With the end of the Where We Stand Matters campaign this fall, Otterbein University prepares to announce the creation of the university’s newest marketing campaign: Only Otterbein.

University leadership held a campuswide meeting on Nov. 7 to gain community feedback about the new campaign. This is a re-branding effort meant to aide recruitment and enrollment management initiatives by focusing on the university’s various commitments.

“We have a series of big, punchy things to run with now, but we need to convert that into something sustainable that’s really a brand leader that can help Otterbein break through,” said President John Comerford

Roberto Christian Ponce, executive director for marketing and communications, said the Only Otterbein campaign is an “umbrella campaign”, meaning it will evolve into several vertical campaigns to address specific target audiences, including future students, graduate program students and alumni.


Some of the themes the campaign will likely focus on include affordability, inclusion, diversity, leadership and community engagement.

“We are different, and we should boldly and clearly communicate the values, truths, and stories that demonstrate our unique market position,” said Senior Strategist for Institutional Advancement Gina Calcamuggio. “That is why we offer a simple, clear tagline, one that acknowledges our unique differences, while allowing us to make bold, direct claims.”

Marketing and Communications Department staff presented several advertisement teases with the Only Otterbein tagline, including design concepts for full-page and billboard advertisements. Christian Ponce said the campaign is fully integrative and will include broadcast, print and web communication techniques. 


The creation of the new campaign has been in development for the past six months. According to Calcamuggio, the university began getting feedback about the concepts for the campaign through a survey, called the Admitted Student Questionnaire, given to all students accepted to Otterbein for fall of 2018. 

The university also tested out the effectiveness of the new campaign by leading focus groups over the summer with prospective students and their families. 

“We’ve tested ideas, power words, and concepts through our Admitted Student Questionnaire,” said Calcamuggio. “We've done focus groups for high school students and their parents. The things you see here have been informed by really responsible, meaningful work.”

Comerford said he hopes to launch the Only Otterbein campaign within the next two weeks.

“We have a moment now with other things going on to launch it a little earlier than it was originally planned, so we’re a little rushed to get this going,” said Comerford. “We hope to start rolling this out in a matter of a week or two. We want to get what little impact we can while we’re in draft phase.”