DU makes its primetime debut

By Jackie Glosniak

February 11, 2014

Lights, camera, action.

Over the last year, Dominican has served as the filming location for two corporate commercial shoots, with Power Hall being used for BMO Harris Bank and the mini quad as a key location for Jimmy John’s.

However, this month is now Dominican’s time to shine in it’s own commercial featuring some familiar campus faces.

In January, the Office of Marketing and Communications wrapped up filming the university’s first TV commercial. Beginning Feb. 10, a 15-second and 30-second version of the commercial will be broadcasted on WMAQ-TV NBC 5 throughout coverage of the Winter Olympics.

A professional film crew from WMAQ-TV filmed the commercial after meeting with OMC, where they received a creative briefing and instructions as to what the university wanted to see in the commercial. The commercial is about a woman who returns to college at Dominican to receive her graduate degree while balancing work and family life. The commercial is supposed to demonstrate how one can advance their career after graduating from Dominican.

While the commercial featured mostly professional actors, some Dominican faces, including I.T. Systems Engineer Omar Diaz, Dean and Associate Professor of Social Work Charlie Stoops and Assistant Director of Alumni Relations Mark Carbonara.

“Marketing and advertising via mass media is a big part of our awareness strategy,” Chief Marketing Officer Michael Dizon said. “There is perhaps no more effective and impactful way to quickly raise awareness of the university than through TV. Broadcasting the spots during the Winter Olympics is ideal. Not only will it be seen by 1.7 million people, but it will be shown during a time of year when people set resolutions and are thinking about going back to school.”

Some students think the commercial was well done but is not sure how helpful the commercial will be bringing in new students.

“It looks professional and it has a great emotional aspect with the card from the student’s son,” Horvat said. “Personally, I don’t know how much commercials really help any company. But I think it will create more awareness of Dominican.”

“I think it’s good if Dominican gets its name out there,” junior Julia Guimond said. “I just hope the funding for this commercial didn’t take away funding from its students because tuition keeps rising.”

Seniors Jamie Visser and Megan Graves think the commercial is aesthetically pleasing but missing some factors key to the real representation of the university.

“The commercial gives people a small glimpse into the communal values that we cherish here,” Graves said. “But I am a bit upset that there are no people of color present in the video.”

“I think the focus for the commercial doesn’t really resonate with my experience,” Visser said. “The emphasis on the adult student is great, but I wonder if that is the direction we are moving in. I would also have liked to see real students, 18-22 [year-olds] present.”

While the end of the commercial includes text about undergraduate programs, Dominican hopes the commercial attracts a greater number of prospective graduate students.

“We hope they ultimately go to our website, see the commercials, and keep Dominican within their consideration set,” Dizon said.

The new commercial will air throughout the spring on broadcast TV and Comcast reaching most of the Chicagoland area.