Ohio University Unveils New Promotional Campaign, TV Commercials

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The Ohio University community celebrated the roll-out of the university’s new branding campaign, titled “It’s You,” with the premiere of four new television commercials in Baker University Center Theater on Wednesday.

Spearheaded by University Communications and Marketing (UCM), the “It’s You” concept reflects the idea that Ohio University celebrates the power of the individual and that OU’s story is the student’s story; OU is the place that fits what a student wants to do and who they want to be — where students can be themselves and become their best selves.

“One of the things I like most about the ‘It’s You’ campaign is that it feels like a reminder that Ohio is the place where ‘you’ matter,” said OU President Roderick J. McDavis in his opening remarks. “Whether your dream is to learn to fly a plane, study international business, design websites or become a teacher, Ohio is the place that fits who you are and who you want to be.”

Renea Morris, executive director of UCM, explained the concept behind the “It’s You” branding campaign, a culmination of more than three years of comprehensive research and collaboration with university stakeholders, students and alumni.

“Throughout the process, we kept hearing the same thing over and over — from current students, from prospective students, from alumni — ‘There’s something about Ohio. It shapes me into the person I want to be. Here you are an important person. It seems like no matter who I want to be, I can fit in here,’” Morris said. “So when developing the creative concepts, we wanted to convey the idea of being able to see oneself at Ohio.”

A UCM team tasked with developing creative concepts for the branding initiative pulled together interviews with 31 students who talked about their OU experiences. After transcribing those interviews, four themes that capture the essence of Ohio University emerged: Love at First Sight, Home Away from Home, Supportive Professors and Bobcat Pride.

“Every student we interviewed conveyed very similar experiences, feelings and connections they have with Ohio,” Morris said. “The themes they collectively spoke of were so prominent and so perfectly stated that the commercials were produced unscripted.”

Students were an integral piece in the development of the entire campaign, from focus groups to final product. Many of the production crew working on the commercials were current or former students. UCM collaborated with 45 students and a dozen alumni who came from as far away as Los Angeles to contribute their professional experience. Even the typefaces used for ‘It’s You” and the composition of the music in the commercials were created by recent graduates, Morris said.

“’It’s You’ is a concept that applies to all members of the Ohio University community — from students and prospective students, to faculty and staff and our nearly 200,000 alumni,” Morris said. “I believe that this is a brand campaign that reflects what Ohio is all about, and one in which we can all take pride.”