Saint Mary’s University advertising

February 9, 2015

Everywhere I look on the Internet and Canadian TV these days I am inundated with advertisements for Saint Mary’s University in Halifax. This seems increasingly strange because St. Mary’s is a small school. Why are they funneling so much of their limited resources into advertising?

Google quickly put me onto last fall’s viral frosh-week video in which a group of students performed what became known as the rape chant.

Oh. Crisis control in this case apparently involves burying that ugly story under an avalanche of ads touting the excellent career opportunites which come with your degree from St. Mary’s. Perhaps they don’t want any more parchments mailed back to them by offended graduates.

If I were an administrator at St. Mary’s I would probably try the same tactic. After all, a university is dead without applicants for next semester.

But my issue has to do with the look and feel of the ads. I find it hard to distinguish them from the current round of publicly funded government propaganda ads masquerading as apprenticeship program announcements. The look and feel of the St. Mary’s and the PMO ads closely resemble each other. Both programs attempt to inspire the same sort of hope for a prosperous future.

Both also seem designed to pave over serious credibility gaps and are best not examined too closely.

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