In the face of decreasing state appropriations and an economy in recovery mode, Temple has made no shortage of cuts to its operating budgets to curb costs. In the midst of reductions throughout the university, Temple ramped up an advertising campaign that put the slogan “Temple Made” all over television, newspapers and billboards across the city.
During the current fiscal year, the university has invested close to $5 million in marketing projects, including Temple Made, said Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer Anthony Wagner. The university will set aside another $5 million for these initiatives during the 2013-14 fiscal year with approval of the Board of Trustees in July.
Temple operates on a $2.5 billion budget in its entirety. As for the central university budget – which comprises undergraduate and graduate programs, professional schools and advertising – the operating budget is about $1.3 billion. Advertising represents less than 2 percent of the operating budget.
However, $5 million is a rough estimate for the marketing budget. It will increase after schools and colleges, along with athletics, lodge their own advertising campaigns.
Nicole Naumoff of Institutional Advancement declined to reveal how much of the $5 million is made up by the Temple Made campaign because she said she’s concerned about peer institutions knowing the number.
“It is not something I want my competition to know much about,” Naumoff said. “I’ve already receive calls from Rutgers and Drexel asking me how much we spent on it.”
Wagner said the influx of advertising money did not come at cost of any university programs.
“We do cut the budget so we can make investments, however, those cuts are mostly administrative positions,” Wagner said. “We never raise tuition to provide for those investments, instead, we keep administrative costs down and still provide the services [students] need.”
The marketing budget also includes a redesigned main website, admissions material and the creative team who works at Temple magazine and other publications, Naumoff said.
For Wagner and Naumoff, $5 million is a modest cost when considering the successes of the advertising initiatives, particularly Temple Made.
“We have already started to see higher participation rates from our alumni, for example, this year’s attendance for football games was the best we ever had,” Naumoff said.
There has also been a 60 percent increase in donations from alumni five months after Temple Made started, she said. These funds will go into the announced $100 million scholarship campaign for students.
“We are now looking at how [to] better communicate about our academics and our success in research,” Naumoff said. “These are central to funding research projects and scholarships for students.”
Wagner and Naumoff noted that the campaign has been integrated with athletics, academics, fundraising and admissions. The consolidated message is far more efficient than having separated campaigns, Naumoff said.
Because of this, Temple’s online presence on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter has grown rapidly.
“In Twitter and Instagram, Temple Made has become an ‘I am’ statement for people to voice their pride,” Naumoff said.
For incoming freshman Kamal Patel, the campaign had some bearing in his decision to come to Temple.
“After I watched the [Temple Made] video I thought my experience there would be worthwhile and fun,” Patel said. “Plus, I applied to Temple because I wanted a high quality and affordable education.”
“I thought the idea of promoting a positive image of Temple was very good,” Carly Brooke, a freshman media studies and production major, said. “Although it was ambiguous and confusing at the beginning, I do feel some sort of pride.”
The television advertising featured video and music from alumni at the Philadelphia-based company Blue Design.
Philadelphia-based advertising agency Neiman, which includes Temple alumni, devised all the slogans and banners that have been ubiquitous in the last five months.
Naumoff said the campaign is working well. However, the ads in SEPTA will be gradually eliminated because of its high cost, she said.
“We will continue the campaign as long as it needs to be continued,” Naumoff said. “From a marketing perspective, I would like us to stick and be integrated for once and be focused on being Temple Made.”
Laura Ordonez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.