Roosevelt University in Chicago, Schaumburg and Online - Logo

This Way Up

Posted: 09/16/2013

Image gallery [HTML]

By Laura Janota

Most of us at different points in life experience a strong personal calling that can't be ignored. We want to do more, be more and achieve more in defining ourselves and our future, regardless of what it takes or the obstacles we encounter.

That desire to achieve is what draws students to Roosevelt, a place where nurturing dreams, goals and ambitions is the linchpin of their experience. 


Now the story of our students' aspirations and the role that the University plays in preparing them for their journey into the workplace and out into the world at large is told in a new advertising campaign—This Way Up—which launched September 16 across Chicagoland.

"The ads speak distinctly to prospective Roosevelt students, whether they are 16 and considering college as a first step in their journey, or are 50 and feeling a desire to advance," said Lesley Slavitt, vice president of government relations and university outreach.

"With this campaign, we will raise awareness about the University as well as distinguish our community as a welcoming place that can best prepare today's students for the journey they will take to achieve their goals," she said.

The ads are based on extensive research, according to Patrick Lytle, associate vice president of marketing and chief marketing officer for the University.

"We want advertising that is authentic, creative and thoughtful in its representation of the University,"he said. "We have developed a distinctive campaign built on the findings of our research, which clearly identified why prospective students, who have many options, choose to come to Roosevelt."

Chicago-based strategy firm Junction Lab was brought to Roosevelt earlier this year to research the University's market as well as its potential for striking a chord with prospective students.

"The research shows us that those most likely to consider Roosevelt tend to see success as a personal journey," said Junction Lab founder and research strategist Fergus O'Carroll. "Roosevelt's students as well as its student prospects typically see themselves as carving out their own opportunities and paths to get to where they want to be. They see the University as the bridge that best prepares them to turn their dreams into rewarding livelihoods and future success."

The campaign was developed by Chicago-based advertising agency Tom, Dick & Harry Creative Co. (TDH) under the direction of the University's Marketing Department. "The job of advertising is to create awareness," said Greg Reifel, co-managing partner at TDH, whose ads aim to engage prospective students through words and images reflecting their mindset.

"It was imperative that the campaign drive prospective students to want to learn more about the University and to put Roosevelt in their consideration set. We also wanted to ensure that those who see or hear the ads come away with a positive feeling about the University," he said. "Tenacity Loves Company," "Be Humble in All Things But Ambition," "For Those Whose Plans Come in XL," "Give the Status Quo a Status Update," "Change the Equation" and "Will, Meet Way" are rooted in the Roosevelt experience and are designed to capture the attention of prospective students for whom Roosevelt is the right fit.

""The campaign prominently features Roosevelt spaces and people, and puts forth an underlying message about Roosevelt being a place that understands its students—meeting them where they are now and getting them where they want to go.

"The campaign reflects our University and the incredible learning and opportunities for growth that take place in it," said Beth Borum, creative director at Roosevelt. "That is why we included real Roosevelt people and places in the campaign." Roosevelt senior Giacomo Luca is featured in "Change the Equation." "I am proud to represent a University that has taught me so much and given me so many opportunities to advance toward my future career," Luca said. "For me, the spirit of this campaign captures what I love about Roosevelt."

Luca is shown in one of Roosevelt's modern, state-of- the-art science labs. The Murray-Green Library, a dorm room in the Wabash Building, as well as a view from Chicago's lakefront to the South Loop skyline and our Chicago Campus also are pictured in the ads.

"It's definitely exciting to be part of a campaign representing the place where I work and that I've come to feel so connected with," said LaKisha Young, the University's registrar, who is in "Be Humble in All Things But Ambition."

"""It's the first place I've ever worked where I feel like I'm helping people—creating bridges between our students' higher education and the rest of their lives ," said Young, who believes her experience working at Roosevelt is clearly reflected in the spirit and meaning of the new campaign.

The Roosevelt experience and what it has to offer will be shared far and wide in the ads, which will run through mid-March online, in print, on radio, in buses and on bus shelters, on "L" trains and platforms, and on digital billboards and indoor cinema and digital screens—and it is clear that the ads are already having an impact.

"Now I'll put Roosevelt on the same scale as other universities I'm considering," a prospective undergraduate student said after seeing the campaign when it was tested prior to today's launch. "I have to come with the drive, then Roosevelt provides the road," a prospective graduate student in the test pool remarked.

"This is a campaign that distinguishes Roosevelt University from all others on the higher education landscape," said Thomas Richie, creative director at TDH. "It achieves that goal by acknowledging prospective students and saying to them that Roosevelt understands you and who you are."

In the days ahead, those who see and connect with the ads will become aware that Roosevelt University is an option worth learning more about, opening a door for engagement with Roosevelt's welcoming atmosphere, its diversity and its people who care about the University and students' success.

"What's especially gratifying about this campaign is that it speaks to the specific motivations and decision-making factors that drive prospects to consider Roosevelt and makes them more likely to enroll," said Lytle. "We built this campaign on the common thread that unites our students: their desire to achieve and succeed."

That desire encapsulates the Roosevelt experience for our students, and it is a truth that those familiar with the University have known for a long time. Beginning today, it becomes a universal message providing impetus for those outside our extended community to learn more about Roosevelt and its many opportunities for advancement and success.