Most of you have heard of Monsters University. Obviously, it’s not a real university. It’s the animation sequel to the hugely successful Monsters Inc and it’s due out this Summer. Since October 2012 www.monstersuniversity.com has been live, as part of the campaign to promote the film. 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.
It has it all. The faculty details, profiles of academics and testimonials from students. It has the rhetoric of ‘Go MU! Go MU!’ (sports teams) and ‘Show Your Pride!’ (and spend lots of money in the ‘swag’ shop). There are campus maps, news, events and calendars. It’s a very comprehensive experience. Not forgetting the videos, including the obligatory ‘Message from the Dean’ (Helen Mirren we believe) and the ‘Imagine YOU at MU’ of course!
We heard some reaction. ‘If only we had millions of dollars, we could do something as good so quickly.’ Someone said ‘Well that’s Pixar. They can afford it.’ There are university marketers who aspire to achieve something like this. There are others scratching their heads as to how they make it happen. But what should we, in the HE 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.
2. It’s a parody of what universities do.
If there really was a University of Pixar, then what would they really do? Pixar is one of the most creative, inventive companies of the last 50 years. Seriously, what would they do?
They probably would do something different. Something that stood out from everyone else. We’re reminded of a few years ago and how Boone Oakley wanted to stand out from every ad agency in the US and ditched the website in favour of an interactive You Tube video. Have a look:
We’re sure Pixar would be equally innovative. So, when thinking about your comms strategy please don’t get lost in doing what everyone else does. Please don’t get hung up by billion dollar film companies making parodies of your sector. But grab the inspiration to do something completely different. Maybe the University of Pixar would parody a film trailer and turn the tables on their own sector. Maybe we’ll never know. Or, just maybe, Pixar, or Disney, might form their own university. After all, the landscape is changing so quickly.
We’ll be doing our best to inspire your creativity so please do bookmark us, follow us and check out our website at www.thefutureindex.com
And do go see the film. We’ve seen every ounce of promotion now and it looks good!
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