YU Buys Billboard on Route 4 in NJ
Yeshiva University recently purchased a large billboard on Route 4 East in Bergen County, New Jersey, a heavily-traversed highway leading to the George Washington Bridge and Manhattan.
The billboard, which features two students and the university’s new marketing slogan, “Building tomorrow, today,” is part of a broader marketing campaign YU has embarked upon this academic year. Last month, the university took out two full-page color ads in the Wall Street Journal in a single week.
When asked about the increased advertising spending this year, YU’s Senior Director of Communications Mechal Haas said, “Our focus is towards a more disruptive media with the aim of breaking through ad clutter — represents a key shift vs. last year.”
Haas declined to share the cost of the billboard.
According to Haas, the purpose of the billboard and broader marketing campaign at large is “[t]o build top of mind awareness and strengthen the reputation of YU among key prospects (students, parents, employers, alumni) in the critical messaging area — great jobs, academic excellence, vibrant life on campus, and overall value.” Specifically, the billboard “is part of an assortment of consumer touchpoint to maximize reach and frequency.” Haas noted that “anecdotal feedback has been remarkably favorable.”
Some students surveyed disagreed. “It is a misappropriation of their resources since people don’t make education-level decisions based on billboard advertisements,” said Ari Roffe (YC ‘21).
“In my opinion it is innovative; however, it seems that our resources can be used more effectively,” said Shira Perton (SCW ‘19). “YU is not at a loss in terms of students enrolling. [Other marketing efforts] would seem more effective than a billboard on a highway that has a huge mix of people who largely are not Jewish, so [they] would not be interested in Yeshiva University,” Perton added.