By David Nutter
Spectrum Volume 21 Issue 02 - September 3, 1998
The Virginia Tech Foundation will launch a state-wide television advertising campaign to showcase academic excellence and promote the research accomplishments of university faculty members.
The campaign, which will begin the week of September 7, will air in the Northern Virginia, Richmond, Norfolk and Roanoke media markets.
"Virginia Tech utilizes a variety of means to communicate the many contributions our faculty members make to the economic and social development of the commonwealth," said Charles Steger, vice president of the Virginia Tech Foundation. "But we have to face the fact that we live in a very busy and over communicated world. The foundation felt that an advertising campaign would enable the university to better communicate the value of Virginia Tech's complex, scientific research in a dramatic and easily understood manner."
The four 15-second spots highlight Virginia Tech's leadership in instructional technology and biotechnology. One spot dramatizes how Virginia Tech's leadership in creating Net.Work.Virginia can now enable a music teacher on Virginia's Eastern Shore to teach a class hundreds of miles away. A second spot talks about how Net.Work.Virginia is a prototype for the next-generation Internet. A third spot dramatizes chemical engineering Professor Bill Velander's work to develop a genetically enhanced fibrinogen glue. A fourth spot highlights chemistry Professor David Kingston's work to identify natural occurring cancer-fighting agents in the rain forest.
"While these spots only touch on a very small percentage of the many distinguished achievements of our faculty, they allow us to communicate Virginia Tech's leadership in two critical areas of the state's economy--biotechnology and information technology.
"The Board of Directors of the Virginia Tech Foundation is excited about the initiative; the alumni are thrilled; and the Board of Visitors is pleased. The entire project has been favorably received across the university," Steger said.
Tech officials said that while the advertising campaign may see like a big jump, it marks a growing trend in higher education.
"Already a number of universities across the nation are running campaigns," said Larry Hincker, associate vice president of University Relations. "Auburn and the University of Indiana have run very successful advertising campaigns. Here in Virginia, ODU and VCU are advertising on television. Of course, all of the major universities have been using print advertising to promote program offerings."
The advertising campaign will run until the first week in December.