National University named Amazon Advertising here as its new creative agency after a review of more than 40 shops. Initiative Partners, which teamed with Amazon for the pitch, will handle media planning and buying from Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Other finalists for the $3 million account were DGWB in Santa Ana, Calif., and WongDoody and Fraser Communications, both in Santa Monica, Calif.
Amazon presented to university president Jerry Lee and 15 deans and administrators. "It was like delivering a doctoral dissertation, with only a few weeks to prepare," said strategic director Suzan Briganti.
Lee said he was impressed with how the shop's ideas reflected the "soul" of the university. The La Jolla, Calif.-based client approved the pitch work for use in its upcoming enrollment campaign, due to break in early August. The school has used TV ads in the past, but statewide radio and newspaper ads will make up the bulk of the new effort.
Ads will target working adults looking to advance their education and careers, said Patricia Potter, National U.'s vp of marketing. As it stands, the average age of students is 32, and 70 percent are working toward graduate degrees.
The goal of the campaign is to position the school as a thriving pioneer and innovator.
Incumbent Big Bang Idea Engineering in San Diego did not participate in the two-month review, which was led by Select Resources International in West Hollywood, Calif.
National U. is a 30-year-old private institution with a network of "learning centers" serving about 25,000 students. Most of its 26 centers are located in Southern and Central California.