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APSU ads win awards from national organization

January 14, 2002

Two Austin Peay advertisement campaigns were named award-winners by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the nation's most respected association for higher education advancement, publications, public relations and marketing professionals.

Stacey N. Jones, CASE awards judging coordinator, notified Austin Peay president, Dr. Sherry Hoppe, that APSU is to receive two awards for print ads during the Feb. 3-6 CASE District III Advancement Awards Program in Atlanta.

APSU's ad "Close to Home. Close to Perfect" will be exhibited in Atlanta as an Award of Excellence recipient; the ad series, "Get Real," will be recognized with a Special Merit Award.

According to Debbie Denton, marketing manager for APSU, the "Close to Home. Close to Perfect" ad was designed to appeal to parents of high school students who live nearby.

"Teens often want to 'get away from home' as part of the college experience, but parents respond to reminders of the emotional and economic advantages of keeping their college-bound child close to home," Denton said.

The "Get Real" ads and billboards were part of a comprehensive campaign targeting high school students. According to Denton, "Get Real" works on several levels. Besides being part of the teen vernacular, the phrase asks college-bound students to reconsider their assumption that a bigger school is always a better school. "'Get real!' means 'don't count on it,'" Denton says.

"The phrase also implies that, by choosing APSU, students literally 'get the real thing'-- real professors, not GAs; real interaction with faculty; real opportunities for involvement."

Lastly, the phrase echoes a strongly held sentiment of today's teens. Denton said, "They loathe hype and the inclination of colleges to claim they're the best, the perfect place for everyone. As teens would say, 'Get real!'"

According to Dennie Burke, executive director of public relations and marketing, the "Get Real" campaign bewildered most adults. "The unusual graphics and typography bother them," she said, "And adults generally don't appreciate the tongue-in-cheek humor." However, the campaign produced enthusiastic response among teens.

Denton wrote the ad copy. Burke created the tagline. Bill Persinger, APSU director of graphic design, and Charlotte Carlin, graphic design manager, collaborated in the design of the ads and billboards.