Anika Kotaru
Mercury Staff

‘Speed of Bright’ celebrates UTD’s 50th anniversary, increases visibility in DFW area through advertising

In early June, university President Richard  Benson, along with the marketing team in the Office of Communications, launched a new brand campaign to celebrate UTD’s 50th anniversary. The idea is meant to highlight the university’s mission and increase its visibility in the community.

“There’s something that has started to frustrate me: I cannot count the number of times people have said to me, ‘UTD is Dallas’s best kept secret.’ Of course, they mean it as a compliment, but I don’t want it to be a secret,” Benson said. “We designed this campaign to get the word out. We are coming into a celebration of our 50th year, so we were looking for a number of ways we could celebrate. I sometimes wish that the university’s founders could come back and gaze upon UTD and see the students that are here. It was really bold and daring, what they attempted to do back in the 1960s. We’ve grown into such an impressive university.”

Before the university was founded, it was a private research center titled the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest. This was established by Eugene McDermott, Cecil Green, and Erik Jonsson in 1961. Eight years later, it became part of the UT system.

“It’s just a nice time. We are still a very young university. If you look at the schools we compete with, a great majority of them were founded 150 years ago,” Benson said.

Kent Best, the senior director of marketing, also helped develop the campaign.

“The marketing team had begun this about a year ago,” Best said. “We wanted an advertising tagline that would be tied to the 50th anniversary of the university. We brainstormed possible taglines that would be fitting to UTD and we focused on the smart nature of our students, faculty, and staff.”

The campaign’s primary purpose is to raise awareness for UTD through means of print advertising and social media. Ads are posted in both DFW and Lovefield airports, as well as billboards around the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

“I think it’s about getting the name out there. I grant that ‘speed of bright’ is pretty brief and in some ways, it doesn’t even come close to capturing what we have here. It is just something to cause you to think about UTD, whether you’re in the airport or just driving down the highway,” Benson said. “It’s a way to remind people that there is a very fine university located in their backyard.”