TIMES SQUARE DEBUT: Oakwood University is possibly the first historically Black college/university, and the first Seventh-day Adventist tertiary institution, to appear as a featured advertiser on a marquee in New York's Time Square, for an estimated 986,000 daily visitors. [Photo: Oakwood University]

Adventist News

Oakwood University Advertises in Times Square

University ads to reach nearly a million daily.

BY TIM ALLSTON, director, public relations, Oakwood University

If they timed their Thanksgiving/Black Friday/Christmas/New Year's Eve activities in New York City's Times Square precisely, an estimated 986,000 daily visitors will see 10 seconds each hour of Oakwood University's new marketing awareness campaign flash up on the marquee beneath the famed CBS-TV "Eye."

Begun on November 6 and running until January 4, 2014, OU can change its Times Square marquee messages every two weeks.

"Neutron Media, a full-service marketing firm that operates such high-profile outdoor multimedia venues as the Times Square marquee beneath the CBS Eye, had a cancellation and approached us here at Oakwood University, primarily due to our social media victory with The Home Depot 'Retool your School' campaign," explained Denica King, OU assistant marketing director.

At the same time, Oakwood University has been working to expand its awareness to its non-traditional audiences, King said, adding, "So, for Oakwood and Neutron Media, this created a win-win situation."

Within its hourly 10 seconds of advertising - totaling four minutes each 24-hour day - OU shares with Time Square viewers its recent endorsements, such as:

  • 1."Best Schools" - U.S. News and World Report, 2014; and
  • 2. "Julliard of the South" - WAAY-TV (ABC).

In the inaugural two-week ad cycle, OU included the testimonial:

"A Life-changing Experience" Rear Admiral Barry Black (ret.) (class of '70) referencing the U.S. Senate's first-ever Seventh-day Adventist and African American chaplain, who gained international attention for his searing and provocative invocations that opened each Senate session, during its 16-day federal government shutdown in October.

Noting that this Times Square marquee likely marks a first-time appearance for either a Seventh-day Adventist, a historically Black college or university, or a Huntsville institution to have been so prominently displayed in this venue, King concluded, "Oakwood will continue to explore opportunities to promote its brand."

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