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New advertising campaign showcases DU’s DNA

The University of Denver’s essence and personality are what sets it apart. And now a fresh campaign is shining the spotlight on DU’s DNA. 

“For the Difference” highlights DU’s long-standing commitment to serving the public good.

It’s the first comprehensive, research-based ad blitz aimed at highlighting what DU is all about. And it’s only just begun, says Johanna Blickenstaff, senior director of marketing and strategic positioning.  

Why launch this campaign now? DU has limited visibility outside of Colorado, and in-state perceptions need sharpening too. Additionally, fewer students are graduating high school and attending college, meaning increased competition to catch their attention. 

The campaign introduces DU to new markets, increases awareness and perception of DU’s unique values and relevance, and ensures that its story is clear. Heightened preference for DU will create more applicants, ambassadors and friends, cementing a sustainable future for the University.

As the marketplace becomes more competitive, DU is focused on recruiting, keeping and supporting talented faculty and staff; providing diversity, equity, access and support to every student; and building an engaged philanthropic engine.

“DU’s philosophy of what college should be is different,” says Vice Chancellor Renea Morris, who leads DU’s marketing and communications efforts. “We’re not just interested in what students can achieve; we’re interested in what students can become and the impact they will have on the world.

“The University is committed to making a deep and intentional investment in personal wellness, intellectual rigor, integrity of character and every student’s commitment to the common good. We call it the 4D Experience, and it’s all for one thing: for the difference.” 

Champion gymnast Lynnzee Brown, a senior in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, has shared her athletic expertise in youth camps, despite the many obstacles she has overcome—from a torn Achille’s heel to her mother’s death. 

Omar Barakat, working on his master’s degree in biomedical sciences, is researching exercise-induced laryngeal obstruction (EILO), which constrains breathing during exercise by narrowing the upper airway. It afflicts young athletes, especially girls, and is often underdiagnosed in minority communities. 

Both students are featured in DU’s campaign, which will launch in streaming television, digital advertising and social media geared toward a variety of audiences in the Denver, Chicago, Houston, Portland and Los Angeles markets. The campaign also can be found on metro area buses, the light rail and at Denver International Airport.  

The University has many stories to tell about how its community has contributed to society far beyond campus. That clear messaging over the coming years will show people—near and far—how DU really does make
a difference. 

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