Star Wars: The Force Awakens broke all kinds of records over the break. The movie awoke all kinds of embers in the inner fan boys sending droves to theatres to see the seventh installment of the space opera. And that’s just what St. Thomas university was hoping for.
“We’re thrilled that Star Wars broke all earthly records with regards to movie openings,” said university spokesman, Jeffrey Carleton. “So we know there would have been hundreds of thousands of people with an opportunity to see our ads.”
STU purchased screen time in over 50 theaters across the Maritimes to air “big opportunity,” ads. The cinema ads made up 15 per cent of the marketing budget, the cost of which the university refused to disclose. It’s part of the schools move to digital advertising.
“We decided to take part of print advertising and put it into our digital marketing,” said Carleton.
The cinema ads were part of the advertising plan devised this past summer. Carleton said the plan was to get 4 or 5 current students perspectives of the school and using those interviews for an ad campaign including Google ad purchases, some print material and digital marketing along with the cinema ads. The plan is to use the materials in conjunction with recruiters.
“We decided to run cinema ads when our target groups would not be in the high schools,” said Carleton.
He said the group of students and influencers would be out of school during the break and the hope was to target those people before the recruiters finish their rounds.
Some of the ads have appeared in Vice, CTV, CBC, Bell Media, Yahoo, and The New York Times. The plan was to drive clicks through to the school’s website. He said they’ve been working according to analytics of clicks, but they’ve slowed down lately.
“We sit down to make adjustments according to the clicks,” said Carleton.
He said his team will see what is working and what isn’t and expect to make another push for March break.
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