Artyfax Creative

Artyfax Creative

Copyright 2010 Artyfax Creative

Example of a brilliant ad campaign for a College for Creative Studies in Detroit, based on anti-drug campaigns of the 1980's.


the 2008 financial crisis; to the deteriorating confidence and disillusionment in the Obama administration south of the border and the global financial uncertainty surrounding the literal bankruptcy of certain central European nations. The effect on the higher education system - in both Canada and the United States - has been quietly remarkable. There is an almost subtle desperation in the way that Universities and Colleges are going about trying to raise enrolments - and thereby raise their ever-trickling away revenues.

In Canada's largest city (Toronto), one cannot simply walk down the street it seems, without encountering the latest in a seemingly unending string of educational institution enticements in the way of stereotypical, derivative advertisements. Each one of these uninspired, mediocre and sometimes even vapid graphical pleas more or less virtually parrots their own competition. The message has tended to be precisely the same - whether the program being offered is as short as a Personal Support Worker diploma or as long as an MBA - regardless of which school has purchased prime advertising tenements along Toronto's hyper-busy subway and transit systems, commuter thoroughfares and many     

program), also made some hard-hitting, grave statements in regards to the financial realities facing Universities, Community Colleges and Private Career Colleges alike. Without going into a tremendous amount of detail, it was Mr. Usher's belief that while "cutting costs will not be the first instinct", putting additional pressure on the Federal and Provincial governments to either increase grants or allow for higher tuition fees would be followed by decrees of "there's no new money, so muddle through as best you can with very small tuition increases." In addition to demurring or taking an education guess as to how each institution would cope with these constraints, Mr. Usher seemed to predict that all higher education facilities alike were likely facing decreasing student populations, higher tuition costs and hard financial decisions for "at least five years."

As outlined above, that online Forum discussion took place months ago (and it should be noted was held during the height of a bitter and protracted strike by educators and assistants at York University in Toronto). North America has "evolved" since that time: From a heightened sense of collective hope with the election of President Barack Obama in the United States, and the sense of relief to Canada's emerging relatively unscathed from    

(Toronto, Ontario, Canada)  On January 29th, 2009, one 

Career Colleges Employing Unorthodox Marketing Tactics

of Canada's newspapers published a somewhat prophetic story. That story was designed to put students (and potential students) of community and career colleges at ease regarding concerns over how the autumn 2008 "recession crisis" would affect their studies - and them - financially.

The article was a question and answer-type 'session' in the Globe and Mail, and was authored (in part) by "guest writer" Alex Usher: identified as the Director of Educational Policy Institute Canada. In the piece, Mr. Usher stated "many are looking to higher education for a brighter future" in light of the sudden increase in unemployment due to layoffs ('convenient' downsizing) or outright job evaporation (outright closure). Students from across Canada were invited to participate in an open, online Forum (hosted by the Globe and Mail newspaper's interactive portion of their website), and the results of the question and answer session were summarily published.

It certainly was an interesting discussion. Mr. Usher, while valiantly attempting to assuage the fears of many students (most of whom were already enrolled in a long degree or diploma