McDonnell Haynes gets cheeky in cyberspace and public places

Ad agency McDonnell Haynes promotes Algoma University with cheeky ads reading 'Student 237, your teacher will see you now,' to distance the new institute from its competitors.

Using wild OOH postings, streaming video banners on social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace, and Pizza Pizza’s in-store digital signage, Toronto-based ad agency McDonnell Haynes launched a multimedia campaign to promote Sault Ste. Marie’s new Algoma University to prospective GTA students.

The ads focus on the fictitious ‘Colossal University,’ where students are treated like numbers and turn out as ‘cookie cut’ individuals at the end of their education. One slogan reads, ‘Every Colossal U student will turn out exactly the same. We guarantee it.’

The campaign began in late September at Toronto’s 2008 Ontario Universities Fair, where Algoma’s ‘booth’ of faceless mannequins sinking into the cement floor (an installation art piece emulating invisible students whose teacher was on a video monitor) was the ‘talk of the fair’ with over 4000 inquiries – a huge increase from last year’s 400.

Toronto-based Magi Communications did media buys for the Algoma University campaign which runs to mid-November. The microsite will continue to be available, and some of the streaming video and links to the site will be placed on additional social networking sites.