Advertising Plan – Charles Stuart University
For any organization either small or large, operating locally or internationally its not at all easy fitting everything that they want to say about their business or other products that they have to offer in just few words and sometimes even by using no words at all.
Charles Stuart University (CSU), is an Australian – Multi – campus university that is located in New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory. The university offers a wide range of courses to both local and international students and has various course delivery partnerships with several TAFE institutions around the country. In such competitive environment, where all the universities are competing against each other on global level, it is for this reason to make sure that the universities use proper marketing channels.
In order to target the audience in terms of demographics and psychographics segmentation, Charles Stuart University has a wide range of courses that it has to offer all around Australia. Some of the courses are being offered to students by collaborating with other colleges and Tafe.
Charles Stuart University is in the education and training industry. The Australian Higher Education Industry is the third-largest contributor to national GDP. According to The 2010 DFAT Report, education exports alone contributed $19.1 billion to GDP in 2009-10.
For any ad to be placed in newspaper, along with its content and other elements its placement in the newspaper is an important aspect that cannot be overlooked at any cost. According to Greenwald and Leavitt, 1984 at the pre-attention level, a reader continuously scans the newspaper environment most likely in a subconscious and automatic way, which indirectly filters all the incoming information. It is for this reason, important to make sure that the text, colors, font and other images used in newspaper ads should stand out and can easily be noticed. Since the newspaper ad designed is about the information session that the Charles Stuart University will be helding on Saturday 14th Dec 2013, so for this reason that ad has been kept simple. With University Name on the top and then rite after the name there is a maroon box, with white color text of important information in it to make sure that the readers can easily catch the most important content. This orientation stage takes no more than a second, allowing the reader to decide if the ad is worth paying more attention to (Smit. E, 2013). Then later in the ad there are further information about the event, where the event will be held, what is it about, what will be the timings and most importantly what information’s will be provided to students who are looking for various options for their degree.
Due to the nature of the ad, it does not provide any excitement at all, as it got no images in it just based on text providing all the information that the potential client might be interested in.
Majority of the customers from the target market, are usually exposed to several hundreds of commercial messages on the daily basis, and such messages are encountered in a highly distracted state such as driving a car or surfing on the web (Baack, Wilson and Till 2008). In such environments where customers can easily be distracted and at the same time faced with high degree of advertising clutter, may not interpret with the ads effectively. As for this reason it is highly recommended to not to add too much of text on such ads and try to convey the message in the most simplest yet effective way. That can be achieved by using one or two images, less content that is easy to read and at the same time delivering the message to the target audience. This form of advertising is usually very cost effective in order to reach large audience, the basic purpose of billboard advertising is to catch a person’s attention and also to create a memorable impression quickly, resulting the reader to think about the advertisement.
The billboard ad designed, only got one image of a student that clearly gives the impression that the service would be related to the students, and one sentence of text clearly stating the message and lastly the university logo. Simple and yet effective ads that can not be ignored even if the customer only have a glance look on it. According to Wedel. M, 2004, the billboard size, its prominence, brand familiarity, creativity, design simplicity along with fewer words is the best approach to make your ad effective.
According to research conducted at Nielsen, there are five common characteristics of TV ads that connect with viewers effectively, such as
- Relatable characters and situations
- A simple, upbeat storyline
- Emotional resonance
The ad that we have came up with for Charles Stuart University, has got four characteristics out of five. The one missing characteristic is the humor, which we didn’t integrate in the ad, reason being the nature of the ad and the audience it will be targeting at. Since the target market are students, and its about providing them information about the options that are available to them through Charles Stuart University in selecting their degrees and career path so for this very reason we tried to come up with the story line that every student goes through at some point of his life. In the storyline we tried to show how any person can feel a bit lost in the crowd and trying to figure out how hard it is to decide on things that he likes to consider, this ads a bit of emotional resonance as well for the target audience. In the ad, various objects are shown that all related to the student and his study environment, no individual is included in the ad just to make it general. To make television ads effective, it is important to create awareness and knowledge through providing information and other facts, develops liking and preferences through changing attitudes and feelings that helps stimulate consumers towards availing the services (Yilmaz C, 2011).
Another cost effective form of advertising is through direct mail, where the information is sent to targeted audience through mail. In this form of advertising, the recipient is likely to spend proper time to read the content on the ad in detail and if relevant, the recipient will make relevant notes to his diary regarding the ad. Since the ad is designed to reach to students or their parents, so an average amount of content has been used in the ad, also an image of a girl is also been used in the ad with the slogan saying “picture yourself with a brighter future”, this is the first thing the reader will notice, after the image and then the university logo and if this sounds interesting for the reader then he/she will go through the content in detail. The color combination used in the ad is in accordance with the girl image, so the whole ad looks balance, and even the main text used is in white color with large size font. Apart from that the University name and its logo has been embedded with outer glow and boldness to make it stand out on its background color. Finally the additional details are on the right hand corner, on a white background that can easily be read without any difficulty. This ad creates a bit of excitement in the targeted audience as it encourages them to focus about their future and think about it. However with such form of medium, it is hard to reach a large audience as only a small number of people goes through their direct mail unless they have subscribed to such kind of mails.
Another effective way of reaching out to a large targeted audience can be achieved through radio ad. Radio ads are not that expensive as compare to television ads, and as the matter of fact, the large audience of Radio is youngsters. The ad that has been designed for Charles Sturt University is very simple with light background music in it and focusing on why students should consider Charles Sturt University as their choice for education. The time duration has also been considered, and tried to include as many key words as possible to make sure that they can be heard at once and can stay in the mind of listeners for a longer time period.
The purpose of this report is to determine the effect of the use of various advertising mediums that can be used by the university in order to target its services to both local and international students. What different mediums of advertising can do and what characteristics to keep in mind, when designing ads to market university services. Advertising is a form of communication used to promote products and services of a company primarily to generate sales and secondary to create a brand identity.
- “Charles Sturt University”. New South Wales Auditor – General’s Report2: 42. 2012. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
Yilmaz. C, 2011, ‘Source Characteristics and Advertising Effectiveness’, The role of message processing motivation and product category knowledge. International Journal of Advertising pp. 889-914
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