The University of New Mexico is reaching out to prospective students by creating an authentic brand that administrators say accurately tells UNM’s story.
“A lot of people who have never been here have a misperception of UNM and Albuquerque,” said Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Cinnamon Blair. “We want to show that it is a great place to be and to live.”
The campaign recently released a roughly 90-second video, created in collaboration with marketing agency 160over90, detailing the advantages of becoming part of the Lobo community.
Blair said that, while people know UNM, it may be hard to come up with reasons as to why they should choose it over other universities.
“We tried to develop a theme that would be felt emotionally through the video,” said 160over90 Managing Director and Chief Creative Officer Sig Gross.
The video was filmed in Albuquerque and used local actors and videographers.
An alumnus narrated the video, a message that Gross said had to come from a University product in order to be authentic.
The larger campaign will contain targeted digital advertising for prospective students and families who are looking to send their high school graduates off to college.
Local advertisements will also be released in the mall, but the main goal is to reach families outside of Albuquerque and New Mexico.
The video was the official launch of the campaign, along with the “Viewbook,” a digital brochure with information about UNM that includes the tagline “Each of us defines all of us,” a mantra that is also the focus of the 90-second spot.
Another section of the Viewbook, dubbed “The Lobo Life,” details attractions around Albuquerque -- a place where UNM students can post where they travel, how much specific places cost and how to get there.
“The Lobo Life is where the classroom ends and the Land of Enchantment begins,” the Viewbook’s homepage states. “From mountains to concert halls, The Lobo Life is all of the experiences that make being a student at UNM magic.”
The landing page for the brand has information that any prospective family would look for when considering their choices for universities.
Gross said raising awareness about the fundamental truth of the campus is a big part of the campaign’s mission. Prospective students will know that New Mexico is exciting and full of pride, and has a story to tell, he said.
“We spent a lot of time on campus interviewing people, going to every event we could get to,” Gross said. “Living and breathing and uncovering the DNA is where the fundamental truth is.”
He called UNM a “culture of contrast,” where a diverse community comes together to break new ground through experimentation and research.
Silent Lights was one event that was highlighted in the branding effort, as the marketing department worked in partnership with Student Activities and the Associated Students of the UNM.
Events like this will be components of the campaign and will continue to show students that UNM is a great place to go to college, Blair said.
160over90 — which has worked with brands such as Nike, Under Armour and the University of Wisconsin — was hired by UNM in the hopes of helping the University reach more prospective families outside the state, as part of a larger effort to increase enrollment and become a "destination university."
UNM has seen a seven percent drop in enrollment over the last five years, according to the UNM Registrar’s 2016 enrollment report.
UNM President Bob Frank’s strategic plan to make UNM a destination university — dubbed “UNM 2020” — envisions a campus where people feel comfortable, safe and engaged.
“The branding effort definitely ties into the University’s strategic plan,” Blair said.
Nikole McKibben is a news reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @nmckibben92.