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Article
Selling College: A Longitudinal Study of American College Football Bowl Game Public Service Announcements
Journal of Marketing for Higher Education (2014)
  • John Wesley Lowery, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  • Barbara F. Tobolowsky, University of Texas at Arlington
Abstract
Using ideological analysis as a frame, researchers analyzed institutionally created commercials (PSAs) that appeared in 28 U.S. college football bowl games over a seven-year period (2003–2009) to better understand the universities' brands as represented in these advertisements. They found many common elements such as showing traditional architectural elements (e.g., clock towers, grounds), highlighting areas of institutional excellence (e.g. rankings), and connecting attendance to the achievement of grandiose goals (e.g., “changing the world”). In spite of these similarities, there were also areas of difference (e.g., unique topographies, alumni) to differentiate institutions from one another. In addition, even though consistency is a hallmark of successful brands, some institutions shifted their narratives from year to year. Future research should explore the effects of these differences on the development of the brand, the role these advertisements play in the larger marketing campaigns, and if these spots contribute to students' expectations of the institutions. 
Keywords
  • bowl games,
  • branding,
  • colleges and universities,
  • marketing,
  • PSAs,
  • student persistence
Disciplines
Publication Date
2014
DOI
10.1080/08841241.2014.911790
Citation Information
John Wesley Lowery and Barbara F. Tobolowsky. "Selling College: A Longitudinal Study of American College Football Bowl Game Public Service Announcements" Journal of Marketing for Higher Education Vol. 24 Iss. 1 (2014) p. 75 - 98 ISSN: 08841241
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/john-wesley-lowery/1/