New Brunswick

University of Moncton's kissing ad up for award

'Risqué' recruitment ad from University of Moncton is being credited for increased registration

student kiss

A university recruitment ad, which featured this controversial kiss, is now up for a marketing award after it garnered more than 200,000 views on YouTube and increased registration at University of Moncton. (YouTube)

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The University of Moncton grabbed headlines last year when it rolled out a "risqué" recruitment ad featuring two students kissing in its library, but now it's up for a new award.

The 30-second video is up against three other schools for the first Kira Academic Awards in the recruitment video of the year category and will be judged on its effectiveness, emotional appeal and entertainment value.

Kira Academic is a software company that helps universities with admissions.

Denis Boucher, the director of recruitment at University of Moncton, said the ad, which shows two students French kissing in the library, was "a little risqué" but he wanted a video that talked about more than academics.

'As a small French-speaking school in New Brunswick, competing with English-speaking schools in the Maritimes and Québec, a little bit of controversy was exactly what they needed.' - Kira Academic Blog

"You come to university for four years, you live there … and we wanted to show more what the experience is at university and not only in class," he said.

The ad features the line, "Notre langue c'est une fierté. Une force. C'est la langue du progres," which is a play on words as the the word for "language" — langue — is also the word for "tongue."

When it was released the president of the university's professors' and librarians' association called the video "pathetic" and compared it to a beer commercial.

"Spicy? Sexy? We're not sure the appropriate adjective, but this Université de Moncton definitely has a lot of it," said Kira Academic.

Kissing commercial 6:14

Registration up

Boucher is confident the ad played a role in increasing enrolment this year with numbers up by 22 per cent among Canadian high school students.

"These are the kids that saw the ads. You can't make a direct link … but it's part of what we did last year that made it work," Boucher said.

"It did become controversial but I have to say the reaction from the public was really really good. For every one negative comment we got on Facebook there was at least 10 positive and I think the ad is very good."

Kira Academic agrees a big part of the success of the ad was the fact that it was risque and generated buzz.

"As a small French-speaking school in New Brunswick, competing with English-speaking schools in the Maritimes and Québec, a little bit of controversy was exactly what they needed," the website says.

"This campaign worked because it generated a lot of awareness for the otherwise unknown school in Moncton."

The winner will be chosen by Kira Academic and announced on Feb. 28 however people are also invited to vote for their favourite.

Boucher admits he isn't sure how the university will top the ad, which has more than 200,000 views on YouTube.

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