Best University Website Ever?
Could be. This parody of a university website pretty much nails it. Created by clever minds at Pixar (to promote the Monsters U movie), it has all the elements: video testimonials, faculty profiles, an events calendar, even a school store. The only thing missing is a blog feed.
Over the years I’ve done communications, marketing and website work for K-12 schools, universities and education marketing clients, and I’ve spent a lot of time examining competitor websites and enrollment pitches. So when I saw the Monsters University website for the first time I had to laugh at the uncanny resemblance to the real thing.
And when I watched the Message from the Dean (see right), I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cringe. Have I scripted something scarily similar? Err…possibly.
I visited the website frequently this year, as I worked on the Monsters U marketing campaign with SubwayKids.com (wearing my copywriting hat). Each time I clicked I discovered another hilarious, spot-on piece of content. Food for thought as we head back to school and gear up for a new season of enrollment marketing. Here’s to fewer clichés and fresher ideas ahead!
Further reading on the Monsters U website and higher education marketing:
Future Comms: Scare Tactics
Go have a look at the site. It’s pretty much THE American university website. In fact, it’s a really good global university website… But what should we, in the Higher Ed community, really take from all this?
1. It’s not a university website. It’s a really good promotion for a multi-million dollar film made by a multi-billion dollar company. It’s just part of an annual ad budget that Adage cited as $2.1b in 2011.
Bob Johnson’s Blog on Higher Education Marketing
What do you get when you assemble every cliché about a higher education website in a single parody? The Monsters University website. Do not miss the intro to Academics with an opening video “Message from the Dean for Prospective Students.”
Sally Sisson Blog: Web Content and the Eternal Home Page Question: How much is too much?
Lessons learned from “Beyond the University Website – The Future of Digital Marketing in Higher Education.”
Smart Content Marketing: Engaging kids with games + activities, not plastic toys
The summer blockbuster movie season is coming to an end, and it’s time to switch out content marketing themes and characters for SubwayKids.com. I had a fun time copywriting and developing online content, games and activities for this project, and have even spotted kids using their eco-friendly reusable meal bags—the best part of this entire SUBWAY FRESH FIT FOR KIDS™ meal marketing campaign, in my opinion. Sure beats those plastic Happy Meals toys.
Here’s a link to samples of downloadable activities I developed:
Monsters University: Content + copywriting for SUBWAY Kids™ + Disney/Pixar
Blog posts: Web content + copywriting for kids, parents + teachers
For more on copywriting and content development programs I’ve worked on for SubwayKids.com (via the digital brand agency Jack Morton Worldwide), see these blog posts:
Cartoons and Content Marketing: All work and all play
SUBWAY® Restaurants + The Disney Channel’s Phineas and Ferb
Content Marketing + Cause Marketing: Public relations with a purpose
Random Acts of Fitness for Kids™: SUBWAY® Restaurants + American Heart Association, Little League® Baseball and Softball, We Can!™ (a National Institutes of Health [NIH] program) and other national partners
Earth Day Interactives:
Copywriting with a conscience for corporate clients
SUBWAY® Restaurants + The Nature Conservancy
Cartoons and Content Marketing: All work and all play
This was one of my favorite projects in recent memory. Fun because it required sitting around in my pajamas watching several episodes of Phineas and Ferb, one of my longtime favorite cartoons (right up there with Adventure Time and SpongeBob), and fun because it involved brainstorming silly ideas for games and activities and writing catchy copy involving the evil Dr. Doof and his nemesis, Perry the Platypus (a.k.a. Agent P).
Over the past two years I’ve worked on several copywriting and content development projects for SUBWAY® Restaurants and SUBWAY KIDS™. I do this on a freelance basis for the advertising agency Jack Morton Worldwide, through their Boston office. This year’s SUBWAY FRESH FIT FOR KIDS™ meal campaigns with Disney have been especially fun, and I love that they’re giving away free eco-friendly reusable lunch bags with each meal. Each bag comes with a free game or gizmo inside, plus a special code to unlock other downloadable activities from the SubwayKids.com website.
The Phineas and Ferb kids meals came with a make-your-own wallet kit inside the reusable bag, plus a code to unlock these printable games and activities I developed:
Agent P’s Cipher Code Wheel
Dr. Doof’s Cootie Catcher
I also wrote copy for the Frankenweenie micro-site for SUBWAY KIDS™ and developed content and online games and activities for the new Monsters University FRESH FIT FOR KIDS™ meal, in SUBWAY® Restaurants this month.
Other copywriting and content projects for SUBWAY KIDS™:
Content Writing Samples: Monsters University for SubwayKids.com
Content Marketing and Cause Marketing: Public relations with a purpose
Writing all online content and collateral material for the Random Acts of Fitness for Kids™ national program for K–6 schools, 2011–12 and 2012–13 campaigns.
Earth Day Interactives: Copywriting with a conscience for corporate clients
Writing copy and features for online interactive “Ec0-Quest” game as part of marketing promotion with The Nature Conservancy.