Apparently the new Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Communications Officer, Joe Hice, is not impressed with the “Red Means Go” campaign as he claims it offends. Instead of starting an entirely new campaign, Hice is reportedly looking to rejuvenate the “We all go to NC State…” campaign from the 90’s… certainly not the glory days of NCSU… with in-house production teams to “save the University money.” Who doesn’t cringe at the thought of this?
The Red Means Go commercials apparently cost us $200,000. I’m not sure what the entire budget is for the University since 2008 when these commercials first started airing, but I would rest easy gambling on the fact that $200,000 is a fraction of a fraction of a percent.
Other schools spend between $500,000 and $5,000,000 on advertising which this includes the cost of television spots mind you. Hice wants to take his (our?) new campaign to more metro markets such as D.C., NYC and San Francisco. San Francisco? He is unsure at this time what the total cost will be, but that will depend in part on how much state funding the University receives for the project.
All of this according to our good friends over at the TBJ: NCSU to drop Red Means Go
I read this article and it certainly turned me for a loop. Surely… surely… we are not going back to that God-forsaken campaign that was repeatedly, tirelessly, and appropriately mocked by my friends who went to other Universities. Please. No.
In somewhat of a panic I jumped on the web to learn who Joe Hice is and what he stands for. I learned quite a bit. There’s more to this story…
He’s clearly someone with an impressive resume after holding a similar position at University of Florida. Given UF’s national image (mostly garnered from highly successful athletics mind you), I immediately began to calm a bit. There are several Universities that I think have a phenomenal all-around national image, and UF is certainly one of those. Here we have a guy who was hired at NC State to do something he’s apparently pretty good at doing. That’s somewhat of a welcomed change at our University, and it appears we can now expect nothing less with a sharp guy like Woodson at the helm.
But what is this gibberish about cutting what I and many other alumni believe to be an edgy, effective branding campaign in “Red Means Go” only to return to something long ago thrown in the trash can that causes us to be the butt of jeers and jokes to this day? Hopefully, the simple answer here is that Hice was not around when this silly campaign aired. It is therefore reasonable to believe that he simply cannot appreciate the reverse effect that such a pitiful portrayal of our University had.
In researching Hice, I found that he is obviously on the Social Media train given he has a very active personal Facebook page and has created a Chief Communications Officer – NCSU Facebook page. From there I saw a link from the Alumni Association’s Facebook page that linked an entry from www.hiceschool.com, Hice’s personal, professional blog.
There Hice shared this with his readers… thankfully:
Ad Campaign in creative phase only
A story in the media today implies that NC State has made the decision to go back to the â€œWe all go to NC Stateâ€ ad campaign of the mid-1990s. That is not the case.
While I like the message at the end of the ad and have blogged about it here and talked about it around campus, weâ€™re not ready to go there. This is one of several directions weâ€™re considering. We havenâ€™t even gotten the Chancellor involved in the discussion, and I can tell you, nothing will happen without his involvement.
So for now, keep the ideas coming. The creative process doesnâ€™t happen overnight. Red does mean go at NC State. NC State is North Carolinaâ€™s University (and North Carolina is a pretty cool state). And when we have big challenges to address and problems to solve, we look to NC State.
Have a great holiday.
1 of Many
And so we have been charged with the task… or rather the opportunity… to give our input on what will become the brand that is NCSU. If you are of the creative sort, please take Mr. Hice up on his offer and submit your ideas. It sounds as though he and his staff are truly and honestly open to our opinion. Again, that’s a refreshing change…
Further, please check out Mr. Hice’s blog linked above. He’s added a great entry about the controversy brewing in Flint, Michigan over a simple little drawing of a Spartan. University branding is clearly an important issue despite the stance of some of our past administrators.
Maybe since he’s getting in touch with the happenings in Flint, MI, he’ll see that we can and should go back to the traditional Block S and “STATE” logos.