Philadelphia–Three breaking TV commercials for the online American Public University (NYSE: APEI) utilize RFI (request-for-information) technology to prompt ad viewers to request more information simply by clicking their remote. The direct response TV campaign is the first work by advertising agency Tierney for its new client, and APU’s first-ever from a larger, full-service advertising agency. The campaign addresses dual goals: Generate qualified enrollee leads among “serious learners,” likely to graduate; and Build APU awareness, and especially credibility. The commercials run both with and without the RFI component. Themed “When you’re ready,” the three spots challenge a woodland hiker, a prospective storefront entrepreneur, and an office worker as to whether they are ready to, respectively, “undestand the complexities of natural resource management, to discuss sustainable design with your professor,” “to develop a business plan, to earn a masters degree,” or “to write a thesis on digital forensics, to study information system security.” If so, APU is “Ready when you are,” (the closing tag). Along the way, such APU “validators” as “recognized by the Sloan Consortium for best practices in online education,” and having “an employer partnership program with select Fortune 500 companies and government agencies” are mentioned. The RFI versions, utilizing Comcast cable-based technology, show a supered, pop-up screen in the spots’ last 20 seconds, allowing viewers to click their remote and be mailed a detailed follow-up brochure. Based on initial tests, the projected response for the RFI commercials is 35+ leads per market per week, at about one-seventh the cost-per-lead of traditional TV. The target demographic is self-motivated, full-time workers, with families and with some college education, average age 31. The RFI spots, breaking in November, will run in 9 DMAs, Phila. to Sacramento, based on availability, and the non-RFI, broadcast versions, which appeared in late October, run in 9 more. Additional support advertising includes sixteen print ads, in 80 publications in 10 vertical trades (e.g. business, education, environmental sciences, etc.), two radio :30s, airing in newly entered DMAs, and twenty flash banners, on vertical trade and general sites. Credits go to Tierney executive creative director Patrick Hardy, art director Derek Miller and copywriter Rebecca Robbins. The director was Maurice Marable of Believe Media, Los Angeles. The American Public University System, Charles Town, W. Va., offers 87 online degree programs through American Public University and American Military University. APUS’s relevant curriculum, affordability and flexibility helps nearly 97,000 working adults worldwide pursue degrees in subjects ranging from homeland security to management and liberal arts. www.apu.apus.edu Tierney, Philadelphia, is a full-service communications agency and a member of the Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE: IPG). Clients include TD Bank, Independence Blue Cross, McDonald’s, IBM, Sun Life Financial, PECO, Verizon Wireless, and Bayer Environmental Science. hellotierney.com
Client: American Public University, online university (NYSE: APEI) Charles Town, W. Va. www.apu.apus.edu Agency: Tierney, Philadelphia hellotierney.com First work for new client. Campaign: “When you’re ready.” Three TV :30s, with and without RFI direct response technology. Brief: Build awareness, and especially credibility, in order to generate qualified leads from “serious learners,” likely to graduate. Response mechanism: Comcast RFI (request-for-information) technology. Pop-up screen lets viewers click their remote and be mailed a detailed, follow-up brochure. Projected response rates: 35+ leads/market/week. Cost/lead 15% of traditional TV. Tag (new): “Ready when you are.” Copy “validators”: “Recognized by the Sloan Consortium for best practices in online education.” “Employer partnership program with select Fortune 500 companies and government agencies.” Target demographic: Average age 31, some college education, self-motivated, working full time, with families. Media: Broadcast and cable in 18 DMAs coast to coast. RFI in 9 DMAs, Phila. to Sacramento, based on availability. Support executions: Sixteen print ads, 80 publications in 9 vertical trades, e.g. business, education, environmental sciences, etc. Two radio :30s, airing in newly entered DMAs. Twenty flash banners, on vertical trade and general sites. ECD: Patrick Hardy AD: Derek Miller CW: Rebecca Robbins Agency Prod.: Peg Finucan Prod. Co.: Believe Media, Los Angeles Dir.: Maurice Marable D.P.: Igor Jadue-Lillo Exec. Prod.: Gerard Cantor Prod.: Christian Allen Post: Red Car, New York Editor: Jonathan Edwards Managing Dir.: Mary Knox Prod.: Liz Snyder Sound Design: Audio Engine, New York Engineer: Carl Mandelbaum Color-correct: Nice Shoes, New York Telecine: Lez Rudge Breaks: November (Non-RFI-enabled spots appeared in late October) About APU: A part of the nationally recognized American Public University System, which also includes American Military University, founded in 1991, the largest online educator of American troops.