Youth targeted in advertising push

16/04/2008 - 22:00

Advertising and marketing expenditure by Western Australia’s public universities jumped 45 per cent in the past year, as the institutions competed with the business sector for the hearts and minds of the state’s youth.

Youth targeted in advertising push

Advertising and marketing expenditure by Western Australia’s public universities jumped 45 per cent in the past year, as the institutions competed with the business sector for the hearts and minds of the state’s youth.

The university sector is one of the most active parts of the local media market, spending a combined $21.1 million in 2007 in both brand development and call-to-arms campaigns to attract students.

Players in the sector have been prominent in television, radio and newspapers.

In WA Business News’ WA branding survey each year, the universities in general are noted among the best brands in the state, though none has made the top 10 where consumer and financial companies dominate.

The biggest increase in spending was at Edith Cowan University, where expenditure almost doubled to $6.7 million in the year ending December 31. This was up from $3.7 million in the previous corresponding period, as the Joondalup-headquartered operation sought to cover a shortfall in student numbers following an increase in federally funded places.

Curtin University of Technology increased expenditure on advertising, marketing and promotional expenses to $5.4 million from $3.5 million, with Gatecrasher being its principal agency.

Murdoch lifted its spending to $4.6 million from $3 million, with most of that additional spending associated with its branding campaign development.

The University of Western Australia’s promotional outlay was only slightly up to $4.4 million from $4.3 million, covering a broad range of agencies and media outlets.

ECU vice-president resources and CFO Warren Snell told WA Business News the downturn in enrolments had prompted the advertising effort.

“It has been difficult across the sector, people are heading north for the mining,” Mr Snell said.

“Universities have been trying to make sure people know that there are opportunities here.”

UWA vice-chancellor Professor Alan Robson said his university had not had the issue of needing to fill allocated places.

He said the focus of UWA’s promotional budget was around the slogan ‘Achieving International Excellence’ the university had chosen as a key part of its branding.

He said the university planned to incorporate that line into its logo as a prominent addition to the institution’s motto of ‘seek wisdom’.

The move was part of UWA’s target to be a top 50 university in the world within 50 years.

“We want to lift our aspirations,” Professor Robson said.

Murdoch University vice-chancellor Professor John Yovich said the increase in marketing budget reflected the branding development undertaken in the past year.

Murdoch has recently released its Discoverers Welcome promotional pitch.

Professor Yovich said the additional spending may not be a one off, with the possibility of holding its advertising and marketing budget at that level this year.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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