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UNM ad campaign drawing views to new website

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Halfway into the University of New Mexico’s $1 million advertising blitz, the school’s marketing department says it has generated about 125,000 website sessions and more than 3 million online video views.

The campaign, launched in November and targeting both high school juniors and seniors as well as their parents, has played out across a number of digital platforms like Facebook and the music streaming service Pandora. But it has also included some traditional media, including billboards, prominent shopping mall displays and a 30-second commercial that aired in the Albuquerque market during this year’s Super Bowl. That brings the total impressions to date to 31.6 million, according to new data presented to the UNM regents’ finance and facilities committee this week.

The advertising flows from the school’s 2016 rebranding effort, one prompted by what UNM’s chief marketing and communications officer Cinnamon Blair called years of research and data that showed “nobody knew who we are and what we did.”

The initiative includes a four-year agency contract worth $500,000 annually, plus a one-time $1 million media buy allotment the regents approved from their endowment fund in 2016. That money should keep the ad push – centered on the “Each of us defines all of us” theme – going through November.

UNM’s digital advertising data shows that most web visitors come from the Albuquerque market, with Dallas and Chicago coming in second and third.

Blair said the focus so far has been to define UNM’s identity and build awareness and that it’s too soon to tell how the ads have impacted enrollment. Traffic to the campaign’s website, define.unm.edu, has resulted in 2,770 visits to a page with information on how to apply, Blair said. Application page visits were 15 percent higher during the first six months of the ad campaign than during the same period the previous year, she added.

Blair said her team will begin collaborating with enrollment officials to specifically aid student recruitment. Driving applications from within and outside of New Mexico was among the goals of the rebrand, as UNM has seen its head count drop each of the last four years.

“It sounds like we’ve really achieved a lot of (the rebranding objectives),” Regent Alex Romero said during this week’s meeting. “Ultimately, obviously we want to get students here.”

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