UCONN. All proof no idea.


Advertising is a funny thing. It’s hard to do well. Many ads contain great copy yet support wan ideas. Others possess a neat idea but surround it with blather. Today I stopped to read a UCONN ad in The New York Times with some great copy points. Great proof points. To wit:

  • Investing $3.6 billion to create breakthrough in areas such as additive manufacturing, genomic medicine, and cybersecurity.
  • Hiring 300 faculty who will advance the fields of cognitive science and creativity, pursue scholarship in law and human rights, and develop new areas of intellectual property.
  • Recruiting 6,500 additional students who will lead their generation in addressing the most important challenges of our time: sustainability, global heath, and social justice.

How can you argue that UCONN is doing smart, cool stuff? You can’t.

But the ad headline “Dear UCON, Thank you. Sincerely, The Future.”, dropped out of a blue background of celestial stars and universe laid an egg. The tagline “Innovation. Unleashed.” didn’t help.

This ad falls under the great proof, no idea category. And any glimmer of an idea (Reports from the future?) was hidden behind lazy execution. No brand planner watching over this work. Brand planners find the proof. Array the proof. Demonstrate the proof. They seed the idea and educate practitioners.  Bad advertising agents and clients ask for the proof to be put in a big old bucket and tossed hither and thither. Peace.