Spectator Editorial Board


EXCITING “AND” A P.R. STUNT: UW-Eau Claire recently unveiled its new rebranding campaign, centered around the slogan “The Power of And.” The Editorial Board questions the effectiveness and costs associated with this rebranding. File photo by Katy Macek, The Spectator

Story by Spectator Staff

UW-Eau Claire recently unveiled a new marketing campaign with the slogan “The Power of And.” Officials said in an article published in The Spectator  on April 24 the revamped campaign will help the campus stand out from other institutions.

The campaign was the result of a collaboration between faculty, staff, students and the research firm Mind Over Media. The Eau Claire foundation contributed $50,000 and the university paid $145,000 for research and services from this research firm, according to the Spectator article.

Addressing the costs associated with this campaign, officials said Eau Claire theoretically gets its money’s worth if it successfully attracts just six students to the university.

During the roll-out of the rebranding, the university took pictures of students holding signs describing what their “And” was. Students also had the chance to write on the windows of the Davies Center, displaying their “And.”

Members of the Editorial Board were uneasy with the campaign and its implications.

One member of the board suggested the old branding “I’m a Blugold” and the mascots already made Eau Claire unique. The member added they thought the old message, in fact, was more powerful than this one. It was unclear why the shift was needed.

Other members with the dualistic mindset into which the new campaign pigeonholes students. One board member said this also reinforces a self-centered generational mindset that detracts from the true accomplishments others do. The member viewed this campaign as using students as a public relations tool.

In relation to the six student applicants used as justification of the campaign’s costs, the board member said the university was not in danger of a lack of new student applications.

Another member went to the extent to say if a university needs to resort to advertising, they are doing it wrong. This member saw the campaign as self-gratifying for Eau Claire while not serving anyone who attends the university in any way.

Not all comments from board members were negative. One board member, although they agreed the rebranding seemed self-gratifying, said it does have some benefits. It allows students to reflect on themselves as individuals and find things they are proud of or are most important in their collegiate lives.