Oakland Community College

Oakland Community College faced an approaching millage election. If defeated, it would mean huge cuts in the school’s funding; cutting programs, cutting maintenance & construction projects, cutting staff & teachers, and actually turning away students. In the midst of Michigan’s worst recession in 40 years and unemployment approaching 20%, no one was in the mood to vote for a tax increase. What could Amsterland do to help?

We studied existing research that showed outside of cities with campuses, brand awareness was quite low. It also showed there was a lot of confusion between Oakland Community College and and another nearby school called Oakland University. OCC’s advertising was piecemeal. Their print ads were produced internally, TV stations created commercials, and radio stations produced radio spots. there was no continuity in look, tone, or message. Amsterland would fix that.

The Strategy:

Produce a “30 TV commercial to run heavily before the millage election.

Create a digital campaign that included banner ads on the employment pages of Detnews.com, Freep.com, Comcast.com, and WXYZ.com.

Create a social media site for students and alumni.

Develop billboards to be strategically placed in Oakland County.

Produce TV and print ads to fulfill prearranged media commitments.

The Results?

The OCC Millage Renewal passed by a comfortable margin. 62% of the electorate voted in favor of the tax increase, despite Michigan’s economic conditions. Plus, the TV Commercial won a gold award at the National Council for Marketing & Public Relations.




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