Lyon’s Advice Is ‘Learn to Think’ at St. Edward’s

Quirky leaps of logic are the mainstay of Lyon Advertising’s inaugural campaign for St. Edward’s University.

In one of three 30-second television spots a miniaturized student is inserted into closeup film footage of ants marching with leaves through a jungle. The on-screen course description: “Labor management.”

Similarly, historical footage of a moon rover shows the vehicledriving by a student whose desk is parked on the lunar surface. “Study abroad” is the copy. A film clip from Beijing’s Tiananmen Square showing activists standing in front of tanks is capped with the phrase “Conflict resolution.”

All of the TV, print, outdoor and radio ads are aimed at a diverse audience of potential undergraduate and grad students.

“The trick was finding a positioning that would allow us to reach both,” said Lyon vice president and account director Rebecca Mead. “Grad students are more about convenience and flexibility with schedules, while undergrads are more about excitement and ‘Who am I going to become?’ “

The new spots, with their offbeat image-description logic, will introduce St. Edward’s as a place to receive a different kind of education, Mead said. A tagline, “Learn to think,” ends each ad.

The client is a small, Catholic, liberal arts college in Austin, Texas. It has 3,800 students, evenly divided between post- and undergrad studies. The campaign represents the educational institution’s first broadcast effort.

“We wanted to embrace the qualities that set [us] apart,” said Paige Booth, St. Edward’s associate vice president of marketing. “One difference is our smaller size, which allows us to provide a more personalized education, encouraging students to really open their minds.”

The budget for the advertising campaign is less than $1 million. Media placement is handled by The Media Department of Austin.

Lyon Advertising, also in Austin, won the business a year ago in a review involving local agencies. Mead said the campaign is the first major project for the 4-year-old agency to involve full development of positioning as well as creative.