From defending journalistic freedom in Rwanda to transforming an Ontario village, it’s clear that the Carleton experience is anything but textbook.
And the word is spreading about the university’s new ad campaign by the same name. The “Anything But Textbook” slogan is popping up in transit terminals, radio blurbs and newspapers in Ottawa and the Greater Toronto Area.
“We’re trying to put a stake in the ground and define who we are, and then become known for that,” says Jason MacDonald, Carleton’s director of university communications.
Research has found that most students value the experiences they have while studying at Carleton. Students also feel that their professors are very creative and forward-thinking inside and outside the classroom.
“When you look at the Batawa Initiative, for example, you’ve got groups of students from different disciplines coming together to work on helping a community deal with a very serious problem that it’s faced with,” MacDonald explains.
“So it’s those kinds of experiences.”
MacDonald adds that with initiatives like Batawa, SNOLAB and the Rwanda Initiative, Carleton students are not just getting a world-class education, they are also helping to solve real-world problems.
The campaign was designed by Toronto advertising agency Zulu Alpha Kilo.
MacDonald says the ad campaign comes as part of a brand-building process for Carleton.
“Brand building is sort of a longer-term kind of an exercise. It’s not something that happens with one campaign,” he explains. “So we’re also working on a communications plan to do a better job of telling the great story that Carleton has to tell.”
There were some teasers of the new ad campaign at the Ontario Universities Fair in October and MacDonald says the response was positive.
Prospective students aren’t the only ones who will be paying attention to the new campaign. There’s a broader audience the university hopes to reach, such as donors, new faculty and staff who can contribute something great to Carleton.
“Over time, if we’re successful at doing a better job at telling [the Carleton] story, it means we will be recognized for what we are — a world-class university.”