Digital Word of Mouth Gone Awry

Drake University has launched an undergraduate recruitment campaign with the following tag line:

D+  Drake Advantage – your Potential + our Opportunities.

The Drake Advantage?

The Drake Advantage?

Last time I checked, D+ was widely understood to mean below average performance.

An outside PR firm created the D+ campaign and despite being their apprised of their advertising campaign’s obvious incongruity, Drake University officials still agreed to go forward with it.

To their credit, the PR firm did create a buzz worthy advertising campaign. The problem is – its bad buzz.

Don’t take my word for it – just check out Google’s real time search results for Drake University.

Drake University D+ Campaign

Drake University D+ Campaign

Any advertising campaign that creates positive digital word of mouth for an advertiser gets an “A”.

Any advertising campaign that creates a negative parody of your brand gets a minimum grade of “D+”.

After their D+ advertising campaign runs its course, Drake University will be lucky if anyone who heard their D+ message will give them any grade above….. D+.

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