The D+ Campaign

Drake University has unfurled a new marketing campaign built around this symbol: D+. While the scheme has been criticized for linking the college to a bad academic grade, the school suggests it is helping differentiate Drake materials from materials from other schools:

The education blog of the Des Moines Register reports that Tom Delahunt, vice president for admission and student financial planning, and Debra Lukehart, executive marketing director, responded to faculty and alumni criticism via an e-mail message. Conceding that faculty and staff members should have been allowed to preview the campaign before its release, the letter nonetheless explains that the concept was rigorously tested on 921 mostly Midwestern high-school students.

In an online survey, “more than three-quarters of the respondents indicated the cover grabbed their attention either a little or a lot,” the letter says. “In addition, nearly 90 percent of the respondents felt the concept was unique from other college and university materials they have seen.”

In a market (college admissions) that saturates students with materials, perhaps getting the attention of students is all a school could hope for.

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