Behind the Headlines

  • Drake Stands By Its "D+" Campaign

    September 20, 2010
    written by

    In response to:

    "Drake brands itself as a D+"
    Washington PostSeptember 2, 2010

    Over labor day weekend an item appeared about a PR campaign at Drake University that could easily have been subplot material from the edgy and very short lived sitcom Arrested Development (2004-06). The convoluted and ill conceived concept to make Drake U more potent was to add a plus sign after their first initial resulting in a giant blue D+. Visit the school's site and wait as the slides play through in their showcase.

    We'll see whether it has the same shunning effect on their enrollment as the big red A had on poor Hester's social life. They are either too embarrassed to admit that they missed how foolish a D+ campaign at a school really is or they really just don't get it. Adding ironic flare to the silliness of it all, is the lead slide at Drake's website which touts their US News ranking. As John Zmirak, editor of ISI's Choosing the Right College recently wrote about in an editorial at AOL news, the US News college rankings have become meaningless beauty contests, but that's another story.

    Defending the D+ campaign is doomed to backfire for Drake. They should admit the gaffe, think of something new, and pretend like this never happened.

    The views and opinions expressed in Behind the Headlines content do not necessarily represent those of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.

    2 Comment(s)


  • prhein's Profile Picture

    The Zmirak article was superb.

    • Anonymous (not verified)

      Apparently they've softened the D+ image, but the "plus" advantage is still promoted on their site. The letter and symbol are no longer so prominently juxtaposed.