The Super Bowl, Stella and the Skyline

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The first phase of Temple University’s Take Charge brand campaign—designed to raise awareness of the Temple story—launched in fall 2014 with several events, traditional and digital advertising, a website and a video.

With the next phase of the campaign, we strove to increase student recruitment, alumni engagement, fundraising and employer relations.

Thanks to an ongoing partnership with NBC10, Temple was offered regional advertising space during the Super Bowl, Feb. 1, 2015. It was the perfect opportunity to kick off phase two of the campaign: By running the Super Bowl ad regionally, Temple would reach a large local audience, in an impressive space, at a time when many viewers pay attention to commercials. And through social media, we could expand the campaign nationally and internationally.

Having an ad run during the Super Bowl meant a lot of rapt viewers, but how would we generate excitement and anticipation for the event beyond that day, and stir enough pride and engagement to intensify the experience?

The big idea

We knew we had to be bold and disruptive to move our audience to action.

So why not create two different endings for the ad and invite the Temple community to vote for the best one? The winner would be revealed when the ad aired during the game.

SM+C’s multimedia team took an existing Temple ad—produced by our creative partner, 160over90—and edited in some of our video clips, both  to align our visual messaging and create two different endings. One version concluded with Stella the Owl and the other with a shot of Temple and the Philadelphia skyline.

We then invited the Temple community to vote for the ending they liked best through our e-newsletters, social media channels and Temple’s online news platform. The voting took place on the Take Charge campaign website.

To build buzz, we gave alumni a special preview via email, and to reach students, we brought pizza and iPads to the Student Center so they could watch the ad and vote right away.

Our alumni email outreach was twice as successful as usual, with a nearly 10 percent clickthrough rate. The Take Charge site garnered 23,000 page views, and our YouTube channel racked up 17,600 views of the Stella ad, 9,900 views of the Skyline ad and 1,800 views of the promo urging people to vote.

All told, more than 5,000 visitors voted for the winning ending (Stella).

The ad extended our reach to 22 countries with an unprecedented average time of more than five minutes spent on our linked webpage.

Four hundred twenty-five tweets generated 100 percent positive sentiment for the campaign. The tweets’ potential reach was 935,700, including 152,000 from NBC10’s Twitter account.

Ultimately, we want to create meaning and value for our audiences.

Stella the Owl helped us do exactly that.