Golden Gate University Uses Mortar to Create Bond with Students New Campaign Focuses on Rewards of Education.

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When working adults in a recent focus group admitted that theyÂ?d spent more time shopping for their cars than their graduate and BachelorÂ?s degree completion programs, marketers at Golden Gate University in San Francisco were a little surprised.

A new campaign breaking this month on bus boards and in newspapers, from San Francisco integrated marketing agency Mortar, makes use of this insight—focusing on how a degree from GGU can improve the quality of life for recipients.

Entitled “Get there,” the campaign targets aspirational learners—working professionals who understand that continuing education can impact their lives and families as well as their careers. With headlines like “When you have a better job, you can afford to spend more time away from it,” executions include warm, evocative images of children, relaxation, and outdoor recreation.

“For years, we’ve all made similar claims in our advertising,” says GGU’s Marketing Director Tasia Neeve. “Most universities in the category focus on relevant programs, convenient locations, and flexible schedules. Not surprisingly, that’s created the impression that continuing education is a parity product. Unless your program is world-renowned, candidates don’t have a clear impression of one institution over another. And that’s a problem because our offerings are pretty unique.”

Mortar’s first step was to define GGU’s students in attitudinal terms, a process that goes beyond traditional profiling to investigate the emotional connections between the university and its audience. According to Mortar’s Mark Williams, those efforts have shown meaningful results. “Instead of talking about ourselves and saying ‘are you right for us?’ we’re showing top candidates why we’re right for them. And by knowing exactly who we’re talking to, we’ve been able to tighten up our media plan and eliminate waste.”

The university is hoping not only to increase its share of voice in the local market, but to convince adult learners that a little more time spent selecting the right program could benefit them. GGU is convinced that when prospective students become more informed shoppers, the university will benefit as well.

Mortar was awarded the GGU account in early 2004. Billings are undisclosed. Mortar's work for GGU can be viewed at

About Mortar

Mortar is an integrated marketing firm that brings together expertise in consumer, business-to-business, employee, and investor communications. This strategy of 360° brand management helps organizations establish and maintain emotional connections with audiences at every point of contact. Mortar’s approach typically involves advertising, public relations, and a broad range of other online and offline communications programs. For more information, go to

About Golden

Gate University Golden Gate University offers quality educational programs designed to meet the needs of working adults, with undergraduate and graduate degrees in business, taxation, technology, and law. Day, evening, and weekend courses are available year-round at the San Francisco location and at other teaching sites in San Jose, Sacramento, Walnut Creek, and Monterey Bay, as well as online through the university’s CyberCampus. For more information, go to or call 800-GGU-4-YOU.

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