"We've tried many different routes to engage [potential veterinary students]," says Bob Ryan, SGU's associate dean of enrollment planning.
The best, the school has found, is to get people to visit its Web site, which is sophisticated and able to reel them in. So The Halo Group devised an online game featuring a sarcastically rude "Lemur Swami," who challenges players to answer questions about animals, insulting them when they're wrong.
The agency e-mailed the game - which links to the SGU Web site - to more than 34,000 prospective veterinary students in the US, UK, and Canada. Halo Group partner Denise Goodwin Pace notes that vets tend to be "impractically passionate about animals," so the animal theme of the game helps serve as a "gateway into the [SGU] site."
The e-mail blast went out on October 15. Within the first week, SGU's vet school site had logged 500 visits as a direct result of the game - which, as Goodwin Pace points out, is a relatively large number for such a specialized field.
The Halo Group will continue to work with SGU. The school is planning to give the Lemur Swami more exposure by using the game as an installation at upcoming veterinary conferences in the US.
PR team: St. George's University (Grenada, West Indies) and The Halo Group (New York)
Campaign: The Insulting Lemur Swami
Duration: Late summer to October 2007
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