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The Daily Tar Heel

‘Minds on a Mission’ commercial rethought

It all started with a tweet.

Jim Dean, executive vice chancellor and provost, received a tweet during the North Carolina men’s basketball game against Wake Forest that criticized the Minds on a Mission commercial.

The four-year-old advertisement utilizes stop-motion animation and paper mache to depict the worldwide impact UNC minds can have.

Dean responded to the tweet with ‘#workingonit,’ garnering mass — unexpected — responses.

Dean said he received even more tweets after Adam Lucas, a basketball columnist, responded to his tweet with, “Best news of the weekend.”

“It is probably the first time I’ve seen that sort of thing,” Dean said. “I had no idea what was going to happen as a function of that.”

Dean said newly appointed Vice Chancellor for Communications and Public Affairs Joel Curran is in the beginning stages of producing a new ad for the 2014-15 academic year, but Curran said it is still too early to speculate what their creative plans will be.

“The Minds on a Mission campaign hasn’t been refreshed,” Curran said. “We’re in the process now of planning what that could be.”

But he said some individuals requested that the former PSA return, which features renowned journalist Charles Kuralt.

“Apparently a lot of people have nostalgia for the old one with Charlie Kuralt,” he said.

Lucas agreed and said the current ad doesn’t live up to the previous one.

“I think that commercial is not as great as Carolina is,” he said.

But Lindsey Bennett, vice president of Capstrat, the company that designed Minds on a Mission, said branding ads run for many years before being replaced because they play during major sporting events, rather than on primetime television.

“It’s a misconception that they get replaced, or refreshed yearly, partly because they don’t need to be replaced yearly,” Bennett said. “They’re created to have a pretty good shelf life.”

Bennett, who was also the creative director of Minds on Mission, said Capstrat reviewed different options for the commercial with former Chancellor Holden Thorp and others involved in university relations.

“The objects that are in the spot are direct references to real projects that students, faculty and alumni are working on across the globe,” she said.

Bennett said she did not know why some people do not like the branding ad.

“Part of me guesses they want to see something new because it’s been around for over four years,” she said.

“I would seriously doubt that people no longer believe the story it tells — I would say that story is still as relevant today as it was in 2010.”

Junior Jackson Boone said the ad is outdated.

“I’ve seen that since I was in high school, and I feel like it’s time for a new one.”

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