By Frankie Hart, April 5 2019 —
The University of Calgary appears to have pivoted to a new branding strategy — and as a result, has turned emo. The Eyes Lined strategy was implemented as part of a collaboration between administration and the Haskayne School of Business. The strategy coordinator, Stanley Twiddle, explained that the goal was to join in on the recent trend of companies adopting relatable and funny personas as part of their social media.
“We’ve already seen such great response to brands like Wendy’s with their sassy roasts. We really want to lead the way in introducing this strategy to institutions like the U of C,” Twiddle said. “However, we didn’t simply want to copy the fun and silly personas that these corporations are taking, and it doesn’t exactly fit the serious reputation of a prestigious university. After some brainstorming, we came up with a persona that really reflected the student experience.”
According to Twiddle, the persona takes influence primarily from the wide response to SunnyD’s depressed tweet, the emotional volatility of Pop-Tarts and a tad of Burger King’s ‘fuckboy energy.’ The result? An overhaul of the university’s image into that of an angsty 15.5-year-old emo boy circa 2008. Twiddle noted the significant decision to date the image to over a decade ago.
“A huge aspect of our image is to capture nostalgia,” Twiddle said. “Things are so complicated these days. People just want to return to simpler times, and by extension of that return to who they were at the time. We want everyone to be able to relive their emo phase through our branding and we expect this to have great results.”
The Eyes Lined strategy was tested on Twitter first to gauge reaction before putting resources towards a total rebranding. Tweets were slowly released in late March to great success, garnering thousands of likes and retweets.
“Once we had evidence that our strategy was viable, we were able to commit,” said Twiddle. “We replaced our billboards around the city with Pon and Zi comics as well as emo edits of president McCauley. Unfortunately, he wasn’t willing to actually go full emo, but at least he allowed his image to be photoshopped.”
Response to the strategy has been mixed. Information from a student survey reveals that most students reported preferring the new branding. However, some had a negative reaction, commenting that they thought it was “strange.”
“We’re very pleased with the results overall,” Twiddle said. “As for the rest… they’re just a bunch of preps. I put up my middle finger at them.”
This article is part of our humour section.