Drew University is refreshing its marketing on campus with Epic, resulting in several new marketing materials that are meant to express what the essence of Drew is. The Communications Department and Drew University Undergraduate Admissions have been working to create this updated version of Drew in order to truly represent the community on our campus.
On March 14, 2023, Admissions revealed their new Ranger Bear design with a Ranger Bear event in the EC. The Admissions team pulled out all the stops to unveil Ranger Bear’s glow up with a build-your-own Ranger Bear station, Crowley’s Cupcakes decorated with Teddy Grahams and a photobooth that made little keychains featuring Ranger Bear.
“Ranger Bear really is a symbol of the entire university, the Drew community,” said Megan McHugh, Drew University Admissions Director of Events. “So when we celebrated the new Ranger Bear, I was hoping that it felt campus-wide.”
Ranger Bear’s refresh, involving a lot of time and effort on the part of the Admissions team and coordination with their student coordinator to time the release, is just one of many changes happening around campus.
As many have noticed, Epic is growing to be synonymous with Drew University.
Margaret Kiernan, Senior Director of Communications and University Branding, said, “The new Epic recruitment campaign was developed to support Drew’s overarching goals: to expand awareness, to positively position Drew among its competitors, to strengthen our undergraduate prospects and to generate pride in the internal Drew Community.”
The new messaging does not replace what Drew has marketed in the past: a great location, rigorous academics, networked mentorship, immersive experiences or a powerful community.
By refreshing the narrative and visuals, the goal is to attract and better tell Drew’s story to prospective students.
The one word that Kiernan used to best describe “Epic” was “authentic.” She commented, “Our new recruitment materials showcase the unique and authentic experiences and benefits of a Drew education.”
“To keep our messaging real, we always try to encourage current Drew students to tell their stories by participating in videos, news stories and photo shoots.”
McHugh and Kiernan both highlighted that the narrative refresh of Epic is meant to highlight the energy and spirit of the Drew community. It is meant to show prospective students what Drew is and what opportunities they would have here and to make sure that what they are seeing in marketing is the reality when they get here.
One of the major questions Kiernan said is often asked about Drew is “Who is the Drew student?”
Kiernan stated, “Drew students tend to be hardworking, highly engaged and curious. They’re eager to learn and appreciate and take advantage of all that Drew offers, from mentorships and networking to many opportunities to build real-world experiences.”
Kiernan highlighted that these are also the kind of students Drew is marketing to. In order to attract this audience, the Communications Department worked with students with varying personalities, backgrounds, interests and aspirations. Each of these students who was a part of the production of the new marketing video served as a testament to Drew students who take advantage of what Drew has to offer.
“Drew has a diverse community, and it is impossible to express the wide variety of personalities and backgrounds, but hopefully by students telling their stories through our marketing assets, our prospective students can get a glimpse of what Drew is all about and who the Drew student is,” Kiernan said.
Epic, among other factors, is already yielding visible results within Admissions. “We have definitely seen an increase in our event registration numbers, in visitors to our website, in followers on social media, and I think there’s definitely two big reasons for that,” said McHugh.
According to McHugh, the positive response is a result of the new Epic marketing and the staff working directly with prospective students. The admissions counselor team, who interacts with prospective students on a personal basis, making phone calls and visiting high schools, is having a very positive impact on Drew’s perception and success.
The new Epic banners, updated marketing materials and strong efforts from Drew’s Admissions team, along with the update of Ranger Bear, a symbol of the Drew community and what it stands for, are all uniting Drew University and yielding results.
In the hopes of continuing to unite the Drew community with Ranger Bear, McHugh hopes to create a mascot team and provide Drew students with another student employment opportunity on campus. With a mascot team, Ranger Bear can be requested to appear at more school events, whether they be sporting events or club-related. Ultimately, one of McHugh’s long-term goals is to make Drew’s unofficial mascot, the squirrel, an official supporting member of the mascot team.
For students interested in being a part of the new Ranger Bear mascot team, email firstname.lastname@example.org. For students interested in being part of future videos, photos and stories on Drew’s website and social media channels, email email@example.com.
Nicole Sydor is a sophomore majoring in English and French and minoring in psychology and education.