Brandeis launches national branding campaign ahead of 75th anniversary

With help from an alumni-founded ad agency, the university tells its story

View a larger version of the ad.

Having defined itself by its academic rigor, Jewish roots, and commitment to repairing the world since its founding 75 years ago, Brandeis is launching a national campaign to call attention to all that has made it a unique institution since its inception.

With a mix of humor, seriousness, and an emphasis on its Jewish heritage, the campaign will serve to reinforce four pillars on which Brandeis was built: Jewish values and reverence for learning, academic excellence, and the continual fight against hatred and discrimination.

A two-page advertising spread emblazoned with a Passover Haggadah-inspired headline: “Why is this university different from all other universities?” will kick off the campaign Sunday, May 21, in the New York Times Magazine.

The ad describes Brandeis’ founding in the wake of World War II, and how the university’s passion for rigorous academics has drawn and produced so many accomplished scholars and artists. It focuses on Brandeis’ historic founding and its societal purpose, and includes an impressive list of luminaries associated with the university – from Leonard Bernstein and Eleanor Roosevelt to Nobel Prize winners – all to help to tell the Brandeis story to a national audience.

“We have seen a great need to clarify - and when necessary, tout - the Brandeis brand,” said President Ron Liebowitz. “We need to remind alumni, thought leaders, and others across the country that Brandeis possesses one of the most distinctive histories in all of academia, and clearly communicate to everyone how and why we were founded, what we have accomplished in 75 short years, and why our story is especially relevant today.”

A number of different ads will then run in subsequent issues of the Times’ magazine and The Atlantic. The campaign will also appear in several online outlets, including digital editions of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and The Atlantic.

The branding effort is being handled by the advertising agency DeVito/Verdi, and spearheaded by agency president and Brandeis alumnus Ellis Verdi ’77.

Future ads will focus on famed alumni, important breakthroughs, outstanding faculty, and the longstanding value of inclusion at Brandeis.

The campaign will help Brandeis make its mark on thought leaders across the country.

“We have the opportunity to highlight our Jewish roots and values while amplifying our commitment to the overall openness the university has stood for from the start,” said Lisa Kranc ’75, chair of the Board of Trustees. “We are proud that we were the first and today the only secular, Jewish-founded institution in the United States.”

Just as Brandeis is unique as an institution, the campaign it is undertaking is unusual in higher education advertising, as it speaks not so much to the next incoming batch of students, but rather to the parents, alumni, donors, and national thought leaders.

“The aim of this campaign is to bring back the essence of what makes Brandeis special and highlight its importance in higher education,” Verdi said.

Categories: General

Return to the BrandeisNOW homepage