The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Student obstacles featured in TCC’s new ad campaign

Student+obstacles+featured+in+TCC%E2%80%99s+new+ad+campaign

By Jamil Oakford/ editor-in-chief

NE dance student Jose Hernandez is featured in TCC’s new advertisement. Like many students, he was concerned about paying for college. He says TCC’s low tuition helped him set up a payment plan.Bogdan Sierra Miranda/The Collegian
NE dance student Jose Hernandez is featured in TCC’s new advertisement. Like many students, he was concerned about paying for college. He says TCC’s low tuition helped him set up a payment plan.
Bogdan Sierra Miranda/The Collegian

Overcoming the obstacles facing people in life and career transitions is the center of TCC’s new ad campaign showing at movie theaters, on cable networks and playing on music streaming sites.

Using a “What’s stopping you?” theme, executive director of public relations and marketing Suzanne Cottraux and her team worked to make TCC’s name more prominent in the community.

“In developing the strategy, we knew that there are lots of competitors in higher education, including the proprietary schools,” Cottraux said.

Most advertisements for four-year schools include student stories that highlight things that graduates go on to accomplish after finishing their education. They don’t focus on what prevents people from attending.

“That’s not really today’s reality, and that’s not what most potential college students are thinking,” Cottraux said. “Instead, they’re wondering if they can afford it, can they cut it, how can they still work, support themselves and/or family while going to school … They’re thinking about obstacles.”

For NE dance student Jose Hernandez, one of the stars of TCC’s advertisements, his biggest obstacle was money.

Hernandez finds it humbling to share his experience in the hopes of helping others achieve their potential.Bogdan Sierra Miranda/The Collegian
Hernandez finds it humbling to share his experience in the hopes of helping others achieve their potential.
Bogdan Sierra Miranda/The Collegian

“I was worried that I couldn’t afford it,” he said. “Because TCC has low tuition, I was able to set up a payment plan and put money toward my tuition monthly.”

An obstacle that kept SE culinary arts and hospitality management student Sarah Ferris, featured in another TCC advertisement, wary of enrolling was time. The second obstacle was the distance from home.

“I’m actually from six-and-a-half hours away — San Antonio is closer to me,” she said.

Ferris wanted to go into a culinary arts program, so she turned to Google hoping she could find a school nearby.

“I was basically searching for a culinary arts program that would fit my budget,” she said. “I kind of wanted something more legit.”

Veteran and NW student Brandon Brown thought he had a future in basketball while in high school. But after those plans fell through, he looked at another possibility.

“The options I thought about were military,” he said in his success story video.

After experiencing the death of family members while serving overseas, he decided he needed to return home. As a single father, Brown takes care of his son while participating in the firefighter program on NW.

“My grandma had actually passed away while I was away right before I was getting ready to exit the military,” he said. “I knew then that was the second career I wanted: to be a firefighter.”

The marketing campaign used three TCC students, a point that Cottraux wanted to keep throughout all three of the advertisements, each from a different group.

“Our greatest hurdle here was identifying the students who could fit not just within the marketing target but who were in specific programs that we had identified while storyboarding the campaign,” Cottraux said.

These three specific groups included a first-time college student, a former stay-at-home mom and a veteran.

Cottraux plans to move forward with more advertisements as the fall semester looms.

“As we get closer to the 2016-2017 school year, we plan to produce three more TV and radio spots to complement the campaign,” she said.

Cottraux believes the school could see many added benefits from a marketing campaign of this nature.

“One of the interesting things about advertising and marketing is that its impact can be felt more easily in its absence,” she said. “When a company or a brand goes dark, it can be lights out for their margins. I think as people are exposed to TCC’s brand in more venues and can see and hear that different style and tone, they’ll look at us anew.”

Hernandez’s, Brown’s and Ferris’ stories are available for viewing at tccd.edu/success, a website dedicated to helping prospective students overcome obstacles that may hold them back from enrolling.

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian