Has YouTube become UTube?

The first Canadian university to bring its recruitment campaign to the popular youth Internet site YouTube is raising eyebrows among other university marketing executives, such as Richard Fisher, York’s chief marketing & communications officer, who are worried the foray into this new territory could undermine academia’s brand, reported CanWest News Service Feb. 2.

On Feb. 1, Memorial University in St. John’s, Nfld., launched its new campaign to reach out to prospective students. The “Rant like Rick” advertisement, based on the concept of comedian Rick Mercer’s rant on his television show, showcases a student ranting about things prospective students should consider when choosing a university. The ad is airing in movie theatres and on television in Ottawa, Kingston, Ont., Halifax and St. John’s, as well as on YouTube, the Internet’s most popular site of video clips. “I know I’m university bound, but they all feel so identical,” ranter Mark tells the camera, taking a jab at the more traditional university recruitment strategies.

“In advertising, environment is everything," said Fisher. "You may be on YouTube, but you’ll be between the guy who can stuff 60 grapes into his mouth and a video of the latest atrocity. We need to be more than eye candy if we are to stand out long-term. Otherwise, it all boils down to tactics and I think there’s more to it than that."

Middleton comments on Labatt’s flanking strategy

Lakeport Brewing Income Fund, the scrappy Ontario discounter that helped shatter Canada’s duopolistic beer market, has agreed to a takeover offer from one of the very giants it took on, wrote the Globe and Mail Feb. 2. While no one expects Labatt to get out of the discount segment, the brewer will likely do fewer price promotions and use the Lakeport brands as "price flankers" to stop the discount category from growing, said Alan Middleton, marketing professor at York University’s Schulich School of Business.

Fine arts alum has lofty comments on his career

York graduate Phil Bonnell (BFA ‘96), art director for Toronto advertising firm Teehan+Lax, was profiled in the Bloor West Villager Feb. 1. Bonnell, who opined that “You do your best to keep lofty goals in sight and try not to sabotage things with silly mistakes,” also told the Villager his degree from York’s Faculty of Fine Arts helped prepare him for his career.

On air

  • The passing of Pierre Fortier, retired professor emeritus of French/Canadian studies at York’s Glendon campus who died Jan. 30 at age 75, was noted on TFO-TV Feb. 1 The item highlighted his role as co-founder of la Société d’histoire de Toronto.

  • Bernie Frolic, professor emeritus in York’s Faculty of Arts and director of the Asia Business Management Program at the York Centre for Asian Research, joined a panel debate about the political climate in China, on TVO’s “The Agenda”, Feb. 1.