Sunday, September 6, 2009

University of Phoenix Spends More On Advertising Than Cheerios and Revlon?

I read an article at Adage this morning that just about made me fall over. The University of Phoenix is one of those part time and online schools so that people can get their degree and still work. It offers a flexible schedule to its students (online, once weekly classes, etc.) but I always sort of thought it was kind of a scam. I thought this because they send out representatives to events and direct mailers like... well..... a spam-ish kind of company.
But it turns out that the University of Phoenix spends more on advertising and marketing than huge brands (reputable) like Purina, Cheerios, and Revlon. I'm going to give you a moment to let that sink in.

How is it humanly possible that a brand spends that much in marketing and isn't perceived the same way as Cheerios or Revlon? Where are the models and the well shot ads? Where are the "kids snack recipes"? Where are they spending their marketing dollars? Who is telling them that direct mail and cheesy representatives will win people over? Their new concept (via billboards) appears to be a new "I am a Phoneix ad", very reminiscent of the "I'm a Mac" ads.

Here's what they appear to have in the social space:
Facebook - a page with 16,000 fans and no one moderating.
Twitter - feed with around 1,300 followers (Cheerios has 224)
YouTube Channel: Some fairly well done videos. 1,200 subscribers.

Has anyone ever seen any marketing from them other than direct mail and really irrelevant advertising?


Blogger Grace Boyle said...

Ugh, I see banner ads everywhere across the web. Which I tend to cringe at and although I know online advertising has it's benefits (I mean, I'm partially in the biz of online ads) but they aren't catchy or well done. I can't believe their budget is so large...Westwood College is another like Phoenix and I know their budget is also enormous. Interesting.

September 7, 2009 at 12:13 PM  

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