FSU Profs, Not Jocks

A Nobel laureate, a leading cancer researcher and a hurricane-hunting meteorologist populate St. John & Partners’ first campaign for Florida State University. There are no football players in sight.

“The nation knows FSU as home to the Seminoles,” said university president Talbot D’Alemberte at a ceremony marking the launch of the print and television campaign. “What is less known is the scope of our cutting-edge scientific, medical and technological discoveries.”

Those facts underlie the Jacksonville, Fla., shop’s “Ideas that move” campaign, which brands FSU as an academic rather than an athletic powerhouse.

“They have arguably the best athletic programs in the nation,” said St. John chief creative officer Bruce Broder. “That’s pretty impactful. On the other hand, there has not been an awareness of FSU’s academic excellence.”

Print work features faculty such as Robert Schrieffer, a Nobel winner in physics, and Robert Holton, who developed a cancer-fighting drug. The ads will appear inFortune, Science and Florida Trend through year’s end.

A 30-second spot, which broke last week on ESPN’s FSU-Virginia halftime show, will run through the rest of the football season.

“Most halftime slots feature a university tour, a rah-rah segment with the school mascot,” said Broder. “We’ve created a positioning piece, promoting ideas that have momentum … that move people emotionally … that go from research to reality.”