As reported in the Chronicle of Higher Education, You Tube has recently created a channel for colleges and universities. They are only accepting one channel from each institution, but this is a great way to focus your library videos onto the You Tube network. Now when your users look for your library’s information literacy video, they won’t have to spend hours browsing through unrelated videos. There are over 100 institutions signed up now, so don’t wait and start the process to get your videos into the You Tube Edu stream.
Thanks to the Shifted Librarian I had the pleasure of viewing DePauw University’s videos promoting their Visual Resource Center. Yes the concept is a look-alike and relies on the popularity of the Mac vs. PC ads, but it’s simplicity is its strength.
To the point, funny, and well-thought; I can give nothing but praise for these wonderful PR pieces.
Dude, that’s a Llama; is still making me laugh.
If you haven’t had a chance to watch the video of Bill Gates’ Last Day at Microsoft, take a few minutes and have a laugh. Yeah it’s cheesy and predictable, but imagine library marketing done with such clever skill.
It makes the little hamster on the wheel in my head chug a Red Bull and start spinning.
With the recent clamor over the “mud flap” girl from the Wyoming Libraries, I began to muse over just how far is too far in library marketing?
The mud flap girl, to me, was an interesting use of an American cultural icon designed to highlight an auto repair database. The library took a chance in customizing a sexist symbol of a woman into something that would grab your attention and probably even make you chuckle. This sort of marketing is smart but can often be a double edged sword, as the original connotations of the edited symbol may overshadow the intent of the message. Do I think they should be ashamed to call themselves librarians for this concept? No.
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What is the power of marketing? Well think about something bright red and bright yellow. Did your mind immediately think of McDonalds? What if I had said to think about a silhouetted figure dancing to music? Of course we would all think of IPods. For every ad you can remember there is either a succinct design behind it or an overabundance of repetition that has caused you to remember the ad at a moments notice. With this in mind, what is the value of marketing for libraries?
Marketing, or “branding” if you will, can often heated discussion in a library. Committing to a marketing campaign can often be as drawn out and detail oriented as negotiating vendor contracts for full-text access. Once committed though, a library can use tried and true techniques to push services, new and old, and maybe even catch the attention of a lax user. Creativity and originality are obviously keys to any campaigns success, but library-wide support must also play a large part in helping ideas stay strong.