Add marketing efforts to the long list of what’s different from yesteryear at ISU. The University has pushed beyond traditional outreach methods to capture the interest of prospective students.
College of Fine Arts graduates widely known and incredibly popular have been enlisted to use their talent to focus attention on ISU. One is Jane Lynch ’82 of the hit television series Glee. She is now part of a commercial shown during athletic events. Sean Hayes, a music undergraduate famous from the Will & Grace comedy, makes an appearance in the same ad.
Keith Habersberger ’08, has also been enlisted to promote Illinois State. He is an entertainer and a development partner with BuzzFeed Motion Pictures in Los Angeles. His popularity in the viral video world is a result of his short “person-on-the-street” clips. Unscripted to showcase his improv comedic skills, Habersberger’s creative talent has brought him nearly half-a-million Facebook page likes and more than 130,000 Twitter followers.
It’s also the reason for immediate recognition among the college-age population. ISU students were thrilled to interact with him last year when Habersberger was on campus for a colloquium with the School of Theatre and Dance. His down time was spent on the Quad quizzing students to discover what they like best about Illinois State.
While some more familiar with the traditional higher education messages sent to those investigating college options might question the approach, the ISU Admissions team finds the more unique tactic to reach the 20-something and younger audience very effective.
“Keith has a huge fan base and is especially popular among high school and college students—the exact group we are hoping to reach,” said Director of Admissions Jeff Mavros. “His participation and that of other recognizable alumni—like Jane Lynch and Sean Hayes—helps draw attention to Illinois State and reach a larger audience.”