Brand Me….

Institutions of higher education have embraced branding with the ferocity of a sweaty, sumo-sized Aunt Ethel giving a full-body hug to her pierced-nostril niece at Thanksgiving dinner at Cracker Barrel.  Consider a few of the ad taglines in the October 27th issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Fearlessly Forward” (University of Maryland); “Excellence Is Earned” (Rutgers); “Bold Hearts. Brilliant Minds.” (UC-Riverside); “Where Minds Meet Machines” (Stevens Institute of Technology).      

2024 will welcome a new batch of in-your-face slogans.  Here’s a sampling of what’s in the pipeline for January, according to Ad Age magazine:

“We’re Rich.  We’re STINKIN’ Rich.  And We’re Not Apologizing.”  (Harvard)

“God Wants You.  Here.”  (Oral Roberts University)

“Where Interpersonal Skills Go to Die”  (California Institute of Technology)

“We Do Football.  Full Stop.”  (University of Alabama)

“Even Our Underwear is Tweed”  (Yale)

“Colder Than a Polar Bear’s Ass.  Deal With It.”  (University of Alaska)

“We Give You the Keys to a Freakin’ Fighter Jet, Bro!”  (Air Force Academy)

“Protest Anything.  Anytime.  Anywhere.  We Don’t Care.”  (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

“Enjoy the Deep South.  In New Jersey.”  (Princeton)

“Education.  Plus Potatoes.”  (University of Idaho)

“Major in SPF 50”  (University of Miami)

“We Supply the Firearm.  You Decide How to Use It.”  (Texas A&M)

“Shave Your Legs.  Or Not.”  (Wellesley College)

“The Virgin Mary.  In Residence.  Every Day.”  (Catholic University of America)

“Other Schools Suck.  We Don’t.”  (Bucknell University)

College presidents, it’s time to check your brand.