U.Va. launches “Knowledge Armed with Purpose” Ad Campaign

Martel says campaign seeks to capture University’s "essence"


During Monday’s men’s basketball game against North Carolina, the jumbotron flashed an advertisement that discussed the merits of an education at the University. The ad, titled “Knowledge Armed with Purpose,” features fourth-year College student Chao Ling Wei walking through Grounds and contemplatively pausing at various landmarks in a black and white display.

Chief Communications Officer David Martel said the concept of large universities advertising is nothing new.

“In higher education, I would say this activity has been going on for the better part of the past two decades,” Martel said.

The “Knowledge Armed with Purpose” advertisement has only been widely broadcasted during University sporting events, both on the jumbotron at venues and during commercial breaks on television. The advantage of this is the University receives airtime at no cost to itself, Martel said.

“That creates a significant amount of exposure for the University,” he said.

However, the cost of producing advertisements is tens of thousands of dollars.

“In higher education, I think that the annual cost for a public service announcement, I would say, on average probably runs from $75 [thousand] to $175 thousand annually,” Martel said. “It will have a two-year shelf life.”

Martel said the University began work on the advertisement during the summer and had it ready to debut during football season.

“One of the things I really appreciated about the spot was the script itself,” Martel said. “That really captures the essence of who we are really well.”

Published January 21, 2014 in FP test, News

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