TV spots inspire students to change the game
When a university is as big and bold as The University of Texas at Austin, it’s only fitting that its branding and TV spots are, too. UT Austin’s current PSAs were created with partner GSD&M Advertising in 2011 and aim to celebrate the university’s world-changing alumni and challenge students to aim higher. They feature the Tower as a 3-D puzzle, twisting and turning with images of former students emerging from the structure.
The PSAs are broadcast during televised NCAA sporting events with airtime that is provided to the participating universities free of charge. They also appear on the Longhorn Network as well as the Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium’s high-definition video scoreboard.
If you’ve ever attended a home game at DKR Memorial Stadium, you know that the fans go wild at the beginning of the fourth quarter when Walter Cronkite encourages everyone to “Get your horns up.” These historic ads were created in 2002 with the launch of the theme “What Starts Here Changes the World.”
The nine 30-second spots were also produced in conjunction with creative partner GSD&M Advertising to showcase the university as a driving force for discovery and innovation in the Austin community. The ads emphasize how the university and Austin together forge a dynamic, creative and diverse community that few American cities can match.
Barbara Smith Conrad
In 2011 the Walter Cronkite ads were updated using the voice of another famous alum, Barbara Smith Conrad, one of the world’s most celebrated mezzo-sopranos. A 1959 graduate of the university, she was at the center of a national civil rights controversy in 1957 when she was removed from the lead role in the opera “Dido and Aeneas” because she was cast opposite a white male lead. Conrad’s life is chronicled in the documentary “When I Rise: The Story of Barbara Smith Conrad,” produced by the university’s Dolph Briscoe Center for American History.
While the previous ads focused on the university and its relationship to the creative community of Austin, the new ads bring the viewer right to the university and display the beauty of the campus.