This small agency is all about the love, all times of year. But in their February blog they gave a subtle plug for their new website, which is a great Valentine’s Day promo in and of itself. It’s pretty fun and much more Marlin Perkins than Madison Avenue — which I guess is the whole point. As the narrator explains,
“Much like the prairie vole, your brand needs to find mates for life.”
Sure, I appreciate Cartier’s “The Proposal” as much as the next critic. It’s an elegant six-minute triptych for fans of visual storytelling — and for those who fall for big diamonds, handsome men falling on one knee, and things like that. But when it comes to valentines and marketing, it’s a fine line between sweet and saccharine. Depending on the audience and the product, it’s often best to try a different tack altogether — like humor. Just like chocolate, holiday marketing can be cloying. Those looking for a decent chunk of organic dark chocolate will likely be turned off by a box of “assorted creams.” Reach out to the tired, jaded masses and you just might get some traction.
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.