MSU Spartans…who are we? We are a Final Four basketball team, a world renound study abroad progam, we are East Lansing, we are the block S, the GO GREEN, GO WHITE, an original Agricultural College, a party school, a place of higher education and success. There is not just one answer to who we, MSU Spartans, are and this presented a problem for MSU’s branding. University officials, upon realizing that MSU didn’t have a consistant image saw this lack of a unifying identity as a threat to students. This has led to a year long in planning campaign, with a budget of $478,000 to create a national campaign to create a positive image for MSU with a consistant branding approach focusing on the stories of the 500,000 strong Spartans around the world and their contributions to society. The Spartans Will campaign will bring together all students, alumni, and faculty to portray the Spartan community as a collection of people who go above and beyond to benefit the community and share their successes with the world each and every day. The goal of the New York Times worthy campaign, under the direction of 160 Over 90, will take the University’s Spartan pride and use it as an entry point to what the school is accomplishing on and off campus. It shows the Spartans as a brand that creates solutions to the world’s problems through utilizing the vast capabilities, knowledge, and opportunities one can benefit from by being a Spartan.
The campaign incorporates print, which is currently seen in Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Time Magazine, and Newsweek, TV spots featuring famous Spartans such as James Cameron, online banner and video ads, and a microsite called the Spartan Sagas (see 160 Over 90 Ads Here). Spartan Sagas encourages MSU alumni to nominate themselves or others to share their stories of success that is rooted in their MSU education. The videos, some of which are even produced by Michigan State, will launch this month.
As the 8th largest higher education campus in the US, it is important for the public to see how MSU isn’t just about the outstanding athletics or partying which are mainly the only aspects that make the news. This campaign is a great way to create a MSU brand showing that Spartans make significant contributions to society and have a remarkable impact on problems all around the world.
I think this campaign is indeed a great way to unify the Spartan community. From experience, when I tell people I graduated from MSU the first thing they associate the university with is the basketball or football teams, or the cedar fest incident a few years ago. I think it is important for the public to look beyond the surface and see deeper into what MSU is all about, which is rooted in the education we receive from this outstanding university and how we use our MSU education beyond our 4 years in East Lansing and use that to benefit the world around us. This campaign does just that.
We are Spartans and Spartans Will.
I tweeted the Spartans Will Campaign site to MSU’s Twitter page and they RT-ed my tweet for everyone to see so I thought that was pretty cool!!! The power of Twitter!
Image by NY Times