Q: We are a less well known university and we’d like to promote ourselves better using an interactive DVD
What do you recommend?
Marketing & Promotions Manager
North Western University
A: I wouldn’t recommend using DVD to promote a university. Everybody else does, but that doesn’t make it right.
I would strongly recommend using an interactive multimedia cd instead of an interactive DVD.
I’d like to go into a bit more depth on this, as the reasons are strong and compelling and deserve the attention.
What’s currently happening today?
Almost all universities send out a DVD to prospective students.
This typically comprises a compilation of students’ voxpops, and sometimes lecturers (or the Principal!) discussing the various elements of the university.
This DVD is expected to win students’ hearts and minds, and round off the job of the prospectus.
What’s wrong with this approach?
It’s too predictable.
Most of them look and sound the same.
Only the faces change.
Why is Multimedia CD better?
There are three core advantages to CD over DVD:
> CD stands out from the DVD-issuing crowd
> CD suits the student lifestyle better
> CD delivers a better quality of information, in an exciting way, that can also include video
Let’s take a look at these three in more detail.
Multimedia CD stands out from the crowd
Successful marketing always stands out from the crowd.
If everybody else is doing X then it pays to do Y.
It follows that if every other university is sending out Voxpop DVDs, then your university should avoid this, otherwise it’s simply unimaginative “me-too” marketing
By contrast, doing something different – a multimedia cd – will get your university noticed!
CD suits the student lifestyle better
Most university students are young people, with 50% of then under 21.
They’re at an age when privacy is paramount.
The bedroom is the new social centre, not the lounge, which is the parent’s room or the family room.
The Student’s PC is in their bedroom, so they can open their prospectus in private and view it at leisure on their own PC.
Contrast this with playing a DVD in the lounge with Father looking on!
Almost all student PCs have sound and are suitable for multimedia playback (though many aren’t suitable for DVD playback)
If the student is excited and motivated by the multimedia, they can go online to find out more.
For example if they seek specific course or fee information, they can immediately click a link in the multimedia and go to the relevant page on your university website. DVD cannot do this.
In a similar way they can start chatting with their friends on MSN about your university, while viewing the multimedia.
Overall it can be seen that the multimedia CD better suits the student’s lifestyle and aspirations, compared with a family television-centred DVD solution.
CD delivers a better quality of information in an exciting way
Multimedia CD allows the student to dig deeper.
For example there could be a Resources section, where pdf’s of course details can be viewed.
Or they can click to find out more info online.
Or they can immediately email questions and queries.
It is this ability to provide context-sensitive information where interactive multimedia CD excels. CD catches the lightning when it strikes.
By comparison, interactive DVD is relatively limited. If the student gets excited by what they’re told, they have to go elsewhere to dig. And the chain of excitement gets broken.
While DVD excels at compelling video effects, multimedia CD excels at animation and sound effects. And multimedia cd can easily include video where required.
DVD offers choice with interactivity. And so does multimedia CD.
Both are compelling media. But CD invariably offers more Choice options, and more possibilities to discover further.
A multimedia CD is a better option than video or DVD because:
> It stands out from the crowd
> It suits the student lifestyle better
> It offers greater interactivity and therefore more and better information
Hopefully, when considering how best to promote your university, you’ll look more closely at an interactive multimedia cd, instead of the me-too interactive DVD’n’voxpops route of all your competitors.
© Studio Rossiter 2007