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KnowHow2Go Launches New PSA Campaign

May 14, 2008

No sooner had I uploaded guest contributor Tricia McKenna's post about the growing use of Web-based video by nonprofits (see below) than I received an e-mail from the folks at the Lumina Foundation calling my attention to the rollout of the second year of the KnowHow2Go college access campaign.

An initiative of Lumina, the Advertising Council, and the American Council on Education, the KnowHow2Go campaign aims to encourage low-income and first-generation students in grades 8 through 10 to take the steps necessary to prepare for college and targets parents and adult influencers to encourage kids to start the college preparation process early.

The new campaign features television, radio, print, outdoor, and Web PSAs that stress taking on the "tough classes" as one of those important steps. Created pro bono by New York City-based ad agency Publicis, the ads use humor -- imagine a mashup of Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, The 300, and any Austin Powers flick -- to communicate the message that preparing for college means taking tough classes.

Curious? Here's the generic campaign spot (I love the somersaulting harlequins -- Vive la France!):

I think my two 15-year-olds would find that amusing...odd, but amusing. (Then again, that's how they see me.)

And here's the "Algebra II" spot:

According to research published in the June 2005 edition of Postsecondary Education Opportunity, 75 percent of students from high-income families but only 9 percent of student from low-income families complete college by age 24. And while high school sophomores report having college ambitions, only about half (51 percent) indicate they are enrolled in college preparatory programs (U.S. Department of Education).

"Research shows that in addition to their lack of awareness about how to prepare for college, students are often fearful of the challenging courses they need to take," said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council. "This unique series of PSAs created by Publicis will entertain and empower young people to face their fears head-on, as they would any challenge. We are proud to continue our KnowHow2GO campaign with Lumina and ACE to help low-income students navigate their way to college."

Want to learn more? Click here to visit the KnowHow2Go site.

-- Mitch Nauffts

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