It’s not the sheer number of notable alumni or even their profound societal impact that make UCLA’s alumni unique in the world. It’s their full spectrum of accomplishments. This is where it happens first in just about every arena of human endeavors. From the first and only women to be drafted to the NBA to a multiple Oscar and Nobel winners to the first black mayor of Los Angeles—the one thing these incredibly divergent people have in common is their unflappable disposition that they can effect real change.
After the incredible reception of our first TV spot featuring the “Optimists” of UCLA, there was an internal and external outcry to bring to light more of these luminaries. We couldn’t agree more. Here is the second installment of the Optimists campaign featuring a new of selection optimists—from literal game changers like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Arthur Ashe to social groundbreakers like Carol Burnett and Tom Bradley. At UCLA it’s not a question of if you’ll make a difference. It’s a question of where.
In addition to our consumer work, we count the likes UCLA, Notre Dame and a number of other universities among our clients. In fact, we’ve been working with higher ed clients for almost ten years, meaning that we have a lot of years worth of knowledge to be imparted. Which is why we decided to write a book.
We at 160over90 are proud to announce our greatest, only book yet: “Three and a Tree: How to Take Down Bad University Marketing One Cliché at a Time.” It’s a compendium* of observations and advice on higher ed marketing – what to do, what not to do, what’s been done, what’s been done over and over again to the point where it fails to have any meaning. That kind of thing.
If you peek at the client list on our mothership site, there’s lots of big ol’ brands with household names. And that’s nice. It helps explain what I do to family members during Christmas dinner–provided my Aunt Mary wasn’t too heavy handed with the bourbon in that year’s eggnog.
But the longest standing client in the agency has no swoosh beside its name or stores in every mall this side of Manitoba. It’s Chestnut Hill College, a small Catholic liberal arts college in the beautiful Philadelphia neighborhood of Chestnut Hill. We began working with them almost a decade ago when the school made the leap from being an all-female school to accepting its first group of male students. It was a bold move by the College and they compounded the risk by hitching their marketing wagons to a young, upstart agency in Philadelphia. But to CHC’s credit, they were open to our ideas about how college marketing didn’t need to look like, well, college marketing.
And a funny thing happened. They shattered their admissions goals. Then topped those the next year and the year after that. It obviously wasn’t entirely due to our work, but our knowledge of them and their trust in us has led to a long, productive relationship for us both.
So why do I share this tour down memory lane? Well, we recently completed a video for CHC’s admissions team that showed that we’re still having fun after all these years.
Because this was concepted, written, shot, motion graphic-ed (is that word?), and edited entirely in house here, we’re pretty excited with how it turned out. We think it captures the friendliness and quirkiness of the tiny college on the Hill.
Over the last few years, we’ve had countless other projects that let us all have fun, including a ridiculous video promoting their equally ridiculous (and wildly successful) Harry Potter Quiddich Weekend:
We even designed and constructed their athletics mascot, the Mighty Griffin:
We also created a package for students who get accepted to the school that includes a pillowcase with a special message on it. Turns out, kids started taking pics of it themselves and announcing their acceptance online:
While there is a mountain of strategically sound work we’ve made for CHC that’s driven their admissions numbers up, it’s notes like that one that remind you why we do this stuff. We get to make things that people touch, see, feel, and interact with. Sometimes that’s in a Nike Town store in Beijing. And sometimes, it’s found on the tumblr of “scarletesteele” after she received something we sent in the mail. Do either right, and it’s pretty damn rewarding.
Well, it’s that time of year again. When bright-eyed social media managers and brand mavens and other vague job title holders head down to Austin to sleep on a friend of a friend’s couch. That’s right. It’s SXSW, brought to you by Cool Ranch Doritos!
Unfortunately everyone around here has an actual job title and job responsibilities so we weren’t able to send a representative to represent us. But luckily for you guys, I spent a good ten minutes reading #sxsw tweets while standing in line for soup earlier, so I have a pretty good idea of how our twitter feed might be looking about right now had I been instead standing in line for beer at Emo’s or whatever (I’ll be honest, I’ve never been to Austin):
I’m at the Doritos Pavilion gearing up for the Jared Leto panel on “Ideating Branded Content Strategy!” #tacos
Am I at a TED talk right now? I think I might be at a TED talk.
Wait, never mind. False alarm – turns out it was just a Google Porta-potty.
I’m at the “Beats by Dre Lounge Sponsored by the Concept of a Branded Narrative with Support from Aquafina”
I’ve been thinking, and since when does X stand for “by?”
Oh, since 4X4. Ok, ignore that last tweet.
I ran a software update and now I don’t know how to erase a tweet, help.
Just got a free ride to the next venue courtesy of a bus that’s powered by hashtags.
I’m voting with my Vine account for the keynote panelist that generated the most interactive social buzz!
I’m at the Startup Stage learning about applying launchability trends to experiential food trucks.
I’m at “Yahoo! Media and Rdio present Grumpy Cat™: An Interactive Experience co-sponsored by Friskies and SafeLite AutoGlass.”
Here’s a picture of a taco.
I’m about to hashtag the shit out of this picture of this taco.
Creating a 224-page architectural monograph is no easy task. The stakes are raised even higher when the featured architect is constantly challenging preconceived notions of what a house can be with inspired, unexpected designs. So when we began sketching out ideas for the book and the story we wanted to tell, we knew we too had to challenge what a monograph could look and feel like. The book had to capture and reflect the culture and spirit of MRA. And it had to do so in its own beautiful, inspired, unexpected ways. In the end, we created UNEXPECT: The Works of Michael Ryan Architects. Published by Oscar Riera Ojeda, it is now available for purchase in specialty book stores around the globe, or directly from michaelryanarchitects.com. Grab a copy, leave behind what you think you know about monographs, or architecture for that matter, and just let go.