A new ad campaign aims to help low-income kids navigate the college admissions process. These public service announcements will soon appear on TV, on the radio, and in print, and will seem…well, let's say "rather contemporary." A companion Web site, called "KnowHow2Go," has already been launched.
Read this from the Chronicle of Higher Education:
A series of public-service announcements directed at low-income and minority students will begin appearing soon, part of a multimedia campaign designed to raise public awareness about the steps required to prepare for college.
The television, radio, and print spots, which will run for two years, are meant to provide a wake-up call for students who assume that if they just get good grades and stay out of trouble, "college will magically happen."
In one radio ad, a student dreams a college dean comes to his door to invite him to college. While he considers the offer, a pep rally in the background cheers his name. "Wake up," says the narrator. "You can't dream your way into college. There are actual steps you have to take."
In another, Fonzworth Bentley, a Morehouse College graduate and former valet and umbrella carrier for the entertainer Sean (Diddy) Combs (then known as Puff Daddy), delivers an unconventional rap about the college-application process. The artist, whose first album, C.O.L.O.U.R.S., is due out soon, donated his time and wrote the lyrics for the spot.
Ads that will be displayed in bus shelters and malls are even more direct: "Diddly Squat," one says in bold letters, adding, in parentheses: "What most kids know about preparing for college."
"One of the major themes of the campaign is for students to know it takes more than good grades and big dreams to get into college," said David Ward, president of the American Council on Education, one of the campaign's sponsors. The Lumina Foundation for Education and the Ad Council also are sponsors.
The campaign, dubbed "Know How to Go," seeks to reach students in 8th to 10th grade, when they still have time to prepare for college, both academically and financially. It primarily focuses on students, rather than parents, because campaign research showed that low-income parents expect their children to take the lead in pursuing college.
The ads were created pro bono by the advertising agency Publicis. It is not yet clear when the broadcast ads will be played because, as public-service announcements, they will run on donated time. Television and radio stations' public-service directors decide which spots run, and when.
You can find the full Chronicle piece here (password protected).