Michigan State Alumni Video – A Sign of Trends to Come?

I’ll be honest, when I think about Spartans, I think about this guy:

Michigan State would rather I think about their nearly 500,000 alumni around the world and what they’re doing. This summer, they’re collecting stories from alumni and will be showcasing them on a new site, Spartan Sagas.

Here’s the video they’ve recently put out to solicit stories. It’s pretty nice.

The New York Times writes about the project here, noting:

In addition to the microsite, the campaign includes commercials, on television and YouTube; print ads; posters and signs in airports; and online ads. The budget for the media spending is estimated at a thrifty $478,000.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have that sort of budget. Here’s one more snippet from the NYT story that’s stuck out in my mind:

The campaign is indicative of how institutions of higher learning are trying to sell themselves in the marketplace with the kinds of tactics more commonly used to sell soap, soup or sedans.

Do you think that’s a fair statement? Yes, the pool of students to attend our colleges are getting smaller, and we need to set ourselves apart or ensure we’re reaching the right audience. That’s different, I think, than selling soap and soup – both of which are more common denominator type products and get common denominator type marketing.