“Keep Calm and Cherry On.”
Various plays on this theme can be found on shirts, posters, emails, texts, tweets and even in a weekly event. Temple’s new rallying call has reached far beyond campus, yet the idea all started at a small meeting.
At the beginning of the summer, TSG members met and got to know Karen Clarke, who had recently arrived as Temple’s vice president for strategic marketing and communications. While there, Clarke suggested making a phrase for the University’s community much like what existed at the University of Houston, where she had previously worked with an event called “Cougar Red Fridays,” named after the Houston mascot.
“We turned the campus into a sea of red on Fridays and it was noticed around town,” Clarke said.
Members of TSG took that idea to Temple Creative Services where the slogan was created. The idea was a play on the recently resurfaced British World War II poster that reads “Keep Calm and Carry On.”
“We played with it,” Ray Smeriglio, TSG Director of Communications, said. “It’s a basic concept that can be applied many ways.”
The term can also be used to encourage students to wear their cherry-colored clothing or to stay strong when facing hard challenges. The versatility of “Cherry On” makes it simple for grassroots growth from the community both by word of mouth and social media.
“It just works so perfectly,” Darin Bartholomew, the student body president, said.
The goal was to make a term which all of the Temple community could identify with.
“Anywhere you are in the country it can be used like a secret handshake,” Vaughn Shinkus, Temple’s co-director of strategic marketing and communications, said.
Starting at freshman orientations over the summer, TSG gave free T-shirts to the first five students to tweet “#CherryOn” at TSG’s twitter account, beginning the campaign’s presence on social media.
Temple Athletics joined on to the campaign and made “Keep Calm and Cherry On” the slogan on the shirts for their priority seating membership, the Wild Cherry Pass.
Once the majority of upperclassmen were back on campus for fall semester, they caught on as well. The phrase “#CherryOn” was trending on Twitter in the Philadelphia area the day before the football team’s game against Notre Dame.
That same day was the first Cherry On Friday, a part of the campaign where students are encouraged to wear Temple merchandise or any red clothing they own the day before the university’s football team plays.
Cherry On Fridays are also set to include a pep rally beginning at 3:30pm on Liacouras Walk.
As part of promoting the Cherry On Fridays, TSG has also stopped students on campus who are wearing merchandise from other schools that day and gave them a free Temple T-shirt to wear instead. As part of this, a photo would be tweeted via TSG’s account.
“No more wearing other schools’ clothing anymore,” Bartholomew joked. “Don’t be ‘that guy.’”
As a testament to the organic growth of the phrase, the Fox School of Business independently sent out an email Thursday urging everyone to wear cherry clothing the next day. The email continued on to explain that two randomly selected students seen wearing school colors in Alter Hall would be given two tickets to sit in the Fox School Box in the Liacouras Center for the Fall Out Boy concert Sunday.
Bartholomew said Cherry On is separate from Temple’s advertising campaign, Temple Made, since Cherry On was a student initiative and is focused on taking pride.
PRowl, Temple’s student run public relations firm, will be working on future events to promote the Cherry On campaign with the focus mostly on homecoming week October 18 to 20.
Marcus McCarthy is the TSG beat writer for The Temple News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Twitter @Marcus.McCarthy6.