Virginia Commonwealth University Unveils New Brand Positioning
“Make it real” celebrates powerful learning and research opportunities made possible by VCU’s urban environment, its diversity and its academic excellence
University Public Affairs
Virginia Commonwealth University today unveiled its new integrated marketing campaign designed to communicate the school’s vision with prospective students, parents, alumni and other stakeholder communities, as well as to convey its status as one of the nation’s premier urban research universities.
Beginning today, the tagline “Make it real” will serve as an umbrella statement for VCU’s internal and external communications. The phrase, determined through extensive research conducted with VCU students, faculty, staff and alumni, represents the university’s exceptional ability to forge connections with the people, organizations and ideas that ignite passions, allow students and faculty to take action and make meaningful, impactful contributions to their future careers and communities.
“The campaign highlights our unique strengths as a nationally competitive university – our rich diversity of people, ideas and programs along with our connection to a vibrant urban environment that inspire powerful creativity, innovations, experiences and opportunities,” said VCU President Michael Rao. “Our researchers find solutions to real problems. Our scholars discover knowledge that leads to real breakthroughs. Our artists create real beauty. Our students undergo real transformation. In so many ways – in a diverse and vibrant setting – we “Make it real” every day.
VCU’s ascendance into the Top 100 of National Science Foundation research rankings and its commitment to clinical and translational science and more desirable patient outcomes -- combined with the attention a men’s basketball powerhouse program brings – called for a revitalized brand communications campaign as global interest in VCU grows.
With new print and online advertising, photography, design templates and messaging, “Make it real” will showcase student and faculty stories to illuminate VCU’s research and academic strengths, such as its School of Medicine, the School of the Arts, the VCU Massey Cancer Center, the VCU Brandcenter, the VCU da Vinci Center for Innovation and other high-caliber, nationally recognized and inter-disciplinary programs.
Creative elements of the “Make it real” campaign deliver a visual balance between academic rigor and confidence to communicate the possibilities VCU creates for its students and its local and global communities. Visit www.makeitreal.vcu.edu to see samples of the campaign’s creative expression as well as a short video that brings the new brand to life.
“VCU embraces a fast-paced, diverse and intensely engaged model of higher education that only an urban location makes possible,” said Pamela D. Lepley, executive director of University Relations for VCU. “It’s the diverse people, cultures, values, programs, experiences – and the interactions between them – that stimulate ideas and empower students and faculty to make them reality. We do a great job at that, and we’re excited to let the world know with this new branding campaign.”
“Make it real” follows VCU’s introduction of the new university seal, unveiled in July. It was established to better reflect the university’s academic rigor and to honor the history of its two predecessor institutions, the Medical College of Virginia and the Richmond Professional Institute. Virginia’s General Assembly merged the two institutions, creating VCU in 1968.
- About VCU and the VCU Medical Center
Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 223 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-eight of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University comprise the VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. For more, see www.vcu.edu.