Friday, August 30, 2013

The Search: University of New Orleans Rolls Out a New Commercial Campaign

The University of New Orleans rolls out today a new commercial campaign and advertising campaign targeting the parents of students deciding on college. The commercial will air on WWL-TV throughout the month of September and appear in various media outlets over the next three months.

The Search: A Student's Journey to Find the Perfect University is a futuristic take on the adventures of finding the right fit during a college search. The commercial, made with graphics similar to those found in blockbuster films like Minority Report and Iron Man, begins with pulsing music and a spinning globe, then zooms to New Orleans, where a prospective college student, played by UNO undergraduate student Josh Brewer, flips furiously through college marketing materials, comically marked "mediocre university," "no social atmosphere on campus," and "located in remote area."

"Computer, you're going to find me the perfect university," he says, frustrated. The ever-knowing computer populates the University of New Orleans and begins touting some of the University's core strengths.

The 30-second commercial and accompanying two-minute trailer drive prospective students and their parents to a new specially designed "Heartbeat" website,, that interfaces with the University's main website and is a quick-and-easy go-to website featuring critical information a prospective college student typically seeks when applying for University admissions.

"The commercial was written, produced and scored to resemble a movie trailer," said Kevin McLin, vice president for communications, public relations and marketing. "We know that prospective students can encounter a lot of clutter in their college search and we hope the commercial vividly depicts how the University of New Orleans stands out from the crowd with its academic excellence, affordability, campus life and its location in one of the most interesting cities in the world."

Creating the commercial was an all-hands effort drawing talent from all ends of the University, said McLin, who scored the music and wrote the script, with the assistance of marketing and public relations staff and a UNO theater graduate.

UNO students star as actors in the commercial. The 30-second commercial spot and accompanying movie trailer were directed, filmed, edited and scored and combined with special effects by UNO alumni, said McLin, who is a two-time University alumnus.

The booming voice behind the all-seeing "computer" belongs to five-time Emmy and Tony-Award winning actor John Larroquette, who voiced last year's four-part "Heartbeat of the Crescent City" commercial series and received an honorary doctorate in May from the University.

The 30-second commercial and accompanying two-minute movie trailer were produced in the University's Robert and Jeri Nims Center for Entertainment Arts on Distributors' Row in Harahan, La., which received a new 5,000-square foot incubator facility in spring, courtesy of a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration. The Nims Center studios have been home to Hollywood South film productions since the first blockbuster filmed in Louisiana, Runaway Jury, in 2003.

The three-month campaign runs Sept. 2 through Dec. 3 in various facets, including billboards rotating monthly throughout high-traffic areas of the city, cable television spots and appearances during Monday night football, appearances on WNOL during Friday Night Football, a high school football highlights show, and a two-minute commercial that will air in movie theaters around the greater New Orleans area for 10 weeks. For a brief period, the commercial may also appear in targeted recruitment areas in Houston, Texas and along the Gulf Coast.

Online, The Search will appear in banner advertisements and search engine marketing for three months, driving viewers to the UNO Heartbeat website. The Search will also appear in bus shelters and airports around the city, recruitment flyers and emails from UNO Admissions to prospective students.


See the new "Heartbeat" website