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Beautiful Solutions: Brought to you by RIT Alumni, Branding, PR musings

Beautiful Solutions: RIT is a hub of innovation and creativity

RIT is in the living rooms of 2.4 million households in Washington, D.C. It started last week with a 30-second commercial on ABC’s Good Morning America.

With that, the university officially began a new national branding effort with a pilot campaign in the nation’s 8th largest TV market. The six-week D.C. campaign includes TV spots on all major networks, print ads in magazines (Time, Newsweek, Fortune, Smithsonian, Bloomberg BusinessWeek and others) and advertising on websites, including Wired.com, Linkedin and Facebook.

Before we show you what the ads look like in Washington (Stop! Do not cheat and scroll down to find the link!), let’s quickly review where we recently have been on advancing the university brand. Last December, we introduced a series of concepts with the consulting firm from Philadelphia 160 over 90. More than 500 attendees heard the proposed concepts from the firm at various sessions. The community response and feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

We built the brand communications on the following pillars to describe RIT:
• Art & Technology
• Theory & Application
• Imagination & Rigor
• Perspective & Specialization
• Hobbyists & Professionals
• Quirky & Proud
• Inquisitive & Driven
• Problem Seekers

Now it was time to build and execute the advancing brand message. Enrollment Management and Career Services and University Publications began the public rollout this summer by incorporating new designs and messages into their 2011-2012 Prospectus, a high-level publication mailed to the best and brightest high school students.

The campaign for a new ice arena, Power Play, also harnesses the new look and feel. You may have seen an ad in the Democrat and Chronicle’s special hockey section featuring RIT, the Buffalo Sabres and Rochester Amerks.

Back to Washington: The nation’s capital was selected as the location for piloting the national ads because it has a high concentration of RIT alumni and because we want to interest government agencies and other leaders in the Beltway.

The ads will direct viewers to this landing Web page, Beautiful Solutions (www.rit.edu/solutions). It is here that we will measure analytics and receive feedback. On this site, you will find the four TV commercials (which were produced by our very own award-winning ETC team).

RIT’s brand is certainly more than advertising. It’s about the student experience. It’s about faculty research and scholarship. It’s about alumni success stories and so much more.

“Beautiful Solutions” refers to the innovative, creative and multidisciplinary approach RIT students, faculty and staff use to solve problems. So what do you see as an RIT “Beautiful Solutions” story? Let us know and stay tuned for more on the campaign as we move forward. Meanwhile, if you are catching up on the branding project over the past year, check out previous blog posts:

* What’s next with RIT branding? Storytelling
* RIT Brand Forums from 2010
* RIT, Dunkin’, Wegmans and the Yankees


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