the new theme both leverages the awareness consumers have of the "promise" message and showcases how students have found their paths at Ohio University.

"The commercials feature three students and one alumna and assistant professor who have different stories but share one important quality: They found themselves and their career paths at Ohio University," said Morris.

The commercials, written and conceived by UCM and produced by students from the School of Media Arts and Studies, will air for three weeks this fall and two weeks next spring on network and cable television stations in Cleveland, Akron, Columbus and Cincinnati. Radio commercials, produced by UCM, will also air in these areas and support the message of OHIO's promise. 

Efforts will focus on these areas because University research shows that Ohio University loses many of its admitted students to Columbus and the Cleveland/Akron area, and that Cincinnati is ripe for potential students.

Online advertising, which enables users to click through to an admissions microsite will run on google.com, Pandora.com, and certain Cleveland, Columbus and Pittsburgh websites. Print ads have already run in several targeted magazines with others running later this fall and next spring. 

Morris said the University's strategy for the campaign is to reach a wider audience more consistently than past marketing efforts.

"With decreasing college-age populations, an economy that is still faltering, and heavy marketing efforts by our competition, we knew we had to step up our efforts and stretch our dollars as best we could to reach the most people possible," she said.

In the past two years, the University's marketing efforts have been relatively mild, with radio and TV spots airing for a brief time in the fall in a few markets. This year, advertising will run in the fall and spring when college decisions are being made, and are targeted to both potential students and influencers, including parents, guidance counselors and alumni. That, combined with supporting online and print advertising, can help spread the University's messages and keep Ohio University top of mind when college decisions are made.

"Ideally we would have a marketing presence in target areas in and outside Ohio for sustained periods of time to keep awareness high. This year is a good step toward reaching that goal, especially as we try to meet enrollment goals now and in the future," said Morris. 

A sneak peek at the new commercials can be found on YouTube. 

Dinah
Natalie
Ryan
Jasmine

Students starring in new student-produced TV commercials

Ohio University students take center stage in the University's newest marketing campaign – students and one alumna both starred in and produced four new spots that began airing this month.

Led by University Communications and Marketing (UCM), the crew, comprised almost entirely of current students and recent graduates, proved to David Urano, the UCM manager of video and production services who directed the commercials, to be skilled beyond their years.

"I loved working with the students," he said."They were knowledgeable, professional and dedicated and taught me a thing or two."

The student crew maintained professionalism, even as the weather refused to cooperate with the shoots.

"Andy Poland worked on the project with me from preproduction through production and color corrected the final spots," said Urano. "As director of photography, he was responsible for the visual look of the spots. They look beautiful. That's Andy's work.

"Major contributions were also made by, Michael Kortlander, the assistant director, who kept the production on track, and Conor Hogan, the unit production manager, who made sure all of our locations were secured and found student and faculty extras when we needed them, among other things," he said.

The experience was enlightening for the students whose stories were shared on camera for the ads.

"It felt great to be part of such a team effort," said Jasmine Merith, a recent graduate of the College of Business who was a senior during filming. "Everyone knew what they wanted. All I had to do was fit in, say my lines, and get out. I had a great time."

Dinah Berkeley, who recently graduated from the School of Theater, and was in front of the camera and behind doing makeup, echoes that sentiment. "I got to be on set every day, so I had a lot of fun."

In the end, the students working in front of and behind the scenes shared their promise not just with the world outside of OHIO, but to the staff at UCM.

"It was a blast," said Urano."Being on set working with the crew was the most fun I've had working here."

View Ohio University's "The Promise Lives" commercials

You can watch the four commercials in "The Promise Lives" campaign on YouTube. Click on the name to watch the commercial starring that OHIO student or graduate. Please note, following these links takes you outside Ohio University's website.

* Dinah Berkeley
* Ryan Henriksen
* Natalie Kruse
* Jasmine Merith

"The Promise Lives" commercial production crew

CAMERA DEPARTMENT

* Director, Dave Urano
* Director of Photography, Andrew Poland
* DIT, Mark Evans
* 1st Asst. Camera, Samuel Butt
* 2nd Asst. Camera, Kyle Hollar

GAFFING DEPARTMENT

* Gaffer, John Veleta
* Gaffer, Jake Rosenblatt

GRIP DEPARTMENT

* Grip, Joe Wilkowski
* Grip, Chris Westlund
* Dolly Grip, Tyler Zak
* Best Boy, Scott Shouldis

AUDIO DEPARTMENT

* Field Mixer/Boom Operator, Jack Martin
* Composer/Original Music, Tim Race

MISCELLANEOUS

* 1st Asst. Director, Michael Kortlander
* Makeup/Stylist, Dinah Berkeley
* Unit Production Manager, Conor Hogan

CONCEPT DEVELOPMENT

* Writer, Brian Stemen
* Consultant/Project Coordinator, Kevin Riddell

Boldface denotes skeleton crew