Explaining what and why of a research university in 30 seconds

Encapsulating the mission of a flourishing research university in a 30-second video seems to defy the laws of physics, but that was the task put to Doug Gould, executive creative director of BU Marketing and Communications and adjunct professor in Advertising, just four months after he took the job. Gould had been in challenging positions before. As a vice president at Boston ad agency Hill Holliday, he had been art director for two Super Bowl ads for Anheuser-Busch, including the haunting post-9/11 spot that showed the brewery’s iconic Clydesdales bowing reverently before the New York skyline.

In August, Gould was asked by President Robert A. Brown to craft new University ads for use during TV sportscasts, online, and on other venues. The next five weeks would be a blizzard of writing, planning, and shooting, culminating in a three-day shoot that he considers among the most stressful choreography jobs of his 30-year career. When it was over, Gould had created three ads (each with two versions, a 30-second and a 60-second one). The first began running October 20 on the Patriot League Network.

“On the web, there’s no time restriction” like the 30 seconds demanded by television, says Gould. On TV, the ads will run for the rest of the academic year on the Patriot League Network and Terrier TV and occasionally on NESN, CBS, and ESPN3.

BU had previously advertised its athletic programs during game broadcasts, but after the University joined the academically elite Patriot League, says Gould, Brown “noticed, correctly, that other universities in the league were not selling sports” in their game-time ads, but were focusing instead on “what the university is accomplishing, what the students are up to, what it’s like to attend.”

Read the full article in BU Today

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