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UNM video seeks to boost enrollment

Copyright © 2016 Albuquerque Journal

The University of New Mexico recently launched a video as the latest part of its $2 million, four-year branding campaign. The newest video cost about $204,000 to produce. A 30-second version of the video will be used in broadcast games.

The goal, UNM administrators have said, is to recruit more students, motivate current ones to stick with the university and promote the university’s offerings in the state and the nation.

Enrollment and, consequently, tuition dollars have been down at UNM in recent years. A 1.5 percent increase in enrollment can translate to nearly $3.5 million in new revenue, officials have said.

As of Wednesday morning, the video had been viewed more than 56,000 times on Facebook, and it had been shared about 550 times.

“If you look at the all the comments, they’re really connecting with it,” said Cinnamon Blair, a spokeswoman for UNM. “They’re feeling the authenticity of what has been done.”

The promo was produced by UNM; 160over90, the firm UNM hired to run the branding campaign, and the local production company 82/92.

It is narrated by former Albuquerque Poet Laureate Hakim Bellamy, features UNM students dancing, building a race car or playing sports. Many aerial shots of the main campus, such as Zimmerman Library or the public sculpture the Center of the Universe are also included. The producers also featured New Mexico sights such as snow-covered mountains or the cerulean pool, the Blue Hole, in Santa Rosa.

Professor John Benavidez, a professor in the Anderson School of Management, praised the video. He said it shows a different side of UNM and New Mexico, and that it highlighted programs alumni can be proud of.

“It gave me chills,” Benavidez said. “I showed it to my students. They had the same reaction.”

The video is the latest effort from UNM to change how people view the university. Many in Albuquerque and around the state have dubbed the school “University near Mom,” a play on the acronym, and others see it as a fallback school if they don’t get into their preferred one.

As part of the effort to change how the university is perceived, UNM administrators have also launched a new website highlighting some of its more successful programs such as photography or rural medicine. That website is at

They have also designed a new view book, a promotional packet sent to prospective students. Staffers have also redesigned many of UNM’s web pages to feature a blocky font and splashes of cherry red, the one of the school’s colors.

UNM’s current student population is about 27,500. There’s usually a slight decline between the fall and spring semester, so the effects of the advertising campaign on enrollment likely wouldn’t be visible until next fall.