If you recently caught a glimpse of the familiar green and gold on the side of a Northern Virginia bus, you may have also noticed something new. Since May 2022, Mason has invited the families of prospective Hispanic students to learn about the university in its first Spanish-language marketing campaign.
The campaign features Spanish-language posters on buses and at Virginia Rail Express and Metro stations in Northern Virginia, as well as social media advertising and radio marketing aimed at the Hispanic community in the greater Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Maryland area. The models in the ads are all Mason students.
In addition, radio marketing has included commercials during 2022 World Cup coverage and Spanish-language faculty interviews, which received an overwhelmingly positive response.
Spanish speakers are invited to learn more about Mason via a Spanish web presence, or to call for more information. The Office of Admissions and Enrollment and Office of University Branding, which operates the university switchboard, have both hired bilingual phone attendants to welcome callers and connect them with the offices that can help them.
Mason enrolls and graduates the largest percentage and number of Hispanic students among Virginia and Maryland public universities, which makes the expansion into Spanish-language marketing even more important.
“The Hispanic populations in Virginia and at Mason have both increased significantly in recent decades,” said Eric Woodall, associate vice president of brand marketing for the Office of University Branding. “This campaign is part of our efforts to better highlight our current Hispanic student population and ensure that prospective families have materials in Spanish to help them make informed decisions.”
“We are starting a lasting dialogue with households headed by those who may not be conversant in or comfortable speaking English, and are looking for way-finding to get their sons and daughters to and through college,” said Paul G. Allvin, Mason vice president and chief brand officer. “Our messaging mirrors what these families tell us they look for and find in a Mason education: flexibility, affordability, safety, and the existence of their own culture in campus life.”
Despite a nationwide increase in Hispanic college students, Hispanic young people are still the least likely among their peers to be enrolled in college or have a bachelor’s degree, according to the Pew Research Center. Taking this into account, the campaign’s first phase focused on raising parent awareness of Mason’s commitment to diversity and accessibility.
“What comes next for us is maintaining our presence in terms of Spanish-language advertising and looking to expand and strengthen our partnerships with Hispanic community organizations,” Woodall said.