Tuesday, July 22, 2008

"(Blank) the Roo"

Let me paint the picture for you: It was a snowy day in late 2005 and I was driving around the University of Akron on Route 8 by Buchtel Avenue. I looked up and saw The University of Akron's newest marketing campaign: an angry faced Zippy with the words, "Fear the Roo!"

I couldn't help it, I burst into laughter. This was one of the funniest things I had seen in a very long time, considering Zippy is usually displayed with a smile. I immediately called everyone who would find this as entertaining as I did... then I realized, that's a REALLY catchy marketing campaign.

Why the change? Suddenly The University of Akron's athletics exploded in the Mid-American Conference. The women's cross-country team, the men's soccer team and the football team all won Mid-American Conference titles. The soccer team even earned a national ranking while the football team went to the Motor City Bowl.

Recently I was driving around The University of Akron I noticed something, again. (You know, where you see something but then it really doesn't sink in until you see it again?) This time it was Akron's "Rock the Roo" campaign featuring Zippy in sunglasses adorning EJ Thomas Hall.

This advertisement is set to showcase Akron's array of concerts, performances and other art events. This perked my interest in just how many "(Blank) the Roo" campaigns were going on with The University of Akron. In doing very minor research I noticed they have a "Boo at the Roo" event centered around a Halloween concert.

And just recently, they have added "Do it Now for the enviROOment," a way to encourage college students to become involved with Earth Day celebrations.

Hmm. That is pushing the whole Roo campaign just a little in my opinion. I am in favor of Zippy going green, but don't you think even she would be a little tired of being slogan-ized. Here is my thought pattern on the Roo campaigns:

Fear the Roo: Hysterical
Rock the Roo: Cute. A little cheesey, but cute.
Boo at the Roo: A little childish.
Do it Now for the enviROOment: Pushing the limit.

Have any of you seen the billboards or apparel? (Certainly if you know me you have seen my "Fear the Roo" hooded sweatshirt!) What are your thoughts on this marketing campaign... and mostly, is enough enough already?


1 comment:

Alex said...

At LEAST the "Roo" is capable of being angered. True the idea is funny when you first think about it... but it did get a response (as you mention - good marketing). Kangaroo's can fight when cornered... but imagine if your mascot was the Possum or worse yet a nut. Fear the nut is fine, if there are no pictures.... Still the question is... will they come because of the slogan? or will they come because of the product? In sports the product needs to be there in order to market a slogan like "fear the roo"... well... because that slogan gets even funnier if your team stinks. Thanks for the read.