University Uses Pizza Chain’s Digital Network To Attract Students

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Algoma University, Canada’s newest University as of June/08, is using digital screens in Pizza Pizza’s 220 outlets to get its message across to potential students from the Greater Toronto Area.

Algoma U is located in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Its use of the pizza chain’s digital screens is part of a cheeky new social media campaign targeting students in the Greater Toronto Area. The campaign also includes wild postings and transit advertising, and streaming video banners on social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook.

Creative takes pokes at other universities, collectively referred to as Colossal U, where students ‘get treated like a number’, ‘seldom get faculty attention, and end up ‘as a cookie cut person by the end of your ‘education’ with nary a new idea in your head.’

Ads drive students to a microsite at where a young woman walks onto Colossal U’s home page before the user can navigate the site, slams aside the site’s apparent offerings, and challenges: “Who wants to be treated like a number? Wouldn’t you rather go to a university that’s going to treat you like a person?” As an Algoma University logo drops down to replace Colossal U’s, she goes on to say how Algoma is different and directs how to get more information.

Toronto-based agency McDonnell Haynes designed the multi-media campaign to be a conversation starter.

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