SFGT Makes Student Loans a Laughing Matter

NEW YORK This just in: Students are low on cash.

A SFGT campaign for American Education Services, a student financial aid corporation, mixes the production values of a college campus news program with the cheeky delivery of The Daily Show to present “The real story on money, student loans and life.”

“We were trying to come up with creative concepts that resonated with this audience. College students and recent graduates are hard to reach,” said Barbara Press, managing director of account services at SFGT in Philadelphia. “Humor was the best way to communicate.”

SFGT’s four 30-second TV spots employ fresh-faced anchor Brick Press to deliver news flashes like “The world is not fair.” According to Brick, a university study showed that undereducated supermodels make an average $3 million more a year than Ph.D. graduates. “Shocking,” he concludes. In another ad, he tells the uplifting story of Warren Delancey, who just finished paying off his college loans. “His grandchildren were all on hand to celebrate,” Brick says.

Each spot ends with the redesigned logo of Youcandealwithit.com, a Web site where students can learn more about managing loans and how to reduce defaults and delinquency. (AES guarantees student loans.)

Corresponding print ads harness the same tone and a faux newspaper layout to report that despite eating nothing but Ramen noodles for 78 days straight, college sophomore Vince Horn’s bank account continues to dwindle. “I don’t understand it,” Horn is quoted as saying. “I get the noodles three for a dollar. Plus, I saved a ton of money on my new plasma screen.”

Television ads will play on MTV and Comedy Central in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Ohio and West Virginia, and a series of seven posters begin 30-day runs on 177 college campuses this month. SFGT also will create 15,000 tabloid-style newsletters for direct mail and handouts on campus.